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 brilliant DualSense controller. Sony’s pad is packed with clever features that can have a transformative effect when gaming and it can help elevate your experience as a result. But the PS5 controller battery life isn’t up to snuff, leaving you scrambling for a charging cable all too often.
Just like the PS4’s DualShock 4 controller, the DualSense can run out of juice quicker than expected. It quickly becomes annoying and has a habit of cutting gaming sessions short if you don’t have a spare pad to hand. When you’re utterly engrossed while playing the best PS5 games, there’s nothing worse than having your gaming time interrupted by the PlayStation 5 controller’s subpar battery life.
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But how long does the PS5 controller battery life last on average, and is there anything you can do to improve it? Thankfully there are some things you can do to mitigate the problem slightly, but don’t expect a dramatic improvement or a miraculous fix.
It looks like Sony is preparing to release a new PS5 controller that offers 12 hours of battery life, which could mitigate the DualSense’s biggest flaw. However, 12 hours of battery isn’t exactly industry-leading by any means and still means you’ll be charging your controller after a day or two.
How long does the PS5 controller battery last?
The PS5 controller’s battery life varies depending on what games you’re playing and the settings you use. For example, if you like to 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 like EA Sports FC 24.
From our extensive testing, you can expect to get around six to 12 hours from the PS5’s controller battery life from a single charge – with the top-end of the estimate being a rarity. That might not sound too bad, but the best Switch controller and the best Xbox controller can last over 40 hours. Generally, most games will deliver around six to eight hours of playtime.
One thing that’s worth noting is that the PS5 will alert you that the DualSense controller’s battery is running low long before it runs out of juice. When you see this prompt appear, you’ll have quite a lot of time left before it dies – 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 its newer controllers slightly more durable but made no improvements to their batteries. And that brings us to the PS5 DualSense Edge battery life…
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 worse than the standard DualSense controller.
I highlighted this issue in my PS5 DualSense Edge Controller review, and it’s a failing that’s hard to accept when you consider the PS5 DualSense Edge controller price is $199. Teardowns have shown that the DualSense Edge includes a smaller battery to make way for its competitive features, but despite being more efficient for its size, it still fails to deliver a decent amount of playtime.
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. That isn’t ideal for most gamers who prefer to play on the couch, but at least the option is there.
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 the brightness all the same.
An interesting quirk I’ve noticed that’s specific to the DualSense Edge is that when using the ‘Default’ profile, it fails to use the system-wide settings that you may have selected. The vibration intensity remained the same until I changed to one of the three user profiles, where I could change the settings individually. It’s worth bearing this in mind if you feel the Edge is running out faster than it should.
As mentioned above, try using a wireless headset instead of a wired one if possible to eke out more battery life. The majority of the best PS5 headsets offer wireless options, and they’ll save your controller from having to supply power to the headset.
You should also mute the PS5 DualSense controller’s microphone when you play, as this can sip away at the battery over time. You can tell when the microphone is muted as an orange LED will appear beneath the PlayStation button.
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.
PS5 controller battery life vs Xbox
The PS5 controller's battery life pales in comparison to the Xbox Wireless controller as you only get between six to 12 hours compared to 40 hours with the Xbox Wireless Controller. But there’s a catch. Microsoft’s gamepad uses AA batteries while the DualSense controller is rechargeable. However, you can buy a play and charge kit, one of the best Xbox Series X accessories, and get 30 hours of playtime, giving you the best of both worlds and more battery life than the PS5 controller by some margin.
The Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless controller includes an internal, rechargeable battery and once again outclasses the PS5 controller's battery life. It lasts up to 40 hours on a single charge, and considering it has so many additional features like four back buttons, it makes the DualSense and DualSense Edge’s battery life all the more egregious.
PS5 controller battery life vs PS4
Unfortunately, the PS5 DualSense controller’s battery life isn’t a dramatic improvement over the PS4 DualShock 4. The DualShock 4 typically lasts for four to eight hours of play per charge, often falling on the lower end of that range. The PS5 DualSense battery life is slightly better, averaging between six to 12 hours depending on the game you’re playing, but often averaging around six to eight hours.
PS5 controller battery life vs Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
Again, it’s another uncomfortable comparison for Sony’s pad. The Nintendo Switch Pro controller offers at least 40 hours of playtime for a single charge. When you consider the Switch Pro controller includes an NFC reader for amiibo support, HD rumble and uses a rechargeable battery, it makes the PS5 controller’s poor battery life all the more irritating.
Updated: January 31, 2024