Image via PlayStation

What is the D-Pad on PS5? Explained

Many games reference buttons that players must press. But the PS5's D-Pad might be confusing for those unfamiliar with the platform.

Sony’s PlayStation 5 has one of the most advanced controllers of the current generation of consoles. With built-in haptic feedback and a touchpad that helps immerse players, it’s unrivaled among other Sony platforms. However, for the uninitiated, some buttons can be tricky to understand, like the D-Pad on the PS5.

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Consoles are expensive, so most people opt for one that they’re familiar with, either because they had a previous version or use a similar controller on a PC. The PS5 has many iconic buttons that can be difficult to adjust to from an Xbox Wireless controller or keyboard, and the biggest bugbear for new users is getting to grips with what the D-Pad buttons are.

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What is the D-Pad on a PS5 Controller?

spiderman-2-ps5-controller
Image via Sony

The D-Pad on the PS5 controller is the set of four face buttons on the left-hand side of the device. There are four of these buttons, one for each point of the compass, but they translate easily into the Up, Right, Down, and Left buttons if examined clockwise.

While these buttons may seem redundant because of all the other interactions it’s possible to make on the DualSense controller, including the touchpad, they’re more than a hangover from past PlayStation devices. However, on the PlayStation and PlayStation 2, the D-Pad was definitely an essential set of buttons because there weren’t many beyond the face buttons when those consoles were at the height of their popularity.

What is the D-Pad Used for on the PS5 Controller?

Image via Sony

The D-Pad can be used for pretty much anything on the PS5. The beauty of most PS5 games is that developers have now mostly shifted their control schemes and settings options to allow for players to swap any action to be triggered by any button. The D-Pad may not even be used by default, but it can be changed quickly in the settings if users find it easier.

We’re past the point where the D-Pad is used for essential actions such as opening doors or menus, but some players still find it helpful to map these actions to those buttons. We prefer maps to pop up when we press the Up direction button and have adjusted to using the Down direction button to heal after playing far too much of The Callisto Protocol.


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Image of Jamie Moorcroft-Sharp
Jamie Moorcroft-Sharp
Jamie Moorcroft-Sharp is a Staff Writer at Gamepur. He's been writing about games for ten years and has been featured in Switch Player Magazine, Lock-On, and For Gamers Magazine. He's particularly keen on working out when he isn't playing games or writing or trying to be the best dad in the world.