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PS5 – Porting Knowledge: User Interactions

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Estimated reading time: 3 min

by Luiz Aguilar and Rodrigo Martins

User Interaction

Player Inputs

Player inputs must be responsive and utilize the features available on DualSense™ controllers. Button combinations are allowed and should be appropriately signaled in the UI or clearly communicated to the player. Deviations from this conduct may lead to game failure in the certification process for indicating incorrect buttons.

Reserved Buttons

The SHARE and PS buttons on the controller are reserved for console actions. Therefore, it is not possible to use these buttons to modify the console’s pre-established functionality. Refer to the official Sony Pad Overview documentation under the “Features” tab, which can be accessed at this link.

Controller Features

The DualSense™ controller boasts built-in features that enhance the gaming experience.

Extensions to the Vibration Feature

 The DualSense™ wireless controller is equipped with one linear vibration actuator in each left and right grip. These offer the following characteristics in comparison to the vibrating motors found in the wireless controller:

  1. Higher responsiveness
  2.  Broader frequency characteristics
  3.  The ability to express diverse, realistic touch sensations

Trigger Effect Feature

 The L2 and R2 triggers of the DualSense™ wireless controller come equipped with internal feedback modules. A resisting force or feeling of vibration can be conveyed to the user when they input with the L2 or R2 trigger by using the Pad library to control the motors of the feedback modules.

Controller Microphone Feature

The DualSense™ wireless controller comes equipped with an internal microphone. This can be used not only for voice chat but also for creating part of the game-world experience. Also “Advanced_Vibration_System_Best_Practices_e.pptx” is available as part of the SDK documentation (installed via. SDK Manager) and should be there inside “C:\Program Files (x86)\SCE\Prospero\documentation“.


The maximum Y-coordinate output value has been changed from 971 to 1079. Thus, the aspect ratio of the touchpad is now 16:9.

Light Bar

The feature for tracking controllers with a camera has been removed. The feature that allows applications to freely change the color of the light bar is still provided.

Motion Sensor

3-axis accelerometer and 3-axis angular velocity sensor that are used in gameplay to create more immersive experiences.

Additional Information

When using the DualSense™ via USB cable, it is essential to have the USB option enabled on the DevKit. In the event that the USB option is disabled, the Bluetooth connection will persist even with the controller connected. Perform one of the following settings when performing communication via USB.

  •  Set “Settings” > “Accessories” > “Controllers (General)” > “Communication Method” to “Use USB Cable”.
  •  On a Development Kit or Testing Kit with the Release Check Mode set to Development Mode or Assist Mode, set “★Debug Settings” > “Controller Setting” > “Enable USB Connection” to “On”.

Controller Connection

When connecting new controllers, there is usually no need for additional window displays or indicators. Instead, you simply remove any previously displayed control disconnection window. The connection may affect the game’s UI, such as displaying a message like “Press Start To Join,” but it is not necessary to call any warning or tab from the console or application to notify the new connection.

Controller Disconnection

Please find below some important guidelines to follow regarding control disconnection treatment, which should be considered during game development and design.


 When a controller is disconnected, a custom controller disconnection window should be displayed only for that specific control. The same applies when the disconnected device is reconnected. However, if a second or third device is disconnected from the console, the window should neither be shown or hidden since we are dealing with the main controller.

Local Multiplayer:

 In case the disconnected controller is already being used in some activity, such as on a character selection screen or during gameplay, a control disconnection window should be displayed. However, if the control is not in use, it is not recommended to display the window. Doing so can cause great confusion when an unused controller is disconnected. Therefore, it is crucial to take these precautions into consideration during game development and design.

Multiple Controller Connection Handling

The control treatment is a Technical Requirement Checklist (TRC) that considers the connection and disconnection of new controllers. Its behavior may vary depending on the type of project, whether it has multiplayer, local multiplayer or singleplayer, and the specific moments of control disconnection and connection. In Sony’s official documentation, we can find TRC R5026, which outlines how to handle controls.

To ensure a smooth user experience, it’s important to determine the appropriate time to display a disconnection screen. This screen should only be shown when the status of the desired device changes. To achieve this, proper treatments must be carried out. Below, we have provided an example of code with comments to demonstrate the usage of the primary device disconnection and connection window in an application.


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