Adam Birney / Android Authority
Sony’s PlayStation 5 offers tons of improvements over its predecessor, but arguably the crowning jewel is Sony’s vastly improved controller. With the DualSense, games feel better on PS5 than any other system. Aside from having a better build quality and smooth design, the highlight of the PS5’s DualSense controller is the haptic feedback and adaptive triggers that adapt to every instance of gameplay.
The haptic feedback provides precise and reactive vibrations. For example, you can feel the soft impressions of raindrops in your hands as your character stands in the rain or the growing rumble of an explosion. Sony’s adaptive triggers add to the experience with varying amounts of tension depending on your actions. If you haven’t already, play Astro’s Playroom available for free with your PS5 to get a sense of what we’re talking about.
Here are our top picks for PS5 titles that make the most of the DualSense features to immerse you in your games like never before.
The best PS5 DualSense games:
This action-adventure title from Arkane Studios won awards for best art direction and best game direction in 2021. Deathloop is about two competing assassins trapped in a time loop. You play as Colt, trying to escape the time loop by taking out eight targets called Visionaries across the island before midnight. You can also play as Julianna, hunting down other players to keep the loop going forever.
Deathloop’s dynamic and realistic weapon system involves heavy use of haptics. Each weapon produces a different effect in the DualSense’s triggers and haptic vibrations. Additionally, the trigger button locks up if your gun jams mid-firing, notifying you to find a new weapon.
Aside from guns, you’ll also discover several supernatural powers, such as teleportation or invisibility, which have their own sensation when activated. There are also unique rumble effects for running, sliding, climbing, and sneaking throughout the terrain. Deathloop also uses the DualSense speaker for immersive audio, such as when characters call you via radio or when bullets are narrowly whizzing by.
Try your hand at escaping the loop by hitting the widget below.
Ghostwire: Tokyo is an action-adventure title from Tango Gameworks that has you save Tokyo from spirits using supernatural powers. The game developers put a lot of work into utilizing the adaptive triggers and haptic feedback. You will feel the triggers tense up to fire a weapon and push back for recoil. There is a wide range of vibrations, too, such as feeling the rain as it’s pouring down or the rush of the magic when you float alongside Tokyo’s buildings. You can also stop to pet the soft fur of any dogs on the street.
Step into Tokyo’s exciting afterlife via the widget below.
Horizon Forbidden West
Horizon Forbidden West is an action RPG and a sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn. Set in the open world of Horizon, this PS5 exclusive is one of the latest games to push the limits of the DualSense capabilities. As Aloy, you can feel the tension in your trigger finger as the bowstring tightens and the recoil cascades through the controller upon release.
There’s a slightly different sensation and sound for every weapon and type of arrow you’re firing. Haptic feedback will rumble in your hands as the machine animals try to rock you off a cliff. The DualSense microphone plays any audio recordings you may uncover throughout your travels.
Hit the button below to explore the vast landscape of the forbidden west.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits
Kena: Bridge of Spirits is an action-adventure and story-driven title from Ember Lab’s indie studio. The game follows the journey of a young Spirit Guide named Kena through an abandoned village, which means plenty of exploration and some fast-paced combat, all in an adorable art-style akin to a Studio Ghibli film.
Kena’s staff doubles as a magical bow and arrow, which means you’ll get similar haptic feedback and adaptive triggers found in Horizon, feeling the tension in the right trigger tighten as the bow is drawn. Moreover, the game’s haptics integrates all of Kena’s abilities, from casting spells to blocking a forceful impact with her shield. As you heal the forest of malicious magic, you’ll feel every budding blossom in the palm of your hands.
Help the deceased find their way to the spirit world via the widget below.
Spider-Man: Miles Morales
What better way to experience the DualSense’s adaptive triggers than swinging through New York City? Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is the sequel to Spider-Man, released on PS4, and is one of the most popular franchises exclusive to PlayStation.
Everything is upgraded for this next-gen title, from the tension in the adaptive triggers for the web you use to swing between buildings and the haptic feedback from electricity surging from Mile’s as he drains enemy power sources. Even the menu screen, which features Mile’s standing on the subway, will cause the controller to pulse as the train reaches its stop rhythmically.
Soar to new heights as a superhero via the button below.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is the sequel to the 2016 reboot of this popular franchise with the graphics of a Pixar film. It’s a third-person shooter that flings Ratchet and Clank across multiple realities to stop an evil emperor. Coming from the same studio that brought us Spider-Man: Miles Morales, this fun PS5 game pushes the envelope of the DualSense experience.
The haptic feedback gives a strange sensation for the “unbridled dimensional energy” as you cross between multiverses. You’ll also feel the rumble of sliding down grind rails or skating across the terrain with rocket boots. The adaptive triggers make each weapon unique and fun, with varying trigger tensions and sound effects. One example is the Burst Pistol which varies in its accuracy depending on how hard you pull the trigger.
Embrace your inner child with this intergalactic adventure via the button below.
Resident Evil Village
If you’re in the mood for horror, look no further than the haunted houses of Resident Evil. The haptic feedback only heightens the intensity of sudden jump scares, enough to shake you right out of your seat. If you get caught, the slashes of monsters striking your corpse are brutally unforgiving. The adaptive triggers also help you feel the weight of any weapons you find to defend yourself, whether a rusty pipe or the recoil of a revolver.
Roam the dark streets of Resident Evil via the button below if you’re brave enough.
Returnal is a roguelike third-person shooter from Housemarque, a studio that, up till now, has only made arcade games. They went all-out with this story which centers around protagonist Selene as she attempts to survive after a crash landing on a shape-shifting world.
In every environment you explore, the DualSense will adapt to its weather, meaning you can feel the raindrops of a jungle or the shifting sands of a desert with the haptic feedback. 3D audio implementations will also be present, with the controller speakers playing uncovered audio recordings giving clues to the mysterious planet.
Unlike most other games that use adaptive triggers to build tension for firing, Returnal uses them for switching between different firing modes. Pressing the left trigger halfway down will aim the sights, whereas pulling the left trigger entirely down switches the weapon to an alt-fire mode.
Dust yourself off in the face of defeat and blast some aliens via the widget below.
That’s all for the best PS5 games currently available that utilize Sony’s DualSense features. But game developers are only scratching the surface of its abilities, with more innovative features on the way. Upcoming exclusives such as God of War Ragnarok, Wolverine, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic will continue to push the boundaries of haptic feedback and adaptive triggers.
We will continue to update this list as new titles are released, so be sure to check back for the most recent immersive games. For now, make sure your PS5 controller is up to date, and enjoy gaming!