Are PS5 controllers durable? (A complete break-down) 

A couple of weeks ago, while playing Fifa, I lost badly, again, and slammed my controller against the wall. 

Fortunately, it survived the high-speed impact unscathed. But it got me thinking:

How durable is the PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller? After doing a little research, I came to the following conclusion. 

The newer DualSense controller models are very durable. The controller’s case is strong and can withstand impacts. The triggers have thicker replacement springs to make them more durable, and the buttons and D-pad are hardwearing. The only issue with long-term durability is the analog sticks, which are expected start drifting after only 400+ hours. 

Ok, now you know roughly how durable the PS5 controller is. But there is so much more to talk about. So I am going to break this article down into the following sections:

  • General Durability
  • The case of the controller
  • The analog sticks 
  • The triggers
  • The D-Pad
  • The buttons

That’s a lot to go through.Join me as I take a super-deep swan dive into the durability of the DualSense controller.

Is the PS5 Dualsense controller generally durable? 

The short answer is that they are more durable than the previous model. However, the long answer is that it’s a bit of a mixed bag. The controller is undoubtedly more durable than the previous PlayStation controllers but it still lags behind many other controllers on the market. It’s generally accepted that the PS5 controller’s D-pad is the least durable part of the controller. It is made of a softer plastic and is more likely to break if you drop it on the floor. Gamers have reported that the thumbsticks and triggers of the PS5 controller are less durable than those of previous models. However, most gamers feel that the PS5 controller is more durable than its predecessor. 

But if you read through the sections, you’ll see that the PS5 controller, though it has its ups and downs in terms of durability, a quality controller. 

The durability of the PS5 DualSense controller’s case

The durability of the PS5 controller’s case is relatively high, in my experience. Why do I say “in my experience?” Well, when I lost once again in Fifa 22, I lost my nerve and threw the controller against the wall. I honestly feared the worst. I expected a pile of white shards to rain down on my room. Splinters of plastic Xs, squares, triangles, and circles looked to dig into my toes in revenge. 

But that did not happen. The mighty Dualsense bounced off the wall as if it hit a particularly soft and fluffy bouncy castle. 

I feared that the controller’s case would be broken, the analog sticks bent, the triggers limp, and the haptic motors dead. 

But I was wrong. I picked up the controller, held it to my ear tentatively, and shook it: nothing. Absolute silence. No broken parts rattled around inside. I turned it over in my hand. There were no cracks, just a tiny scrape where the controller’s handle had kissed the wall and stolen a smudge of magnolia paint in return. 

So I would say that the PS5 DualSense controller case is exceptionally well made, much better than the old DualShock controllers, which had a horrible habit of exploding. They were like controller-shaped blocks of nitro-glycerin: one little bump and, boom, the controller is all over the room. 

The controller’s handle had kissed the wall and stole a smudge of magnolia paint in return. 

So if you throw your DualSense controller, it’s more likely to go flying through the wall, Rhino-style, than the controller itself breaking. 

However, I have noticed that the white underside of the controller where I hold it in my hand is starting to smooth out after prolonged use. Initially, the white area of the controller was grippy because Sony had printed many tiny X’s, squares, triangles, and circles that served as grip textures. This branded texture was an excellent added detail that emphasized Sony and its designers’ care for the PS brand. It’s just a shame that the plastic is so soft that the grip texture wears off over time. 

This could have easily been avoided if I had used a silicone sleeve for the controller. However, I personally find these things hideous, so I’ll just have to live with the fact that my controller will slowly disintegrate from use. 

The durability of the PS5 DualSense controller analog sticks

According to iFixit’s YouTube channel, the PS5’s DualSense controller is rated to last a little over 400 hours before the analog stick’s sensors wear out and stick drift affects gameplay. 

400 hours is not exactly a lot. Just consider that the average American plays games for 15 hours a week. That means the PS5 controller should start drifting after just 27 weeks! Or a little over 6 months. 

I have to admit that I have not noticed any stick drift since I bought the PS5. However, I have noticed that the edge of the top of the analog sticks has started to wear down. 

Although I have to admit, as an old-school gamer from the SNES days, I still have a heavy thumb from all the D-padding. 

For more info on the stick drift issue, check out the amazing video below, curtesy of iFixit.

Playstation 5 DualSense Controller Trigger Durability

The inside of a DualSense controller trigger is very delicate. To say the least. Thanks to Restore Technique for this image. You’ll find the vid below.

I would say that of all the parts of the DualSense controller that likely to break, the new haptic triggers are the most likely to fail. 

These wonders of technology, these marvels of emersion, have transformed gaming on the PS5. Yet they are so complex and use such delicate little cogs and springs that they will inevitably break. 

And break they do, because early in the PS5’s life, DualSense controller’s triggers were dying more often than lemmings on a day trip to the Cliffs of Dover. 

In the early days of the Playstation 5, the controller’s triggers had recurring problems with a small spring. The spring inside the controller trigger causes the trigger to snap back after you press and release it. 

Sadly, early in the days of the PS5, the metal that the spring was made of was a bit too thin, and you could pull the trigger so hard that the spring bent to the point where it could not spring back. 

DualSense triggers were dying more often than lemmings on a day trip to the Cliffs of Dover. 

This was a big problem, and the PS5 was highly criticized because of this trigger error. The engineers solved this problem by making the spring slightly thicker. Although the new springs are slightly stiffer, they do not bend as easily, so you can not pull the trigger as quickly. Not unless you want to sprain something.

Playstation 5 DualSense Controller D-Pad Durability

The durability and robustness of the PS5 DualShock controller’s D-pad has been significantly improved over the PS4 controller and will have a longer lifespan than ever before. The new D-pad has a raised surface to prevent the accumulation of dirt and dust, thus maintaining its functionality for a more extended period. This is made possible by using new materials and manufacturing techniques.

In addition, most games today do not use the D-pad exclusively for control. Most FPS, racing, sports, and 3rd person games use the left analog stick for control instead of the D-pad. The d-pad has been relegated to the lowly position of item selector.

However, I fear that fighting games like Street Fight will push the DualSense’s D-pad beyond its limits. In fighting games, the accuracy and speed of activating a D-pad matters a lot. Players who exclusively play fighting games can punish a D-pad when performing combos, so it will be interesting to see how long the PS5 pad can hold up to this extended torture. 

Players have reported that the DuelSense D-pad can stop working without warning. However, I have yet to find a consistent trend of the D-pad failing frequently and becoming a problem for players. 

Playstation 5 DualSense Controller Buttons Durability 

The iconic PlayStation face buttons – X, square, circle, and triangle – have been part of the PS brand from the beginning. But are the DualSense controller face buttons as reliable and durable as the controllers that came before? 

In my experience, yes. If you read much of CareerGamers, you probably know that I like to play soccer games. I play a little FIFA Ultimate Team, but my main soccer game is PES, and now, after the great patch, eFootball. 

Soccer games all have one thing in common: they give the face keys a beating. You’ll hammer the tackle button, smash the kick button, and stroke the through-ball button. You’ll hit the pass button hundreds of times a game, thousands of times a day. 

Yet, in all the time I’ve played my PS5, I’ve not had a single problem with thePS5 controller’s face buttons. 

However, I have heard reports that dust can get trapped between the button caps and the controller body, making the buttons difficult or impossible to press. 

If you like to munch on Cheetos while gaming, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t, you will get crumbs on your controller. And they will cause problems. But that’s been an issue with all controllers for as long as I can remember. 

Also, floors are home to all sorts of unsavoury things, like dirt, dust, and dung (Ok, maybe not that last one) that can clog up your controller. You can keep your controller’s buttons from getting clogged with dirt by not putting the controller on the floor. 

The best thing you can do to keep your DualSense buttons clean and clog free is to store your controller safely after use.

But the point is, if you take care of your Dualsense controller, your buttons should continue to take care of you.


Well, this article made a lot of “sense”, didn’t it? Sorry. I’ll get my coat. But before I take my jacket and flee into the rain-soaked night carrying the shame of my poor punning skills, let me give you one last summary. 

The main points in this article were: 

  • The overall durability of the DualSense controller is very high.
  • The DualSense’s case can take a beating, as I experienced while playing Fifa. However, you should get a silicone case for the controller if you want extra protection. 
  • The DualSense’s triggers had a habit of breaking due to a weak spring. However, this issue was fixed in later controller updates. 
  • The analog sticks have an expected life of 400 hours before drifting. 
  • The D-pad is durable and works very well in most games but may degrade in fighting games. 
  • The DualSense face buttons are very durable.

Nick Sinclair

Nick Sinclair, a gaming aficionado since the Commodore 64 era, studied Creative Computer Games Design in university before founding his own gaming company. Discovering a passion for content creation, Nick now helps gamers squeeze every drop of fun out of their favorite gaming hardware

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