Sony DualShock 4 vs. Razer Raiju: Which controller should you buy?

Render Dualshock 4 black
Render Dualshock 4 black (Image credit: Sony)

Sony DualShock 4

Your standard DualShock 4 gets the job done, but it lacks a lot of bells and whistles.

Sony DualShock 4

Standard issue

Classic design
Fewer customization options
Inferior for competitive play

Razer Raiju

For competitive players, the Razer Raiju Tournament Edition is the controller to get.

Razer Raiju

Competitive advantage

Hair trigger mode
4 remappable multi-function buttons
Razer Mecha-Tactile Action Buttons
Offset analog sticks
App control
Unappealing to casual players
Unable to swap thumbsticks or D-pad like the Raiju Ultimate

Third-party peripherals, especially those manufactured by Razer, tend to offer more features than official first-party products. But that doesn't necessarily mean that they're superior, or that they are better suited for everyone. Such is the case with the Razer Raiju PlayStation 4 controller. It has a few different models, but I'll break down the more broadly-appealing one's specs and compare it to Sony's standard DualShock 4 so you can see which may be the best fit for you.

Razer Raiju: Which one is for you?

For the purpose of this article, we feel that most people will be interested in the Razer Raiju Tournament Edition (right). Though the company also offers a Raiju Ultimate controller (left) with a few tweaks that set it apart from the Tournament Edition, it is more expensive. For the price you're paying, it's a good deal to snag the "lower-end" model when they both have similar specs, unless you really want that light up Razer Chroma strip on the Raiju Ultimate.

What's the difference?

The DualShock has similar tech to the Razer Raiju without all of the bells and whistles. So you'll have your standard bumpers and triggers, face buttons, D-pad, and thumbsticks along with its touch pad and share button. Where they vary are their layouts. The DualShock 4 features symmetrical thumbsticks while the Raiju features the more popular offset thumbsticks similar to that of your standard Xbox One controller. And of course the Raiju includes a few more buttons, app integration, and hair triggers.

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CategorySony DualShock 4Razer Raiju
Dimensions161mm x 100mm x 57mm159.4mm x 104mm x 65.6mm
TriggersStandardHair Trigger
Multi-function buttonsNoYes
App controlNoYes

What these features mean to you

A few of these features may not mean anything to you at first, but they're quite important and make a drastic difference in your gaming experience when utilized. Since not everyone is familiar with them, I'll help you out.

Hair Trigger mode

To put it simply: hair triggers enable faster shooting. When you're in a multiplayer session in your favorite FPS, even milliseconds make all the difference. With hair trigger mode engaged, it only takes a slight amount of pressure on the trigger to shoot your weapon, instead of fully pressing down like you would normally. This also allows you to shoot multiple bullets in succession quicker if the weapon you are using isn't automatic.

Remappable multi-function buttons

The Razer Raiju Tournament Edition has four multi-function buttons: two next to the inner corners of each bumper, and two on each side of the back where your fingers naturally rest once you're holding it. These allow even further customization when it comes to remapping your controls depending on the type of game you are playing. For instance, you could remap certain button combos for fighting games to make them easier. In total, you can create more than 500 customized profiles according to Razer.

App control

I know what you may be thinking. Why does a controller need an app? This comes down to ease of use and quality of life. With Razer Raiju's app, available on the Google Play Store and the iOS App Store, you can remap your controller's buttons and change its settings with little hassle. The app's user interface appears intuitive and clean, so you shouldn't have a problem finding whichever setting you are looking for.

Mecha-tactile action buttons

This is really just a fancy name for the X, square, circle, and triangle face buttons that Razer utilizes. The company boasts that they "provide a unique combination of a soft cushioned touch with crisp, tactile feedback."

The bottom line

If you're a competitive player, whether professional or casual, you'll want to shell out the extra money for the Razer Raiju. The DualShock 4, however, is much better suited for the mass market.

Jennifer Locke
Games Editor - PlayStation, Android, VR

Jennifer Locke has been playing video games nearly her entire life. You can find her posting pictures of her dog and obsessing over PlayStation and Xbox, Star Wars, and other geeky things.