PS5 controller battery life: how long does it last and how to improve it
The PS5 DualSense controller is one of the best gamepads Sony has ever made, but its battery life leaves a lot to be desired
The PS5 controller battery life is easily the weakest part of Sony’s excellent DualSense controller, which is packed with clever features that have a transformative effect on the best PS5 games.
Like the PS4’s DualShock 4 controller, the DualSense can run out of juice quicker than expected, leaving you searching for a charging cable mid-game.
But how long does the PS5 controller battery life last, and is there anything you can do to improve it? Thankfully there are some things you can do to mitigate the problem but don’t expect a dramatic improvement or a miraculous fix.
How long does the PS5 controller battery last?
The PS5 controller’s battery life will vary depending on what games you’re playing and your settings. For example, if you play using a wired pair of headphones, this will drain the controller faster than using a wireless pair of headphones.
Furthermore, if you’re playing a game that takes full advantage of the PS5 controller’s haptic feedback and adaptive triggers like Gran Turismo 7, you’ll get a lot less playtime than you would from games that use the DualSense’s features sparingly.
So how long does the PS5 controller battery last? Well, you can expect to get around four to eight hours from a single charge. That might not sound too bad, but the best Nintendo Switch controllers and the best Xbox Series X controllers have pads that can last over 40 hours.
One thing that’s worth noting is that the PS5 will alert you that the DualSense controller’s battery is running low well before it actually runs out of juice. When you see this prompt appear, you’ll have quite a lot of time left, sometimes up to an hour, so don’t panic.
If you were hoping that one of the many PS5 controller colors includes more battery life, think again. Sony did decide to make newer controllers slightly more durable but made no improvements to their power.
How long does the PS5 DualSense Edge battery last?
Sony’s premium pad, the PS5 DualSense Edge, fails to rectify the biggest problem with the PlayStation 5’s default controller. You can expect to get between four and six hours of playtime from the DualSense Edge, which is actually worse that the standard DualSense controller.
I highlighted this issue in my PS5 DualSense Edge Controller review. It’s an issue that’s hard to accept when you consider the PS5 DualSense Edge controller price is $199.
How to improve PS5 controller battery life
There are several ways you can improve the PS5 controller’s middling battery life or circumvent the problem entirely.
The most obvious heavy-handed solution is to play wired, which means you’ll never have to worry about running out of charge again. Obviously, that isn’t ideal for most, but at least the option is there.
As mentioned above, try to use a wireless headset instead of a wired one. The majority of the best PS5 headsets offer wireless options, and they’ll save your controller from having to supply power to the headset.
Other ways to get a bit more juice out of each charge involve changing some of the controller’s settings. Head into the PS5’s settings menu and navigate to ‘Accessories’. Select ‘Controller (General)’ and you can configure the following:
Volume (Speaker for Controller) – if you don’t use a headset, consider lowering the speaker volume for more battery life.
Vibration Intensity – lowering the vibration intensity is a great way of getting a bit more charge out of each play session.
Trigger Effect Intensity – similar to vibration intensity, consider lowering the trigger effect intensity.
Brightness of Controller Indicators – this is unlikely to make a massive difference to your controller’s battery life, but it’s worth lowering all the same.
You should also mute the PS5 DualSense controller’s microphone when you play, as this can also sip away at the battery over time. You can tell when the microphone is muted as an orange LED will appear.
If you’re tired of charging your PS5 controller, it’s worth picking up one of the best PS5 accessories that at least makes the process a little easier. The PS5 DualSense Charging Station lets you charge two controllers at the same time and doesn’t take up a USB port on the PS5. If you have more than one pad, it means you can at least swap to a fresh one when the low battery indicator inevitably appears.
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I finally relented on the DualSense Edge. A friend brought it to work and the grippy domed thumbsticks were a must-have.
But yeah, merely playing Hogwarts for <3hrs reduces the battery meter to one bar ... as inexplicable as it is disappointing.