How to Use the PlayStation 4s DualShock 4 Controller for PC Gaming
The sony dualshock 4 controller is actually a standard gamepad and you can connect it to any pc with a usb cable, standard bluetooth or sony’s official wireless usb adapter. It will also work in a variety of games as Steam now offers official support for Dualshock 4 controllers.
once you’ve connected a ps4 controller to a computer, you can also take advantage of ps4 remote play to stream games from your own ps4 console, or sony’s playstation now service to stream games from sony’s servers.
Related: Why You Should Get An Xbox Controller For PC Gaming
Arguably Microsoft Xbox controllers still work best for PC gaming as they are officially supported by Microsoft and many games are compatible with Xbox 360 and Xbox One controllers in particular. If you’re buying a controller for PC gaming, you should probably get an Xbox controller. but if you already have a playstation 4 controller, here’s how to set it up with your computer.
how to connect a ps4 controller to a pc
You can connect the controller to your computer with the included USB to Micro USB cable – the same one you use with your PS4 – and use it as a wired controller. “it will just work” without any additional configuration.
If you want to connect your controller wirelessly, Sony recommends that you purchase the official Dualshock 4 USB Wireless Adapter ($15).
To wirelessly connect your playstation 4 controller to a computer without any additional hardware, you will need to put it into bluetooth pairing mode. Many people report that the controller’s bluetooth connection can be a bit unstable on pc, depending on your bluetooth chipset and drivers, so you may want to use a wired connection or an official wireless adapter if you’re having trouble. /p>
Related: How to Pair a Bluetooth Device to Your Computer, Tablet, or Phone
Here’s how to pair the controller wirelessly via bluetooth, if you prefer: First, turn off the controller if it’s already on. If it’s powered on and paired with a PlayStation 4, press and hold the “Playstation” button, and then select the “Sign Out of PS4” or “Enter Sleep Mode” option from the menu that appears on your TV. the controller will shut down.
then put the controller into pairing mode. press the “playstation” button and the “share” button on the controller at the same time, and hold them down. the light bar on the controller will start flashing. this indicates that the controller is in bluetooth pairing mode.
lastly, connect the controller to your computer just like pairing any bluetooth device. In windows 10, you can open the settings app from the start menu, select “devices” and then select “bluetooth”. the dualshock 4 will show up here as a “wireless controller” if it’s in pairing mode. then you can select it and click “pair” to pair it with your computer.
In windows 7, 8, and 10, you can open the Devices and Printers panel in Control Panel. click “add a device” and the controller will appear as a nearby bluetooth device. it will also appear in the list of connected devices here as a “wireless controller” once it is connected.
how to emulate a steam controller with a ps4 controller
Valve now offers official support for the PlayStation 4 DualShock 4 controller. It will work similarly to a Steam controller, with support for the controller’s touchpad and other features. Games compatible with the Steam controller will work with the PS4 controller, and you can also create profiles to emulate keyboard and mouse events with the PS4 controller in various games that do not offer official controller support. in other words, it works like the steam controller.
To enable this feature, open the big picture mode in steam by clicking the controller-shaped “big picture mode” icon in the upper right corner of the steam window.
go to settings > controller settings in big picture mode and enable the “ps4 settings support” option.
Related: how to remap xbox, playstation and other controller buttons on steam
reconnect connected ps4 controllers and they will appear here. you can select and configure them the same way you would configure a steam controller.
for example, you can select a game in big picture mode and select manage game > controller settings to configure how your ps4 controller behaves in-game. this screen offers many options for remapping what the controller buttons do in a game.
how to emulate an xbox controller with a ps4 controller
Related: Why You Should Get An Xbox Controller For PC Gaming
xbox 360 controllers (and xbox one controllers, now that microsoft has finally released the necessary drivers) are usually the best for pc gaming. Many PC games are specifically designed to work with Xbox controllers. Many games also require an “xinput” input, which is provided by xbox controllers, but other types of controllers are not.
If you are using a ps4 controller with an emulator to play older games, you can easily configure the emulator to accept controller button presses. If you’re using it with a pc game, you may need to open the pc game’s control settings and set the game to respond to controller input.
but for games that expect an xbox controller, you may need to emulate xinput. This will convert the ps4 controller input to the equivalent xbox button presses, and games will “just work” with the dualshock 4 just like they would with an xbox controller. they’ll just think you’re just using an xbox controller.
sony has not released any official driver for playstation 4 controller on a computer so there is no official way to do it. There are tools to emulate xinput with a ps4, but they are unofficial third party tools developed by the community.
we recommend the free input mapper program. This tool will also usefully display your controller’s battery level, which is something you won’t normally be able to see in windows.
download and install the input mapper on your pc. open it and click the controller-shaped “profiles” icon on the left side of the input mapper window, and then click “new profile”. The “Emulate Virtual Controller” option will be on by default, and your PS4 controller should now work as an Xbox controller. you shouldn’t have to change any other settings.
open a game expecting an xbox controller and it should work. Any in-game prompts will still tell you to use the xbox y, b, a, and x buttons instead of the triangle, circle, square, and x buttons, but those buttons will function like the xbox equivalents.
xinput emulation only works when inputmapper is open, so you’ll need to leave this program open when you play. however, if you click the “settings” icon on the left side of the program, it may tell you to “start with windows” and “start minimized”. then it will start when you start your pc and run in the background, so it’s always ready to go.
inputmapper also does other useful things, like enabling the “touchpad as mouse” feature, which allows you to use the driver’s touchpad as a mouse in windows. you can even customize the controller’s lightbar color and set up macros.
You will need to pair the controller with your playstation 4 before you can use it with your console again. To do so, simply plug the controller back into your PS4 with your USB cable. it will automatically pair with your console. In order for it to work with your pc afterwards, you will need to pair it with your pc again from the bluetooth window. It’s a bit of a hassle, but it’s worth it to easily use your gamepad on multiple devices.
image credit: farley santos on flickr, danny willyrex on wikipedia