Experience Points: Customising Your PS4 Controller
After the PS4 controller debacle of quickly degrading analogue sticks, I took it upon myself to look for alternatives to prevent my controller from meeting an early grave. On both my PS3 and Xbox 360 controllers I have over the years added extra enhancements. Interestingly enough, I’ve customised the PS3 controller the most out of the lot. It is is no big secret that I am a fan of the ergonomics of the Xbox 360 controller, the analogue stick placement and the controller’s triggers. So when I finally purchased a PS3 and had to use the DualShock 3 controller; it was quite the change.
The first thing I added to the PS3 controller were trigger extensions and they helped to extend the length of the triggers, making the triggers far more usable in my opinion, especially for gamers like myself with bigger hands. The second addition were analogue stick covers like this which the analogue sticks far more textured and added tactile grip, which was a godsend as my giant thumbs kept slipping off the analogue sticks when in the most tense of situations (like in a boss battle).
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I also bought a silicone cover for the DualShock 3 to increase the grip factor of the controller more so than before. There’s nothing worse than having your controller fly from your sweaty hands like a boomerang becoming the unsuspecting victim of the floor, or your wall. While it may look like your controller is using too much protection, the benefits are often tremendous. The only improvement I made to my Xbox 360 controller was to add a silicone cover to it, which as expressed above with the DualShock 3 controller, helped to increase the grip factor when playing games.
Now having finally moved on to the newest generation of consoles and having bought the PS4, I finally had a chance to get to ‘grips’ with the DualShock 4 controller. Whilst a great controller, many PS4 users expressed disdain at the quality of the analogue sticks on the controller. Basically, the grip on the analogue sticks quickly degraded in quality, over a short period of time. Fearing the worst, I made the effort to find a pre-emptive solution, which one shouldn’t have to do. However, I initially didn’t want to go through a return process for a controller, or buy a new controller just to have the same issue somewhere down the line.
On a whim, I purchased Grip-iT Analog Stick Covers from Amazon. What is nice about these analogue stick covers is that they can be used on Xbox 360, PS3, PS4 and Xbox One controllers, and are manufactured using an extra “grippy” silicone. I tested the Grip-iTs out on my DualShock 4 controller mainly. The results were very promising. I used the Grip-iTs playing Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and the latest Thief game. The analogue stick covers do provide extra grip and make fine movements with the analogue sticks quite precise.
Yet I still found that after awhile much like the barebone analogue sticks, without this type of cover, my thumbs would slip a bit. This is an issue, but I do feel that the analogue sticks were very accurate with the Grip-iTs, greater than the experience I had without them. On top of this, they help to protect your DualShock 4 analogue sticks from permanent damage. The only downside is that they convert the analogue sticks into a more convex shape, in comparison to the normal concave shape form factor of the analogue sticks. If you prefer the ORB range of gaming accessories you should also check out their analogue stick covers(or thumb grips as they refer to them).
The only issue with these types of analogue stick covers, which I’ve used on my DualShock 3 controller, is that they’ll make the analogue sticks on the DualShock 4 as convex as the DualShock 3, which might not be to everyone’s tastes. Although it must be said that there are indeed a great degree of choices when it comes to customising your next-gen controller. If you’re wondering about the silicone covers for the PS4 controller, I suggest not purchasing them as they make the buttons flush with the controller and diminish the movement of the analogue sticks, which is not a positive in my books. Personally I can’t wait for more PS4 accessories and customisation options to become available.