As we’ve continued to learn ever since our PS5 review, the DualSense controller is a bit of a revelation in terms of gameplay feedback. The pad allows you to feel PlayStation 5 games in a way that you never could with past DualShock devices, providing force feedback in the triggers and ridiculously realistic rumble sensations that have the capability of illustrating different textures.
But while the technology is revolutionary, it’s ultimately going to come down to developers to use it in meaningful ways. We thought it would be useful to put together some of the games we feel have made best use of the DualSense so far.
Yes, Astro’s Playroom remains the best example of DualSense’s capabilities thus far, leveraging all of the pad’s features to frankly frightening levels. This is a game where you can physically feel raindrops landing in your hand; where a machine gun rattles under your fingertips when your fire it. Extraordinary stuff, and the benchmark for Sony’s fancy controller.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is massively improved with the DualSense controller, as the triggers add recoil to every shot you fire. Depending on the weight of the weapon, you’ll feel resistance in L2 when you aim down sights, which gives heft to larger firearms. The real cool feature, however, is the way R2 rattles under your finger – and even jams when you're reloading. Meanwhile, the haptics add directional feedback to what’s happening on screen, such as nearby explosions and bullets. It’s truly revolutionary stuff, and while professionals may feel it affects their performance, as a casual we enjoyed the added immersion.
Bluepoint said it wanted you to feel the clash of metal-on-metal with its next gen remake of Demon’s Souls and there’s definitely texture to the haptic feedback that you wouldn’t get with traditional rumble. While we can’t say we’ve necessarily noticed much out of the ordinary in melee combat, we like the way the control alerts you to incoming fire casks – or how magic spells pulse powerfully in your hands as you cast them. All in all, though, this is a rather understated, minimal implementation of the pad, which is fine considering the context.
Grand Theft Auto V
GTA 5 may be almost a decade old, but Rockstar has invested significant care and attention into its DualSense support. Subtlety is the secret here: you'll feel the roar of your favourite Pfister's engine in your fingertips, of course, but also the tingle of raindrops falling from the almost-always sunny Los Santos sky. The adaptive triggers fight back when you pull the trigger, but lightly, and combined with the aforementioned haptic feedback it creates for a satisfying sensation that greatly improves upon the DualShock 4's traditional rumble motors.
Gran Turismo 7
It probably doesn't come as much of a surprise, but Gran Turismo 7 is one game that competes with Astro's Playroom when it comes to DualSense implementation. The way you are able to feel different surfaces as you drive along is outrageously good, making you really feel as though you're rooted to the experience. The haptics are just sublime, and while the triggers are more subtle, the application apes a car's brakes suitably well. An awesome effort from Polyphony Digital.
Horizon Forbidden West
When the DualSense was being pushed hard before release, a key example of the adaptive triggers' capabilities was the idea of pulling a bow string taut. Horizon Forbidden West does indeed make the act of using a bow and arrows more tactile in this manner, with a satisfying buzz as you prepare your shot. The triggers also get some great usage in other areas, like when prying open a door — it just feels far more engaging with that little extra resistance. As for the haptics, they're used relatively sparingly, but the overall effect is very nice, giving Aloy physicality in the world; you feel the tall grass brushing by, or her swimming through the sea.
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales
It may be a first-party exclusive, but Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales makes sparing use of Sony’s new controller technology. There’s really not much to talk about here at all: there’s some extra tension in the triggers when swinging, which is weird at first but easy to adapt to. There’s also a little extra dimension to the rumble when in combat; for example, when you perform Venom punches you’ll feel the transition of energy pulse across the pad. And that’s about it really. There is a cool moment where Miles types on a keyboard, and you can feel the individual button presses all across the controller.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
Miles Morales might've had fairly understated usage of the DualSense, but Insomniac has made up for it with Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. The colourful shooter-platformer has its typical array of unusual weaponry, and they come to life even more with PS5's pad. Each gun feels different to use thanks to imaginative use of the triggers, and the haptic feedback is put through its paces, even tingling as you vacuum up hundreds of bolts.
Housemarque's excellent third-person shooter is great for many reasons, but Returnal's DualSense work is among the best. The haptics are in near constant use, whether it's raindrops falling into your hands or whirring sensations as you pass through a teleporter. The adaptive triggers are used for a fundamental gameplay quirk; L2 acts as two inputs, with a soft lock half-way down letting you choose between precision aim or alt-fire. It all really adds a lot to the game's frenetic combat.
Sackboy: A Big Adventure
Sackboy: A Big Adventure is a prime example of a game that disappoints a little after playing Astro’s Playroom. To be clear: its use of the DualSense is not bad at all. However, once you’ve physically felt different surfaces through the controller, it’s hard to play a title that doesn’t provide the same level of feedback. There are some cool ideas here, though: browsing menus genuinely feels tactile due to the way the haptic feedback is utilised, while the triggers tighten as you pick up objects to reflect the strain of its eponymous hero. There are even some moments where you have to use motion controls, and the gyroscopes work perfectly. It’s just, we can’t help but be disappointed when it rains in game and you can’t feel it through the DualSense now.
WRC 10 is not only a great rally simulation, but it also makes fantastic use of the DualSense controller. The implementation is subtle here, but there’s texture and nuance to it. You can physically feel your car’s weight transition as you slide around corners, and you can sense the grip of the tires against the gravel as you accelerate out. The triggers pop and flutter in unison with what you’re seeing on screen, allowing you to physically feel the bumps in the road and make better decisions with your brakes. When a game uses the PS5’s pad this well, it’s hard to go back to traditional racing games.
So, those are our favourite DualSense experiences on PS5 so far. Which games do you think use it best? Feel more in the comments section below.
They used the Haptic Triggers to shoot ketchup jars in Bugsnax
Everything else is irrelevant and meaningless.
Apparently WRC 9 has incredible Dualsense support
But clearly using them to squeeze ketchup and mustard squirt bottles would be even more awesome!
Sounds like this gen's touchpad then. A few first party studios will make good use of it initially, some third parties will half ars it, and most will just ignore it's there.
Yeah it's frustrating to see all the awesome stuff the Dualsense is capable of with Astro, only to play another game and have it feel like glorified rumble. Game Informer was raving about Demon's Souls work with the Dualsense, but so far I'm not that impressed. Biggest moment of disappointment was heading to Shrine of Storms and NOT feeling the raindrops like I did in Astro. Oh well maybe next time...
@DrClayman Oh yeah you know it's going to go that route. Considering how support for stuff like HD Rumble and the Joy Con IR sensor went after like one or two first party games I think the only things developers will implement into future games will be the usage of the haptic triggers and absolutely nothing else
Disagree the Dualsense is a game changer. And have read more positive feedback about these games than on this site.
Can't believe Sony didn't push Dualsense more with Spiderman Miles?
Hopefully it's not just a gimmick like the sixaxis with the game LAIR.
I think a lot of this depends on how well Steam is able to support it. Essentially there are three platforms that will be relevant for the next 7-10 years: PC, PS5, XSX. If only one of these supports it then it'll be irrelevant in 2 years time. If two support it then I can see more effort being made to make use of the feature, possibly even forcing MS into a mid-gen controller enhancement, similar to Nintendo with the motion plus wiimotes.
@DrClayman No, it's not like that at all.
COD and astro and hopefully demon's souls will be the ones that excite me the most.
Demon’s souls? I heard they used it.
I'm really interested in buying cod cold war because of the haptics, I see the video on youtube and it's mind blowing how the dualsense R2 button can have recoil in the game.
Those gimmicks like shoulder triggers, analogue sticks, vibration etc, never took off did they?
It is true that the other dead controllers might hold it back if devs feel there isn’t a large enough percentage of people who’ll be able to use it. They can’t make it integral to the game.
However, haptics will never be integral to a game. It’ll just make it feel a whole lot more immersive. Hopefully Sony can work out how to make it easy to convert sound into haptics so there’s little developer work.
There will be some games where it’ll become essential though. Most obviously racing games.
Even if you put aside all the amazing things this controller can do, it is still a fantastic controller. While I found it a bit alien at first now that I have some time with it I don't want to go back to other controllers. It feels great in the hand, the weight is in all the right places. Really well done.
As a side note, I have a pro-tip for those who haven't played Astro's Playroom yet. If you mute the mic, you don't have to blow on the controller.
If I never have to blow on another controller again I will be happier for it. You would think that they would have learned the lesson from Nintendo that people don't want to blow on their device/controller.
I'm thoroughly impressed with the Dualsense so far. I think I prefer the overall form factor of the dualshock 4 a little more (though that might just be familiarity) the triggers and haptics are awesome. And that's coming from someone whose never liked controller vibration.
So, yeah, it's gonna be like HD Rumble was on the Switch. Cool in a handful of games near launch, and then quickly forgotten about.
I think we can count on every first party game and every racing game using it. After that it will depend on whether devs want their games to be better or whether they want to be cheap and default to a dead controller. Of course if players demand it it might happen anyway, but that counts on them being willing to try these features first.
My vote for best usage so far is that damn slot machine in Astros. Seriously, busting balls has never been more satisfying.....
I could certainly see the more nuanced haptics being reserved for mainly 1st party offerings in the future, with 3rd parties kinda phoning it in with just basic rumble.
But those adaptive triggers?! Man, I don't know. As long as it's fairly simple to implement, they add -a lot- to the overall experience in my humble opinion and honestly don't want to go back now. There's always gonna be growing pains with this kind of thing as devs figure out what works and what doesn't but with it being baked into the ps5 so tightly, I'm holding out hope that I'll be able to feel the individual bones snap in some fools neck in TLOU3 shudder or maybe not.
We can’t forget that developers are also creative people and creative people ‘like’ to create. If there are genuinely cool things that can be implemented you can bet they will be pushing for it and I think they’ve only scratched the surface of what we’ll see in the future. This is not a gimmick and not comparable to sixaxis and I’m personally very excited to see how it adds to the games we love to play: Imagine feeling the footsteps of an unknown entity slowly growing closer before it “taps” you on the shoulder, it’s breath rippling from the centre of the DualSense to it’s outer edges. You turn and try to fire off a shot but mysteriously your gun jams as you can’t quite pull the trigger all the way...this has great potential.
DualSense should be a major selling point for the latest console war, but the hard part is that people won’t know how much it adds to the immersion until they actually experience it. Astro’s Playroom is an absolute stunner. I hope these new controllers aren’t ignored.
I hope more developers start using the dualsense to its full potential especially first party deva. Spiderman was a little underwhelming. I feel like the tension with swinging could be a little more
It has loads of potential but so did HD Rumble. The first time I played Mario Kart and felt the engine rumbling was incredible. And then nobody could be arsed doing it anymore. I worry about this.
So, this article is disappointing. Demon’s Souls is not here, and that make excellent use from feeling a firebomb explode, bosses attack, each twist of the sword in a backstab, and magic spells gather and then progressively move forward and out of the controller.
Spider-Man, I’ve only played SM remastered so far, but I’m guessing it’s gonna be similar. When you web swing, the vibrations feels like it’s pulling toward the bottom of the controller in a specific location, you combine this with the subtle resistance for web swinging and it feels great. How much better the precise vibration that pulls is than what the DS4 did is big. Even when it’s subtle it’s better.
And again, leaving Demon’s Souls out of this article nothing short of a poor report. It’s the biggest PS5 exclusive you have a 10/10. It deserved a spot on this list more than most of the games on it.
The magic in Demon’s Souls has me that much more interested in the new Harry Potter game. In fact, use of the dualsense will be a notable factor in my decision to get it.
@get2sammyb It will 100% go that route if stuff like the HD Rumble from Switch and the IR tracker are any indication.
After playing Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War with the Dualsense, I don't want to play an FPS with a different controller. It really does add to immersion of the game and sets the standard that other developers in the genre will have to reach.
Reminds me of how great the Wii Remote was...
In Wii Sports and Metroid Prime.
It was the same with PSVR.
How about demons souls? I heard that’s pretty decent..,
Useful to know,
can you have a use of DualSense ratings in all features game ratings 👍
@Jaz007 It says in the article that they will be adding more games here.
I do really hope that at the very least first party titles make use of the big features of the DualSense. I do think there is a fine line between making the certain features compliment a game and having said features be so prominent and frequent that they distract you.
Is the DualSense truly a game changer and more than what’s in a JoyCon or is it mostly marketing hype more than anything?
I’m loving the triggers in Astros. Demon’s souls could have implemented it more and No Mans Sky uses them brilliantly. Surprised it’s not on the list
@Hordak To be fair stuff like the haptic rumble in the DualSense are basically refining the HD Rumble concept from the Switch. Nintendo was still the first to explore the idea of a more in depth rumble system but Sony brought it closer to true realization since HD Rumble definitely doesn't sound as extensive in terms of haptic feedback compared to the tech in the DualSense's haptics.
If the only game that truly used it was a tech demo game showcasing the controller then it's future is not too bright. I get that third party developers won't waste resources and time on it but what's the excuse for Spiderman and Demons Soul's implementation not being as good or better than Astro?
I guess I don’t understand what this is trying to achieve. It sounds like it’s just rumble, but different? Not sure how. Any explanations from people that have used it?
@DrClayman I guess if a feature isn’t available on all platforms 3rd parties aren’t going to waste too much time thinking about it. I hope a David Cage game can come out that makes full use.
@theheadofabroom I don't think that is a realistic comparison. This will be pretty easy to implement once the knowledge of how to do it is out there. You could easily provide developers with a library of pre-done sensations for ground types etc. It doesn't require any sort of rewrite like motion controls do, it's purely an additive feature.
Apparently Sony have built the API for the haptic feedback to work with sounds as well, so devs can build a sound clip that translates to the dual sense motors. I can imagine that making it really simple to do (I'm a developer so have an idea about this).
Really excited to see how no man's sky and ghost of Tsushima utilizes the feature.
@get2sammyb how so? because after reading this articles, I also got this impression.
@jcvandan I'm aware of the audio API, and obviously I hope this gets a lot of use. I'm just aware from my own experience of cross-platform development that when push comes to shove the first features to be dropped to meet a deadline are the platform specific perks, because they'll affect fewer users.
I think many did not implement this feature because they didn't think that it will be this good, like in Astro.
Now that many dev. have seen it, we will se more games making use of the.
Btw. what is the point to lose time in developing a game for adding new function not tested yet.
@theheadofabroom Yeah me too, be a shame if it didn't get fully utilized. I'm much more interested in this than I was in motion controls back in the day.
@jcvandan the Wii still got some awesome lightgun arcade ports, so I guess we should hope there is some interesting use of the tech, even if it doesn't make it's way into most games 🤷♂️
I feel any games the fail to use the features will really stick out. I can see myself skipping over any AAA games that do not use them. Haptic feedback thanks to Sony is now a big part of PlayStation games. The same goes for the Adaptive triggers. There will be plenty smaller games that may not use them that's fine. I can give them a easy pass because of lower budgets and game price.
@theheadofabroom I forgot about lightgun games, you're right motion controllers are the only realistic way to play them these days and I've been moaning about the lack of them on the switch!
@Fred_Red This honestly should be a feature!
It's interesting how to distinguish the use of the XualSense in each game. For instance, I noticed that on the PS5's PlayStation Store, Sony indicates "haptic rumble required" for certain games (like Astro).
@get2sammyb No Demon's Souls on this list ?!
It will be used by more developers, it will not end up as a looked over gimmick. These are the first games for the console, and you can clearly see how gamers and reviewers are reacting to how much developers use the DualSense features. I won't even be surprised if some of those games get updates to utilize the haptics more.
Demons souls makes good use of the dualsense
Added WRC 9!
@Zeke68 Haven't played enough yet. Been too busy to properly savour it!
@get2sammyb this is a dumb question but does the ps5 use remote play for the PSvita?
@DualshockInfinit No. PC or PS4 for Remote Play.
No doubt it’ll make the top of the list! Breaking objects by rolling has never been sweeter now that you can really feel it and hear it through the controller. In fact almost every sound made in the game comes through the controller, it’s quite remarkable.
It also makes getting pummeled by 5 enemies at a time quite unpleasant as you’ll feel each strike come through the controller.
@get2sammyb thank you for doing this. As I have been a PC and Xbox gamer primarily until now the DualSense has been a revelation to use in Cold War, Astro's Playroom, and Demon's Souls. I hope you add Demon's Souls to this list as it is a pretty good implementation. Also thank you for WRC9 info as a huge Dirt Rally 2.0 fan I am very eager to pick it up on PS5.
Everyone else dont sleep on this as it is definitely NOT another gimmick. It's a huge reason to get the PS5 over PC, Xbox, or Switch versions of game for just the controller alone. It's a huge reason to get a PS5 as soon as possible really.
After I played Cold War Multiplayer with a DualSense at 120fps it shocked me even as a PC gamer how far consoles have come.
The development teams looking to be really thorough with their games on the PS5 will use this stuff, the rest don't care enough to want to use all the tools that they can. It has nothing to do with the 3 systems, or 1st party or 3rd, it is about how much a development team wants to put to use, and what level of quality they are achieving with these features and their title. All the features have to do is work well and they will become a staple for high quality games.
@thefourfoldroot this is one game id br exited to try out. May even pull me away from wanting to replace my broken g29 wheel.
Any use in AC: Valhalla?
I turned off the haptic after a couple of minutes, it's terrible especially in Cold War, impossible to aim a long distance shot or tap fire an automatic weapon. The pad as a whole also triggered my tendonitis really badly which I haven't suffered from all year, it's bloaty and uncomfortable to use. So I thought - no problem, I'll just use my DS4. And they blocked it from being used in PS5 games. I literally cannot physically use my PS5 much because of the design and stupid marketing decision.
People don't take hand strain seriously enough - the haptic stuff is going to injure people, potentially permanently, unless they take very regular breaks and limit use.
Even without the haptics and adaptive triggers the dualsense is an awesome controller, feels so good to use. Once we get a black one it'll reach perfection!
Fantastic article! Can’t wait to check back for updates as more games release
The developers have said they want to improve the haptic feedback on dirt 5 so this post might need adjusting when they do that. I agree that it isn't good enough so I will be waiting on the update with interest.
Sure, the original PS1 controller would be great to use too. Who needs analogue sticks anyway? bloody gimmicks!
If I may ask, why? It is very fractionally larger in one dimension I guess.
Oh, thought that might be the case but didn’t want to assume. Yes, easy fix is indeed to go into system settings and turn off the vibration and triggers (or turn them down low, you have good granular options)
Not sure what you mean by the points. The very end of the “handles” are indeed less rounded, but as they are never felt I’m not sure what that issue is.
I’m sure a third party controller will be released, but agree with the inability to use old pads , along with the accessibility options, as it’s required to maximise third party dev uptake.
@get2sammyb hi there, so ps5 was sold out everywhere and i thought at least I will snag a controller, bought one and bought ps now, but it is not compatible? Do you know if they will make it compatible?
It is so dumb that I purchased 2 thing and not be able to use none.
Thanks, i will be waiting for the reply
Not used to the controller, been jumping into online games and not realising my microphone has been on 🤣
@DrClayman Sure, except developers will continue to make good use of the haptic feedback & triggers.
I hate wanting to reply to someone but then noticing that they typed that 2 years ago.
Just my opinion ofc, but I don't think I'm the only one.
Shout out for Ride 4
Some lovely haptic effects, engine vibrations (your bike and the opponents), rain etc., and I like the use of the adaptive triggers, much more immersive than without
Didn't A Plague's Tale on PS5 also made use of the Dualsense?
Shooting guns in Far Cry 6 👌🏻
Scarlet Nexus needs to be on this list. It's leagues better than Spider-mans implementation.
I'm sorry guys, but this list really isn't very well thought out or put together. It's not the same quality as the other lists and articles you guys put up on this site.
As much as it pains me to credit FIFA in any way, the simple tapping feeling on your palms that matches your players footsteps is actually really cool.
For me its between Returnal, Astro's Playroom and Scarlet Nexus. Returnal wins 🏆
I didn't enjoy the R2 feedback in any game, including the above - and neither any friend/family that had tried it. Beyond the first interesting impression, it quickly feels very artificial, clunky, fragile like the whole thing is going to fall apart and takes away from the immersion (I have 4 controllers so no, it's not an issue with a specific one )
So it's great that they have an option to disable this redundant feature
The DualSense features in GT7 are amazing.
The most immersive thing for me is when you spin out.
If it does get more and improved use over time it won't happen until PS4 is put out to pasture. As long as devs are having to do double duty we aren't going to get the full PS5 experience as frequently as we'd like/should. This gen just launched at the worst possible time to get more consoles out there readily available.
Deathloop had some impressive haptics plus great use of the microphone and Metro Exodus was surprisingly well handled. When it’s good it really adds a lot to the game but I still think too few games are truly exploiting the potential ….
Borderlands 3 and Deathloop both used it really well.
What about Ghostrunner? The Haptic feedback is awesome.
Also Dirt 5 is incredible.
Dirt 5 is a glaring omission, in my opinion. It's DualSense implementation has been revamped since version 5.00 if I'm not mistaken, and it is the most thrilling example of how great this controller's haptics can be. It's not as precise as the more sim oriented GT7, but it's probably the most fun.
I think the Dirt 5 patch you're referring to has been released since July of 2021 (version 5.00). From the patch notes:
"PS5: Further haptics and adaptive trigger support added".
And I must say, it's pretty awesome.
@SAMTYLER1974 I still haven't gone back to play it proper but yeh Deathloop hit me like a real next gen title. It looked; felt (and sounded) fantastic. May be my winner in the Dualsense department..
Of the games I've played, Returnal was definitely one of the best, and Cyberpunk 2077 also makes good use of it, but Astros' Playroom is the absolute gold standard thus far - nothing even comes close.
I haven’t played every game on this list, but I’d have to say Insomniac made great use of the controller. A great first game on the PS5 to get used to all the differences from the DualShock 4.
it’s a neat controller but it doesn’t last long
Demon souls is my favourite in its use after astro.
I thought it was really good with death stranding I liked it when you walk over rough terrain, also nice to use in ghost of tsushima, I've been using the dualsense in steering wheel mode (can't remember the mode name) with gran turismo 7 and it feels so natural to control the car this way also love the acceleration and feel of the brakes
@BartoxTharglod yes scarlet nexus with that quick right trigger prompt is so satisfying
I thought CDPR did a great job with 2077 - better than GTA V
Where's Elden Ring ?
From Software definitely implemented the best use for a DualSense controller: anger management.
Um... You forgot Remedy's Control, Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut, and A Plague Tale: Innocence all which had better use of the DualSense than Demon's Souls
Looking forward to trying the DualSense feedback as and when I can see a PS5 game I want to play. Still waiting, Sony.
Can the controller be as comfortable as the DS4? Looks a little oddly shaped to me.
Thing is with any manufacturer specific gizmo, it's only of use if the 3rd party titles in particular can modify their common code to support it in a meaningful way.
Perhaps as the PS5 sells more, it'll become more of a common thing to support the DualSense - otherwise it'll get consigned to history as a glorified rumble.
One of my DualSense's gave up on me today. Playing Horizon Forbidden West and all of a sudden the R2 lost it's "spring". Guess I'm taking it apart later.
Strangely the only time one of my PS4 controllers broke was when I was playing Horizon Zero Dawn. The plastic snapped on the L3 clicker that time.
The Horizon curse. Haha.
ASTRO is still the best use of Dualsense so far in my opinion. I was lucky to get a PS5 at launch, this was the first game I played. It was one of those OMG moments, just awesome stuff.
@Total_Weirdo Probably the fact it was a cross gen game. Hopefully, once we get out of this cross-gen phase it will become even more common. Not that some don't use but you can tell from the list above, the pure next gen games do haptic feedback better.
Dirt 5 should absolutely be on this list, it has brilliant dualsense controller implementation.
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