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10 Essential PS5 Accessories You Should Be Using

Jul 05, 2023

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The arrival of the PlayStation 5 was unlike any major console launch in recent memory. Debuting in November 2020 in the midst of crippling supply chain issues caused by a global pandemic, the platform faced a scarcity issue that made its penetration of the user base a stop-and-start trickle rather than the usual tidal wave. What's more, the rollout of AAA titles that really showed off the hardware's impressive capabilities — it can run games in native 4K and hit 120 frames per second — was scattered and unaccompanied by the typical industry hoopla.

Fast-forward to today, however, and PS5 users are in a much better place. It's readily available to purchase, for one. What's more, exclusive games like "God of War Ragnarok" and "Horizon: Forbidden West" and mastered-for-PS5 versions of "The Last of Us Part 1," "Marvel's Spider-Man," and "Ghosts of Tsushima" have the audience experiencing the kind of next-level gameplay Sony promised.

Of course, as much as the PS5 has going on under the hood, there are always ways to make your gaming session easier, more enjoyable, or more involved. Tons of accessories have hit the market aiming to enhance time on the PS5. Which ones are most worth your money? Here's a list of the most essential.

OK, let's talk about the elephant in the room — Sony's native virtual reality headset for the PS5 is not cheap. At a current price point of $549.99, the PSVR 2 is more expensive than the base system. Fortunately, you get so much bang for your buck that, for anyone looking to dive into what VR has to offer in a console environment, it's a worthwhile investment.

First, the hardware itself is excellent, with an OLED display running at 120Hz and a comfortable form factor that's adjustable in multiple ways. It also streams directly to TV without having to jump through hoops, which isn't a given in the current generation of headsets. Of particular note is its eye tracking, which enables the display to focus depending on where you're looking and for in-game characters to react to your ocular movements.

Toss in two handheld controllers with excellent haptic feedback, and it's an experience that truly feels next-level. The gaming library isn't currently huge, but there are several excellent PSVR-exclusive titles to explore, as well as VR functionality in entries in mega-franchises like "Resident Evil" and "Gran Turismo," that offer plenty of overall value.

We've established that the PS5 is something of a beast on the hardware side, but one area where it doesn't exactly crush it out of the box is its onboard storage. It's listed at 825 GB, but after system software, you're looking at fewer than 700 available GB. That might sound like a lot, but the footprint of major modern games is no small potatoes, so you'll find that storage space filling out pretty quickly if you're making the most out of exploring the PS5's robust library.

Thankfully, the PS5 has a second M.2 SSD slot for the installation of additional storage. For those looking to take advantage of that opportunity, Corsair's MP600 Pro LPX is an excellent option. It comes in at a decent price point depending on how much capacity you're hoping to add — the 1 TB version costs $80 — but the real draw is its speed. Read speeds can get up to 7,100 MB/s, and write speeds as fast as 6,800 MB/s which makes saving games painless. The onboard heat sink also ensures all that blazing fast speed won't cook your data.

Additional onboard storage this fast is the kind of thing you don't realize you need until you have it — at which point you'll wonder how it is you ever lived without it.

As of right now, you can't play games on the PS5 direct from external storage, so it might not seem like the most necessary of accessories. As we've mentioned, however, the PS5's onboard storage isn't voluminous, and if you're not looking to invest in another internal drive, it's a better option to shuffle games on and off an external drive as you work through their rotation than it is to constantly be deleting and re-downloading. Even better, it is possible to play PS4 games on the PS5 direct from external drives.

All that being the case, having some external storage on hand makes a lot of sense. It's even more viable now that the price point on SSDs, which are more reliable, faster, and more energy efficient than their HDD counterparts, has come down. It's a crowded field, but for a PS5 user's needs, WD_Black's P40 is an excellent option. Its compact size and forged aluminum build make it both portable and durable, and it even comes with nifty RGB lighting for added panache.

Most importantly, its speed and performance are top-notch, offering transfer speeds of up to 2,000MB/s, which is fairly streets ahead in its peer group. It comes in three capacity options — 500 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB — and is competitively priced given how well its data transfer works.

Nintendo has the market cornered on the Switch's ability to deliver a home console-level experience portably. Sony is prepping Project Q, a handheld, Android-backboned device that will allow users to stream games from their PS5, but there's another option for anyone who shares a TV but doesn't want to stop in the middle of a particularly intense gaming session so that their roommate can watch the finale of "The Bear."

The Backbone One isn't Playstation 5-specific. It attaches to opposite ends of a smartphone and is meant to alleviate the kind of control issues that are inherent to trying to game on that particular platform. When coupled with the Playstation Remote Play feature, however, it basically combines with your iPhone or Android phone to create a reasonable facsimile of what the Switch can do.

While the Backbone One does come in an officially licensed PS5 version, the layout of sticks and buttons will take some adjustment for those used to the DualSense. That said, streaming is smooth and effortless, and there are added perks like pass-through charging and a 3.5mm headphone jack. It's a bit of a kluge relative to the Switch's built-for-this functionality, but carrying a PS5-level gaming experience in the palm of your hand is still a trip.

We're well past the point at which using your gaming console for a lot more than gaming is a revolutionary concept. The PS5 is capable of streaming content from any number of major networks, and there are plenty of people who spend a lot more of their time on the platform watching shows on Netflix than battling hordes of robot dinosaurs.

Of course, it is entirely possible to navigate any viewing experience on the PS5 with the included DualSense controller. Still, having a more dedicated option like the PS5 Media Remote for media viewing makes a lot of sense. For one, its layout and design feel more familiar for the kind of functionality which you'll make use of when watching instead of playing. Secondly, it means you won't have to pop your controller out of the charger dock to watch TV, helping to avoid a dreaded low battery warning in the middle of a particularly intense play session because you were re-watching episodes of "Is It Cake?" the night before.

It's the little things, you know?

The DualSense controller is a master class in ergonomic design and clever feature implementation. It sits well in the hand, offers haptic feedback, and uses a built-in accelerator and gyroscope to offer motion control. All of this is great, but it comes with a cost — the duration of a single full charge isn't that great, especially if you're making use of all the bells and whistles.

Charging the DualSense with what's available in the box when not in use isn't that complicated a proposition, but it involves tethering to the console, which isn't ideal. Enter charging stations, which basically allow you to drop one or more controllers in a dock between play sessions, ensuring they'll be fully charged when you pick them up. There are a lot of options out there for this sort of thing, but Sony's official DualSense Charging Station is a great down-the-middle choice.

It shares the console's design aesthetic, so it won't look out of place in your living room, and at a price point of only $30, the value proposition is there. A full charge takes about 3 hours, which isn't nothing, but it can also hold two controllers at once, meaning you can rotate a spare in if you want to keep things topped off. It might not have much in the way of flash, but sometimes you just need something that does one thing really well, and this is it.

Most of us probably don't spend a lot of time thinking about what kind of HDMI cable we're using to connect our consoles to our TVs. The one that comes in the box tends to work just fine, and once it's set up, it's more or less not a concern for the entire life cycle of your platform.

There's something to be said for future-proofing the backbone of your setup, however, and the HDMI cable is a good place to start. PowerA's Playstation-licensed cable is 3 meters of durably built wire and comes with its own cable management solution, which is a nice touch for those of us with a bit of a discipline problem on that front. It delivers peak performance from the PS5, offering up to 4K resolution at 120 frames per second without tearing or other visible artifacts.

Graphics are only going to get better, resolution is only going to get finer, and if a simple cable purchase means experiencing everything the PS5 has to offer, then it's an investment worthy of your attention.

The headphones market for the PS5 is not an uncrowded one, and with so many options available, choosing the first-party product might feel like a bit of a cop-out. It is true that there might be other headsets out there that offer slightly better sound quality, but the Sony Pulse 3D is a very potent package at a very reasonable price point relative to its competitors, and there is absolutely something to be said for that.

With plush headphone pads and an adjustable strap, it gets the ergonomics right, and the aesthetic design fits right into the PS5 ecosystem. Most importantly, though, the sound is on point, especially the integration of the console's 3D audio capability, which delivers the feeling of an immersive audioscape in ways anyone who's only been using a speaker or soundbar up to now will have to hear to believe.

Toss in 12 hours of battery life and highly capable noise-canceling mics for crystal-clear mid-game chat, and you've got a pretty complete package at an official price point of only $99.99.

The PS5 is not an on-the-go sort of device, and it's probably going to spend most of its time firmly in place in your entertainment center or gaming setup. That being true, a carrying case is probably an afterthought for most. However, for those times when you're moving or traveling, you're not going to want to leave home carrying an expensive console without ensuring that it's protected from bumps, knocks, monsoons, and bear attacks.

What you need is a good, sturdy case that protects your precious PS5 and comes decked out with enough nooks, crannies, and compartments to handle your controllers and whatever other accessories you need. USA Gear's PS5 case is just what the doctor ordered in that regard. It's portable and practical, with a durable semi-rigid construction and water-resistant exterior. What's more, it's customizable, allowing you to configure its interior compartments depending on what items beyond the console itself you're attempting to transport.

At $99.99, it's not entirely inexpensive, but you can't really put a price tag on the peace of mind that comes with knowing your PS5 won't get damaged in transit the next time you need to take it somewhere.

There's no doubt that heat is the enemy of high-end electronics. Most of the time, the PS5's onboard fans and placement that offers them enough space to provide proper ventilation are enough to get the job done and beat the heat. Still, in a world where hot weather is becoming increasingly more common, paying some attention to keeping the PS5 cool, especially over an extended gaming session, isn't a bad idea. For that sort of work, you'll need a stand for the console that comes with its own built-in cooling system.

Enter the Cykoarmor PS5 stand. Its three fan speeds move heated air out and away from your PS5, ensuring that things stay chill in and around the console, and its color-coded lighting system makes knowing how hard the system is working easy to discern. It's configured to hold both the digital-only and disc versions of the PS5 and also comes with docking stations for two DualSense controllers and three USB hubs for charging whatever other devices might need it.