Will the PS5 Controller Have Paddles?

The ultimate first-party accessory was released for the PS4 controller in early 2020: 

The back paddle button controller addon! 

This clip-on accessory has transformed the base DS4 controller into a pro-level fragging machine.

But there’s a problem:

The sun is setting on the PS4’s life as it makes way for the next generation PS5. 

So that got me thinking:

Will the PS5 controller have back button paddles given the success of the back button accessory on PS4? No, the PS5 DualSense controller will not have back button paddles. There are two reasons for this: 

  • Cost – Adding back button paddles would have increased the price of the controller
  • Ergonomics – Back buttons can be easily accidentally activated by some gamers making the new buttons a hindrance instead of a help. 

However, given the success of the PS4 back paddle accessory, a version will eventually be released for the PS5’s DualSense controller. In the meantime, you buy a modded DualSense controller from companies such as Scuf and AimController which do have back paddles.  

Ok, now that you know the PS5 controller won’t have paddles from launch. But all is not lost. First, I’ll look at why the paddles are not included in a little more depth. Then, explore when or if Sony will release an official PS5 back paddle button accessory. And then I’ll explore the alternatives currently available now and in the future. 

Why doesn’t the PS5 controller have back paddle buttons?

There are two main reasons why the PS5 controller doesn’t have back paddles buttons at launch. 

They are:

  • Economic reasons
  • Ergonomic reasons

Let’s explore both…

Economic reasons why the PS5 controller doesn’t have back paddle buttons

Back paddles really do help to improve your game. No, a marketing team did not tell me to say that.

Simply put, adding the extra buttons to the DualSense controller would increase the price of the controller too much. 

The PS5 controller is one of the most advanced if not the most advanced controller ever made. 

Sony’s controller includes next-generation tech such as high precision haptic feedback to replace the tired old rumble motors. 

Also, It has two active triggers that offer true next-generation force feedback for your trigger fingers to enjoy. You’ll feel the tug of slick racing rubber on tarmac and the judder of gravel being spat out by deep-tread tires.

But, this tech, though very impressive, pushes the price of the controller up to near stratospheric heights. The DualSense is set to cost just shy of $70 new. 

For comparison, the original Playstation 1 analog controller, which was revolutionary at the time with two analog sticks, cost $35 in 1998. Which, adjusting for inflation, would now cost $55. 21.5% less than the DualSense controller. 

Sony is already spending more in real terms to expand DualSense’s arsenal of features. 

And we know the cost of the DualShock 4 back button accessory costs a huge $30. 

The cost of that accessory to add to the DualSense would have likely pushed the price up from the already high $70 to near $90. 

So the back paddle buttons got the chop. 

This saddens me a great deal as back paddle buttons make a huge difference to FPS gaming. Being able to aim your weapon with your right thumb on the right analog stick and pull the trigger with your trigger finger, all the while jumping and ducking by using your middle finger to press a back paddle is, though this term is overused, game-changing. 

Seriously, I’ve used the Steam controller, the Xbox Elite controller, and PS4 DS4 Scuf controllers: all of which have paddles. And once you’ve used them, and become accustomed to using back paddles, going back to a controller without back paddles feels extremely limiting.

However, despite my disappointment, I can understand from a financial point of view, and a consumer point of view why Sony opted to omit the paddles to keep the price down. 

I mean, can you imagine the outcry if gamers had to pay nearly $100 for a second controller?

Ergonomic reasons why the PS5 controller doesn’t have back paddle buttons

The DualSense is a beautiful controller. It feels a shame I’ll have to dirty it curvy black and white lines with my sausage fingers.

The other big reason why Sony did not include a back button is for ergonomic and ease of use reasons. 

See, you and I are a little biased. We are hardcore gamers. I’ve been hammering away on gamepads and snapping joysticks in frustration all the way back to the rainbow color days of the Commodore 64. 

Like you, I can cope with an extra two buttons on the back of my controller. I welcome them.

But we are in the minority. 

The vast majority of gamers are not hardened veterans that can field strip a Nintendo Game Boy Advance in 60 seconds. 

Most gamers buy a Playstation to knock out a couple of hours of gaming a week because they are too busy with that near-mythical thing called real life. 

Whereas gamers like myself actually schedule in multiple hours of gaming a day. It’s part of my job (I do this full time! Yay!). So I’m gaming many hours a week. 

The vast majority of gamers struggle with the modern controller already. Though they wouldn’t think they do. But it’s easy to tell somebody who doesn’t pour 90% of their waking hours into gaming. 

They have to stop moving while they shoot, looking more like a deer caught in headlights than a hardened gamer. A good lap in a racing game is one without scraping the barriers. And many never master the single jump never mind the fabled double jump: that’s for pros. 

The problem for the weekend gamer, and there’s nothing wrong with being a weekend gamer, is that they are not as dextrous as other gamers simply because of a lack of practice. 

These weekend gamers make up 90% of console players. 

The back buttons add an extra layer of complexity to what is an already complex controller. 

For example at any given time in Call of Duty, you can be doing all of the following:

  • Strafing with the left thumb 
  • Aiming with the right thumb
  • Pulling the right trigger to shoot 
  • Pulling the left trigger to aim

So the brain already has to track four independent actions and motions to play effectively. 

Adding in an extra left and right back paddle on the back would increase this by 50% to 6 actions. That would be too much for most gamers. 

Plus, the backside paddles are usually situated right where most people hold the controller with their small, ring, and middle fingers. 

In the heat of battle, many gamers grip the controller really hard. This makes the paddles easy to accidentally activate, leading to unwanted actions. 

In fact, I have a couple of friends who are not hardcore gamers and have this exact problem when using my PS4 Scuf controller. Whenever they use it, I have to disconnect the paddles as they are constantly pressing during the heat of battle. 

Yes, this could be stopped by with just a little bit of practice. But most weekend gamers don’t have the time or the inclination to practice their gaming. They just want to jump on their console and have a little fun. 

So Sony, rightfully, did not include the back paddles. 

Will the PS4 back button accessory come out on the PS5?

These 4 gold connectors can be used by a paddle accessory. Or, at least, I’m hopping they can.

So the next question is, will Sony release the PS4 Dualshock 4 back paddle button accessory on the PS5?

The back Paddle button accessory for the PS4 controller will not be released on the PS5 because the DualSense controller and the DualShock 4 controller have completely different ergonomic shapes to them. 

Plus the EXT port on the DualSense is different to the one on the DS4. 

Sony will have to design a completely new back paddle button accessory for the DualSense controller. But there is some evidence to suggest they will. 

One, the DualSense controller has a little indentation on its underside which would let something clip into it. This could indicate it’s ready to receive universal accessories. But it would make sense for this to be ready to receive a back button accessory. 

Two, the DualSense Controller has an EXT port just like the DualShock 4. Except the DualSense EXT is external consisting of a 3.5mm headphone jack and 4 metal plates. These plates can be used for charging, powering accessories, and communication. I suspect it’s essentially a flat proprietary USB connector. So a Paddle accessory could slip over the top of it. 

Three, the Back button accessory for the DS4 sold surprisingly well. It would make sense for Sony to remodel it to fit the DualSense.

It would cost Sony hardly anything to develop as it’s just a light change to the body shape and connector. And the market for such an accessory has already been proven. 

But as of yet, there has been no word on when/if a DualSense version of the back paddle button accessory will be released. 

Though, given the above reasons, I can’t imagine it would be long until Sony released the accessory. 

If/when they do, I’ll update this article.

What alternatives are there for to the PS4 back paddle button accessory for the PS5’s DualSense controller? 

This clip looks perfect for an attachment to latch onto.

Ok, so we know the DualSense controller won’t have back buttons and Sony won’t release a back paddle button accessory for it, yet. 

But that’s ok as there are lots of 3rd Party companies that have been offering accessories and controllers with back buttons for many years on both the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, and PS4. 

The PS4 Dualshock 4 had many 3rd party back button options available well before the official back button extension was released. 

And the same will happen with the DualSense controller. 

Let’s take a look at a few of these to see what they potentially have in store for the PS5. 

3rd party controller with back paddle buttons

Is this the sexiest controller ever designed? I think so!

Companies such as Nacon, AimController, and Scuf all released 3rd party PS4 controllers with mods that included back button paddles. 

These are high-end tournament-ready controllers that each cost over $150 each. 

This makes them pretty inaccessible to many gamers who would love to use them to benefit from back paddles. 

However, if you do have the money, or if you are like me, you’re miserly and good at saving up, there are no better controllers than those made by Scuf and AimController. 

Fortunately, Scuf will be making a modded version of the DualSense.  

However, please keep in mind you will have to wait for a DualSense version. 

Even though the PS4 Scuf controllers look really pretty (OK, really really pretty), they will not work with PS5 games. They will only work with PS4 games played on either the PS4 or PS5. 

The same can be said for the AimController’s controllers and Nacon’s controllers. 

Additionally, AimControllers are also planning on creating a PS5 variant of their modded controllers. So be sure to check out AimController’s websites regularly. 

3rd party paddle mod kits

Mod kits can be tricky to fit together. Especially for clumsy fools, such as myself.

3rd party paddle mods kits are DIY kits you can buy off Amazon or eBay that, unsurprisingly, add paddles to the underside of your controller. 

These kits are like little lego kits. But instead of fun play-friendly bricks to click together, you have electronic boards, buttons, paddles, and wiry bits to fiddle together instead. 

You also get a new rear shell for your controller with pre-drilled holes for the paddle actuators to stick through. 

For the kit work, you need to do a little surgery on one of your controllers. 

The entire PS4 controller has to be taken apart, and all its inner guts spilled (Carefully) on a table ready for you to miraculously fit back together along with the paddles. 

Take it from me, this is not an easy process. Especially if you have to contend with your very own set of party size sausage fingers like I do. 

So why does this matter for the PS5’s DualSense controller? 

Well, inevitable, soon after launch, there will be a glut of paddle mods for the new controller. 

Do not buy them. 

But why?

The DualSense controller is a far more complex machine than the DS4. 

Compared to opening a Dualshock 4, opening the DualSense and poking around in it will be akin to opening up your own head and poking around inside it with a blunt pencil. 

In other words, nothing good can come of it. 

Unless you count yourself as a gaming DIY guru of course. In that case, poke away my friend. Poke away. But do let me know how it goes in the comments below. 

And if it wasn’t bad enough that opening the DualSense was like doing brain surgery, you may be put off further about the idea of modding your controller by this:  

These kits are designed and made in china. 

Nothing wrong with making things in China. Most of your high-end electronics such as the iPhone are made in china. 

But the Chinese tend to design things, well, to be as cheap as possible (Not always. I do know they design great products like…. um… Send me your examples of great products designed in China in the comments!). 

The mod kits are known to be pretty low quality, seemingly throwing themselves apart at a moment’s notice.

The take away from this is: Don’t mod your DualSense controller with paddles unless you are a DIY expert. 

But if you must take a look at these mods, you can find them on here

If you do try modding your controller and you break it, I can’t take any responsibility, sorry. After all, you were warned. 

3rd party USB powered back paddle button accessories

It’s an Alien Space Ship! It’s gonna kill us all! (No Nick. It’s just the Collective Minds Dominator Paddle accessory. Calm down. Ed.)

The final option that will become available for the PS5 controller is a powered extra that must be plugged in via a USB cable.

A great example of a powered paddle accessory is the Collective Minds Strike Pack FPS Dominator paddle adaptor. 

This adaptor, much like the official PS4 back button adaptor, plugs into the EXT expansion port on the front of the PS4 controller. 

The Collective Minds offers 2 fully programmable paddles. The same number of paddles offered by the official Playstation paddle system. 

Plus, the Dominator comes complete with a plethora of mods such as autofire, burst fire, and anti-recoil (I could so do with some anti-recoil!).

Though, I thought I better point out that some games such as Fortnight have banned players who have used mods. 

Currently, nothing like the Creative Minds Dominator is planned to come out on the PS5. Though, I would say that it’s only a matter of time until a mod like the Dominator comes to market for the Playstation 5’s DualSense controller. 

If you fancy taking a look at the PS4 version of the Dominator, you can check it out here


So sadly, the DualSense will not come with paddles. 

In the meantime, keep on checking Scuf’s and AimController’s website to see if there has been any update regarding their modded DualSense controllers. 

As for the official PS5 back paddle button accessory, even though there is a notch on the back of the PS5 controller indicated it’s ready to take a back button accessory, don’t expect one for a while. After all, the PS5 DS4 controller didn’t get one for over 5 years. 

3rd party accessories companies, such as Collective Minds, are always releasing peripherals when the market demands them. So keep an eye open for them too. 

As for DIY modding your DualSense controller, I really wouldn’t bother. Not unless you, one, are very hands-on and tech-savvy, and two, are willing to toss your botched controller in the bin. 

As for future paddle options, I will update this article as and when new information comes to light. 

If you spot anything about back paddles button add ons or Scuf controllers before I do, leave a message down in the comments section and I’ll be sure to update the article. 

What next?

Will there be a Playstation 5 slim? Yes, there will be. The PS1, 2, 3, and 4 all had slim models. Just don’t expect a playstation 5 slim until the fall of 2023. For a more detailed look at when we can expect a PS5 Slim take a look at my PS5 slim article here

Can the PS5 lay down on its side? Yes, the PS5 can lay down on its side. Take a look at our in-depth article to learn how to lay your ps5 down safely and securely here

I’m worried about running out of storage space on the PS5. Is the 825 GB hard drive really enough space for all the games I want to buy? Look, when it comes to storage you can never have enough. That being said, 825 GB is a lot. For example, my main M.2 SSD in my gaming PC is only 512GB. And I’ve never had a problem with storage, as I used a separate 4TB mechanical hard drive for long term storage of games. That way, I don’t have to re-download them. And you can do the same on PS5 with an external Hard Drive. If you are worried about running out of storage space on your PS5, check out how to increase the PS5’s hard drive storage space here.

Image credits.

Thanks to Sony for all images above. This would be a pretty barren article without them!

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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