Dual Shock 4 Back Button Attachment Impressions

It’s Not Necessary, But The Back Button Attachment Comes In Handy

How often have you wished that you could move a game’s camera and simultaneously dash/jump/whatever else is commonly mapped to face buttons? All the time? Yeah, me too. Xbox unleashed the Elite Controller to solve that problem, but until now Playstation gamers have been without a first-party extra button experience. No longer! I’ve been using the Dual Shock 4 Back Button Attachment for a couple of months now, and although it changes the controller ergonomics it’s a well made and useful little add on.

As control schemes have gotten more complicated, developers have had to get creative. Souls games moved attacking onto the shoulder buttons to allow thumbs to stay on sticks, but even then there just aren’t enough shoulder buttons to handle everything without needing introduce *shudder* modifier buttons. The Dual Shock 4 Back Button Attachment maps your two favorite face buttons to sturdy feeling and clicky paddles.

Functionally, they work exactly as you’d expect. Whether clicking off shifts in DiRT Rally 2, jumping and dashing in DOOM Eternal, jumping and evading in Jedi: Fallen Order, having those actions mapped to paddles make controlling the game easier. It’s equally easy to swap between profiles thanks to the built-in OLED screen on the attachment. Bizarrely it faces away from you, but with a couple of quick clicks you can swap mapping between a number of presets.

Everything is Snappy

The attachment snaps onto your controller relatively easily, but requires a somewhat concerning amount of force to get the job done. Once in place, it’s rock solid. The paddles themselves have a bit of play to them, so it’s easy to rest your middle fingers on them without worrying about an errant click happening. Thankfully, click is absolutely the right word for how these triggers feel. There’s zero question as to whether you’ve activated the button or not, and that’s a darn good thing for split-second actions.

What’s not ideal is the ergonomics of the situation. I generally find the Dual Shock 4 to be the most comfortable controller on the market, and the Back Button Attachment does compromise that somewhat. It’s probably something you’ll have to decide for yourself though, and I could definitely see this becoming completely natural for me over time. But after 6 years, the familiarity of the DS4 shape is tough to overcome.

back button attachment

The other thing to note is that this attachment does use some battery. While actively powered on that’s understandable, but there’s some amount of drain while on standby too. There have been a few times I’ve grabbed a controller and found it dead when it ought not be. Not a dealbreaker, but a bit of pain.

So will I be using the Dual Shock 4 Back Button Attachment going forward? Sometimes. Probably. It competently provides an arguably important function that makes some genres more controller friendly, but at the same time interferes with the root design of one of the industry’s best controllers. My recommendation? Pick it up if you like paddlin’, and attach it when it makes sense.

**Product sample provided by Sony**