DualSense Edge Review: It's Great But It's Not Perfect

After years of third-party offerings and Microsoft’s elite controllers, Sony finally has an OEM pro-style controller they’ve brought to market, called the DualSenseEdge for PlayStation 5. This customizable premium controller will allow you to mold a controller’s button layout and sensitivity to your liking with multiple custom presets and even hardware flexibility with different back buttons, stick caps, and replaceable sticks.

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What Comes in the Box DualSense Edge

Inside the box, you’ll find the white hardshell plastic case that the controller comes with. It has an embossed PlayStation logo, and toward the top, you’ll find a Velcro opening that you can use to charge the controller while it’s stored inside the case.

The DualSense Edge comes with a 2.8 meter-long braided USB-C cable, much longer than the standard USB-C cable. The PS5 comes with 1.5 meters long for comparison. You will want to ensure you hang onto the supplied cable, though. Looking at the rest of what’s included, there is also a locking mechanism for the cable when connected to the controller, and this is where the chamber is made explicitly for the cable. It might not fit properly if you’re keen on using third-party cables.

DualSense Edge Features

You also get two lever-style back buttons, two half-dome back buttons, two high-dome stick caps, and two low-dome stick caps. As for the DualSense Edge itself, it looks similar to a standard DualSense in form factor, but some very obvious design changes make this controller stand out. Notably, the black D-pad and face buttons were redesigned, accenting the light bar and touchpad hand.

The bottom trim piece is now glossy black plastic. The inner grips are now rubberized and feel pretty nice. They’re still textured with thousands of tiny PlayStation buttons, which are now more noticeable on the touchpad. On the back is where you’ll see the new buttons and switches needed for customizing your play. If you say you don’t want to use the back buttons, you can still hold this in a rusted normal position and not feel any of the changes on the back.

You can use this like a traditional dual sense, and having any new buttons or switches get in the way of how you would typically hold the controller. Outside of the rubber grips, which you will feel, and whether you are using the new attachments, it was the right move to keep the form factor here the same.

We’re on year three of PS5, and I have no problem saying the DualSense is the best PlayStation controller this company has released so far, and it should be in the same conversation as one of the best around. The DualSense Edge is off to a good start.

Hardware Swaps for DualSense Edge

Getting into the hardware swaps they’re easy enough. If you want to change the stick cap, pull it out gently, and it pops off. When placing on a new one, you should be mindful of lining it up. They will not pop on from any position, so the easiest way is to rest the stick cap and rotate it until it slides down a bit more. You can apply force when that happens, and it’ll click in.

Now if there’s a time when an analog stick is broken or you’re experiencing stick drift, one handy feature of the DualSense Edge is being able to swap out the entire assembly. You can buy an OEM stick module from Sony. They come in a tiny box, and as of January 2022, these will run you about $19.99 for one of them.

But to replace these, you’ll have to hit the tiny release switch on the back that will get the front trim piece off without any careful prying that you would have to do on a standard DualSense. You’ll then see the silver lever flanking each module. Lift the lever, and the stick assembly will be slightly out of its position.

Then, pull it out and place a new one in by pulling the lever down to where you can visibly see the module retract in, and you’re good to go. Please ensure the two hooks on the black trim piece are placed first from a downward angle, then level it out to make a solid connection back to the controller.

It’s a straightforward swap and something that may prove invaluable for long-term ownership. The back buttons are also easy enough to use. They connect and hold with magnets, and it’s a solid connection. I can’t picture everyday scenarios where these would fall out by accident. It’s more of a pain just figuring out the right angle and sweet spot for how they go in, but you’ll pick up on that quickly.

DualSense Edge Setting

As for the trigger stops, you can adjust how far you need to press L2 and R2 before the input is accepted, and you can change these independently of one another. The top setting is for a full throw, what you’d typically expect on any controller.

The second setting comes down about halfway, so think of a game that uses adaptive triggers with some gameplay feature halfway down. That’s about where this goes. Then the bottom setting is for the shortest throw; barely pressing the trigger stops it very quickly. Ideal for shooting games.

Lastly, at the bottom of the DualSense Edge, you’ll see the new function buttons. You will use the button to activate software shortcuts on PlayStation 5. When you first connect DualSense Edge, Sony has a setup wizard in place that gives you a tour of the new controller, and this is where you’ll see all the software side customizations you can make, for which there is a lot.

There is a surprisingly robust menu with a wide range of settings to play with and adjust. First, you have your custom profiles which you can have four in total. One is the default; the other three are custom. From there, you can alter button assignments, stick sensitivity, and dead zones trigger dead zones and the vibration or trigger.

As you’d expect, button assignments let you rearrange how you want, but you can now map anything to the back buttons except stick inputs and the share button. Those are the only things you cannot map to the back buttons, but you could do options or even the touchpad. Stick Sensitivity is where you can alter the input behavior in a powerful way, as there are several different curve settings you can play around with.

I like that Sony has provided a brief description of each one that might give you a better idea of when and where you’d want to use each setup. From there, you can adjust the curve further and even see a real-time look at the curve versus your physical movements on the controller.

There’s also a dead zone adjustment setting. It would have been nice seeing what a pure software setting unlocked for all DualSense controllers. Understandably, the DualSense Edge will have its advantages, and at this point, it certainly. But it is better served to throw this into standard UI settings for any owner that might need this.

In the event, they have a drifting DualSense that cannot easily see a stick replacement trigger. Dead zones are similar in that you can get a real-time view of this and how it can be altered. This also accounts for the physical settings on DualSense Edge, where if you set your range too low concerning your shortest throw, you get a warning message that the trigger may not input correctly.

You can name the profiles and assign them to shortcuts that require the function button. You can swap between profiles on the fly by holding the function button or the associated face button you’ve assigned the profile. Holding the function button by itself will bring up a small menu that displays your current shortcuts.

There are also ones that take you directly to the customization menu or use the touchpad to adjust audio levels for a connected headset, which is extremely useful. Another nice touch is that a setting lets you hide most UI pop-ups. You’ll always get notifications in the top right one switching profiles, but you can minimize or even hide the function window completely.

You can also alter the feedback received when switching profiles. A slight haptic vibration and light bar indicators you might not even realize are there when changing profiles, but these two can be turned off. Something else that was nice to see is that if you’re switching PSN accounts on the same console but still using the same controller, changing the controller profiles will eventually prompt asking you how you want the setting stored.

You can choose the one stored on the console or the one stored on the controller, and you can also double-check the differences the console has identified as a conflict. That was a nice touch.

DualSense Edge for Gaming

So let’s talk about using the DualSense Edge for gaming. As I said earlier, this thing is off to a good start, purely from the form factor. It was a clever play, keeping it the same, but when it comes to all the customizations, they can certainly feel additive in a good way. I’m a big fan of how whatever you don’t need doesn’t have to be used and become intrusive.

Having said that, this is the controller where you have to figure out how you want to make the best use of it. Experimentation is critical, and I’m sure you’ll find something that will eventually work best for whatever you want to get done.

Many people who have never owned a controller like this are showing interest in this one, so don’t go into this thinking; you have to set up the perfect profile immediately. Just start playing your games. You’ll soon get a feel for what you want to map and what you’d like to adjust while you’re in the moment.

You’ll first want to try mapping something to the back buttons. That helps keep your thumbs on the sticks while you’re aiming.

In return, that’s assigning my jump and dash to the back buttons. You might find it hard to relearn a game you’re already used to, but it keeps you aiming and shooting in chaotic moments where it’s needed most. I spent a good portion of my testing on this game, as it’s one of my favorites.

So for my setup, I have one standard stick cap on the left and a high dome on the right. Also, I’m using the back lever buttons and have my right trigger set to the shortest throw. My stick profiles are also set to the quick setting, best suited for a fast-paced shooter. It took a little while for me to enjoy this setup, and it’s one where I’d be happy to carry this over to similar genres, which I also tried for Call of Duty, which I then tweaked here and there for more experimentation.

I’m not much of a PVP guy, so it’s essential to go over who this controller is for. Generally speaking, in this price range, you should consider improving your reaction time during competitive play; this controller will work toward that. Still, you can use DualSense Edge for whatever you want.

That’s the beauty of it. I messed around with a few different games and found various use cases. Even when I didn’t find any value in messing around with the settings or the triggers, I still found it cool to use the low dome stick caps, which essentially turn the edge into a controller reminiscent of DualShocks 1 through 3.

As for the different back buttons, I did not care for the dome versions. It keeps your fingers slightly higher and less rusted than the levers. So for my play style preference, I did not care for these, but I could see how they might make sense for others. Sony has done a lot that makes this controller a serious consideration.

Suppose you value the sort of in-depth customization, especially with the potential of swapping out the stick assembly, such as stick caps and modules. This could also open an aftermarket for more variety and haul effect sensors. It’s the ease of use and accessibility of it that makes this such an attractive option.

Drawbacks for DualSense Edge

It is worth pointing out one really odd drawback. That’s a huge bummer. The shortcut for adjusting headphone volume or your game chat balance is only for headphones connected to the 3.5-millimeter headphone jack.

This feature will not work with Sony’s Pulse or other wireless headsets.

Then, a significant drawback is battery life. The consequence of squeezing new features into the same form factor has resulted in a smaller battery capacity, a 1050 milli amp hour battery, versus the standard DualSense, which has a 1560 milli amp hour battery. This translates to a battery life of four hours on the low and two on the high end. Not great because if you enjoy long play sessions, you will hit that wall of having to charge or plugin.

Depending on the buyer, it’s a non-issue. These controllers are geared towards a competitive audience that will prefer a hardwired connection. So if that’s you, this isn’t an issue. But if you have always wanted to try one of these pricier pro-style controllers, which would be your first one, you might be disappointed in losing the convenience you can get with the standard controllers. In addition, the DualSense Edge has no problem docking comfortably on Sony’s official charging stand.

The other main issue is that if you’re coming from other pro-style controllers, you only get two back buttons on the controller. That alone can be a deal breaker, primarily if you’re already used to a setup on a different controller that does use more than two. That setup will not work on the DualSense Edge, so you must compromise your preferred control style. There need to be more software features to compensate for losing two buttons.

It’s a shame because, with four buttons, this would make the DualSense Edgean undeniably an excellent choice in its market category.

My Verdict on DualSense Edge

Overall, I like DualSense Edge a lot. It turned out better than I expected, thanks to all the surprisingly deep and easy-to-use software features, which could see some tweaks and improvements over time with firmware updates and possibly get even.

The DualSense Edge is in a bit of an awkward spot; though it is alright, I’d say far from it, but for casual consumers that might be thinking about their first pro controller, you’re going to lose some battery life. And for the competitive player looking to improve their game, you’re only getting two back buttons.

As I mentioned above, I recommend making the DualSense Edge of the controller, as long as you’re okay with taking a few steps back in some critical areas.

Thank you so much for reading this DualSense Edge review. Hopefully, you found this helpful, and until next time.