Can you use the DualShock controller in No Man's Sky on PlayStation VR?

No Man's Sky: Beyond in VR
No Man's Sky: Beyond in VR (Image credit: Hello Games)

Best answer: While No Man's Sky on the PlayStation VR does allow you to use the DualShock Controller, it isn' very helpful. The strange mix of VR movement and standard controls is unhealthy, and just not good. Stick to the Move Controllers if you can.

Walk this way

Walking in VR is fraught with peril. If a developer does it wrong, you are taking a ride to Puketown, and there are no stops. The best way to move around in VR is teleporting, at least I think so. I'm sure there are people who disagree but for No Man's Sky teleporting is the way to play. You can teleport with the Dualshock too, though it is a little strange. Instead of pulling a trigger as you do with the Move Controller, you push up on the left thumbstick. You then have to point your controller in the direction you want to go — The DualShock has motion sensors and light, so the VR knows what it's doing — let go of the stick and away you go. It's clumsy, but it will get to where you are going.

Ok look, yes you can, if you want to, use the DualShock Controller, but really, it's not a great way to experience VR.

You might think that using a controller to use "smooth locomotion" — that's when you walk around as you would out of VR — would be much easier on a controller but it isn't. Hello Games has decided to make the right stick move you in degree increments, so when you move the thumbstick left it will turn about 45 degrees to the left. Again, in VR, and especially with the Move Controllers, it makes a lot of sense as it reduces nausea associated with movement, but with a DualShock controller, it does the opposite because of muscle memory.

You gain muscle memory by playing video games, and once you have it, it's tough to break. I can still, to this day, pull off every Super Street Fighter 2 move from Ken and Ryu as soon as I pick up a controller. Getting good at games relies on your body remembering how to do stuff, and when you are forced to do it a different way, it all goes to pot. The DualShock controller in No Man's Sky works a certain way; You know it, you've probably used it for hours. Once you step into VR though that changes, now you have buttons that used to do one thing, that currently does something else, and the thing it does makes you feel sick! It is confusing, to say the least.

You can, but why would you?

Ok look, yes you can, if you want to, use the DualShock Controller, but really, it's not a great way to experience VR. PlayStation VR is designed to use the Move Controllers, and the team behind No Man's Sky put a lot of effort and thought into how they would work.

For example; In the PSVR version of the game Hello Games has created a beautiful way to access your inventory. Simply look at the back of your left hand, and a hologram will appear where you can choose several options. When you select the inventory a floating window appears that you look at, but also look through, you then use your finger to point to the action you want to take. It's an elegant solution that allows you to stay immersed in your game. The DualShock controller, on the other hand, doesn't do that. You press the options button as you would in a non-VR game, and the same inventory window opens that you have always had. It completely takes you out of the immersion and feels jarring.

If you want the best VR experience — and you do because it's fantastic — then use the Move Controllers. It's what Hello Games wants you to do, and I think you should too.

James Bricknell
Since the days of the HTC Hero James has had two or three Android phones stuffed into pockets. James is always on hand to offer advice on phones, apps and most recently, PlayStation, especially VR, It's now something of an obsession. Find him @keridel wherever Media Socials itself.