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For gamers who are looking for an optimal experience, understanding the effects that latency has on a player’s session is paramount to making wise purchasing decisions on controllers, T.V.’s, monitors, and mice.
This article will be focusing on the controller and how you can reduce your input delays (latency), as well as other optimizations that can be achieved through modifications.
Input delay is the phenomenon experienced by any peripheral, such as a keyboard, mouse, controller, or headset, that represents the time between an input, such as a keystroke, and said input’s effect being registered and displayed in-game.
In more basic terms, the time between you pulling the trigger on your controller and your weapon firing is what we call “latency”. When things are running smoothly, there should only be 10 to 20 milliseconds of input latency at any time. There are, however, issues that can occur which can cause this latency to jump to 50 milliseconds or more, periodically or otherwise.
This is the experience that causes the player to feel like the game is sluggish or slow, and isn’t just caused by weak hardware or an unoptimised T.V. It can be caused by the polling rate of the controller itself. Altering the polling rate (overclocking) is an easy task, luckily, and can be handled in ten minutes time.
Thanks to this video by Gamer Heaven, you don’t really need to have to visualize the overclocking process yourself, as all of it is laid out for you. But for those who want a quick rundown of what overclocking their controller does, here’s the jist:
Overclocking your controller really just means bumping up the polling rate. The polling rate is the rate at which a controller checks for new inputs made through the controller. The higher the polling rate, the more inputs that can be read in quicker time. By default, manufacturers put console polling rates lower than what the controller is capable of, likely to save on battery life for consumers who wouldn’t know the difference anyway, but there is software made specifically for altering the polling rate by communicating with the controller’s drivers to change this.
For an easy tutorial on how to do it yourself, see the video linked above.
Rocket Science has a great video that localizes a great deal of data into one place for easy research. The video details a wide variety of controller’s specifications, including input lag with and without overclocked polling rates. As it happens, the DS4 (PS4) controller and DualSense (PS5) controller both sport under 10ms of input lag by default, which is good, but by no means groundbreaking.
With an increased polling rate, both the DS4 and DualSense controllers perform with the best competitive results of latency input. This, for some reason, is especially true when running under Bluetooth connectivity with increased polling rate, which see’s both controllers hit under 5ms of latency each.
It’s worth noting that if you do plan on using a DS4 or DualSense controller wirelessly, it’s still worth it to avoid going for a Bluetooth dongle for connectivity, as Bluetooth tends to run inconsistently and causes occasional latency spikes under certain conditions. For a better gaming experience, opt for a wireless adapter instead.
If these performance modifications sound like something you’re interested in, we here at GamingTopTens implore you to consider AimControllers services for further modification and customization. Altering your controller in any physical way, unless you have years of experience, can lead to faulty function or broken hardware entirely.
AimControllers offers competitive pricing and professional quality when it comes to their modifications, and are a company we’ve had some time to review. They offer custom paddle placements for easier button remapping, personalized paint work and decal spraying, and their official DS4 / DualSense controllers don’t feel like reused junk that will fall apart in the next year, they are the same products you’d get from Sony, but modified. In fact, you can send in a controller of your own and they’ll knock a huge chunk of the pricing off so you can spend your cash on more modifications and quicker shipping.
If you’re looking to alter your controller’s polling rate for a better experience, it could be worth checking out AimController’s modifications to improve the gameplay experience even further.