How to Hook up a DualShock 4 Controller for a PS4 to a PC

DualShock 4 is a terrific gamepad, and it’s possible to get it to work with a PC with a little fiddling.

Although the DualShock 4 is a fantastic controller, it can only be used with a PlayStation 4. That rules out using it with personal computer games. Don’t be alarmed; with a little work, you can make almost any accessory compatible with a PC. Connect these steps to link your DualShock 4 to your controller.

A guide on connecting your DualSense to a PC is available if you’re interested in using the most cutting-edge PlayStation controller. Here’s some good news: it’s essentially the same process as with the DualShock 4. Unfortunately, the DualSense’s unique capabilities, such as adjustable triggers and nuanced haptic feedback, are inconsistent on PC.

The Nature of the Link

You can connect up your DualShock 4 in one of two ways. A wired or wifi connection can be used. However, setting either up is different than on a PlayStation 4.

Wire-Based Approach

  1. Using a USB-to-micro-USB cable, connect your controller to a computer.
  2. Connecting the controller is finished at this point. We’ll talk a bit later about how to get it to work.

Bluetooth Technique

After powering off the DualShock 4 (shown by the light bar going dark), press and hold the PlayStation and Share buttons for three seconds or until the light bar begins double flashing.

  1. You may launch your computer’s Bluetooth settings from the system tray.
  2. To connect to a Bluetooth or other device, click the Option.
  3. To activate Bluetooth, click it.
  4. When prompted, choose the DualShock 4 controller.
  5. Establishing a Bluetooth Connection (Credit: PCMag)

Work of the Gamepad

The DualShock 4’s connecting process with your controller means plugging it in is just the start. The controller from Xbox 360 and Xbox One controllers is processed through Microsoft’s XInput interface, which is used by most modern Windows games. Since the DualShock 4 does not transmit XInput commands, you will need a wrapper in order to convert its inputs into something your computer can work with. The DualShock 4 Windows (DS4Windows) and Steam’s corresponding controller compatibility options are viable alternatives.

DS4Windows, the All-Inclusive Solution

Freeware application DS4Windows(Opens in a new window) can fool your computer into thinking that an Xbox 360 controller is connected rather than a DualShock 4. Just do what I say, and you should be good to go.

  1. Get the zipped DS4Windows directory from the link above (Opens in a new window) and extract it there.
  2. Launch DS4Windows.exe from within the archive’s unzipped directory.
  3. To ensure that DS4Windows operates correctly, click “Yes” when requested to install the.NET runtime and follow the on-screen instructions.
  4. To install the ViGEmBus driver, click that Option.
  5. To install a driver, stick to the on-screen prompts. To use the DualShock 4, DS4Windows requires a generic gamepad driver, which this system installs.
  6. A HidHide driver installation window will pop up; click “Install.”
  7. Do what the driver installer instructs. This installs a driver that prevents Windows from seeing the DirectInput connection for the DualShock 4, instead of reading the XInput inputs routed through DS4Windows. That way, you won’t make the “double gamepad” mistake.
  8. A “Finished” button will click.
  9. Connect your DualShock 4 to your computer.
  10. The controller needs to be accessible via the menu’s Controllers submenu. Wait to start the car; we need to ensure we have all the drivers we need. You can begin playing immediately when Windows notifies you that it has connected a new Xbox 360 controller.

Can DualShock 4 Windows Perform Any Other Tasks?

The DualShock 4 can be used as a mouse or an Xbox 360 controller by default. However, DS4Windows provides additional customization options. To start, click on the Profiles menu and double-click the Default profile (or create your new profile). In doing so, several options surrounding a silhouette of a DualShock 4 will display. In this menu, you can change the default button ways, set up custom button assignments for the touchpad and motion controls, modify the rumbling settings, and modify the dead zones and movement curves for the analog sticks. You can customize the color of the light bar.

With DS4Windows, you may customize your DS 4’s performance on your PC in a wide variety of options. Most games will work as expected once you’ve configured the software for the first time, so you shouldn’t have to use these options.

Steam, the (perhaps) Easier Option

To work your favorite Steam games with the DS4, you must enable controller support in the game’s settings.

  1. Access Steam’s Preferences menu (under Steam on the taskbar).
  2. Go to the menu labeled “Controller.”
  3. Do this by selecting “Controller Preferences” from the menu.
  4. To enable PlayStation configuration support, check the corresponding box.
  5. Connect your PC to your DS 4 console.

Steam PS3 Compatibility DualShock 4

Steam’s support for the DualShock 4 is spotty, and this method will only work with games available through Steam. That being the case, you could have more luck with DS4Windows.

However, the compatibility mode on a Steam Deck may be your only option short of major software modifications (and installing Windows on the system). A DS4 docked to the Steam Deck would be the best controller for connecting Spider-Man Remastered on that system.

Start an Appropriate Controller First DualShock 4

Check out our detailed guide on selecting the best PC controller. By connecting our dedicated guides, you may check your Nintendo Switch or Xbox One controller on your PC.

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