How to connect PS4 controller to PC, PS4, PS5, Steam, Iphone, Ipad and Android via USB/Bluetooth
Connecting and using your PS4 Controller to a device shouldn’t be hard and this article will simplify the process of syncing and pairing your dualshock 4 PS4 controller to PC, PS4, PS5, Steam, Iphone, Ipad and Android.
How to connect PS4 controller to PC
The DualShock 4 is a great controller, but it’s designed specifically for the Sony PlayStation 4. That means, at least on paper, that it’s not meant to be used with PC games. However with the help of powerful tools we can easily setup your PS4 controller to work on PC. So let’s get started!
- Dualshock 4 PS4 controller
- A micro-USB cable
- (Optional) Dualshock 4 USB wireless Bluetooth adapter
- Or Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5
- Xbox 360 controller driver (only for Windows 7 users)
- and DS4Windows
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.
Using a PS4 controller in Steam
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.
- Open Steam
- Go to Settings in top left dropdown
- Open Controller tab
- Click General Controller Settings
- Register device to your account
- Change preferences
- Calibrate joysticks
- Tick PlayStation Configuration Support
- Remap from Settings Controller tab/in game
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.
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.
Using DS4Windows for non-steam games
In summary, DS4 Windows makes it possible for your to use your PlayStation and Nintendo controllers on a Windows 10/11 PC by emulating a virtual Xbox/DS4 controller. With it, comes added features where you can remap or rebind the keys to your liking (buttons, joysticks, keyboard + mouse etc) and making it possible to play much more games with your controller. No need to buy a supported controller or forcefully play only with keyboard and mouse.
You can read our detailed getting started page on how to install, use and setup DS4windows correctly or by following the below summarized steps;
- Download Microsoft .NET Framework
- For Windows 7, get Xbox 360 controller driver
- Plug controller in via USB cable or Bluetooth dongle
- Download DS4Windows and extract
- Open DS4Windows
- Check connection in the Controllers tab
- In Settings tab Hide DS4 Controller
- Set Use Xinput Ports to one
- Edit/Create a profile and remap
Using Dualshock 4 USB wireless Bluetooth adapter
- Hold controller’s Share and PS button until it flashes
- Push dongle button until it starts flashing
- Or, add your controller in your PC’s Bluetooth menu
- Pairing should happen automatically
- Don’t unplug the adapter, it’ll save the last connection
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 connect PS4 controller to PS4
Syncing a PlayStation 4 DualShock controller to a PS4 is extremely easy, but it does require one piece of hardware: A USB to Micro-B cable. There’s no wireless workaround for pairing controllers via Bluetooth, so to sync new controllers with your PS4, you’ll need a cable. Your DualShock 4 controller comes with one cable, but any USB 2.0 to Micro-B cable will work.
How to sync PS4 controller
Step 1: Plug the USB cable into the controller, then into the USB port in the PlayStation 4.
Step 2: When you turn on your PS4, your controller should automatically connect with your PlayStation, thanks to the USB cable. You’ll need to push the PlayStation button in the center of the controller to activate the controller. When you do that, the PS4 should take you to the login screen to choose a player account to go with that controller.
You’ll be able to tell the controller is working because the LED light bar on the top of the controller will turn blue (or another color, if it isn’t the first controller connected — red for player 2, green for player 3, and pink for player 4). That cable will also recharge your controller, with the light turning yellow when the controller is charging but not turned on.
DUALSHOCK 4 wireless controller vibration settings
If your DUALSHOCK 4 wireless controller is not vibrating as expected, the controller’s vibration function may be turned off. To turn it back on:
Go to Settings > Devices > Controllers > Enable Vibration.
If the controller still experiences issues, try resetting the controller.
DUALSHOCK 4 wireless controller audio settings
If you have headphones plugged into the 3.5mm headphone jack on the DUALSHOCK 4 wireless controller and you hear no audio, or the audio from the headphones is very faint, make sure the headphone plug is pushed all the way in. Unplug and then firmly reinsert the headphones.
To route all audio output to headphones:
Go to Settings > Devices > Audio Devices.
Select Output to Headphones > All Audio.
Highlight the Volume Control (Headphones) option and press Right on the D-pad to make sure the controller’s volume is turned up.
If Output to Headphones is greyed out, the headphones aren’t detected by the controller.
Troubleshooting your PS4 controller
Step 1: When you’re having trouble with a controller not working wirelessly with your PS4, the usual issue with pairing is that the controller’s battery is undercharged. If it sounds like the “unplug it and then plug it back in” solution to the problem, it is.
Make sure the controller is charging when you plug it in — when it’s not in use, you’ll see the light bar on the top turn yellow. If it’s not charging, you might have another issue, like a damaged controller port or a bad cable.
Step 2: If your pairing issues aren’t related to power or your cable, you might need to reset your PlayStation controller, and reset your PlayStation 4 to pair it again. If you’ve got a controller that still works, you can do that in the PS4’s Settings menu. It’s on the home screen on the far-right side, represented by a Suitcase icon.
Step 3: Navigate down to the Devices menu, and then choose Bluetooth Devices. In the Bluetooth settings, you’ll see all your controllers there, as well as any other Bluetooth devices that are compatible with your PlayStation, such as PS4 headsets and the greatly-improved PDP PS4 Bluetooth Remote. Choose the one you’re trying to reset (it can be difficult to tell, and you might need to turn on all your controllers if you have more than one), select it, and hit the X button.
Now hit the Options button on your controller to bring up a contextual menu, and select Forget Device. Doing so will cause your controller to unpair with your PlayStation 4.
Once that’s done, you should be able to plug the controller in with your USB adapter to pair it to the console again, as mentioned toward the start of this guide.
How to reset PS4 controller
If re-pairing the controller doesn’t work, the issue might be with the controller itself and not the PS4. In that case, you’ll need to reset the controller. You’ll need an unfolded paper clip (or something similarly thin and sturdy) with which to push a hidden button on your PS4 controller to reset it.
Turn off and unplug your PS4 console.
Locate the small reset button on the back of the controller near the L2 shoulder button.
Use a small tool to push the button inside the tiny hole. Hold the button down for roughly 3-5 seconds.
Connect the controller to the PS4 console using a USB cable and press the PS button.
If the light bar turns blue, the controller has paired.
If the controller is unresponsive or is able to connect to a different USB port or another system, please visit the PlayStation Repairs diagnostic tool to check if your hardware is eligible for an under-warranty repair.
How to connect PS4 controller to PS5
If you want to use a PS4 controller on PS5 we can help you set up a second controller for the newer PlayStation without having to buy a second pad. That said, while it is possible there are also some quite huge caveats so you might want to start saving in the long run. However, in the meantime, here’s everything you need to know about using a PS4 controller on PS5.
How a PS4 controller works with PS5
You can use a PS4 controller with PS5 easily, but the downside is you can only use your PS4 pad to play PS4 games on PS5. You cannot use your DualShock 4 to play any PS5 specific games and that’s because of all the PS5 specific features according to Sony: “We believe that PS5 games should take advantage of the new capabilities and features we’re bringing to the platform, including the features of DualSense wireless controller,” says Sony in a statement on the PlayStation blog. This also extends to “PlayStation officially licensed third-party gamepad controllers” too.
If you do sync up a PS4 pad with your PS5, if you try and play anything designated as a PS5 game it’ll flash up a little warning saying “PS5 games can’t be played using the DUALSHOCK 4”.
Thankfully, the benefits of using the PS5 controller are seriously worth it. You’ll just need to buy a second if you want to play co-op or simply have a spare to switch out.
How to pair your PS4 controller with PS5
For PS4 titles, syncing up a PS4 controller is really simple and easy. All you need to do is plug it into your PS5 via a charging cable, and pick which of the PS5 users you want to use it. Et voila, it’s that easy. You can then unplug the cable and continue playing PS4 games on PS5 with your trusty ol’ PS4 controller.
Can you use a PS5 controller with PS4?
Sadly, the simple answer is just no. A PS5 controller cannot be used with a PS4. Even if you try plugging it in, the PS4 will simply just not recognise it as an input device.
You can however use a PS5 pad on PC.
How to connect PS4 controller to Iphone and Ipad
It took a long time, but now the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV finally support PlayStation 4 DualShock 4 controllers and some models of Xbox One controllers. It’s super easy to set up these controllers, too, as you’ll see below.
Apple devices using the operating systems listed below or later support DUALSHOCK 4 wireless controller Bluetooth connections. Once connected, you can use your wireless controller to control compatible games and applications via Bluetooth.
- iOS 13
- iPadOS 13
- tvOS 13
How to pair a DualShock 4 with an iPhone or iPad
Before you can connect your wireless controller via Bluetooth, you will need to activate pairing mode:
- Press and hold the PS button and SHARE button on the wireless controller at the same time.
- The light bar on the back of the wireless controller will start flashing once pairing mode is active.
Connect DUALSHOCK 4 wireless controller via Bluetooth
- On your Apple device, go to the Bluetooth settings and turn Bluetooth ON.
- Select scan for new devices and then choose Wireless Controller.
You can now use your wireless controller to control compatible games and applications on your device.
How to disconnect your DualShock 4 from your iPhone or iPad
Once you’re done playing with the DualShock 4, here’s how to turn it off. If you want to use the controller, you simply need to hold down the PlayStation button for 10 seconds. On the iPhone, the most convenient method is to use the Control Center.
Open your Control Center on a Face ID-compatible iPhone by swiping diagonally from the upper right of your screen toward the lower left. On a Touch ID-compatible iPhone, swipe up from the bottom of the display.
Press and hold down on the blue Bluetooth icon.
In the menu that pops up, press and hold down the icon that says Bluetooth: On.
You should see “DUALSHOCK 4 Wireless Controller” in the options that pop up. Press it, and your controller will immediately disconnect.
And here’s the (slightly) less convenient method:
Open the Settings app and press Bluetooth.
Under My Devices, you’ll see “DUALSHOCK 4 Wireless Controller.” To the right, you’ll see a letter “i” within a blue circle. Press it.
In the menu that pops up, press Disconnect. The controller should immediately stop working.
When you want to use the controller again, just press the DualShock 4’s PlayStation button and it should immediately start working.
How to connect PS4 controller to Android
Mobile devices using Android 10 or later support DUALSHOCK 4 wireless controller Bluetooth connections. Once connected, you can use your wireless controller to control compatible games and applications via Bluetooth.
How to use your DualShock 4 on Android devices
1. On your Android device, ensure your Bluetooth is turned on by opening settings and heading to the Bluetooth menu.
2. Make sure the phone is in scan mode.
3. With the controller, simultaneously hold the PlayStation button and the Share button for a few seconds.
4. The controller’s light will begin blinking to let you know it’s in pair mode.
5. Back on the phone, look for a device named something like Wireless Controller in the list of nearby Bluetooth devices.
6. Tap that device to begin the pairing process.
7. The controller’s light should stop blinking and you should get confirmation on your phone that the connection was successful.
If everything is done correctly, you’ll be connected, and the controller can be used to navigate the Android UI, as well as provide extra functionality in some of the best Android games.
Sony updated the DualShock 4 controller with the launch of Android 12, adding new features for the controller when used on Android. These features include the touchpad, motion sensor, rumble, and even a battery indicator, all of which were previously unavailable.