How to use a DualShock 4 PS4 controller on PC (2022)

How to use a DualShock 4 PS4 controller on PC (1)

Jump to:

  • Setup
  • Steam
  • DS4Windows
  • Bluetooth

Using the DualShock 4 PS4 controller on PC isn't to everyone's taste. We commend you for choosing to live the analogue life, rather than submit to the convoluted hand placement of a keyboard gamer.

Of all the options out there, the PS4 controller has become one of the team's favourite PC gaming controllers (opens in new tab), not least because it feels great in your hands. The design retains the classic shape of the DualShock controller, but includes joysticks and triggers better suited to modern shooters and action games than its predecessor—though not as sensationally exciting as the PS5's DualSense controller (opens in new tab).

Unfortunately, the DualShock 4's use of generic DirectInput drivers—as opposed to XInput that the Xbox controllers use—means using a PS4 controller on PC isn't quite as easy as plugging in an Xbox gamepad. It takes a little bit more work to get the DualShock 4 working on PC, but things are made easier thanks to Steam, the PC gaming community, and an official (optional) Bluetooth dongle. In fact, if Steam is your go-to, native Steam support makes it just as plug-and-play as an Xbox gamepad.

To start we'll walk you through getting your PS4 controller working with Steam. If you want to play games that aren't on Steam with your DualShock 4, DS4Windows is the tool for you.

Setup

What you need

Hardware

(Video) How to Use A PS4 Controller on PC: Wired and Wirelessly 2021!

  • Dualshock 4 PS4 controller
  • A micro-USB cable
  • (Optional) Dualshock 4 USB wireless Bluetooth adapter

Software

Working with Steam

How to use a DualShock 4 PS4 controller on PC (2)

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Using a PS4 controller in Steam

  1. Open Steam
  2. Go to Settings in top left dropdown
  3. Open Controller tab
  4. Click General Controller Settings
  5. Register device to your account
  6. Change preferences
  7. Calibrate joysticks
  8. Tick PlayStation Configuration Support
  9. Remap from Settings Controller tab/in game

Thanks to official Steam support, there's almost no setup involved in getting your PS4 controller working in Steam. Just be sure to pair or plug in your controller before opening Steam or any Steam games, otherwise your controller may not be recognized.

If you run into any connection issues, closing and reopening Steam should do the trick. Otherwise, try using a USB 2.0 port instead of a USB 3.0 port. DualShock 4s are weird like that.

Once connected, navigate to Steam's settings menu—under the top left dropdown—to get everything running smoothly. Under the Controller tab, open General Controller Settings; you should see your controller listed under Detected Controllers. From here you can register it to your account, so it will remember the settings on any PC you log into.

How to use a DualShock 4 PS4 controller on PC (3)

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Click Preferences to rename, or change rumble and lighting settings. You can also click Calibrate to fine-tune the joysticks and gyro if you feel the need. One important tip: click the check box next to PlayStation Configuration Support if you want to be able to do extra configuration of the controller on a per-game basis.

Back in the Controller tab of the Settings menu, you can configure your controller for Big Picture and Desktop usage, as well, and even set up Guide Button Chord Configuration.

Installing DS4Windows

How to use a DualShock 4 PS4 controller on PC (4)

(Video) How to Connect PS4 Controller to PC with DS4 Windows - 2022 Update

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How to install DS4Windows for non-steam gaming

  1. Download Microsoft .NET Framework (opens in new tab)
  2. For Windows 7, get Xbox 360 controller driver (opens in new tab)
  3. Plug controller or Bluetooth dongle in
  4. Download DS4Windows (opens in new tab) and extract
  5. Open DS4Windows
  6. Check connection in the Controllers tab
  7. In Settings tab Hide DS4 Controller
  8. Set Use Xinput Ports to one
  9. Edit/Create a profile and remap

If you're just playing Steam games, you don't need to install anything else.

First, Download the newest Microsoft .NET Framework. If you're still stuck running Windows 7, install the Xbox 360 controller driver next. This driver is included with Windows 8 and 10.

Before you do anything else, plug in your PS4 controller with a micro-USB directly to your PC, or pair it (opens in new tab) through the Bluetooth menu, or with a USB wireless adapter.

Download and extract newest DS4Windows .zip file next, and open it up. You can ignore the DS4Updater if you already have the newest version.

Any controllers you've connected will be displayed under the Controllers tab. If not, close DS4Windows, reconnect your controller, then re-open the software. Don't worry about your controller's ID number, we won't be needing it.

Next, open the Settings tab in DS4Windows to configure a few things. Make sure the Hide DS4 Controller box is checked. This will prevent DS4Windows from conflicting with any game's default controller settings. For the same reason, make sure Use Xinput Ports is set to one.

How to use a DualShock 4 PS4 controller on PC (5)

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From the Settings tab, you can also set DS4Windows to run at startup, or remain active in the background. You can also update DS4Windows directly from this tab by clicking Check for Update Now at the bottom left. Above that, you'll see Controller/Driver Setup. If you run into any issues, open this setup and follow the prompts to install any missing drivers.

DS4Windows works by reading your DualShock 4 as though it were an Xbox 360 controller. That means you won't get the correct Square/X/Triangle/Circle button icons by default in most games. Some games will give you the option to change, but either way, it'll now work with any game that has Xinput support—i.e. most every modern PC game that supports gamepads.

(Video) How to use a PlayStation Controller on Project64 for PC [2021]

How to use a DualShock 4 PS4 controller on PC (6)

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You don't have to remap anything, but if you want to change some buttons or adjust sensitivity outside of in-game menus, just open the Profiles tab in DS4Windows. If you're feeling confident, click New to start a new profile, though this is easier said than done. Otherwise, select the DualShock 4 profile and click Edit.

Let's say you want to swap your bumpers and triggers. First, find L1/R1 and L2/R2 in the scroll wheel in the Controls section, or just click them on the virtual controller. You want to swap L1 with L2 and R1 with R2, so start by clicking L2.

How to use a DualShock 4 PS4 controller on PC (7)

Then, just click the button you want L2 to act as—in this case, L1. Voila, your left trigger will now act as your left bumper. Repeat this process with the other triggers and bumpers to complete the change and prevent redundancy. You can save this button setup as a separate profile and swap between profiles in the Controllers tab.

Connect via Bluetooth

How to use a DualShock 4 PS4 controller on PC (8)

How to connect your PS4 controller via Bluetooth

  1. Hold controller's Share and PS button until it flashes
  2. Push dongle button until it starts flashing
  3. Or, add your controller in your PC's Bluetooth menu
  4. Pairing should happen automatically
  5. Don't unplug the adapter, it'll save the last connection

CONTROLLER SETUP GUIDES

How to use a DualShock 4 PS4 controller on PC (9)

How to use a:
PS3 controller on PC (opens in new tab)
Nintendo Switch Pro controller on PC (opens in new tab)
Xbox One controller on PC (opens in new tab)
PS5 DualSense controller on PC (opens in new tab)

(Video) PlayStation Gamepad Mouse Setup using DS4Windows for DCS: World

To connect your PS4 controller via Bluetooth, simply hold the small Share button and the central circular button simultaneously until the controller's backlight starts flashing, then push on the end of the adapter until it starts flashing. Once both are flashing, they will automatically pair after a few seconds.

For a PC with Bluetooth built-in, just navigate to the Bluetooth menu and select your controller from the Add Bluetooth devices list once it's started flashing.

Luckily, you don't have to pair your controller every time you want to use it. As long as you don't unplug the adapter, it will save its last connection, so you can just tap your controller's central PlayStation button to reconnect it.

The official Sony DualShock 4 USB wireless adapter is the simplest Bluetooth option. You may have to hunt for it or spend a little more than you would on a standard Bluetooth dongle, but it's worth it for its out-of-the-box functionality.

How to use a DualShock 4 PS4 controller on PC (10)

Wes Fenlon

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter (opens in new tab) and Tested (opens in new tab) before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).

(Video) How to Connect PS4 Controller to PC [Easy Method]

FAQs

Can you use a PS4 Dualshock controller on PC? ›

DUALSHOCK 4 wireless controller compatible devices

You can connect a DUALSHOCK 4 wireless controller to a Windows PC using a DUALSHOCK®4 USB wireless adaptor or a compatible micro USB cable.

How do I connect my PS4 controller to my PC Windows 10? ›

Click add bluetooth or other device at the top select bluetooth as a connectivity option at the top

How do I connect my PS4 controller to my PC wirelessly? ›

So normally when you would pair the ps4 controller. With your playstation. You would press and hold

Why is my PS4 controller not working on my PC? ›

If your PS4 controller is not connecting to your PC, you should re-enable the Bluetooth device. Such a reset is likely to fix any errors you have with your connection. To avoid encountering this issue ever again, make sure that you always turn your controller off by holding the PS button pressed for 10 seconds.

How do I connect my PS4 controller to my PC without Bluetooth? ›

All you need to do is connect the controller to your PC using a USB cable, and you'll be good to go. There are a few things to keep in mind, though. First, you'll need to make sure that your PC is compatible with the PS4 controller. Second, you'll need to download and install any necessary drivers.

Does Windows 11 support PS4 controller? ›

There are many different ways that you can play video games on your Windows 11 computer. The classic mouse and keyboard, Xbox controller, or PlayStation 4 controller; all work in Microsoft's latest OS.

How do I make my PS4 controller discoverable? ›

The pairing mode on the controller enables other bluetooth devices such as a tablet, smartphone, or PC to detect its bluetooth signal and connect to it. To do this, simply press and hold the PlayStation button and Share button at the same time on your DualShock 4 controller.

How do I connect my controller to my PC? ›

How To Connect Your Xbox Controller To A PC (2022) - YouTube

Does any Bluetooth adapter work with PS4 controller? ›

Asus USB-BT500 Bluetooth 5.0 USB Adapter

This Bluetooth adapter is backwards compatible with Bluetooth 4. x, 3. x, and with the 2.1 used by the Sony DS4 controller.

How do I connect my PS4 controller to steam? ›

Simultaneously hold the PS and Share button on the PS4 controller until it enters pairing mode and starts flashing. Find Wireless Controller of type gamepad in the bluetooth device list. Press the (A) button to pair with the PS4 controller.

Why isn't my PS4 controller showing up on Bluetooth? ›

Press and hold the button for 3 to 5 seconds. try too: Select Start and select Settings > Update and Security > Troubleshooting. Under Find and Fix Other Problems, select Bluetooth, then select Run the Troubleshooter and follow the instructions.

Why is my controller connected but not working PC? ›

The USB cable may not be compatible with your controller. Sometimes the PC not detecting Xbox One controller issue can occur because of your USB port. You can try connecting your controller to USB port on the back of your PC to resolve this problem.

Why won't my PC recognize my controller? ›

Windows might sometimes be unable to detect your gamepad due to an overload of devices plugged in to your machine. Try to disconnect other plug-and-play devices and see if the issue persists. In addition, if you're using a USB hub, be sure to disconnect your gamepad from the USB hub and connect it directly to your PC.

Why won't my PS4 controller connect to my PC with USB? ›

Turn on your PS4 as usual. Insert one end of the USB cable into the back of the PS4; plug the other end into the DS4 controller. Wait for some time (about 30 ~ 60 minutes) to get the controller fully charged. Press & hold the PS button on the center of the controller to resync.

How do I know if my PC has Bluetooth? ›

How to Tell if a Windows Computer has Bluetooth
  1. Right-click the Windows Start button and select Device Manager.
  2. Look in the device list for Bluetooth, if the entry is present, you have Bluetooth on your device.
  3. You can also look in Network adapters for a Bluetooth entry. If it is present, you have Bluetooth capability.
13 Nov 2021

Can you use a PS4 controller on PC without ds4? ›

There are many ways you can connect the PS4 controller to Windows 10 PC, among them being using the micro USB cable, or through wireless Bluetooth connection, or using the DualShock USB Wireless Adaptor, which connects to the PC's USB port.

Can you connect PS4 to laptop? ›

To do so, make an S-video connection through connection cable. Then connect the HDMI IN on the capture card and the HDMI OUT on the PS4. Now, open the software of video capture on the laptop and power up your PS4. The software will then search for the PS4 and display the PS4 display on the laptop screen.

How do I connect my PS4 controller to my HP laptop? ›

How To Connect PS4 Controller to Windows 10 Laptop or PC (2021)

Can you connect PS4 to laptop? ›

To do so, make an S-video connection through connection cable. Then connect the HDMI IN on the capture card and the HDMI OUT on the PS4. Now, open the software of video capture on the laptop and power up your PS4. The software will then search for the PS4 and display the PS4 display on the laptop screen.

How do I connect a controller to my PC? ›

How To Connect Your Xbox Controller To A PC (2022) - YouTube

How do I connect my PS4 controller to Steam? ›

Simultaneously hold the PS and Share button on the PS4 controller until it enters pairing mode and starts flashing. Find Wireless Controller of type gamepad in the bluetooth device list. Press the (A) button to pair with the PS4 controller.

How do I connect my controller to my HP laptop? ›

How to Connect Controller to PC / Laptop - YouTube

Can PS4 play on laptop HDMI? ›

However, unfortunately, it is impossible to connect PS4 to a laptop using an HDMI cable. It's because both laptops and PS4s have HDMI outputs, but neither of them is built for HDMI input. If you want to play PS4 on a laptop screen, your laptop must have an HDMI input.

How can I connect my PS4 to my PC without HDMI? ›

If your monitor doesn't have an HDMI port you will need an adapter. This will let you plug the PS4 or PS4 Pro into a DVI port. Buy an HDMI-to-DVI adapter cable to plug your PS4 into your computer monitor with DVI connectivity.

Can I play my PS4 on my HP laptop? ›

Unfortuntely no, you can't. Both of them have HDMI out and connecting 2 HDMI out ports together won't go to anywhere. This won't work and may damage both.

Videos

1. Updated 2022: How to Connect PS4 Controller to PC with DS4 Windows Driver
(Chupacabra Tutorials)
2. UPDATED: How to Connect PS4 Controller to PC with DS4 Windows Driver
(Chupacabra Tutorials)
3. How to Use PS4 Controller On PC (Windows 10)
(Geeks Tutorial)
4. How To Use A PS4 Controller On A PC - Wired / Wireless
(TheHowToGuy123)
5. How to Reset & Connect PS4 Controller to PC & PS4 🎮 Quick Guide
(Chupacabra Tutorials)
6. How to Connect Your PS4 Controller to a PC via Bluetooth
(Chupacabra Tutorials)

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