Whilst many casual gamers will be content to use the peripherals provided for them by PlayStation or Microsoft, there are those serious competitors who want their controller to be completely customized.
That might be a different shape to the standard offering, or the installation of a rapid-fire button, which can help in some games. Controller graphics are big business too, with personalization very much the desire of a serious gamer.
There are upwards of 30 colors to pick from if you want a PS4 controller, that still often isn’t enough. Some software companies make controllers with skins to match game releases, but even those often don’t satisfy the thirst of a serious gamer. Switched On Gamer suggested some gamers would love to be able to design their own controllers, which in turn has led to many trying to do just that.
If you are considering this option, know that putting together a controller isn’t as easy as you may think, and one drawback is the technology under the hood, especially the printed circuit boards (PCBs). Before you think about opening up a controller up or building something from scratch, you need to consider if you know what the exact components of a PCB are, such as those commonly found in a standard controller. If the answer is ‘no’, then perhaps you’ll need a little further guidance, or even a bare base model to start with. Otherwise, your customized controller may look cool, but you won’t be doing any gaming.
Not understanding the tech is one drawback, another is the implications of too much modding. Whilst customizing your controller is certainly possible in terms of the way it looks, to change the way it functions is perhaps best left to those who understand what they’re doing. However, modding is not without its drawbacks as some other gamers may feel you’re cheating them if you’re using a controller with a rapid-fire button, or operating an easy sprint system like that offered by Oc Gaming’s Dual Shock.
Whilst those may be drawbacks, there can be health benefits to having a modded controller. The Oc Gaming Dual Shock has a rubberized finish according to Shortlist, which makes it more comfortable to hold on to. Gamers who play repetitively may want to make theirs more comfortable or may want two with a different finish to alternate between and lessen the strain on their hands.
Then there’s the colors and options. Gaming is all about personalization, be it through an avatar, or buying skins and outfits for characters in games such as Fortnite or Grand Theft Auto. Serious gamers want their character or hardware to be unique to them, which is a reason why skins for consoles are so popular. That’s one area of controller modding which is easy; controller skins are widely available and making yours stand out from the rest is not difficult.
Some suppliers will also offer different colored buttons, perhaps even dual sticks made from a slightly different material. There are gamers who will add bigger heads to the directional sticks, looking for that extra bit of traction.
Customizing controllers can be a tricky business and finding the right balance between unfairly modded and smartly customized can be tough. However, for a serious gamer, their hardware and peripherals will make a sincere statement about them, making the desire to stand out hugely important.
If PC gaming is more your thing and you’re looking to make the best of your Fortnite experience, be sure to check out our handy guide on Mouse for Fortnite for Victory Royale.