The Playstation 4 may be the king of the current generation, but one major complaint gamers seem to have with the console is the Dual Shock 4 and its durability issues. Sure the controller is arguably the best iteration of the Dual Shock yet, but many gamers have gripes with sticky triggers, poor battery life and degrading analog sticks. Anyone who spends a lot of time with their Playstation 4 may notice that the rubber on the analog sticks start to smooth out and peel off over time, which in turn makes playing games uncomfortable and prone to thumb-slipping. I have a few remedies that will help you get the most out of those thumb sticks, prolong the life of your Dual Shock 4 and hopefully prevent you from shelling out the cash for a new one.
Analog Stick Covers
A quick and cheap solution to your peeling Dual Shock 4 analog sticks are thumb stick covers. At first glance, these peripherals may look like another useless product that tries to prey on paranoid gamers (like those dumb fan stands) but these little rubber covers have some legitimate use. First off, covers can add extra grip and comfort to your analog sticks if you find that your thumbs slip off of them far too often. Also, these covers will completely wrap around you analog sticks, causing further damage to the stock rubber and allowing you to put wear and tear on the covers instead.
There are many brands of these analog stick covers and many work better than others. While most will depend on the comfort of the user, here are a few that I personally recommend you all check out.
- Insignia Analog Stick Covers – $4.99 (Best Buy)
Best Buy’s in-house Insignia brand of products will vary depending on what you buy, but their analog stick covers are quite nice and affordable. For $5 you get two sets of covers; one styled with a concave dip that seats your thumb perfectly and a dome-shaped bumpy version that grips your thumbs well. I prefer the concave version myself but both get the job one extremely well for the price. They’re a little difficult to get on but once you get the job done they do an excellent job at staying on.
2. Grip-It Analog Stick Covers – $4.99 (Amazon)
Grip-Its are probably the most popular brand of analog stick covers due to the price and the grip they provide. Four come in one package — a set of blue and a set of black — and only costs $5. A funky little logo appears on the top that resembles an alien hand. These covers add a little style to your controller and grip your thumbs well. The only downfall is that anyone who doesn’t like the feel of the grooved alien hand logo or the dome shape will want to look elsewhere.
Make sure to avoid any pricey “extreme first person shooter” analog stick covers. You’ll find these out in the wild for as much as $30 and promise to improve your game. They appeal to multiplayer shooter gamers and do not really add any benefit that other, cheaper grips do not already provide.
Xbox One Analog Stick Mod
Many gamers may not know this, but Xbox One analog sticks are the same size and height as the ones found in the Dual Shock 4. Not to mention that the Xbox One analog sticks are just simply much better. Since the mechanism that attaches the thumb sticks to the circuit board are the same, you can simply swap those aging Sony sticks out for the Xbox One sticks without affecting gameplay at all.
All you will need is a small philips-head screwdriver, a spare set of Xbox One analog sticks (which can be purchased on Amazon and eBay for cheap) and maybe a pair of pliers to make things a little easier. This will require taking apart your Dual Shock 4, pulling back the circuit board, unplugging the ribbon from the touch pad and popping out the old analog sticks to insert the new ones.
If you’re not comfortable tinkering with the innards of your controller, I would not recommend this mod. Pulling too hard on the touch pad ribbon or misplacing the trigger buttons upon reassembling the controller can cause some damage. Also, if you do not install the analog sticks correctly, gameplay can feel “off” as a result so be careful. A great video that guides you through this process can be found below:
Hopefully these tips will help your aging Dual Shock 4 get back into action without killing your thumbs or your wallet. The newest model of the Dual Shock 4 does include different rubber on the analog sticks, so hopefully new PS4 adopters won’t run into this issue as often. Regardless, the solution to the problem is a cheap one so don’t stress over it.