Dualsense Wired vs Wireless latency comparison

1 : Anonymous2021/03/07 23:04 ID: m020e3

There seems to be no statistically significant difference between using the Dualsense wired or wireless, neither in terms of average input lag nor in terms of consistency. That said, I was sitting relatively close to the console for this test and you might get stability issues while sitting further back and/or with an obstructed line of sight between the console and dualsense and/or in a place with a lot of 2.4GHz interference.

I've also tested the DualShock 4 in Rocket League and found a statistically significant (p~0.001) difference between wired and wireless use (wireless is faster).

These results suggest that Sony has fixed the "issue" that the DS4 had more input lag wired than wireless on PS4 for the Dualsense on PS5, but those improvements do not apply to the DS4. I say "issue" in quotes because how much you care about this will vary from person to person. It's definitely good news for competitive players who attend large events where a lot of players are using bluetooth at the same time, which can cause connectivity issues.

Full results

First, some test methodology. I used 240fps video from an iPhone X, filmed the controller and screen from the same spot every time (both wired and wireless). I used a USB A to USB C cable for the dualsense which I plugged into the front USB A port on the PS5. I used a USB A to Micro USB cable for the DS4, also plugged into the same port. On every instance, I made sure that the controller showed up in the correct mode (ie USB icon when relevant).

The games I used were Astro's Playroom, Spider-Man Remastered, Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War, and Rocket League. For each game I tried to find the most responsive action and then mapped it to R1 with the PS5's accessibility settings. This allows me to use the same button through the same method for every game. I recorded 20 to 30 inputs for each game in each mode.

I used SMPlayer on Windows to go through the footage frame by frame and count the frames from the moment the R1 button is starting to be depressed to the moment the first frame of the corresponding input starts to appear on screen (even partially)

As a sanity check, I tested Rocket League with my DS4 too.

Here are the detailed results:

Game framerate Input device Input method trigger Average total latency (ms) Standard deviation (ms) Astro's Playroom 60 DSS Wired Punch (mapped to R1) 115.77 4.95 Astro's Playroom 60 DSS BT Punch (mapped to R1) 115.48 4.74 Spider-Man Remastered 60 (RT) DSS Wired Jump (mapped to R1) 126.19 5.02 Spider-Man Remastered 60 (RT) DSS BT Jump (mapped to R1) 126.67 5.62 Spider-Man Remastered 30 DSS Wired Jump (mapped to R1) 187.50 7.45 Spider-Man Remastered 30 DSS BT Jump (mapped to R1) 183.97 10.74 COD Cold War 60 (no RT) DSS Wired Fire (mapped to R1) 55.25 5.36 COD Cold War 60 (no RT) DSS BT Fire (mapped to R1) 53.60 5.03 COD Cold War 120 DSS Wired Fire (mapped to R1) 38.13 3.10 COD Cold War 120 DSS BT Fire (mapped to R1) 37.71 3.16 Rocket League 60 (no vsync) DSS Wired Boost (mapped to R1) 32.87 7.13 Rocket League 60 (no vsync) DSS BT Boost (mapped to R1) 33.58 8.00 Rocket League 60 (no vsync) DS4 Wired Boost (mapped to R1) 41.18 8.05 Rocket League 60 (no vsync) DS4 BT Boost (mapped to R1) 33.80 6.37​

At first glance this might not make the results evident so here's a simpler version:

game Statistical difference between wired and wireless? p-value (Z test) p-value (paired T-test) Astro's Playroom no 0.867 0.583 Spider-Man Remastered (60fps) no 0.827 0.555 Spider-Man Remastered (30fps) no 0.315 0.536 COD Cold War (60fps) no 0.296 0.389 COD Cold War (120fps) no 0.674 0.630 Rocket League (DSS) no 0.768 0.375 Rocket League (DS4) yes 0.001 0.014​
2 : Anonymous2021/03/07 23:13 ID: gq5habb

This is some A+ quality OC OP!

Would be interesting to see how this compares to a PS4 (I see you did the DS4, but I have heard people complain that they thought the PS5 had more input lag, so I'd want to see DS4+PS4 with like Rocket League. While I haven't felt that's the case, it would be nice to put that to rest)

ID: gq5iq9b

Unfortunately I've sold my PS4. However the results from this test should be comparable to someone else's provided we control for the display's input latency (21ms here).

ID: gq6uyaq

I can't show you any statistical differences, but Rocket leagues input lag is much lower on ps5 than on ps4. It doesn't matter which controller you use or how it's connected. You will FEEL a huge difference.

I play this game a lot and I actually stopped playing on ps4 and switched to pc for this reason. Since i got my ps5, i play on ps5. Not much of difference between ps5 and pc.

I usually use a Razer Raiju Tournament wired.

ID: gq74226

It’s like comparing the taste of green to red apples. Nice to hear, but no one cares and it doesn’t benefit you in any way

3 : Anonymous2021/03/08 00:00 ID: gq5mg58

I suspect that even if Sony performed these tests and produced the data on day one, purists would never accept it and complain it regardless. Better to implement this fairly straightforward wired tech from the beginning and get ahead of the issue ever being a thing.

It's good to know that wireless is basically comparable, even if it realistically won't impact my gaming at all

4 : Anonymous2021/03/08 02:29 ID: gq62p84

So what you're saying is I'm just terrible?

ID: gq6zukd

Don't forget input lag from your console to the screen as well.

But yeah, probably.

ID: gq6xfbz

The latency is pretty horrible either way. Over 100ms? WTF.

5 : Anonymous2021/03/08 00:41 ID: gq5qzd1

Wait, so a wired DS4 has more latency than its wireless counterpart in Rocket League? That’s very interesting...

ID: gq5y7t5

Not just Rocket League, in all games. It's a known fact that the DS4 uses a lower polling rate through USB than through Bluetooth which results in higher latency

ID: gq7ba9m

I'ves seen tests with the pro controller on Switch showing the same thing (which is bad news for USB bluetooth adapters for certain controllers).

ID: gq6oc46

it doesn't even make sense!

but of course, logitech make the same claim about their wireless gaming mice

6 : Anonymous2021/03/08 01:44 ID: gq5xrq3

This gives me university lab's report vibes hahahah, too bad everything is closed right now

ID: gq6l5tu

He didn't have it peer reviewed!
He also didn't disclose the display device he was utilizing!

7 : Anonymous2021/03/08 03:28 ID: gq68x6n

The most shocking thing to me is that it's over 180ms latency when jumping in spiderman remastered

ID: gq73stn

Only at 30fps, but yeah. People tend to greatly underestimate how much latency is in their system and greatly overestimate how sensitive they are to it. Spider-Man is perfectly playable and feels very smooth at 30fps, it's not a game that requires much precision in the inputs.

8 : Anonymous2021/03/08 03:55 ID: gq6br6v

But there is a difference in audio latency using the headphone jack on the controller in wired vs Bluetooth mode because of the way Bluetooth handles audio.

ID: gq744tq

The controller is not using standard bluetooth audio. The BT audio on the dualsense is very high quality and has no perceivable latency. Same for the DS4

ID: gq6xgda

Bluetooth is worse right?

9 : Anonymous2021/03/08 03:31 ID: gq699qo

What was the data distribution for each test? Normal or non-normal?

Also, the z-test is on non-paired data right? The use of the same game between wired and wireless to me would require a dependent test. Did you try one?

ID: gq74dgs

The data was normal. What other test would you recommend? I'm a maths teacher but I don't focus on statistics at all so feel free to suggest a better test

Edit: I've added the results from a paired T-test. The conclusions are the same

10 : Anonymous2021/03/08 05:42 ID: gq6lf3i

Someone did a latency test with PS5 bs XSX when they both released. Not sure if that’s op but PS5 has much lower latency than Xbox. They made a YouTube video about that is well worth a watch

ID: gq73mk5

It wasn't me, I don't have an Xbox. It was NX Gamer

ID: gq71ty0

Do you happen to have that source on hand? Would love give it a watch!

11 : Anonymous2021/03/07 23:06 ID: gq5gk0l

Thank you for this work!

12 : Anonymous2021/03/07 23:36 ID: gq5ju7z

Hi, sorry english is not my mother tongue and I have some trouble deciphering the results. Could someone tell me which one wins? Wired or wireless? Which one gives lower latency? Thanks

ID: gq5knkh

They're almost exactly the same

ID: gq68r5r

The results are so close there is literally no difference for 99.999% players

13 : Anonymous2021/03/07 23:31 ID: gq5jc1v

Fantastic work, always wondered this myself

14 : Anonymous2021/03/08 03:35 ID: gq69ogt

Nice work! They need to release a Rocket League PS5 version ASAP cause this game feels slow. I play since day 1 with V-sync disabled but even then you feel this game’s input lag just as your test states.

ID: gq73ypg

You need to disable vsync. This is one of, if not the, most responsive games on Playstation. The results above are insanely low. If you think 35ms is laggy you severely overestimate your sensibility to input lag.

15 : Anonymous2021/03/08 12:24 ID: gq7bnp7

Great post man

16 : Anonymous2021/03/08 12:26 ID: gq7brpl

wait, you tested DS4 on the PS5, but supposedly when connecting a DS4 to the PS5 the connection should be only wireless, as stated in the settings. Weird

ID: gq7cttp

Only with first gen DS4's, the CUH-ZCT1 series. Mine is a more recent second gen CUH-ZCT2 model

17 : Anonymous2021/03/08 04:04 ID: gq6cly6

I'd been having controller lag-drift for the first few months which appears after long use. Only playing wired would eliminate it.

But they seem to have licked that bug, no incident has appeared lately.

18 : Anonymous2021/03/08 08:32 ID: gq6x1me

Other than maybe bad optimising should wireless be faster anyway? The signal transmission happens at the speed of light while this is not the case for a wired transmission

ID: gq737by

The signal itself travels faster through wireless, but wireless connectivity requires more signal translation than USB. The slowdowns happen before sending and after receiving, not in the air. Another issue with wireless is packet loss, there's a lot more chance to get corrupted data on wireless transmission so error correction needs to be more robust and that can slow down the transmission.

Basically, wireless involves more processing.

However the latency caused by either processing for bluetooth or slowdown in the wire for USB is negligible compared to the latency caused by the polling rate. If you connect the dualsense to a PC through USB, it will update its state 250 times per second. If you connect it through Bluetooth, it will update 1000 times per second, which results in lower latency. On the DS4, that behaviour also happened when connecting to the PS4, so the question is does the PS5 work the same. As the results of my tests show there is no significant difference between USB and BT latency on PS5 with the Dualsense so it probably operates at the same polling rate both through USB and BT

19 : Anonymous2021/03/07 23:45 ID: gq5ktgj

this deserves an award for sure!

20 : Anonymous2021/03/08 02:36 ID: gq63fs5

Did you toggle the communication method in the settings for the controller? PS5 Settings > Accessories > Controllers > Communication Method > Use USB. Otherwise it’s doing wireless, regardless if it’s plugged in. The results seem questionable.

ID: gq650mw

Yes. As said in the post:

On every instance, I made sure that the controller showed up in the correct mode (ie USB icon when relevant).

Why do you think the results are questionable?

21 : Anonymous2021/03/08 09:21 ID: gq6zyjy

1 question, did you set each controller to use data cable as only mode of transmission prior ?

ID: gq71pwp

duh. Obviously.

On every instance, I made sure that the controller showed up in the correct mode (ie USB icon when relevant).

22 : Anonymous2021/03/08 03:48 ID: gq6b25k

Woof, that Spider-Man RM latency

ID: gq741px

It's actually not that high, par for the course for this kind of game really. CoD and RL are just insanely responsive

23 : Anonymous2021/03/08 07:53 ID: gq6uk1s

You get an upvote just for putting the TL;DR at the top of the post, and not at the end of the post.

24 : Anonymous2021/03/08 08:09 ID: gq6vlcg

now this is content I was waiting for, thanks!

25 : Anonymous2021/03/08 08:49 ID: gq6y1rt

Great write-up OP, thank you for the effort.

While on the topic, I'm having an issue with my DSS(BT) when playing Warzone. The reticle frequently tends to slowly drift left and right, which is very frustrating especially when ADS-ing. I've tried to find a solution online to this issue but I've yet to encounter others having the same issue. Hope someone can help me out.

ID: gq72qu1

This might be a stick drift issue, not a bluetooth issue. Try changing your deadzone settings

26 : Anonymous2021/03/08 09:08 ID: gq6z75s

Ok, can someone explain the input lag thing here. I'm a pc gamer but I'm finding it really interesting. My main game is Dota 2. When you play bots ( a single player, local mode) there is no input lag. When you play online with latency of 100+, it can affect the game and even moreso if it's about 180 and up. How does the input work on a controller so that the latency on games is so high? I would think this would be a real issue in games and even worse playing online. Also, what is the difference between input lag with a mouse and keyboard and a controller? It doesn't really make sense that something that runs on the same method of connection (USB) can lag at different rates.

ID: gq72m0v

Your questions are kinda all over the place here

When you play bots ( a single player, local mode) there is no input lag.

Of course there is. There's no such thing as no input lag.

When you play online with latency of 100+, it can affect the game and even moreso if it's about 180 and up.

Your input lag won't be affected by network latency, however the effects of your actions will be delayed. For example if you move your character, it will happen on screen just as fast as it would with bots. But if you shoot another player, it will take time for the server to compute whether you hit him or not depending on where you are, where he is, both of your network latencies, etc.

How does the input work on a controller so that the latency on games is so high?

It depends on the game, it's not a controller issue. Rocket league and COD (at 120fps) as tested above are extremely low latency. Keep in mind my display's input lag is 21ms.

I would think this would be a real issue in games and even worse playing online.

I think you're seriously underestimating the amount of input lag on your system. The results above are not from games that feel sluggish at all, besides maybe Spider-Man. The input feels extremely responsive in CoD and Rocket League.

Also, what is the difference between input lag with a mouse and keyboard and a controller? It doesn't really make sense that something that runs on the same method of connection (USB) can lag at different rates.

Just because it runs on USB doesn't mean it uses USB the same way. External hard drives use USB too. One keyboard can have a lot more latency than another, and one controller can be much faster than your mouse. The Dualsense is one of the most responsive controllers you can buy.

One major component that affects the latency is how often your mouse/controller sends updates over USB. Even the most hardcore gaming mouse would be unusable if it only updated your position once every second, even if that position is perfectly accurate. When you connect a Dualsense to a PC via USB, it will by default update its position 250 times per second. That's good, but not perfect. If you connect it via bluetooth, it will update its position 1000 times per second, which will result in lower latency.

This discrepancy is the main reason for this post. The question is, is that difference also present when connecting to the PS5. It was the case for the PS4 so it's a legitimate concern. Turns out there is no difference between USB and bluetooth on PS5

ID: gq72lja

It's just the time for the signal sent by the controller to be reflected on screen. Your screen has latency, as does whatever input method you use, including a mouse and keyboard. Input latency gets lower with higher frame rates(if the monito

supports it).

The 100+ latency you're talking about is network latency, that's the signal from your pc to the game server and back(ping).

27 : Anonymous2021/03/08 11:08 ID: gq76c7s

Good work OP. You should try USB-C to USB-C wire as it seems to me to improve input latency to me. There is no difference with USB-A to USB-C wire to wireless off my non-scientific testing.

ID: gq76mfo

I used USB A to USB C because that is the cable that comes with the console. There is no reason to think USB C to USB C would be any faster.

28 : Anonymous2021/03/08 08:30 ID: gq6wvpt

This is really cool.


What does it all mean?

ID: gq73d2b

It means you'll get the same latency whether you play using Bluetooth or using USB. Some people have a lot of 2.4GHz interference in their home which makes bluetooth unstable so they'd rather use USB, which was a bit of a bummer on PS4 because it resulted in more latency. Some people just want to use whichever method provides the lowest latency. As it turns out, it seems to be the same so you can freely choose USB or Bluetooth safe in the knowlefge that you won't have a latency disadvantage either way

29 : Anonymous2021/03/08 10:52 ID: gq75dh8

Why did you bother testing wired vs wireless for the DualSense? It literally states in the settings that Bluetooth is used when plugged directly into the console, so there's going to be no advantage using it when plugged in.

ID: gq769pa

You can change that behaviour in the settings so that it doesn't use bluetooth when connected through USB. On PS4 the latency was higher when using USB, so it's worth checking if it is still the case on PS5. Some people have a lot of 2.4GHz interference making bluetooth unstable so they'd rather use USB, but it was a bummer on PS4 to have to choose between latency and stability. According to the results here, USB and BT have the same latency so people can freely choose whichever they prefer, safe in the knowledge that there is no latency disadvantage either way


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