Sony Interactive Entertainment has released more buttons for PlayStation 4’s DualShock 4 controller. The Back Button Attachment, which Sony announced in December, is a $30 dongle that introduces two more buttons to the gamepad. These buttons, as the name suggests, rest on the back of the controller after you plug the Attachment into the bottom of the device.
Once connected, you can use the tiny OLED screen to program the Back Button Attachment. Instead of acting as new buttons, you must set the inputs to correspond to two of the existing functions on the DualShock 4.
And it works well without sacrificing comfort.
What you’ll like
DualShock 4 Back Button Attachment is comfortable
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The best thing about the Back Button Attachment is that it feels like it puts its extra inputs in the exact right place. This ensures that the DualShock 4 remains as comfortable as always. It also ensures that you can effectively use the buttons without straining the muscles in your hands.
Whether you hold the DualShock 4 with your index and middle fingers on the shoulders or just your index finger, your next finger should naturally rest on the Back Button Attachment. Then all you have to do is just gently pull your digits in to engage the actuation.
It works so well that it’s almost weird that the DualShock 4 hasn’t had buttons in the back up until this point.
Easy to use
I’ve also found the Back Button Attachment is simple to set up. Its OLED screen means that you don’t have to fiddle with any extra software. Instead, you just press the display in to select between three profiles. You can then long press to open the setup menu. This enables you to select which input each button will correspond to by scrolling through a list of options.
If you want to change something on the fly during a match, you can do that. And the display makes it so you can always see what you’re doing.
What you won’t like
The DualShock 4 Back Button Attachment is bulky near the PS button
While the Back Button Attachment is comfortable and sleek overall, it does add a bit of bulk to the DualShock 4. In particular, I found that hitting the PS button between the analog sticks doesn’t feel great when using the dongle. The front lip of the Attachment sits right under the PS button, and I found my thumb rubbing against the add-on in an uncomfortable way.
Feel slightly cheaper than a DualShock 4’s shoulder buttons
The $30 peripheral also seems like it has decent build quality. I like the materials, but the buttons themselves feel cheaper than the shoulder buttons on a DualShock 4. The attachment’s inputs have a rattle to them when you can feel the spring action holding it into place. The DS4’s proper buttons have a firm and meticulous quality that is absent here.
You probably won’t notice any issues in the heat of action, but I think this might be indicative of a device that is only $30 where most of that cost probably went toward the screen.
The DualShock 4 Back Button Attachment is an easy way to add more functionality to your PlayStation controller. The idea is to free up your other fingers by programming common actions to fingers that are normally doing nothing. This is useful for shooters where you may want to keep your thumbs on the analog sticks at all times. Now, you can jump or melee without having to move to the face buttons.
This add-on makes all of that possible, and it does so in a way that I find both comfortable and simple. And that’s huge. This isn’t going to make your DualShock 4 feel anywhere near as good as an Xbox Elite Series 2, but it is going to give you similar capabilities.
The DualShock 4 Back Button Attachment is available January 23 for $30. Sony Interactive Entertainment provided a sample unit to GamesBeat for the purpose of this review.
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