I Finally Got My PS4 Controller How I Like It

I Finally Got My PS4 Controller How I Like It

The PS4 controller is a pretty darn good video game controller, but there’s always room for improvement.

A couple of months ago, I bought a couple of cheapo PS4 thumbstick covers called Grip-Its and found that I liked them more than I was expecting to. After I ran an article about them, a couple of companies that make competing thumbstick covers emailed me — hey, maybe I’d like to try their products as well?

I’d heard good things about Kontrol Freek, one of the companies who emailed me, so I said, sure, send me some little plastic nubs to try. Their nice PR person sent over a sample pack of a few different models. Some of their options, notably the raised FPS models, were insane, and made it extremely difficult to play. (Personal preference.) But I did find that I liked the Alpha thumbstick covers, which put big concave plates on top of your thumbsticks. Problem was, I only really liked them on the left thumbstick; on the right one they made it too difficult to pop my thumb off and get at the face buttons.

With a little experimenting, I came up with a compromise that I really like: The right thumbstick gets a Grip-It cover, the left thumbstick gets a Kontrol Freek alpha. I’ve also put some black electrical tape over the LED bars on all my controllers, because I’m sick of seeing them reflecting in my TV screen.

With those three little adjustments, I like my PS4 controllers more than ever, and have been having a weirdly good time getting them juuuust right. I’m curious if any of you use similar setups on any of your controllers, or if I’m the only one who’s had success with mismatched thumbstick covers. If you’ve been messing around with controller customisation, share your preferences below.


  • After the first article about these I hit up ebay and bought some cheap ones, the extra grip ontop of the thumsticks helps so much.

    • Yeah I’ve had the Kontrol Freak ones since my 360 playing days.

      make soooo much difference for my largish hands having the extra reach for my thumbs is much more comfortable

    • +1 to Grip-iTs, they are great! Bought my set from grip it australia.
      Can’t imagine using the ds4 without that extra grip now. Tried the Kontrol Freeks but didn’t like the extra height, felt too off.

  • I dont own a ps4 but thought they put an option to turn off the light bar in a firmware update months ago? I could be wrong..

  • you can dim it, i dont understand the hate it gets not once have i ever noticed it without directly looking at it.

    I suppose if you game in complete darkness it could become a problem but ive never tried it

    • My issue isn’t that the light reflects in the TV (to be honest I haven’t ever noticed it), it’s more that it’s using up the controller’s battery and providing no real benefit. I’d love to be able to turn it off entirely.

      • true the battery life is woeful at best anything to improve it would be well received

        • The worst part is when you’re in the habit of holding your controller while scratching your face and don’t want to pause your game. I always god damn blind myself with the damn light.

      • Yeah. It doesn’t really bother me, but at the same time I think it would make sense to have a user setting to turn it off when not needed. If a specific game needs to make use of the light bar then allow that game to override the setting and then turn it off again when the user closes the game.

        • Let’s be realistic, no game is going to make use of the light bar in a way that would be mandatory. Though now I’m sure some people will think of some ideas and tell me so…

          • Anything that uses the camera will probably use the light bar, too. Some, like Diablo 3 for example, use the colour of the light bar in multiplayer to indicate which player is controlling which character (i.e. colour of your light bar corresponds to the colour of the circle around your character).

            But yeah, the majority of games don’t really put it to much, if any, use.

          • The only reason for the light bar on the controller is for the VR headset that Sony is going to release, one of our Regional Managers at Gamestop told me about it, he could be blowing smoke but It seemed like a decent reason..

          • I don’t notice them at all when I play, but the option to turn them off would be great. Also found it rather amusing when they started alternating red and blue during a police chase during GTA V.
            Then I quickly forgot about them again.

    • I game in darkness every so often and it never bothers me, The only time it has was when i had someone else use the controller at night and it reflected off a window other than that i never pay attention to it.

  • I’ve had my ps4 for a few weeks now and the thumb sticks are the worst I’ve ever used. The material feels sticky and weird after an hour or more of play and mine are wearing already. I just ordered a pair of covers but it seems harder to find affordable ones in australia. Other than that it’s a nice controller but the stupid light bar reflects off my tvs border and can be distracting.

    • Take your controller back to place of purchase and organise a swapover. It’s all covered under Warranty.

  • My gen1 DS4’s thumbstick is falling apart, so I emailed Sony Support saying “you know about this issue, how can I fix it” and no response for a couple days now …

    • Yeah but it’s that time of year so I guess they will be getting back to work on Monday with a backlog of stuff.

  • One of my controllers thumb sticks started wearing the day I got it. The second one I bought had not. Guess I will let Sony know and see what they say. Otherwise any above on where our which supplier to get the cheapest covers from?

  • I installed modsticks on mine, with the button packs. It raises the sticks by a good 6 or 7mm (depending on spacers used) and gives me an extra 2mm on the option and share button. As well as extra for the game buttons.
    Works a treat for my old arthritic clumsy hands

  • After playing a lot of DriveClub recently (seriously, that game is awesome I cannot understand how it isn’t seen as the best racer around) I would have really liked a wider trigger, especially on the R2 trigger. This is the default throttle button for DriveClub and after some of the longer more intense races my finger starts to bite into the trigger and gets uncomfortable. The triggers are significantly thinner than last gen and focus the pressure on the inside of the end knuckle of your finger…..not pleasant.

    I’ve also absolutely rooted the left rubber on the thumb stick……totally ripped off, so some of these replacement nubs will be the go.

    I loved the DS4 at first, but now I’m not so sure.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!