Evil Shift Review | A huge shift in the right direction

This Evil Shift review is part of my obsessive hunt for the perfect custom PS4 controller. Since Sony is apparently unwilling to release its own official “elite pad” with rear paddles and additional functionality, I have to instead turn to the talented folks at various third-party companies. Evil Controllers is the focus today, with its Evil Shift controller. Boasting a number of interesting features, including a unique rear paddle solution, I felt that I absolutely needed to try it out. After over a month of using the pad, I’m ready to give my verdict.

Evil Shift Review | The building process

Evil Shift Review

Like all good custom controller manufacturers, Evil Controllers has a “Create” section, where the user can choose features and see a visual of how the controller will look. While there are a massive amount of possible design combinations, the site does well to break the options down into different menus, taking the user through one step at a time. Custom pads that boast this many features can sometimes become complicated and intimidating. Thankfully, Evil Controllers avoids this.

After choosing the controller’s faceplate design (I went for “Orange Urban”), as well as a personalized tagline or graphics, it’s then time to customize the paddles or buttons on the back of the pad. You see, Evil Controllers offers a choice of either paddles or buttons, helpfully explaining the difference below the options. What’s more, if you don’t like the paddles/buttons, they can be swapped out for free! You can also add the ability to remap the buttons yourself, in case you need to swap the functions for a new game.

Thumbsticks can either be standard (although with additional color options) or “Evil Sticks.” The latter offers more grip than the standard analog sticks, and also boast a customizable height, from 11 mm to 17.97 mm (standard is 11 mm).

Evil Shift Review

Then comes the mods… if you decide to pick them. GameRevolution doesn’t support the use of mods in games, so I ignored this option when customizing my controller. However, it would be remiss of me to ignore Evil Controller’s offering of Rapid Fire, “Master Mod,” a “Fortnite mod,” and the option for all mods.

Next, there’s the buttons and D-pad personalization. Evil Controllers offers the usual selection of colors, which includes colored chrome. While that’s impressive, it’s in the next menu where button customization is really elevated. “Quick-Touch Tactile” buttons can be selected to remove the mushiness of stock, instead giving you a satisfying click with each button push. These are pricey, but wow are they nice to use.

In addition to the tactile buttons, the “Pro Gaming” options menu also allows for tactile triggers to be selected, in addition to a tuning of the thumbsticks. (I opted out of both, but they are worthy of mention!)

The final part of the “build your own controller” process covers warranty, which Evil Controllers has recently made an effort to improve for additional customer peace of mind. Highlights of the terms and conditions include a 14-day trial period with no hassle returns, free 12-month warranty (expandable up to 24 months), and lifetime coverage for non-moving parts. With these premium pads coming in at a premium price, it’s always worth factoring in a good warranty policy.

Evil Shift Review | You gotta pay to play

Evil Shift Review

If you don’t yet know why a custom PS4 controller is worth buying, and you’re ignorant of the significant advantage that rear paddles and other features provide, then I feel bad for you. Using a stock pad and going up against a custom pad is just asking for trouble. After using and testing an assortment of custom PS4 controllers since the console’s launch, I always feel severely handicapped when attending events where stock peripherals are used.

If you’re at all serious about playing multiplayer shooters like Call of Duty, or battle royale titles like Apex Legends and Fortnite, at an evenly remotely competitive level, you’re going to want to look into well-reviewed custom PS4 pads. As it turns out, the Evil Shift controller I’m reviewing today is one of the good ones, offering four paddles on the rear for X, O, Square, and Triangle. This means that I never have to remove my fingers from the analog sticks, allowing me to aim, turn, and jump all at the same time. This is huge for winning gunfights in shooters, and I seriously would suck without this feature.

Other Evil Shift features, like the tactile buttons and custom thumbsticks, are all fantastic, working as expected. If money is no problem here, then I’d say go for it all, but the price can quickly climb if you’re not careful, and I’m not certain that the advantage they give is quite as significant as the rear paddles.

My controller, which comes with a faceplate, Shift Paddles, remapping enabled, a white backplate, Evil Sticks, white buttons, tactile buttons and D-pad, ends up totaling $249.65. If that seems steep, my recommended must-have setup of custom faceplate and Shift Paddles comes to $119.85.

Evil Shift Review | You sure this isn’t official?

Evil Shift Review

I feel that the overall build quality helps to make these prices easier to swallow. Out of all of the custom PS4 controllers I’ve been sent, the Evil Shift impressed me the most. It’s not that the others were bad, it’s just that the Evil Shift looks and feels almost official, while other custom pads come across as distinctly custom. Everything from the Evil Sticks and the tactile buttons, to the Shift Paddles on the rear, look and feel as though Sony slapped them on at the DualShock 4 factory. They feel like they belong, and sit exactly in the right spot for my fingers. The finish is very impressive, helping to make the already excellent unboxing experience and first impressions all the more special.

Though it most certainly isn’t official, the Evil Shift is still allowed at pro events. If Esports is your thing, then Evil Controllers is another option that deserves your consideration.

Evil Shift Review | Custom controllers done right

Evil Shift Review

Evil Controllers has done a fantastic job with its Evil Shift custom PS4 pad. It has been a joy to use over the past month, allowing me to pull off killstreaks and big clutch plays that wouldn’t have been possible with a standard controller. The Shift Paddles are a must-have feature, the Evil Sticks offer more grip and a welcome extension of length, the tactile buttons are pricey yet super satisfying, and the build quality and level of polish are unmatched. Combined with the warranty on offer, the price is also easier to digest. Overall, I recommend the Evil Shift without hesitation and urge you to consider Evil Controllers for your next custom PS4 pad.

I also want to dedicate part of this conclusion to acknowledging Evil Controllers’ “Accessible Gaming Operation,” which aims to help disabled gamers who are unable to use a standard controller. Working with The AbleGamers Foundation, Evil Controllers takes a custom order, creates a prototype to allow for feedback and further requests, before then creating the final product. If you’re interested in the Evil Accessible Gaming products, you can find more information here.

Evil Shift review unit was provided by Evil Controllers.