Red Dead Online

I played a ton of Red Dead Online this year. In fact, I think it’s fair to say that I played an unhealthy amount of Red Dead Online, especially during the early months of COVID quarantine. My RDO time, according to the Rockstar Social Club website, is approaching 600 hours (and that excludes the single-player campaign, which I’m close to earning the Platinum Trophy for).

Red Dead Redemption 2 is a game in which you spend a lot of time mashing the X button (if you’re playing on PS4, that is — I think the A button would be the Xbox One equivalent). You mash X to run, and you mash X to make your horse gallop, two things you’ll be doing a lot of in this game, especially if you have a tendency to get griefed by other players a lot (which I did for a while).

So my RDO time might account for millions of X presses over the course of the year, and this has done no small amount of damage to my controllers. I have one controller where the X button just feels like mashed potatoes, and another one where the X button doesn’t always register when I press it. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve lost matches of Fall Guys specifically because I pressed X and the button press didn’t register (X is the jump button in Fall Guys, so a single missed press can end your run on Jump Club or Jump Showdown).

The DualShock 4 is not a cheap controller ($60-$65 new, typically), and it kind of sucks to replace a whole controller because of a single button, but that X button is essential. You really can’t be without out.

Red Dead Online

So I’m not sure what to do. Should I learn to deal with mashed-potato button-mashing, or should I buy a new controller. Or, perhaps, should I attempt a repair?

I don’t know, but if I want to continue to enjoy my PS4, I’m going to have to make a decision, and I’m going to have to make it soon.

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