The PS4 DualShock 4 Back Button Attachment is a great upgrade at a great price
Sony’s famous Dualshock controls has remained relatively unchanged over the years. It’s a testament to the original design. Still, some demand more from a controller, including extra buttons. This has pushed serious gamers towards third-party controllers that cram in more options.
Now, there’s finally an official option. Sony’s DualShock 4 Back Button Attachment gives you two more buttons to mash. Even better? You don’t need to get accustomed to an entirely new controller to use it, as it plugs into your existing DualShock 4.
Ready, set, play
Setting up the Back Button Attachment on the DualShock 4 controller takes only a few seconds. Well, if you don’t have to fiddle with it like I did. A standard headphone plug and charging port plug are located on a pivoting piece on the inside, and snap into place on the bottom of the DualShock 4. In my experience, that pivoting piece is tricky to get attached, but it fits snugly once it’s positioned correctly, curving along the back of the controller.
To activate the new buttons, you’ll hold down the large middle button for one second. The attachment’s screen will offer options. You can cycle through the available functions for the two buttons and then click the middle button one more time to lock your decision in.
Setting up the Back Button Attachment on the DualShock 4 controller takes only a few seconds.
This process is even quicker than plugging the Back Button Attachment in, and the center screen shuts itself off almost instantly to keep it from drawing too much power. Given the abysmal battery life on the DualShock 4, that’s a good thing.
The Back Button Attachment doesn’t rely on an external app tied to your phone, the console, or any other device. The buttons might be easier to program if an app existed, but this approach has its own benefit. You can easily use the DualShock 4 with the attachment on another console. There’s no additional setup.
The buttons feel great, and were clearly designed with ergonomics in mind. You press down on the two buttons at the curved edges, which are right where your fingers naturally want to rest on the back of the standard DualShock 4. They’re easy to click, though the curved section is the only way they can be activated. If your fingers slip out of place, you’ll need to shuffle them back to the right spot.
The option to remap the buttons makes games feel more natural. I tested the Back Button Attachment extensively with Remnant: From the Ashes, a Souls-like game with an emphasis on third-person shooting. Mapping the two new buttons to the Square and X buttons on the DualShock 4, I was able to reload and dodge attacks without having to lose control of the camera, making intense battles against multiple enemies more manageable.
The option to remap the face buttons makes games feel more natural.
The DualShock 4 Back Button Attachment includes a pass-through for 3.5mm headsets. Should you need to remove the attachment, you can take it off in moments, and the memory doesn’t reset.
If rumors of the PlayStation 5’s controller design are true, it could have back buttons by default. Should this be the case, it’s possible the Back Button Attachment would make DualShock 4 controllers compatible. Even if it doesn’t, the $30 price tag still makes it an excellent addition to the DualShock 4.
One (big) little problem
Because the Back Button Attachment is an accessory, it’s bulkier than the paddles built into something like the Xbox Elite Controller or Scuf Vantage. The extra size can tire our your hands after a few hours.
The trouble I had getting it attached discouraged me from taking it off whenever this happened, but I occasionally did so anyway, to give my hands a rest.
The bulk does come with benefits. The Back Button Attachment feels very sturdy, as I’ve come to expect from PlayStation products. Though it feels large on the controller, it’s still small enough to easily stow when traveling, or keep attached to your controller when you put it away.
The DualShock 4 Back Button Attachment turns your controller into a customizable gamepad for just $30. It’s an excellent choice for competitive multiplayer fans, and being able to experiment on the fly with different configurations means you can find your ideal setup in seconds.
Is there a better alternative?
No, not at anything close to this price. A third-party controlled designed to use back buttons with be a better experience, but you’ll spend over $100 for most such controllers.
How long will it last?
It runs on the DualShock 4’s battery, so you won’t have to charge it separately, and it feels sturdy enough to last for years.
Should you buy it?
Yes, particularly if you are interested in action or competitive multiplayer games.