DualSense paddles explained: back paddles, adaptive triggers, L2 and R2 buttons on the PS5 controller

How do the new PS5 DualSense paddles work? What are adaptive triggers? We have all the answers right here…

by André Pusey
DualSense PS5 controller rear

One of the main features of the new DualSense PS5 controller are the adaptive triggers.

An overhaul to the L2 and R2 buttons of old, the DualSense paddles will give the PS5 controller that extra edge and a futuristic feel.

If all this is sounding like gobbledegook to you, fear not: we’ve got all the information on the DualSense paddles right here!

How do the DualSense paddles work, what are they for, and how will they affect your gameplay? Read on to find out…

What are the DualSense back paddles?

In its announcement of DualSense, Sony explained that the L2 and R2 buttons on the new PS5 controller incorporate adaptive triggers. This enables game developers to incorporate a bigger range of tactile sensations into their games. These will then be triggered by different in-game actions.

The DualSense back paddles are built in much the same way as those of its predecessors, with the addition of this key technology. This promises to revolutionise touch-based feedback in the next generation of gaming.

READ MORE: DualSense explained — specs, features and more

Why are there DualSense controller paddles?

In its unveiling of the new DualSense PS5 controller, Sony explained that, “Based on our discussions with developers, we concluded that the sense of touch within gameplay, much like audio, hasn’t been a big focus for many games. We had a great opportunity with PS5 to innovate by offering game creators the ability to explore how they can heighten that feeling of immersion through our new controller.”

This led to the introduction of DualSense controller paddles. Sony added adaptive triggers to the L2 and R2 buttons to enables game developers to maximise the incorporation of touch-based feedback within their games. Remember when the PS1 introduced vibration for the first time? That’s the idea!

READ MORE: PS5 DualSense controller vs Xbox Series X controller



How will PS5 DualSense paddles feel to use?

With every generation of controller, Sony has innovated without sacrificing playability. In other words, each iteration of the PlayStation controller has added more features, but they’ve all been easy to pick up and use.

PS5 DualSense paddles will incorporate new adaptive trigger technology. However, they are unlikely to be wildly different from the L2 and R2 buttons on the PS4’s DualShock 4. Sony teases that the triggers will help you “truly feel the tension of your actions”. We’re sure that once you’ve used the new paddles, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them!

READ MORE: PS5 DualSense controller vs PS4 DualShock controller

André Pusey