The PS5’s Dualsense controller is great. We love it. But if you’re a competitive first-person shooter player, there are ways it can be improved to give you an advantage.
Of course, the majority of gamers don’t have the equipment or know-how required to modify their DualSense controller for the better. And so companies like The Controller People exist to make it painless. Simply go to The Controller People’s website, and you can choose from a range of specially modified controllers, ready to be delivered to your door. Or if you want the more personal touch, you can even design your own controller, choosing the colour – and pattern – of its shell, trim, touchpad and buttons before deciding on other additional features.
We’ve been sent one of the The Controller People’s Pro PS5 controllers to put through its paces, and have been very happy with its performance. For the most part it looks just like a normal DualSense controller, but those with a keen eye will notice a couple of key differences. For a start there are the analogue sticks, which aren’t the bog standard ones you get with a normal DualSense. Here they look a bit different as they’re interchangeable. Three sets are included with the TCP Pro controller, each offering their own height. The higher you go, the more sensitivity you have when it comes to aiming, allowing you to more easily fine-tune. We should note they’re all concave though. If you want domed sticks, you’ll either have to buy them separately or go for the TCP Ultimate which packs in even more features.
The next standout feature of the TCP Pro is the addition of two remappable clicksticks on the rear. These paddles are very nicely placed and are rather sturdy, allowing you to rest your fingers on them without fear of pressing them accidentally. Even better, they genuinely do offer a tangible benefit in not only first-person shooters, but in all games. Saying that, we predominantly tested the TCP Pro with the recent Call of Duty Modern Warfare II beta, with the left paddle set to change our weapon, and the right paddle set to jump. This way, you have much less reason to remove your thumb from the right analogue stick in the heat of battle.
If you’re playing a game where having the clicksticks mapped to the triangle and X buttons doesn’t benefit you all that much, you can quickly and easily map them to other face buttons, including d-pad directions, by simply holding a clickstick and the required button down for 15-20 seconds. Needless to say, it’s a system that’s very versatile and easy to get to grips with, and offers a benefit in nearly every game that you play.
There are some games that you won’t want to play with a TCP Pro, however. In fact, there will be some games that you can’t effectively play with it. It’s all because of its digital triggers. These are great for most first-person shooters as it means there’s less travel before your input is registered. When fractions of a second are a decider between life and death, they’re a godsend, in fact, allowing you to possibly shoot faster than your standard controller-equipped opponents. But it means you lose analogue functionality, so you won’t be able to feather the throttle in a game like Gran Turismo 7, or choose between aiming and using your gun’s secondary fire in Returnal.
The TCP Pro perhaps isn’t ideal for those who play a diverse range of games, then. At least if they’re not prepared to also have another normal controller on standby for those games that the TCP Pro isn’t suited to. But it’s a story common to most modified controllers on the market: if you want the fast response times provided by digital switches, you lose some functionality. Though we should mention that the TCP Classic is available that offers remappable clicksticks and nothing more, preserving the original DualSense controller’s analogue sticks and adaptive triggers.
Still, with a price tag of £142, the TCP Pro may be expensive compared to a standard DualSense controller, but it’s one of the cheapest ways to get access to pro features. And if you don’t mind paying a bit more, you can further tweak its visual appearance, making it truly bespoke to you. The result isn’t cheap, but if, like us, you have a controller in your hand nearly every day, it’s perhaps worth it. Especially when it can also give you a competitive edge and make your playing time a little more enjoyable.
Thanks to The Controller People for supplying us with a unit for the purposes of this review.