Any good gamer knows that to really elevate the gaming experience, you need to invest in the right gear. Today, there is a haul of third-party accessories made specifically for the PlayStation 4 that cater to different games and genres. Sony’s standard-issue controller may be fine if you’re playing FIFA 21 or Fortnite, but other games benefit from more tailored options.
Take flight sims, for example. These games feel much more realistic when you are using a joystick that emulates one found in an actual aircraft. Similarly, fighting pads promise to give you a better experience in virtual combat. Arcade joysticks, meanwhile, are perfect for die-hard fans of retro titles looking to satisfy their ‘80s nostalgia with a couple of rounds of Pac-Man or Galaga.
Here, we’ve selected four of the best PS4 joysticks to try out during your next gaming session.
1. HORI PS4 HOTAS Flight Stick
If you’re a budding pilot looking to brush up on your skills from the comfort of home, HORI has the controller for you. The two-piece set includes a separate joystick and throttle to accurately replicate “hands-on throttle and stick” controls of a real fighter jet. What’s more, the joystick sensitivity and throttle resistance can be adjusted for a more customized virtual flying experience. It also features vibration feedback and an integrated headset jack for added immersion and realism. (Yes, you’ll probably want to replicate Top Gun and scream “Talk to me, Goose!” at some point.) The joystick is compatible with Playstation 4 and 3, as well as Windows PCs.
2. HORI Real Arcade Joystick
You may have noticed this is the second HORI controller on our list, and that’s because the Japanese outfit delivers masterful gaming accessories. The controller is built around the acclaimed Hayabusa joystick, which is lightning quick and deadly accurate. This makes the stick a firm favorite of tournament fighters all over the world. The super slim design has beveled edges that not only increase the comfort and feel but also promise to quicken response and actuation speed. There’s also more space below the buttons and stick to prevent wrist fatigue. The controller works with Playstation 4 and 3, as well as PC. It also has a built-in “Share” button so you can record and share your most epic battles in Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter.
3. Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas 4 Joystick
Thrustmaster’s plug-and-play controller features both a joystick and a full-size throttle, which makes it perfect for any kind of flight sim. The throttle is detachable and can be used in two different ways: separated from the joystick to replicate piloting conditions or attached for greater stability. (The latter also means the controller will also take up less space.) This realistic joystick has been ergonomically designed to tackle all types of (virtual) flights, including aerial combat, space adventure, civil flight and more. The base is also weighted to ensure it stays nice and still while your gaming. The resistance can be tweaked to suit your needs and promises to respond to the subtlest motions for a life-like flying experience. It is, of course, compatible with the PS4.
4. Mayflash F300 Arcade Fight Stick
Gamers who are dying to recreate all the fun of old-school arcades need to look no further than this Mayflash controller. The fight stick has a joyously retro aesthetic sure to appeal to children of the ‘80s. Plus, it allows you to play all your favorites, from Street Fighter to Pac-Man, in the way in which they were intended (read: big buttons and a joystick). Beyond nostalgia, this controller offers a ton of versatility. In fact, the stick is compatible with the Playstation 4 and 3, plus the Xbox, Switch, PC and even the NeoGeo console. Get ready to relive all your favorite arcade memories.