A lot has changed about the PlayStation 5 since it was released in late 2020. For starters, it’s easy to buy one now (sometimes for less than its original retailer price), after many months when Sony couldn’t keep up with demand. But more importantly, there are now several great PS5 games to play on it, a more robust online subscription with game trials, and semi-regular software updates that give it more features — all of which make the PS5 easier to recommend than ever before.
If you already own a PS5, just bought one, or will be buying one soon, there are just a handful of accessories that I think will help you have a better time with it. Beyond what I use, I’ve also asked the Polygon crew what they use, and you’ll find those recommendations mixed in below. This post may be updated due to availability, or when new accessories hit the market.
The PS5 accessory starter kit
Out of the box, the PS5 comes with everything you need to get started: a DualSense controller, a power cable, and a high-speed HDMI cable. What it doesn’t come with is very much storage. Its internal SSD has 825 GB, though even less is available to use for games and apps, and once you begin installing stuff, that storage might disappear faster than you think it will. So, the accessory that we recommend for most people is an M.2 SSD, especially since the console now supports up to 8 TB of SSD storage.
As for which models you have to choose from, and how you go about this installation, we have a handy guide to the best PS5 SSDs. I’m just going to recommend the one that ranks up there with giving you the most storage per dollar: Corsair’s MP600 Pro LPX.
If you have a player two at home, you’ll need another controller sooner than later. There’s no better option for the PS5 than Sony’s DualSense. It’s comfortable to use, it has decent battery life, and you can find the color and design that suits you best from its slowly growing list of options.
For people who always want to keep their controllers charged up, Sony’s DualSense charging cradle is easy to recommend. It’s not too expensive, either, at $29.99. You can drop up to two controllers on it, and they’ll recharge via the contact pins on their bottoms. However, since the DualSense controllers charge via USB-C, the same connector found on many phones and tablets, as well as the Nintendo Switch and Steam Deck, you might already have some good-enough charging solutions laying around your home.
You might not always want to blare your PS5’s audio through your TV or soundbar speakers. When you need to do some private listening, or when you’re jumping into your online squad, a headset is another easy recommendation. Pricing, styles, and capabilities are all over the place in this category, but Sony’s $99.99 wireless Pulse 3D that was released alongside the PS5 in 2020 is still a great option. It’s available in multiple colors, and it’s tough to find another headset at this price that is as comfortable and capable in the sound department.
While the accessories above are all but mandatory to get the most enjoyment out of your PS5, these other two are not. Still, you may want them to complete your PS5 setup. Sony makes different colors of PS5 console covers, in case you want to yank off the white ones that come by default on your PS5. You can go for a full color swap, or mix and match different colors — but this upgrade doesn’t come as affordably as you might expect. Each set is $54.99.
For other options, The Dbrand Darkplates 2.0 have a slightly different design, and you can pay more to customize them. Also, there are countless third-party companies that make their own at more affordable prices selling at Amazon, but I haven’t tested those.
The PS5 supports media streaming apps, including (but not limited to) HBO Max, Apple TV Plus, Netflix, and Disney Plus. You can control each app with a DualSense, but Sony also makes a dedicated PS5 remote that might be what you want for when you’re watching movies or TV shows. It’s $29.99, and it provides many of the controller’s inputs, letting you hop between system menus — everything shy of playing games.
Best PS5 controller
The number of wireless PS5 controllers not made by Sony is very small, and none provide the same level of value for their price as the Sony DualSense. It’s the one that’s included with every PS5, which typically sells by itself for $69.99, or slightly more depending on the color. This flagship gamepad has some unique features not available in other controllers, like immersive haptic feedback and “adaptive triggers” that resist being pulled for more realistic action. It’s also comfortable, and thanks to its Bluetooth support, it works great when connected to a PC or an iPad.
However, the DualSense isn’t without some issues. Its rechargeable battery usually lasts for around 10 or so hours per charge, but on the flipside, it’s nice to not have to swap AA batteries like with Microsoft’s Xbox controllers. Plus, some people report that the DualSense’s analog sticks are prone to drift, just like the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons.
Best PS5 headset
There is a dizzying amount of headset options for the PS5. Unless you need a microphone, I’d suggest using any set of wired headphones you have laying around. Sony’s 3D Audio effect works across the board on wired headphones, so I wouldn’t suggest paying a lot for that audio effect alone, although pricier headsets do put on a pretty great show of it.
It’s also worth noting that many headsets first made for the PS4 can still work with the PS5, including ones that connect by using a USB 2.4 GHz audio transmitter. So much of finding the right headset relies on your taste in design, your budget, and what features are important to you. For me, I have a large head, so I’m willing to spend $100 to $200 on a very good headset that I won’t have to replace for a while, and I want as many features as that price can possibly get me. With those criteria in mind, these are the options that I’ve enjoyed the most.
The Pulse 3D costs $99.99, and they just work. The ear cups slide on a rail within the headband to expand, and I’ve found them to be a comfortable option, although some may not like how snugly they squeeze your noggin. On the performance side, they’re a good showcase for Sony’s Tempest 3D audio on the PS5, highlighting bits of the soundscape that make you feel like you’re a little more in the game. Battery life is also acceptable, and it gets bonus points for having the same USB-C charging port at the DualSense controller.
Within the PS5, you can select from different audio presets for the Pulse 3D, which is a nice touch. And, on the headset itself, there’s a volume rocker, a mute switch, a rocker to balance the game and chat audio (a must, if you play online a lot), plus some beamforming mics that work surprisingly well at picking up my voice.
Sony makes a step-up wireless model that delivers better audio quality and a more comfortable fit. It’s called the InZone H7, and it sometimes gets discounts that bring it down to $199.99 (normally $229.99). This headset is actually made for PS5 and PC, and its USB 2.4 GHz transmitter has a switch that you toggle depending on what you’re using. Its flip-to-mute boom microphone is an improvement over the beamforming mics on the Pulse 3D, partially because it’s easier to bring the mic right up to my mouth. But in terms of quality, online friends have told me that the difference isn’t stark compared to the Pulse 3D.
It has some other perks over the Pulse 3D, including Bluetooth support, so you can toggle between game audio and a phone call, or podcast audio. This might not matter to you, but the InZone H7 has some optional features that can be configured within a PC app, including 360 Spatial Sound (which requires that you send pictures of your ears to Sony’s servers to judge your ear shape — no joke!) and being able to tweak the audio settings. Unlike the even pricier $299.99 InZone H9, this one lacks active noise cancellation, but that’s one of the few differences.
For most people, I don’t suggest spending $349.99 — nearly the price of the PS5 itself — on a headset. It’s just not practical advice. Now that I’ve gotten that levelheaded intro started, I can say that SteelSeries’ Arctis Nova Pro might totally be worth it to you. I reviewed it over at The Verge, and its build quality and design are a couple of notches above those two options above, to the point where they might pass as high-end over-ear headphones when you’re out and about.
What else makes them stand out is the inclusion of active noise cancellation to block out sounds when you’re concentrating. Part of the large price is due to the wireless base station that’s included, which lets you connect to a PS5 and another device, like a Switch, or a PC (SteelSeries makes a slightly different model with USB ports that work with Xbox). You can switch audio sources easily on the station. The station also houses and charges a spare battery, so you can hot-swap batteries during gameplay with relative ease.
This is the full package, and I recommend it to someone who wants the ultimate personal audio setup, and especially to those who want a headset that’s just as great on PS5 as it is on other platforms. For a wireless SteelSeries PS5 headset with some, but not all, of the same features, you should consider its Arctis Nova 7P, which currently costs $1579.99 at Amazon. I recommended that in my guide to the best headsets at The Verge.
Best PS5 SSD
When you’re looking for a PS5 SSD, keep these things in mind: It needs to be a PCIe 4.0 model with a sequential read speed of at least 5,500 MB/s. If you aren’t technical in the slightest, don’t worry. Both of those specs are usually front-and-center in product descriptions. But in addition to meeting those criteria, Sony recommends that your SSD of choice should have a heatsink on it, a metal layer that pulls heat away from the SSD to keep it cool. Most options these days come with one preinstalled, but of course, you can get the SSD and a heatsink a la carte and perform the installation yourself (it’s easier than you might think).
As I did above, I’m going to again send you to my colleague Alice Jovanée’s more comprehensive PS5 SSDs guide. But I have some quick recommendations below.
Best PS5 high-roller upgrades
Maybe you’re seeing this section because you already own everything we’ve suggested above, or you’re just trying to build the ultimate PS5 setup (invite us over sometime, OK?). Whichever is the case, this section includes extra purchases that could make your experience with the PS5 even better.
Do you like the DualSense, but want a more pro-level version of it? That’s the DualSense Edge you’re looking for, Sony’s $199.99 option that adds customizable back paddles, as well as the ability to toggle through custom control schemes with a couple button presses. It’s largely the same as the DualSense in terms of look and feel, and it has the same stellar haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. But there’s just more stuff to tweak to your liking here, in exchange for a small yet noticeable hit to battery life.
The triggers, for instance, have switches that adjust the pull distance in case you want a more responsive feel. Those back paddles I mentioned? Those can be mapped to almost any button on the controller, so you can more comfortably execute a move, drink a potion, or do anything else without taking your fingers off the analog sticks. On the topic of analog sticks, these use the same sticks as the DualSense, but one big difference is that they are in modules that can be swapped, in case one should break. Read my colleague Russ Frushtick’s review, or see how Mike Mahardy put the DualSense Edge to the test in a few games.
While the original PSVR was designed for the PS4, the Sony PlayStation VR 2 headset was made to take advantage of the PS5’s power. This $549.99 kit includes the wired headset, plus two controllers. The setup process has been greatly simplified from the previous generation, requiring just a single USB-C connection on the front of the PS5 console. The PlayStation VR 2’s built-in cameras and sensors can detect where you are in your room to safeguard you from obstacles.
Every platform’s VR library starts out small, and the PlayStation VR 2’s is no different. It’s not helped by the fact that it isn’t backward-compatible with PSVR games. Still, there are some winners already, including Gran Turismo 7, Resident Evil Village, No Man’s Sky, and Horizon Call of the Mountain. The Resident Evil 4 remake now has a free VR mode, too.
For Gran Turismo 7 and other driving game aficionados, you might want a stellar racing wheel for the PS5. The Thrustmaster T248 is a good one, says The Verge’s former editor Sam Byford, whose taste in gaming hardware I put a lot of trust in. The T248 is a force-feedback wheel and pedal setup, and it’s compatible with PS5, PS4, and PC. It has a great look, with a leathery grip around the wheel, and it’s fairly easy to set up on a PS5. The pedals connect to the wheel, which attaches to your console via USB. It’s worth noting that the T248 requires an external power supply.
Given its size, it may not adapt perfectly to your existing desk setup. So, you may need to make some adjustments to your desk or swap out your chair to have the wheel in a comfortable position. This isn’t as much of an issue if you’re fully committed to racing games to the point where you’ve invested in a cockpit-style seat and frame (like this Next Level Racing GT Lite for $229.99 at Amazon), as it should work perfectly with that. For a cheaper mounting option, there’s this $136.99 stand from Next Level Racing at Best Buy.
Update (Jan 18.): Checked prices and added links for PlayStation Access.