The PlayStation 4 is an excellent console that has aged well since its launch more than five years ago. The credit for that partly belongs to a bevy of software improvements and hardware upgrades. But as a gaming platform, it’s not without its quirks.
Picking up one or two accessories is bound to improve your day-to-day experience with the PS4. The goal of this roundup is to help point you toward the very best accessories on the market.
In selecting the products below, I’ve put an eye toward defeating some of the most obnoxious shortcomings of the PS4, and enhancing what makes it special. Some, like a good headset, will improve your experience while you play. Others, like a good solution for charging your controllers, will simply help you to play more often.
Not everything here is required, that’s for sure. But just about all of it is stuff that I’ve used personally (except where stated otherwise), and I stand behind my recommendations. The list will be refreshed on a semi-regular basis as we continue testing new accessories. So if you’ve got opinions on what does or doesn’t belong here, feel free to drop them in the comments.
Best PS4 headset
Over the past two years, I’ve been assembling a large reference collection of top-of-the-line gaming headsets from nearly a dozen major manufacturers. I documented the results in my roundup of all the very best pairs of gaming headphones for each of the major platforms. For the PS4, my choice is the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless.
Coming in at $329.99, it’s an expensive piece of kit. But you get a lot of features for the money, including two hot-swappable batteries that last a long time and a 2.4 GHz wireless transmitter with excellent range. It’s also compatible with your Windows PC and your Nintendo Switch.
For a lower-priced alternative, try the Plantronics Rig 800HS ($139.89). This stereo headset came in second place thanks to its excellent positional audio, wireless connectivity and outstanding battery life.
Best media remote
Over the last half-decade, the PS4 has become the center of my family’s living room entertainment center. Early on, however, the hardest part of running the whole thing was teaching everyone how to use the DualShock 4 controller. How I wish I’d had a decent media remote then.
Eventually, I found the PDP Cloud Remote. For $29.99, it has all the functionality of a standard PS4 controller in a user-friendly format. And it works via Bluetooth, so it doesn’t require line of sight like standard IR remotes. Best of all, thanks to a free app available on the PlayStation Store, it also controls my TV.
Best third-party PS4 controller
Xbox One owners are spoiled, in their own way, by the existence of the Xbox Elite controller. It’s a highly customizable first-party controller with all the bells and whistles you might expect. For PS4 owners, the only similar item to speak of — until Astro rolls out its new $199.99 controller next year — is the Scuf Impact.
The Impact has a number of interesting features. I particularly like the swappable thumbsticks, which come in different shapes and sizes. It also features trigger extenders and a set of programmable paddles on the back that can mimic most other functions on the controller.
However, if you’re like me and have big hands, you might not be able to make use of all the functionality built into the Impact. Luckily, Scuf offers a 14-day return policy (with a 15 percent restocking fee).
If you’re not interested in spending upwards of $100 on a controller, you may want to stick with a vanilla DualShock 4. By which I mean the jet black one.
Best gamepad charging solution
Since the DualShock 4 doesn’t have a removable battery pack, keeping it charged can be a bit of a pain. That’s why I picked up the Nyko Charge Block Duo several years ago, and it has made all the difference in the world.
The Charge Block Duo is a modular charging solution that doubles as a receptacle for your PS4 controllers when they’re not in use. Thanks to a handy little inch-long nubbin that attaches to the DualShock 4’s micro-USB port, your controllers will charge whenever they’re docked on the holder. A subtle white light flashes if they’re low, and remains solid when they’re fully charged.
Best of all, the PS4 model is compatible with a similar set that Nyko makes for the Xbox One. For less than $60, you can have a complete charging solution for two consoles that only requires a single USB connection to get the job done. Each set also comes with an AC adapter.
Best PS4 controller accessories
As I mentioned above, I have big hands. Therefore, moving from last generation’s Xbox 360 controller, to which I’d grown accustomed, to the PS4’s DualShock 4 took a bit of effort. Thankfully, I found out about Playbudz Grip Extenders along the way.
Playbudz are an extremely low-tech solution to a seemingly intractable problem. They’re made of springy rubber; you’ve likely seen something similar fall out of a box of flat-pack furniture or an extendable shower curtain rod. But make no mistake, they’re just the thing for making your controller more comfortable.
Each one is custom-built to fit on the ends of your controller grips, and they’re one of the very few accessories around that are compatible with both Sony and Microsoft gamepads out of the box. Once you force them on, they make your controller about 30 percent longer. The price has gone up over the years, from around $5 a pair to $17.99 currently on Amazon. But I can’t imagine playing video games for any length of time without them.
The thumbsticks on the DualShock 4, especially in the initial models, were notoriously crummy. I destroyed two sets in the first year of owning the console alone. Thankfully, Sony has improved the build quality. But if you’re interested, I’ve got a handy guide on how to swap out your rubber thumbsticks for metal ones.
There’s also a booming secondary market for thumbstick attachments. These little hats clip onto your sticks to change their height or feel. KontrolFreek makes some of my favorite attachments. The company’s Ghost model is just the thing for fans of Destiny 2: It’s a cheeky mix of good branding and an excellent shape for gaming.
Finally, quality second-screen apps are few and far between these days. But if you or someone you know has become completely absorbed with Red Dead Redemption 2 and its companion app, then you might want a Nyko Smart Clip. It allows you to attach your smartphone right to your PS4 controller. I fell in love with the accessory while playing Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, and recently discovered it’s just the thing for keeping tabs on bounty hunters while hunting white-tailed deer along the Dakota River.
Best PS4 hard drive upgrade
Upgrading the hard drive inside your PS4 is a pretty simple process, even on the original launch models. There’s even a handy how-to guide on the official PlayStation website. But picking the correct hard drive can be a daunting exercise. That’s where Seagate comes in.
I’ve used traditional Seagate hard drives exclusively in my PC builds for years now, and have come to respect them for their price point and reliability. I’ve had less experience with their solid-state drives, relying instead on Crucial and Samsung for my needs there. But I have to say that I’m terribly impressed with the favorable reviews on Amazon for the 2 TB FireCuda. It’s a mechanical drive backed with a modicum of solid-state storage, and folks seem to find it both reliable and zippy. Your mileage may vary, but for $94.99 it’s a good buy.
Best PlayStation VR accessories
If you’re opting to add the PlayStation VR headset to your PS4, two popular bundles are available right now. Both come with the very latest version of the PSVR headset, but differ in the games and accessories.
My preference would be the bundle that regularly retails for $349.99. Not only does it come with two PlayStation Move controllers, but you’ll also get a PlayStation Camera as well as two games. One of those games happens to be Superhot VR, my go-to experience for introducing people to VR.
Once you have everything in hand, however, you’re going to need someplace to store it all. Team Polygon has had experience with the Charge and Display Station for PlayStation VR. There’s also something similar on Amazon. Both include a wall plug and a charging solution for a single DualShock 4 controller and two Move controllers, as well as a place to put the PSVR headset itself.
As far as headphones go, the PSVR itself is far from an elegant solution. The best connection for audio is a 3.5 mm jack attached to the headset’s in-line control box. Once installed, you need to muscle any headsets over the VR unit itself, which can be awkward. Instead, I recommend the Kingston HyperX Cloud earbuds. They come with three different sizes of silicone tips to ensure a snug fit, and have a right-angle adapter that will work elegantly with the PSVR’s dongle. The sound quality is also top-notch.