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PS5 DualSense vs Xbox Series X Controller (2021): Next-Gen Controller Comparison

When new consoles are released, the main topics are usually centered around their graphical performance, exclusive games and their new features. Controllers are not talked about a lot. However, this time around, the PS5 DualSense controller made some huge waves since it comes with a bunch of new features and design. How does it compare to the Xbox Series X controller? Is it really that good, or is it all hype? We compare the two controllers to find out.

PS5 DualSense vs Xbox Series X Controller Comparison Chart

ModelPS5 DualSense Xbox Series X Controller
 Playstation DualSense Wireless ControllerXbox Core Controller - Carbon Black
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
ConnectivityBluetooth
Wired USB-C cable
Xbox Wireless
Bluetooth
Wired USB-C cable
Dimensions6.3 x 2.6 x 4.176 x 2.4 x 4 inches
Weight0.6 lbs0.6 lbs
Extra ButtonsPS Button
Create Button
Options Button
Touch Pad Button
Mute Button
Xbox Button
View Button
Menu Button
Share Button
Pair Button
Ports1 x USB Type-C
1 x 3.5 mm Audio
Charging Terminals
1 x USB Type-C
1 x 3.5 mm Audio
1 x Expansion Port
Textured GripBumpers
Triggers
Body
Bumpers
Triggers
Body
Battery1560 mAh Lithium-Ion2 x AA batteries
Xbox Rechargeable Battery (separate purchase)
Battery Lifeup to 12 hours2 x AA – up to 40 hours
Xbox Rechargeable Battery – up to 30 hours
FeedbackAdaptive triggers
Haptic feedback
Trigger feedback
Rumble motors
Warranty1 year90 days

Design

Both controllers are well-built and comfortable to use.

Front view for the PS5 DualSense (left) controller and the Xbox Series X controller (right).

When it comes to controller design, Sony went with a new approach for their DualSense controller while Microsoft stuck with their tried and tested design of the Xbox One controller. The PS5 DualSense controller is a bit bulkier than the previous DualShock 4 controller from Sony. Also, it now has a two-tone color scheme to match the overall design of the PS5 instead of the solid color of the previous PlayStation controllers. As far as the face buttons and the d-pad go, Sony opted to use clear plastic buttons instead of the black buttons of the PS4’s controller.

On the other hand, the Xbox Series X controller has a very familiar design since it looks just like their previous console’s controller. However, there are a few upgrades that are worth mentioning, including the added textured grips on the bumpers and triggers, the new “Share” and “Pair” buttons and the circular d-pad that’s similar to the ones on the Elite and Elite Series 2 controllers. While these are minor upgrades, they are still nice additions to an already well-designed controller.

Both controllers now have a USB Type-C port instead of micro USB, which is great. At the bottom, both controllers have a 3.5mm audio port for easier connection to your gaming headset. They are both wireless, but they can also be used with a cable, just connect it to the USB-C port of the controller. The PS5 DualSense connects to the PS5 via Bluetooth while the Xbox Series X controller connects via Xbox Wireless, although it also has Bluetooth connectivity.

Features

The PS5 DualSense is the more feature-packed controller.

Bottom view for both controllers.

As far as features go, the PS5 DualSense definitely has the advantage over the Xbox Series X controller. With the returning touchpad and the addition of adaptive triggers and haptic feedback, the PS5 DualSense can provide a more immersive experience to gamers. The touchpad was first introduced with the DualShock4, but it wasn’t really utilized a lot so we still don’t know its true capabilities. Hopefully in this new generation of consoles, the touchpad can finally be used to its true potential.

While the touchpad is nice, the true standout features of the PS5 DualSense are its haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. The haptic feedback feature is an improved version of the standard rumble function where the responsive feedback will vary depending on what’s happening on the screen. As for the adaptive triggers, the level of tension and force of the triggers will depend on various factors such as your in-game gear, your environment and more. For instance, different guns will have different trigger force and tension, so all of them won’t feel the same. This is great if you want immersion in games.

As for the Xbox Series X controller, they come with standard rumble motors and trigger feedback. The trigger rumble feedback was actually introduced with the Xbox One but developers rarely made use of it so it is not a well-known feature of the Xbox controllers. Hopefully, with the introduction of the PS5 DualSense’s adaptive triggers, the trigger feedback on Xbox controllers will also be fully utilized by third party developers and Microsoft’s own studios.

Check out our list of the best Xbox controllers with paddles.

Battery Life

Improving the battery life of the DualSense was a smart move by Sony, but the Xbox Series X controller is still the winner with its 40 hour battery life.

The PS5 DualSense (left) comes with a completely revamped look while the Xbox Series X controller (right) has that signature Xbox controller design, except for the d-pad.

The PS5 DualSense controller has an internal 1560 mAh Lithium-Ion battery that can last up to 10-12 hours on a single charge. This is a significant improvement over the measly 6 hour battery life of the DualShock 4 controller. However, if all the features of the new DualSense controller are used constantly, namely the haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, the battery may run out faster than the rated 10-12 hours. To charge the controller, you can plug it to any of the PS5’s USB ports. There are first-party and third-party charging docks that you can buy as well, such as the OIVO and Dobe, to name a few.

The Xbox Series X controller, in contrast, needs two AA batteries or the Xbox Rechargeable Battery since it doesn’t come with an internal battery. This can either be a pro or a con, depending on how you look at it. On one hand, the battery life of the controller is around 40 hours, which is good. And, you don’t have to use it in wired mode if it runs out of charge since you can always put in two batteries quickly. On the other hand, you’ll need to spend more money if you want a rechargeable battery pack or the official Xbox Rechargeable Battery.

Compatibility & Other Considerations

If you also use a controller on a PC or on your mobile device, the Xbox Series X controller is easier to set-up.

Both controllers come with USB-C charging ports.

If you own either game console, of course, you have no choice but to use the controller that comes with your system. However, if you also own other gaming platforms/devices such as a gaming PC, gaming laptop or a gaming phone, then compatibility is important.

For mobile gaming, both controllers will work fine since they both have Bluetooth connectivity. Pairing with Android and iOS phones is easy and you shouldn’t encounter any issues. However, some of the features of the controllers, such as the haptic feedback, adaptive triggers and trigger feedback, might not work at all. So if you are looking to buy a controller specifically for mobile gaming, just choose the cheaper one or which one you find more comfortable.

For PC gaming, both controllers will work well but the Xbox Series X controller has a bit of an advantage since Microsoft also owns Windows. The drivers are integrated into the Windows 10 OS so it is easier to setup and use. In addition, some games, especially the older ones, come with Xbox button prompts, so that is a factor that need to be considered as well.

As for the DualSense controller, Steam already supports it, but its features are not. In the future, the haptic feedback and adaptive triggers may be supported, but there’s no surefire way of knowing that. For now, the Xbox Series X controller is the better option for PC gamers since it is cheaper and it is supported very well.

Verdict

Both controllers are great at what they do, but the added features of the PS5 DualSense puts it slightly ahead of the Xbox Series X controller.

When it comes to features, the PS5 DualSense is definitely ahead. Its haptic feedback and adaptive triggers can really make a huge difference in your gaming experience, especially if developers utilize them well. For now, there are just a few games that make use of these features but in the future, more should follow. It’s a very good controller and when it is fully supported on other platforms as well, then it will undoubtedly be the best.

As for the Xbox Series X controller, it definitely has the edge when it comes to battery life and comfort. Its offset thumbsticks layout is just more comfortable to use. Features-wise, it is a bit lacking when compared to the DualSense so it loses in that category. When it comes to PC gaming though, it is the controller of choice since it is officially supported and easier to set-up.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the PS5 DualSense better than the Xbox Series X controller?

When it comes to features, it is definitely the better controller. However, in other areas, such as battery life and compatibility, the Xbox Series X controller has the edge.

๐Ÿ“Œ Will the PS5 DualSense work on the PS4?

No, it will not work on the PS4.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the Xbox Series X controller compatible with the Xbox One?

Yes, it is backwards compatible with the Xbox One. On that note, the Xbox One wireless controller is forwards compatible with the Xbox Series consoles.

๐Ÿ“Œ How do I connect the Xbox Series X controller to a PC?

There are three ways. First, you can connect it via a wired USB cable. Second, you can connect it to a PC via the Xbox Wireless adapter. Lastly, you can use Bluetooth.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Carlo Salvador

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about fitness, gaming and music.