Opinion PS5

DualSense Adaptive Triggers Completely Change Games

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I’ve had a PS5 since the console launched, and I’ve been playing around with how the adaptive triggers on DualSense feel in different games. I can definitely tell you that there’s something different in every game with a dedicated PS5 release. Sometimes that’s not present in each and every part of the game, but in those that have it, you’ll definitely pick it up. Some people say it makes no difference, but I’m here to disagree with them. This is a game-changing mechanic in every PS5 game, and you need to experience it.

The idea behind adaptive triggers is that the L2 and R2 buttons feel different, have different resistances, when the circumstances in a game change. In shooters, you’ll have different levels of resistance for different weapons. In games where you need to hammer those buttons, the resistance could be ramped all the way up to make it feel like pushing them is a true challenge. This works especially well in games with climbing or bows and arrows that require a lot of drawback time.

I’ve been experiencing the feature most in Hitman 3 though. The sandbox assassination game might not strike you as the best example of how this feature is used, but there’s a lot more to it than you might think. For example, each and every item has a different level of resistance. This changes and adapts as you change your equipment. Guns are new again, and they all feel accurate to what I imagine using the real things would feel like.

The core difference is really that shooting a gun no longer feels like you’re pressing a button. It’s a considered action, and in some cases, it’s stopped me from pulling the trigger. It’s not because it feels too real, but more because I have a moment of clarity and can pause before I make a mistake. The DualShock controllers didn’t give you this advantage, and you could end up shooting up the place before you realised you didn’t need to. I can’t wait to see what developers do with this feature moving forward through 2021. I think there are going to be some incredible gems, particularly in Deathloop.

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