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When That Tiny
Controller Speaker
Makes All The
Difference
 

One of the most overlooked aspects of modern game controllers is the speaker. Although many games do little with it, there are a handful that extend the play experience substantially with the experience of sounds happening in your hands as well as on the TV.

The PlayStation 4 DualShock and PlayStation 5 DualSense both offer a speaker on the controller. This is used by games like Grand Theft Auto to double as a speaker in the game world, like the police radio in your car so you can scan frequencies in your hands to locate crimes going down. In the F1 games, the speaker is used for the voice of the pit crew, as well as the race announcer. Tearaway uses the speaker in conjunction with Touchpad to interact with a creature. Transistor used the speaker so your sword could speak to you in a more direct way.

On the Wii U, the GamePad speaker was used in a range of ways, most successfully to offer musical harmonies with the sound from the main TV. It's surprisingly effective at creating this choral effect for a range of games like Nintendo Land and Kirby.

The Wii has one of the most innovative uses of the speaker on the controller. In No More Heroes it's used as a phone, in pre-boss fights, Sylvia would call you so you would need to hold the speaker to your ear to answer. In Red Steel multiplayer mode, each player holds the Wii Remote to their ear and it whispers "You're the secret killer" to one person, along with individual instructions to each of the other players.

There are then other peripherals that make sound to extend the experience of playing. The Skylanders Trap Team Portal, for instance, played audio that went back and forth to the big screen to make it sound like trapped enemies were being sent into the TV.
 
This list includes 28 games from the last 27 years, with 1,145 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to listen to the controller in your hands. We break them down into the following areas:

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Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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