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Best PS4 accessories buying guide

Polygon logo Polygon 12/13/2019 Emily Heller
The redesigned “slim” PlayStation 4, the PS4 Pro and the new DualShock 4 controller. © Photo: Samit Sarkar/Polygon The redesigned “slim” PlayStation 4, the PS4 Pro and the new DualShock 4 controller.

With over 100 million units sold since its debut in 2013 and a collection of critically acclaimed exclusives and first-party titles, the PlayStation 4 has lived an impressive life. Sony’s commitment to this generation is apparent, from the 4K-ready PS4 Pro console down to the upgraded DualShock 4 controllers.

Speaking of PS4 accessories, though, when picking out headsets, extra controllers, and other quality of life improvements, there’s practically an avalanche of options spanning from $200 controllers to $10 hunks of plastic.

Whether you’ve just picked up a new PS4 or are just looking to upgrade your current gear, this guide will help you sort through the junk and point you to the good stuff.

Note: All prices listed in this guide are suggested retail prices, which may not be current. Check retailer listings for the most up-to-date information.

a black camera with a remote control: DualShock 4 Crystal controller © Image: Sony Interactive Entertainment DualShock 4 Crystal controller

PS4 controllers

Unless you’re willing to spend over $100 on a tournament-quality gamepad (we’ll get to that later) Sony’s own DualShock 4 controller is really all you need. The PS4 system includes a controller, but you’ll probably want at least one more. Not only is it a necessity for local multiplayer games, but it’s also handy to have a spare when the battery inevitably dies in the middle of a game.

However, if you’ve got a little (OK, a lot of) extra cash to spend and you play a lot of shooters, it might be worth investing in a high-end controller. They typically include back paddles which are especially useful in competitive gaming when split-second timing is crucial, as well as the ability to remap buttons to different functions.

We’ve tested a lot of expensive PS4 controllers, but the only one we’ve liked better than the DualShock 4 is Astro’s C40 TR. The design is especially nice, with back paddles integrated into the grips rather than hanging off of the top edge of the gamepad. It’s also incredibly customizable. In addition to reprogrammable buttons, the C40 TR has these clever little magnetic slots under the front plate that allow you to swap the analog sticks and D-pad placement.

PS4 controller charging

As we alluded to above, there’s nothing worse than your controller dying in the middle of a game. One way to cut down on that eventuality is by investing in a charging station for your controllers. If you’re diligent about making sure that’s where your controllers live whenever they’re not in use, it should prevent you from getting that flashing low battery icon outside of all-day gaming marathons.

There are plenty of charging stations specifically designed for DualShock 4 controllers, and while any one of them should get the job done, we do have two recommendations, depending on your setup.

PowerA’s officially licensed charging station is especially sleek. It’s ideal if you’ve already got your entertainment system set up the way you want it, since it’s small and inconspicuous enough that you probably won’t have too much trouble finding a spot for it under your TV.

If you’re looking for something a little more substantial, Ovio makes a stand that houses two controllers, 12 games, and any PS4 model including the Pro. It also includes a fan in its base, which can help prevent your system from overheating.

Of course, if you do end up marathoning a game and draining your controller(s), a micro USB cord that reaches all the way to your couch means you won’t have to choose between waiting a few hours for a gamepad to charge up and sitting on the floor in front of the TV.

PS4 controller attachments for comfort and performance

While the DualShock 4 is an excellent controller, gripping a small piece of plastic for hours at a time isn’t especially great for your joints. There are a few quality of life improvements out there that can make things a little more comfortable, as well as accessories to streamline your gameplay.

First off, Playbudz grip extenders can make the grips a little easier to, well, grip — especially if you’ve got big hands. Playbudz are surprisingly sturdy little rubber caps that stick onto the end of the controller, giving it a bit more substance.

If you don’t want to spend a bunch of money on a high-end controller but still want some customization options, consider picking up some thumbstick caps. KontrolFreek makes a bunch of options that snap onto the DualShock 4’s analog sticks, which add both texture for gripping and height for range of movement.

Finally, if you’re playing a game with a companion mobile app (like Red Dead Redemption 2), Nyko’s Smart Clip might come in handy. It’s essentially a clamp for your smartphone that snaps onto the DualShock 4, allowing you to keep an eye on a second screen app, Discord, or even YouTube tutorials while playing.

a close up of a pink wall: SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless on pink background © Charlie Hall/Polygon SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless on pink background

PS4 headsets

Far and away our favorite PS4 headset is the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless. For multiple years, it’s topped our list of best PS4 headsets, thanks to its “superb sound quality and a host of useful features.” Those features come with a hefty price tag though, and the Arctis Pro Wireless is rarely on sale for less than $300.

For a cheaper option, try the Razer Kraken headset. It’s a favorite among streamers because you can get it in an aesthetically pleasing pink (with kitty ears) but it’s also just a solid piece of hardware. It’s got a retractable noise-canceling mic, cooling gel in the ear cushions, and an ingenious little divot that prevents the headset from pushing on your glasses. Plus, the pink kitty ears are fun, too.

PS4 storage

All new PlayStation 4 models come with a standard 1 TB of internal memory. However, if you’re running out of space, it’s pretty easy to swap out the PS4’s hard drive for something with extra space.

Any hard drive that fits Sony’s specifications will do, but we recommend an SSHD like Seagate’s Firecuda. The hybrid style, which combines an SSD with an HDD, strikes a good balance between speed and capacity.

The PS4 also supports external hard drives of up to 8 TB. As long as the hard drive is plugged in securely, you’ll be able to play games that are stored externally.

a close up of a helmet: PSVR headset © Image: Sony Interactive Entertainment PSVR headset

PSVR accessories and bundles

Virtual reality is slowly becoming more mainstream, and PlayStation’s VR headset is one of the most accessible options. The price point is at the lower end of the spectrum for VR, and the setup process is pretty painless (there are a lot of wires to wrangle, though.)

If you’re interesting in adding VR to your PS4 setup, there are a bunch of bundles available with different combinations of VR games. Most bundles only include two games (and the PS VR demo disc) but for Black Friday 2019, Sony released a “Mega Pack bundle” with five games. It’s still available as of this writing, and is the best value you can get in a PS VR bundle.

While the PlayStation Move motion controllers aren’t required for most PS VR games, they can be a lot of fun. There’s just something inherently satisfying about literally swinging your arm to hack at giant spiders in Skyrim VR that a DualShock 4 just can’t capture. A few PS VR bundles include Move controllers, but if you picked up one without them (like the Mega Pack bundle), they’re also sold separately.

Finally, you’ll need a place to store all this new hardware. A stand to charge your headset while not in use is handy, especially if it also has slots to charge up your collection of controllers.

PlayStation media remote

Thanks to digital streaming apps and the PS4’s Blu-ray drive, the video game console has become a full-on media center. If you’re using your PS4 to stream Netflix and Hulu as often as you’re playing games, this handy little remote is a great buy. Plus, you should be able to set up the remote so that it controls your TV, too.

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