PS5 DualSense video reveals how its coolest feature works

PS5 DualSense controller
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

As we get closer to the release of the PS5, it’s becoming apparent that there’s still plenty we still don’t know about the console and its accessories. But there are still ways for those secrets to be revealed.

Case in point: the DualSense controller. It’s been possible to purchase them ahead of the PS5’s November 12 release day, and a new teardown video shows us what’s going on inside — including how those new adaptive triggers work. 

We’ve already had a glimpse at the inner workings of the DualSense triggers, but this video from TronicsFix gives us a more in-depth look at how they work — and how they’ve been engineered to improve the gaming experience.

You can watch the whole teardown below, but the trigger analysis kicks off around 9:19.

You can see just how advanced the new adaptive trigger system actually is, showing us the inner workings and how the gear and spiral mechanisms work together to alter the resistance. It’s quite ingenious when you look at it up close, because it’s not a particularly complicated setup, but it should do wonders for immersion in your games. 

Imagine you’re playing the upcoming Horizon Forbidden West, firing Aloy’s trademark bow. With the old DualShock 4 system you couldn’t feel very much as you went through the motions, but with DualSense’s adaptive trigger you should be able to feel the tautness of the bowstring increase as you pull it. Frankly that’s much more interesting to the gameplay experience than resolution of frame rate, and it’s the kind of thing that’s likely to give the PS5 an extra edge over the Xbox Series X.

TronicsFix also notes that the whole mechanism is modular, so if something breaks you don’t need to replace anything more than the affected part. And because it’s all screwed in place, repairs shouldn’t be that difficult.

Other points of note inside the DualSense also include the larger battery (1,560mAh vs 1,000 mAh), larger and more advanced haptic vibration motors, and increased cushioning around the buttons that we haven’t seen before.

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, though, and TronicsFix notes that the DualSense’s analog sticks are the exact same ones as the DualShock 4. He notes they were prone to failure and stick drift in the past, and weren’t easily replaceable. So that may cause problems a few years down the line, especially if you plan on playing a lot.

But despite that, the DualSense is pretty exciting. We’ve already declared it one of the coolest controllers ever made, and the most exciting thing about the PS5 so far. Frankly that’s all down to the immersion factor, of which the adaptive triggers play a key part. As we noted in our hands-on the triggers, speakers, and haptic feedback working in concert offer an unparalleled tactile experience. 

We just hope Sony can take it all and apply that immersion to the PSVR 2. Because that is something we would get really excited about.

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.