The PlayStation 5 is the latest and greatest entry in Sony’s line of gaming consoles. Released in November of last year, it’s still sold out at most major retailers. To be fair, this is due in part to shortages in the global semiconductor supply line. But the fact that six months after release, supply still outstrips demand, is a testament to the PS5’s quality. If you haven’t gotten your hands on one already, you’re probably well aware of the frustration this shortage is causing. But if you’re one of the gamers who’s lucky enough to own a PS5, it’s time to start thinking about accessories.
In fact, thanks in part to console shortages, there’s an actual glut of accessories! Go into any big box store, and you’ll see shelves full of controllers and chargers – just no consoles. And one of the very first things you’ll want to think about is how to charge your controllers. Yes, you can always just use AA batteries. But that can get expensive over time, especially if you do a lot of gaming. Not only that, but disposable batteries are terrible for the environment. A better option is to use a rechargeable battery pack. That way, you won’t have to constantly buy replacements. Both your wallet and the environment will be much better off.
But a rechargeable battery requires a charger. There are a few solutions to this problem. One is to use a PS5 controller charging station. This is generally the fastest way to charge your battery, and it’s also attractive to look at. Even a fairly basic charging station can look pretty sharp! Unfortunately, a charging station requires you to put your controller down for a couple of hours. If you’re gaming for a very long time, this can be problematic. Not to mention, if you forget to set your controller on the charger, it won’t be full when you come back. Either way, there are situations where a charging stations isn’t going to get the job done.
A charging cable, on the other hand, allows you to charge your battery while you’re playing. Now, we’re going to review three of the best USB Type-C charging cables for the PS5 DualSense controller. We’ll start out by looking at the Foamy Lizard Dual USB C Charger Cable. This is a dual cable for charging two controllers at the same time. Next, we’ll examine the UNIDOPRO Flat USB-C Charger Cable. This is a single, well-insulated flat cable that’s easy to coil up and transport. Finally, we’ll review the AGVEE Durable USB-C Charger Cable. It’s a three pack of nylon weave cables that can be used for multiple electronics. Let’s look a little closer, and see how each of these charging cables performs!
A Brief History of the DualSense Controller
Before we talk about charging the PlayStation 5 controller, let’s talk about how it came to be. The DualSense controller is the successor to Sony’s DualShock controller series, which was itself a major advancement. The original PlayStation controller, released in 1994 alongside the original PlayStation, had no thumbsticks. It was designed similarly to the Super Nintendo and Sega Saturn controllers at the time. These old-school controllers were designed for 2D gaming, so a D-pad was sufficient for controls. In fact, Sony added the R2 and L2 triggers precisely to deal with 3D gaming. They designed them to control the third axis of motion, and they’re even used by several early games.
Unfortunately for Sony, they couldn’t have had worse timing. The N64 was released in 1995, and was the first home console to come with a thumbstick. This garnered a ton of attention for Nintendo, but the true watershed moment arrived in 1997. That year, GoldenEye was released on the N64, and changed console gaming forever. Until then, no-one had been able to make a good 3D console shooter. But with both a thumbstick and a D-pad, you could effortlessly navigate a 3D environment. Sony responded quickly. By the end of November, they released their answer to the N64 controller, the DualShock controller. With not just one but two thumbsticks, the DualShock cut the mold used for all subsequent console controllers. Pick up a modern console from any manufacturer, and you’ll find this basic design.
Actually, the DualShock wasn’t Sony’s first attempt at a controller with this design. That honor goes to the earlier Sony Dual Analog controller, which had come out in April, 1997. The design was similar to the DualShock, but the thumbsticks were slippery, and the triggers and handles were undersized. Sony responded by bulking up the triggers and handles, and adding some texture to the thumbsticks. Suddenly, their new controller had become a top seller.
This wasn’t just due to the dual thumbsticks. It was also thanks to the dual motors, which were also an answer to the Nintendo 64. The N64 Rumble Pak provided haptic feedback, and was the first home controller to do so. However, it was an optional add-on that cost extra. It also required AAA batteries, and it only vibrated your controller in one location. The DualShock motors, on the other hand, didn’t require batteries. And because they were located in both sides of the controller, you could get better feedback. This is another feature you’ll find on every modern game controller.
Following its initial success, Sony made the DualShock the standard controller starting at the end of November. In addition to that, so many PlayStation owners upgraded that it became the top-selling aftermarket controller in history. In fact, this is why early DualShock controllers had an analog button. It deactivates the thumbsticks, which keeps them from causing glitches in early PlayStation games designed for the original controller.
As the PlayStation continued to evolve, so did the DualShock controller. In 2000, the DualShock 2 came with stiffer thumbsticks and pressure-sensitive buttons. They also switched the color from grey to black to match the console, and made the plugs smaller. This is, in fact, where the current thumbstick design originated. Most DualSense thumb grips will fit on DualShock 2 thumbsticks, but not original DualShock thumbsticks.
Further advancements came with the PlayStation 3 and 4 systems, and their accompanying DualShock 3 and 4 controllers. The DualShock 3 came with motion sensitivity, something that set it apart from Xbox controllers. The DualShock 4 added a touchpad, which was underused, but still essential for many games. However, both of these variants kept the same form factor as the DualShock 2.
With the release of the PlayStation 5, Sony thought it was time for an upgrade. Just as this generation’s Xbox controllers are smaller than the old ones, the new Sony controllers are beefier. If you pick up a DualShock controller and an Xbox One controller, the Xbox controller feels huge. If you pick up a PS5 controller and an Xbox Series X/S controller, they’re basically the same size. The appearance has also been updated, with a two-tone housing that’s truly eye-catching. That said, most of the actual control features remain the same, including the touchpad. Your buttons, triggers, and thumbsticks will still work the same as earlier PlayStation models.
Foamy Lizard Dual USB C Charger Cable
The Foamy Lizard Dual USB C Charger Cable is the most unique of our three selections. Instead of a single, continuous cable, this is a 10-foot, Y-shaped dual cable for charging two controllers. At one end, there’s a USB Type-A port for connecting to your console. From there, a quality rubber cable runs five feet until it splits in two. Both of these new sections are an additional five feet long, with USB Type-C tips at the end. If you play MLB The Show, Madden, FIFA, or other same-screen multiplayer games, you’ll love this feature.
The USB Type-C tips themselves are also worth mentioning. They fit very snugly, and actually snap into place when they’re plugged in. This keeps them from tugging loose easily, although they’ll still break away before the cord gets damaged. The dual-charging function works on any 5V/2A or higher power source.
That includes just about any modern USB port. You can even charge from a USB wall charger if you need to. Similarly, the same cable can be used for many USB Type-C charging devices. You can use it for Xbox Series X/S controllers, gaming headsets, and even your smartphone. That said, the cable doesn’t allow for any kind of data transfer. If you use it to connect an external hard drive, for example, it’s not going to work.
UNIDOPRO Flat USB-C Charger Cable
The UNIDOPRO Flat USB-C Charger Cable is more like what you probably picture when you think of a charging cable. This is a single, 10-foot cable with a USB Type-A tip on one end and a Type-C tip on the other. The thing we like most about this cable is the design of the physical cord itself. It’s a flat cable, not a round one, which means it’s not prone to tangling, and easy to untangle. Not only that, but flat cables are easy to carry. If you need to wrap up your cable and put it in a carrying case, you’ll love the design. And despite its small size, the cable is well-shielded. You won’t have to worry about it causing interference with other devices.
This cable is compatible with the QC 3.0 Quick Charge format, plus QC 2.0, Samsung AFC, and Huawei FCP. In total, it’s capable of delivering 60 watts, at a rate of 20 volts and 3 amps. This is sufficient for charging more than just game controllers. It can also charge most smartphones and tablets. It can even charge some small laptops while they’re in use. In addition to all that, the UNIDOPRO cable is also capable of data transfer at a rate of 5Gb per second. This makes it suitable for external hard drives, or for USB wired gaming headsets.
AGVEE Durable USB-C Charger Cable
The AGVEE Durable USB-C Charger Cable is a nylon weave cable that’s designed to resist tangling. It’s also fairly durable, although as with all weave cables, it’s vulnerable to dirt. The cable is 10 feet long, with a USB Type-A tip on one side and a Type-C tip on the other. It comes in a three-pack, and is available in three different colors: red, black, or red-and-black. The overall quality of the construction is reasonably good for the low price. However, the Type-C tip doesn’t fit as tightly as it could. This means it can fall out easily if you tug at the cord even a little bit.
Like the UNIDOPRO cable, the AGVEE cable is compatible with QC 3.0 technology. It works not just with game controllers, but with most smartphones and tablets. However, QC 3.0 standards can vary, and AGVEE doesn’t provide an actual amperage rating. We’re not sure if it can handle any laptops, but we’re guessing not. It also only supports 0.48GB per second of data transfer.
So, which one of these USB Type-C charging cables is the best one for you? The Foamy Lizard Dual USB C Charger Cable is best if you need a dual charger. Do you play a lot of games like FIFA, with more than one person on the same console? In that case, a dual charger is an obvious choice! On the other hand, there’s no data transfer capacity, and the Y-shaped design is difficult to coil and carry. If you only need a single charger, it’s probably overkill.
The UNIDOPRO Flat USB-C Charger Cable is a better choice for portability. With its flat profile, it’s easy to wrap up and transport wherever you need it. It’s also well-shielded, and supports QC 3.0 charging as well as data transfer. These features aren’t necessary for a PS5 controller, but they’re useful if you need a multi-purpose cable.
The AGVEE Durable USB-C Charger Cable is a great value, since it’s both durable and comes in a three-pack. It’s not quite as capable as the UNIDOPRO cable. However, it’s more than sufficient for charging a PS5 controller. If that’s all you need, why choose anything else?