Daily Reaction: Sony, Why Can’t I See My DualSense Controller Battery Percentage?

The April 2021 PS5 firmware update is out now, and it’s most notable feature is allowing for the cold storage of PS5 games on an external USB drive. Sure, it’s not the SSD storage expansion we’ve all been waiting for, but it’s an interim solution that resolves the need to redownload games, saving time and bandwidth. The update came with a number of other understated features, however, including display options and Trophy enhancements. One small new feature in particular caught my eye. “You can now see your wireless controller’s battery percentage in the control center.” Except that it doesn’t seem to work.

Where’s the PS5 DualSense Controller Battery Percentage?

Upon turning on my PS5 following the update, updating the DualSense controller firmware, and checking the control center, the battery indicator appears exactly the same as it did before (see the image below from the original PS5 UI reveal). It’s simply the relatively ambiguous three bars generally telling you how much charge you’ve got left. I did a full restart of my PS5 to see if that might resolve the issue and bring this tiny feature out of hiding, but alas, it appears the PS5 system software update patch notes for this update may have scooped up a feature that didn’t actually make the cut.

PS5 Dualsense controller battery percentage

Knowing the precise percentage of charge remaining in my DualSense controller isn’t a huge deal, but battery technology in various devices has been more precise than ambiguous bars for years now. Sure, exact battery life is hard to calculate precisely and can vary depending on usage (your controller will last longer while watching movies or playing games that don’t utilize the adaptive triggers or haptic feedback as much, for example), but it’s even harder to gauge where you’re at just by looking at a battery icon that is one-third full. Is that 35%? 15%? 10%? When does the “your controller battery is low” flashing icon warning actually kick in?

If I’m being honest, even if I knew my exact DualSense controller battery percentages, I’m still probably going to end up running my controller ragged and letting it die at the most inopportune times in the middle of multiplayer games, or during tough encounters in games that for some reason don’t pause when the controller is disconnected. But I feel like this should give players a better understanding of how long their controller charge can last at various percentages, and better communicate when it’s time to switch out for that fully charged replacement.

I’m not sure what happened here; if the bullet point in the patch notes was added erroneously or if the feature was pulled at the last minute, but it was a tiny little feature that I was stupidly excited to for and disappointed to see not actually added in the update. In the grand scheme of things, there are a lot of bigger, far more necessary features I hope make it into the next PS5 firmware update, but there’s a part of me that really hopes this understated patch note eventually makes the cut too.

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