In my search for cheap third party Playstation 3 controllers, I’ve decided to give the infamous Made In China fake DualShock 3 controllers a try. I’ve purchased two “different” fake controllers from an AliExpress supplier. They are differentiated by their packaging colour; one being red and the other being blue. According to the supplier, the controllers are made by different companies and the blue packaging controller is newer and of higher quality. With all that said, how do these fake controllers perform?
Let us get things straight, both controllers feel very similar if not completely identical. I strongly believe the packaging thing is completely nonsense and the controllers are only differentiated by their packaging rather than the controllers themselves. That being said, the red packaging controller actually is slightly better when I played with it. This might be due to quality control (if any) issues as my red packaging controller had this weird analog stick problem. Anyways, let us get into the details.
The overall build quality of the controllers is terrible. The material used to make the body feels extremely cheap and fragile. The buttons and D-Pad has this weird feedback that just screams cheap. They are also rather unresponsive at times. The L2 and R2 triggers are possibly the only things that feel in place. L1 and R1 triggers have this uncomfortable tactile feedback (not to be confused with the tactile feedback of the Gioteck VX-1 controller). All the buttons do function as they should but the drop in quality certainly requires some getting used to.
The analog sticks also stand out (in a negative way) as they are rather rough when moving. The precision and accuracy of the sticks are worse than the original DualShock 3 (do not go around expecting to play competitive FPS matches with these). There is also this loud clicking sound when you press the analog sticks down (L3/R3). This can be quite annoying. I had this minor problem with one of the controllers in that when using the analog stick, it will suddenly get semi-locked in place rendering it awkward and difficult to return it to original or a different position. There are times when the analog stick will “pop” out of place and that required me to press the stick back down in order to use it properly again. This is probably a quality control issue but definitely something you might want to worry about.
You must be disgusted with these fake controllers by now. Everything just feels out of place and uncomfortable, especially if you have used the original DualShock 3 controllers for a long time. All that said, for the price you are paying, these controllers actually do offer quite some value. I hate to say it but they might actually be what I would term as “value for money” purchases.
The wireless functionality does not require you to insert a USB/Bluetooth dongle into your PS3. This is a great surprise. You pair it up with your PS3 the same way you pair an original controller. The vibration feedback works as it should as well. The force it provides is quite outstanding (it working is amazing already).
There, these controllers are not all that bad. It is simply a poorer quality version of the original. What more to expect when you’re paying slightly more than a third of the original? If you need a controller on a tight budget, these fake controllers will serve you well. It functions as a controller should! Of course if you’re talking competitive gameplay such as ranked FPS matches etc, it is definitely a no brainer to get the original.