Have you ever been playing your PS4 and thought hey, my middle fingers aren’t doing a goddamn thing? Well, Sony has your answer right here, in the form of the Back Button attachment for the DualShock 4.
Really presses my buttons
I don’t use the word gamechanger lightly… Partially because I don’t consider it a real word. Like should it be hyphenated or what? But the Back Button really does change your game. So I’ll use it.
Example: I was playing No Man’s Sky (it’s good now, I swear). Scanning a planet requires one to press R3, and the R stick also controls the camera. As I keep things sensitive as all hell, I often used to scan the empty space beside a planet due to how I press sticks. After I mapped L3 and R3 to the Back Button paddles, however? Problem solved. Now I can see which planets are a total waste of time and fuel without having to carefully dance around analog sticks.This sounds small, but you do a lot of scanning in that game. It adds up.
Meanwhile, the option of multiple profiles you can switch out on the fly means that for games like Overwatch, I can swap into my Mercy profile (left D-button to left paddle for easy pistol access) and delete some overconfident Widowmaker who thought a Swiss Valkyrie wasn’t going to be an issue.
Back in my day we didn’t even have analog sticks. Now more of my fingers are being used at once than ever before, and I don’t know how I can ever go back.
Augment or upgrade
I’ve used controllers by Nacon, Razer, Astro, Scuf, and now this, and honestly nothing stands out remarkably from the classic when it comes to PlayStation controllers. Whether it’s buttons or paddles or motion controls, I’m a guy who only thinks he likes change. Really, I like what i know, and my muscle memory certainly knows the DualShock 4.
The price point is a bit of an issue. When you work it out, the attachment costs about the same as another DualShock 4. So don’t get me wrong, I certainly like the Back Button. But it’s a stopgap measure between now and the release of the PS5; I have to assume that the DualShock 5 is going to have L4 and R4 as standard, and it hopefully won’t cost as much as this add-on does with the controller.
There seems to be a significant drain on the DS4’s battery too, but I may be gaming for longer periods than normal so it may not be as bad as it seems. Certainly there’s an impact, and when you have a second controller lying around it’s easy to snap the attachment into that instead. For those with a single DS4, though, I can see issues arising.
The argument could be made for simply getting one of the fancy controllers I mentioned above. You get more buttons, with most third-party pro controllers adding four buttons instead of two. Most of these are wired only though, and all cost WAY more than the Back Button and DualShock 4 combined.
The DualShock 4 remains my favourite controller, and so this is probably my choice for casual games like No Man’s Sky or Fallout and, if I didn’t have a wired Nacon beside me, I’d stick with this for Overwatch too. While the battery drain is surprising, you’ve basically upgraded your controller.
The only caveat is the price; again, it costs $60 NZD, which is hefty. But looking at it from a distance, the Back Button is basically a quality of life improvement for the DualShock 4.
If you don’t want to splash out for a whole new controller with all the bells and whistles, this is the way to go. Compared to all the offerings available, this is probably the way to go.
If you want a competitive edge, or to make tricky button presses a little easier, the Back Button attachment is for you.