Can you use a PS4 controller on PCs? The answer is yes! Who would’ve thought that in the PC VS. Console debate, the surprising middle ground was to connect a PS4 controller to your PC. Knowing how to use PS4 Controllers on PCs is surprisingly easy, and this article will go into it in some detail.
How to Connect a PS4 Controller to Your PC
There are two major ways to connect a PS4 controller to a PC and both of them are fairly simple. DS4Windows lets you use your controller with any PC game, and will be perfect for emulators and such. The better way though, is to link it to Steam.
If your gaming platform of choice is Steam and you want to connect your DualShock controller, you can use a USB Cable – it’ll be picked up instantaneously through the plug-and-play model for any and all games on Steam with controller support. Outside of Steam, you can still use a USB cable with the help of a (free) software, or you can connect it through Bluetooth (a feature that most of the best gaming PCs include).
What to Get to Connect A PS4 Controller To a PC
We’re assuming you’d have most of what you need to make this happen – for example, a PC and the PS4 controller in question. We recommend the DualShock 4 (considered to be one of the best controllers for PCs) and a micro-USB cable that you’d need to connect it.
If the Bluetooth option seems better, you could purchase a Dualshock 4 wireless Bluetooth adapter as well, for as much as a little over 50 bucks. Of course, many PCs and pretty much all laptops have Bluetooth built into them. In case you were wondering, remember that motherboards with Bluetooth built into them usually function better than adapters.
How DS4Windows Works
DS4Windows “reads” your DualShock controller as if it were a Microsoft XBOX controller.
Almost all PC games can support an Xbox controller, but this also means you’d need to set up your settings before you can comfortably start gaming, including remapping buttons and adjusting sensitivity directly through the controller via the Profiles tab in the software.
You can click on the virtual controller on the screen that shows up and then click the button you want to switch, then on the second screen that pops up, click what you want your selected button from the first screen to act as. You can save these profiles and swap between them easily via the Controllers tab.
When DS4Windows is installed and ready to go, it’ll prompt you to Install the DS4 Driver (if on Windows 7 or older, the aforementioned Xbox drivers will be needed, for which most versions of DS4Windows have an option to Install an Xbox 360 Driver).
DS4Windows allows you to connect both via Bluetooth, or USB cable. A micro USB cable is needed, and all you’d need to do after installing DS4Windows is to plug it in. For Bluetooth, you can use an adapter such as the Tiny USB 2.0 Bluetooth Mini-Wireless Adapter which you can get for under 10 dollars. However, remember that the official Sony dongle will get you the most reliable performance.
Using Bluetooth to Connect PS4 Controller to PCs
From either going to Windows Settings via the Start Menu or by typing it in the Search box, search for Bluetooth until you see an option titled “Bluetooth and other device settings”. Here, turn Bluetooth on (which means the button should be switched to the right).
It’s important to make sure that the PS4 controller isn’t actively connected to your console. Either turn the console off or put it in rest mode. Press and hold two buttons on the controller, the PS, and share buttons, for at least three seconds. You should be able to see the light-bar at the top of the controller flashing. This puts the controller in Pairing Mode.
On the computer screen, click on the Add Bluetooth Device option. On the page that shows up (“Add a device”, select Bluetooth – you might also see a speech bubble icon in the Taskbar on the bottom right. This opens the Action Center, where you can click on Bluetooth in the same way) – and click Wireless Controller in the list of devices that show up. If prompted to enter a code, just type 0000 and voila, you’ll see that your controller is connected automatically.
How to Use Your PS4 Controller With Steam
We left this bit until the end since this is quite simple. Thankfully, it is now possible for you to directly link your PS4 controller to Steam, and it will work with most games.
Simply open Steam and head to the ‘Big-Picture’ mode by clicking the controller icon on the top right. From here, head to settings>Controller, and select your controller. Your controller should already be connected via the micro-usb cable or through Bluetooth (ideally the official Sony dongle).
Once you select a controller, you can then set up its name and a few basic settings. After that, it is ready to be used.
The good thing about this method is that you have complete control over your DS4. You can customize everything by heading to the settings and fiddling about!
From the two methods, the Steam one is obviously the better choice. It has a lot more functionality and is generally more reliable.
However, those who have non-steam games or want to use their controller for emulators can still use DS4Windows. While it may not be perfect, it is good enough for you to get by.