PS5 Edge Controller Review: Is It Worth Upgrading in 2023?
In this review, you'll learn everything you need to know about the new PlayStation 5 DualSense Edge controller.
- LED Mod Indicator
- Mod Switch
- 11 Exclusive Mods
- Ultra-Customizable Controls
- 2 lever Mappable Back Buttons
- Replaceable Stick Modules
- Quick Access Profile Settings Menu
- On-Controller User Interface
- Changeable Stick Caps and Back Buttons
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Gamers, brace yourselves! For months, we’ve been waiting with bated breath to see what Sony, a leader in the video game industry, has in store for their first-ever pro controller.
The wait is over—a PS5 DualSense Edge got released at the end of January 2023 and is up for review.
Does it bring something fresh to the highly competitive industry, or is it a flop?
Does it go head-to-head with popular pro controllers like Elite, Scuff, Aim, and Razor, or outperform them?
In this in-depth review, I will answer all these questions and give you the full scoop on the Edge specs and features.
Let’s dive in and see if it lives up to the hype.
The PS5 Edge is priced at $200, which is right in line with other popular pro controllers such as the MS Elite 2, Scuf Reflex Pro, and Razer Wolverine V2 Pro. But here's the kicker: it comes with an ultra-premium carrying case that's in a class of its own. You can feel the quality in every aspect of the packaging—from a hard clamshell to the nice little cutouts to fit all controller accessories.
The case itself is made of strong white plastic which will protect the controller a lot better than the soft cases most other remotes come with. It's got a glossy PlayStation logo on the front and zipper, small PlayStation symbols on the back, a metal key loop at the top, a rubbery port flap to charge on the go, and even a handy QR code on the inside linking to the user manual.
The case is designed to perfectly fit the product, with all accessories neatly stored in the bottom tray and the USB-C cable placed on the case top. You will find four additional thumbstick caps of domed shape (high and short ones), a pair of lever and half-dome back buttons, and a connector housing included.
Everything is done with amazing attention to detail and is aimed at making the gamer's life easier, from securely carrying and charging it during transit, to quickly access the controller and other components it comes with.
Design Changes. DualSense Edge vs DualSense
The Edge looks very similar to the original DualSense; both controllers have an identical set of buttons, and both offer triggers and shoulder buttons. As of now, the only color scheme available for the Edge is black on white, while the DualSense is offered in more than a dozen colors.
Ergonomics-wise, the Edge controller is also almost a twin to the original DualSense: same size, same buttons, same sticks, and layout, down to the millimeter.
But they are not identical, and here is what differs:
The Edge feels sleeker but is heavier, with a weight of 335 g compared to the regular DualSense's 280 g.
Sony added several premium design changes: the Edge comes with a black, cool-looking touchpad with tiny Playstation symbols on it. It is a unique feature that is not seen on other controllers.
The bottom half of the controller, the d-pad, and the buttons come in glossy black plastic.
They added a high-gloss black line on the back that accentuates the back, rounded off the bottom of the controller, and added grips to the inner edge of the product and to the triggers (in the form of PlayStation symbols).
Overall, Edge is quite the looker, built with premium materials and authentic design elements.
USB Braided Cable Lock
Edge comes with a new feature: a cable lock that has been added to keep your controller securely attached when using a wired connection. Even during the most intense gaming sessions - the cable lock has you covered.
When you open the latch, there is additional foam padding and a symbol indicating where the USB cable should be inserted. By the way, the cable is a ten-foot-long steel braided cord branded with the PlayStation logo.
To insert it, just slide in the cable with the PlayStation logo, press down the latch until it clicks, press firmly, and make sure the lock button is secured in place. You'll feel it lock into place, and you can play with confidence knowing it won't get dislodged.
Adjustable Trigger Stops
These are the must-have attribute of any pro controller today. as they alter the default trigger reaction time, giving you a competitive edge in different gaming genres. For example, you want a full trigger squeeze for a racing game, but the shortest pull possible for a shooter.
Edge trigger stops are, in my opinion, contentious. On one hand, they come with 3 settings to choose from: the default setting, a half-click, or a short clip. And you still get to use the adaptive triggers, which is amazing.
But this comes with a trade-off: these trigger locks allow too much travel. The half-click one is barely different from the full one, while the short position is not short enough.
Another point worth noting is that the haptic feedback in the triggers will be disabled when you use trigger stops.
To sum up, the Edge triggers are a hybrid of standard and smart (mechanical) triggers found on other brands, such as the Scuff Reflex with its instant adaptive triggers or the Razer Wolverine V2 Pro with its triggers that have two positions: the full default and a short, mouse-like click.
Mappable Back Buttons
Having back buttons on your esports controller is super beneficial in competitive play, as you can make quicker reactions, take faster shortcuts, and outplay your opponents. This is accomplished by assigning the stock controller input to the back buttons. So each time you hit the programmed back button, the controller will press the mapped face button for you.
Different controllers offer different ways to complete the button remapping, and in the case of the Edge, the editing has to be done through the PlayStation 5 interface menu, in the Accessories section of your settings. You are not able to remap the buttons on the fly, and this sucks.
Now let’s talk about the back buttons themselves. DualSense Edge comes with two back buttons and offers two styles for them: a half-dome shape and a lever style, both of which are made of metal.
The half-dome ones are similar to the aluminum back paddles on the Microsoft Elite Series 2 controller. You won’t have any confusion during the installation as the spots on the controller are labeled LB and RB.
Once installed, the buttons feel very comfortable and ergonomically placed, as they are positioned very close to the controller’s back shell. They feel very durable and provide a good amount of resistance, so you won't accidentally activate them during gameplay. This placement allows for quick access to the buttons without having to invert your fingers while aiming or moving.
The half-dome paddles are not labeled RB or LB, but you cannot install them the wrong way. The lever-style ones fit comfortably as they are placed exactly where your fingers rest on the controller, so there won’t be any fatigue. You will have your fingers on them effortlessly, and once needed, you will actuate them by squeezing them in. Don’t worry about accidental presses, the dome shape will tuck them away.
Which style do I prefer better? Honestly, both styles feel tactile and ergonomic to me, but the unique design of the half-dome ones got me hooked a little more.
The main disadvantage of the Edge's back buttons is that there are only two of them, whereas most pro controllers offer four. Why settle for two rear buttons when you can have four?
It's a no-brainer—with four face buttons, there is no reason for you to remove the thumbs from strafing and aiming. And with those extra back buttons, you can add some flair to your gameplay—a sneaky crouch here, a quick hop there, maybe even a slide cancel into a hop for good measure.
If you are new to using a pro controller, having two back buttons may be a good way to get used to the feature. However, for a hard-core gamer like myself, it’s the lack of two more extras that gives me a competitive advantage in my game.
The thumbsticks that come with the Edge controller are the same as those that come with the original PS5 DualSense. They are still short hybrid sticks made of plastic, but their tops feel much grippier due to the silicone or rubber used for the center section.
The sticks are swappable and pop off once you grab them and pull them off. There are two alternate thumbstick designs included, which are great for accommodating different styles of play; both are dome-shaped, one being regular height and the other being medium height. The choice of sticks comes down to your preference; for me, a low dome on the left and a mid-rise dome on the right work best.
How to Change the Stick Module
After a certain amount of gaming, everyone suffers from stick drift. The issue has been known for years now. Some third-party gaming companies have been trying to resolve the issue by adding swappable stick modules to their controllers. Astro Gaming C40 TR Wireless Controller and Victrix Pro BFG for PS5 are among those models. With their swappable stick modules, you can swap out the default thumbsticks and play with different shapes and heights.
By the way, the Pro BFG one is an exciting controller, that will be individually reviewed by our team soon. Not only does it offer a greater level of customization than the Edge with three different D-pad styles, extra stick caps, and octagonal stick gates, but it can also be converted to an Xbox-style layout with rectangular modules and transformed into a fight pad with enabled six-button module.
Back to the Edge stick module, Sony followed the suit of the mentioned brands and upgraded the Edge with the component. It is a double win: now you don’t have to throw away the controller once sticks start to drift and you get to find the perfect thumbstick height and shape that fits your gaming style the best.
Edge makes it easy to upgrade your controller's thumbsticks—just slide the release tab, pop off the faceplate, and replace the old modules with the new $20 ones. Problem solved.
New Feature: Function Buttons (FN)
Sony has taken it to the next level with the Edge’s two function buttons, which reside just beneath the analog sticks. These are super convenient and so well-placed that you can access the key options instantly without taking your hands off the controller. And at the same time, you can’t just accidentally press on them.
Simply press down on a function button and tap one of the four action buttons to activate one of your four saved profiles. Or, use the function button left/right on the d-pad to adjust the audio balance, or up/down on the d-pad to adjust the headset volume.
Keep in mind that your headset doesn't need to be plugged into your controller to utilize that function.
PlayStation Software: Controller Customization
When connecting your Edge to the console for the first time, you are presented with a Welcome menu that highlights the controller’s features. The level to which you can customize the PS5 Edge through the Playstation interface is profound.
You can adjust things like thumbstick sensitivity and dead zones, the adaptive trigger vibration intensity, trigger effect, and dead zones, also remap controller buttons, including the back buttons.
Once you're happy with your settings, save them to your user profile to access the configuration on the fly. You can save the best settings for each game to up to five custom profiles.
To begin creating our first custom profile, give it a name and begin mapping the buttons. You can assign, rearrange, and even disable the buttons to your heart's content. When you're done, just hit "apply" to save it. When activating your desired profile, the controller's light bar will show which profile you are choosing. And if you ever need to get back to this page, just head to the settings menu on your PlayStation.
Features You May Not Know About
You can’t take full advantage of the Edge trigger stops for games that require half-pressing for alternative functions, as they will automatically activate the full press on Edge triggers instead of the half-press. The good news is, you can switch it back by adjusting the settings, though it may take some time to do so quickly.
You get more control over your buttons with the Edge as you can disable the touchpad surface, its clickable button, the options and share buttons, and even the PS button. This is a handy feature to prevent those pesky accidental presses during crucial moments in the game. These options are not available on the standard DualSense controller.
You can map the touchpad button and the options button to any trigger or face button if you want. You can't do it with the PS and Share buttons though.
The Edge’s battery energy capacity is 1050 mAh vs Standard Dualsense’s (1560 mAh), which may be the reason behind the poor battery life of the controller. You get five to five and a half hours with haptic feedback and rumble settings turned off—that’s half the battery life of the standard PS5 controller, which clocks in at 10 to 11 hours.
Is this a dealbreaker for me as a hardcore gamer? Not really, as I prefer playing wired anyway. But would a longer battery life make a controller more appealing to the masses? I believe so.
Verdict. DualSense Edge Pros & Cons
I must say that I am impressed with the Edge design and carrying case, as well as the fact that they retained all of the fantastic DualSense features such as adaptive triggers and haptics while enhancing the controller with extensive customization capabilities.
The swappable stick module alone is priceless and has the potential to change the game in the pro controller market.
But while all these upgrades speak in favor of Edge, I can’t get rid of a lingering feeling that some aspects could have been done better.
The first thing is the two-back button system, which doesn't sit well with serious gamers, esports pros, or folks who are used to four-button setups. It feels very awkward to use two back buttons versus four, and you can’t get rid of the feeling that you're not being given all the tools to gain an advantage over the competition. However, if you’re just starting with a pro controller, the simpler two-back button setup is the perfect way to go for you.
The next aspect is trigger stops, which are a cool addition, especially the fact that they work with adaptive triggers. However, the travel distance is too long, and there is no noticeable difference between the full and middle click settings.
The short battery life raises questions about whether Sony rushed the release and didn't spend enough time testing and optimizing for longer play sessions on a single charge like the DualSense offers.
My verdict is this: if you're willing to spend big bucks on a high-end, great-looking pro controller from a reputable brand, even if it doesn’t give you peak performance, then go for it. But if maximizing your chances of winning is your top priority, you may want to explore other options.