Let’s not beat around the bush. For all the things Sony nails with the PS4, the Dualshock 4 is the black sheep. It’s the one part of the entire current-gen experience that Sony decided to leave out in the cold, with questionable build quality meaning you’ll probably be looking at some upgrades a few months into use. The biggest culprits are the two thumbsticks, whose rubber wears and tears after just a few intense gaming sessions.
Thankfully you can do something about it, but it means amalgamating your Dualshock 4 with some undeniably superior Xbox One parts. The Xbox One thumbsticks are miles ahead of the Dualshock 4, so it seems obvious to just replace one with the other right? It’s not a new idea, but Digital Foundry have documented the whole process so that you can (possibly) do it yourself this weekend.
All you’ll need is a screwdriver, some replacement thumbsticks (which you can get from Amazon for next to nothing. I couldn’t find anything locally) and nerves of steel. Getting the Dualshock 4 open doesn’t look easy, and there’s so much that could go wrong as you try. With a little care and patience though you can pry the two pieces of plastic that make up the controller apart, and carefully work your way to the thumbsticks.
The Xbox One thumbsticks are an exact fit for the Dualshock 4, so there’s no reason to worry about compatibility. Digital Foundry also attempts to replace the middling battery in the Dualshock 4 with one that has double the capacity, but curiously found that it made no difference. Despite having more juice to work with, the controller went flat in exactly the same amount of time – which makes that upgrade superfluous, unnecessary, worthless, extraneous, gratuitous, ancillary and redundant.
Still if you’re looking at a more permanent solution than just slipping some covers on, this could be the perfect way to breathe life into your worn Dualshock 4 again. I certainly want to try it myself.
Last Updated: February 29, 2016