How to Use a PS4 DualShock Controller on PC

How to Use a PS4 DualShock Controller on PC

We show you how to use your PS4 controller for gaming on a computer.

With more and more options available for those using gaming PCs, you might find yourself wanting to use your PS4 DualShock controller as a computer attachment, allowing your to play your games with a controller rather than a mouse and keyboard. We'll show you how to do that here.

How to Play PC Games With a PS4 Controller

Hooking up your controller to a PC isn't necessarily as simple as plugging it in, depending on what kind of games you want to play. There's also two ways to connect your controller to your computer, either using a USB port, or a wireless bluetooth connection. We'll go over them both below, as well as something you'll need first if you're playing games other than those on Steam: a driver for DS4Windows.

How to Download and Install DS4Windows

DS4Windows is a piece of software designed to make your computer and PS4 controller work together, basically by making your computer believe that it's an Xbox Controller instead. If you don't get this software, there's a good chance your computer simply won't recognise your controller and won't be able to work with it, so DS4 is pretty essential if you're not playing on Steam. Here's how you can get it:

  1. Go to this link and select the most recent build of the software in order to download it.
  2. After this, find out where it's been downloaded to within your PC's files (likely the "Downloads" folder) and right-click on it, then select "Extract All."
  3. Choose where you want the extracted files to be sent. There should be two: DS4Updater.exe, and DS4Windows.exe.
  4. Open DS4Windows.exe and go through the set-up menu that comes up. It shouldn't be very long, and is pretty good at helping you through the procedure.
  5. If you're running WIndows 8 or higher, you'll want to select "Install the DS4 Driver." If you're running Windows 7 or even older Operating Systems, you'll also want to click on "Install 360 Driver."
  6. You should be ready to attach your controller now! We'll explain how to do that just below.
Select the folder at the top to start downloading DS4Windows. | Joel Franey/USgamer

How to Connect Your PS4 Controller to Your PC With a USB Port

Once you have DS4 installed, you can attach your controller to your computer through a USB port. Plug the charging cable into your controller, or any suitable micro USB cable, then attach the other end into one of the PC's compatible USBs. You'll likely get a small alert from your computer telling you that it's detected your controller, whereupon it should work with any games you play that are controller-compatible!

How to Connect Your PS4 Controller to Your PC With Bluetooth

The alternative to using a cable is to play wirelessly. If your computer has Bluetooth capability, turn it on to open the Action Center. Then hold down the middle PS Button and the Share button on your controller for three seconds, until the light on top of the controller begins to flash. This means it's now searching on Bluetooth.

Back on your computer, select Bluetooth via the Action Center and then "Wireless Controller" (assuming your controller is broadcasting correctly). It's possible that at this point you'll be asked to enter a pair code. If so, simply enter: 0000. If all went well, at this point your controller and your PC should now be linked as though you'd used a cable.

Steam allows you to use a PS4 controller without downloading DS4Windows. | Joel Franey/USgamer

How to Play Steam Games With a PS4 Controller

Using a PS4 controller is easiest when playing games through Steam, as recent updates have made the service and all its controller-supported games compatible with the DualShock. This means you can connect with a USB cable or Bluetooth without bothering to download DS4Windows, and you should still be able to play those games just fine.

My Games are Showing Xbox Button Prompts When Using a PS4 Controller

Sometimes you'll attach your PS4 controller, but the games you play will still ask you to press buttons associated with the Xbox controller, telling you "press A to jump" instead of "press X to jump." Unfortunately there's not a lot than can be done about that if the developers simply haven't programmed in the button prompts, so it'll have to be a matter of working out the corroborating button on your own controller.

PS4 Controller Not Connecting to PC

If you went through the above process but found that your computer still isn't registered the PS4 controller, there's several things you can try.

  • Make sure the game you're trying to play is controller compatible, not all of them are.
  • Update all your drivers and games, whether it's your computer's operating system, Steam, the game itself or DS4Windows. You can update the last of these by clicking on the DS4Updater.exe file you extracted along with DS4Windows itself.
  • If you're using Bluetooth, make sure your controller is fully charged.

If you found this helpful, you can always check out our guide to deleting your PS4 account, or go here to see how to increase your PS4's download speed.

Joel Franey

Guides Writer

Joel loves books, games, comics and drinks that make a person feel like they just got kicked in the head by a mule. He has a Masters in writing from Sussex, which he somehow got by writing about Superman. He is absolutely NOT three children in a long coat, so please stop asking.

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