Customized controllers are a growing market. Especially in competitive gaming. And while there are a few sites already that give you a ton of option to customize a one of a kind controller, The Controller People look to make their own niche in the market with a unique feature for your PS4 controller: The ClickSticks.
Here at PSX Extreme we have a couple controllers and I can say that they are pretty good. This review will be in two parts, one from me, a more casual, family oriented gamer and the other will be by Tyler, who is more tournament oriented, which will be up at a later date. That way you’ll get a good idea of what the controllers have to offer. So, without further ado.
Who Are The Controller People
Based out of London, The Controller People are fairly new to the scene of customized controllers but they just might be a company to keep an eye on for your custom Dualshock 4 needs. Whichs is all they offer right now. They also use official PS4 controllers only so you know the meat of the controller is good to go and will be compatible. The only issue I’ve really had is it seems like the battery runs out pretty quick on my controller. I won’t count that against them though as I’ve had other factory PS4 controllers do the same thing.
The prices are fair starting out at 65 pounds for a basic controller with ClickSticks. Which comes to about 80 dollars. You can go all out and add all the bells and whistles as well. This can get fairly pricey of course but that’s pretty run of the mill for custom controllers. You can even send in your own controller to be modified with their Send in Service .
Make Me Pretty!
They have a quite a few options for customizing your controller including several different colors, both In regular color and chrome finish. There are also several designs that you can pick for the front of your controller and there are even some for the back as well.
Here is what mine looks like.
The color and design selection isn’t going to blow you away but you should be able to find something to satisfy you. On top of that front and back of the controller you can also choose various colors for the other buttons (face buttons and D-Pad) and even the touchpad. So you can make a pretty neat combination of colors that will make it very personalized.
This is all done fairly easily on their website and shows a picture that gives you an idea of what your controller will look like. On one side it shows the controller and on the other side are all the options. It’s kind of fun to go through the options and is fairly easy to use. All in all the website is pretty thorough and easily accessible. You can try it out here.
Here’s one I just threw together so you can get an idea.
Add Some Features
Along with the colors and designs you can also add some features that, according to The Controller People, will give you an edge on the competition. Some features include grips, Dexidisk (alternative to the D-Pad), and IAS (basically it allows you to adjust the height of the thumbsticks). Along with these fine features, there are two that are exclusive to The Controller People. These are the SSTs and the ClickSticks.
Itchy Trigger Finger
The SSTs are a stop system for the R2 and L2 buttons. It allows you to shorten the distance you need to push the button for it to register in the game. It’s a little switch that sits under the R2 and L2 buttons that you can turn.
In one position your R2 or L2 button will go all the way down like a normal controller. In the other position it will dramatically shorten the distance you have to push the button. This is great for games like shooters where you can hit the button quicker and because of that, shoot quicker in the game (or some other twitchy action).
My only gripe with these SSts is that all they are is a piece of plastic with a lip on it that you spin around. If you’re not careful it can come out and since they are small can be lost fairly easy. I’d be a little worried about using these a lot.
These little gadgets are what I consider the main selling point for these guys. I have to say, I’m pretty surprised how much I liked these things. They are two switches that are on the back of the controller that you can assign to other buttons. They sit right on the back of the PS4 controller and your fingers can rest right on them.
When I heard about these ClickSticks I initially thought they would get in the way and be uncomfortable. But I’m happy to say they are very ergonomic and do not get in the way at all. My middle fingers can rest quite comfortably on them and I never hit the button on accident even though they are easy to push. They work perfectly as advertised and my experience has been really good with them.
On my controller I can only assign them to the face buttons but the website says you can assign them to the shoulder buttons as well (one of the features you can customize on the website). Unfortunately the box didn’t come with instructions on how to assign them which is a bit disappointing.
After we contacted them we found out it’s a pretty simple process. Just hold the stick you want to assign the button to and the corresponding button at the same time for 12 seconds. Voila, that ClickStick now triggers that button. A light will light up as well when the process is complete.
Basically you can do this process and assign whatever button you want to the ClickSticks which makes gaming interesting and in some ways, a lot better. I’ll cover more of that in the game section below.
I’ll finish this first section by going over the packaging. While not necessarily something you might consider when thinking about purchasing one of these controllers, there are a few things I wanted to mention. The box itself is very nice and, of course, they have their branding on the top of the box which is a nice touch. On the inside is a card with a list of the features of the controller, a bunch of packaging peanuts, and the controller itself. And that’s it.
It’s simple and straight to the point I suppose. I was a little concerned for the controller though. I guess I may have expected a bit more packaging than this. Especially with it coming all the way from Europe. But the controller is in working order and I have had no issues while playing it so I guess I can’t complain.
This combined with the lack of the aforementioned directions is a bit of a minus in my book. That could always change as their company gets a little bigger. It’s nothing major and it wouldn’t stop me from buying a controller from them unless there was a common issue with people. Which I haven’t heard anything of the sort.
Let’s Play Some Games!
To get a good feel for the controller I played several games with this controller. I also tried to play a variety of games and I tried to play games that I would play on a normal basis. The controller I used has the ClickSticks (mappable to the face buttons X, O, Triangle, and Square) and the SSTs. The rest is pretty standard besides that it has a cool looking front shell.. I tried to pick out games that were different in gameplay mechanics from eachother so that I could try different combinations with the ClickSticks and see how it affected my experience in the game. The following are brief descriptions of how I used the controller in each game I tested and how well it worked.
One of the more recent games is Destiny 2 which, as you may know, has some great FPS shooting mechanics thanks to those fellows over at Bungie. This was a great chance to try out the SSTs. Having the R2 set hit bottom a lot faster made it a lot easier to shoot. All it took was a quick tap of the button to fire the gun. Which is great as I like to shoot in spurts for accuracy. I am not very accurate though but that’s not the controllers fault.
All in all I feel like it definitely helped. Combined with setting one of the ClickSticks to reload I felt like a badass. Until I wasn’t. Again, not the fault of the controller, it was the operator. The SSTs are a great feature to have if you’re into shooters though. So you can pull off all those mad skills.
No Man’s Sky
Cruising around space and searching for materials is fun and relaxing for me no matter what other people might think of the game. I really enjoy this game. Especially after the most recent update. In this game I mapped the ClickSticks to the X and O buttons so that I could use them in menus and even use the jetpack if I wanted. It would have been nice to map them to the shoulder buttons for scanning and the like though.
Nothing major here but it did give me a different way to play and it actually made it a little more casual in a weird way.
Coma: The Recut
Coma is a side scrolling, Korean horror game that has you making your way through a (mostly) abandoned school trying not to get hacked to bits by a homicidal teacher. You don’t actually fight but dodge and hide. This game helped me discover a little something about the SST and why I’m glad you can switch it back and forth.
One of the mechanics of this game is that you can hold L2 and crouch down in the dark to, hopefully, hide from the bad guy. I noticed this was a little difficult with switch set to have a short press. I would hold L2 but since it was so sensitive and so close to not being pressed I found I had to hold it pretty hard to stay hidden or else I would stand up and give myself away. A quick turn of the switch turned it back into a normal L2 button and I was able to use it a lot better.
I’ve put quite a few hours into this game over the years. I started off on PC and then played on PS3 and again on the PS4 (darn companies making me buy the same game several times). My favorite experience of this game has definitely been on consoles so I was pretty excited to try the controller out on this game.
Diablo is interesting because the abilities of your characters are assigned to the face and shoulder buttons. So, depending on your character you can set up the ClickSticks in a number of different ways.
For example, I set the right ClickStick to my leap ability on my barbarian. It’s an ability I use every once in awhile and it worked really good on the ClickStick. Setting the ClickStick as my main attack (the X button) didn’t work quite as well for my barbarian however. I found it hard to constantly hold that and hit other buttons for other abilities.
Combine all this with the fact that you can change where your abilities are assigned in the game itself and you’ll find there are plenty of opportunities to get creative with the ClickSticks in a game like this.
This game is similar to No Man’s Sky in that it’s a bit more casual. It’s almost borderline a walking simulator. If it wasn’t for the combat that’s pretty much what it would be. As before I set the ClickSticks to X and O and used them to scroll through text and menus and the like. This would be a good spot to point out that after adjusting I almost prefer the ClickSticks to using the actual buttons but it wasn’t uncommon for me to jump back and forth between the two.
All in all I’ve really enjoyed my experience with The Controller People custom controller. Your experience might differ depending on what features you add of course, but overall it’s been a good controller. There is plenty of customization so you can make something unique. On top of all that are the ClickSticks which turned out to be a favorite feature of mine. It feel s weird going back to a regular controller now. And that’s a good thing.
For someone that hasn’t had a lot of experience with custom controllers I can say that the ClickSticks alone are worth trying these guys out. They are unique and make for an interesting and refreshing experience playing games. Well done.
Stay tuned for review from a different gaming perspective when Tyler unleashes his review.
The Good – Controller quality is good, plenty of choices in customization, the SSTs and especially the ClickSticks are a really nice feature
The Bad – Packaging is a bit questionable and there were no directions on how to use the ClickSticks included. We had to contact them to figure it out. This might change later. Battery life is a bit short but some regular controllers can be like that. SSTs could potentially get lost pretty easily.
Photo credit goes to Blackwood and Briar and check out the more shots of the controller here.
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