How to use your PS4 controller with your PC

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PS4 players who fancy a change of platform but don't want to relinquish their DualShock 4 in favour of a keyboard and mouse will be happy to know that they can take their controller with them to use on PC. While it might not be as smooth a process as hooking up an Xbox One controller to your gaming rig, it's still doable, letting you enjoy your favourite PC games without scrambling to learn a new control scheme. There are a couple of options to get your PS4 controller up and running on your PC, with Steam adding native support, and Sony releasing an official Bluetooth dongle for a wireless connection.

If you're in the market for a new DualShock 4 controller or need an extra one or two for bit of couch co-op, be sure to check out our guide to the best deals on PS4 controllers, as well as essential PS4 accessories at the best prices. If the Xbox One is your console of choice, you can read more about how to use an Xbox One controller with PC, and peruse the best deals on Xbox One controllers right here. 

Wireless Adaptor

For a plug-and-play solution, grabbing yourself the official Sony Wireless Adaptor is the best way forward. Simply plug the adaptor into a USB port in your PC and turn on your DualShock 4 controller by pressing the home button. The two devices will detect one another after a few seconds and you’ll be good to go.  

 Steam  

Since Steam added native DualShock 4 support, this method is another nice and easy solution for playing the contents of your Steam library with your PS4 controller without a whole lot of faff. Boot up Steam, make sure it’s up to date, plug your PS4 controller into your PC and you’re away. You’ll be able to use the controller in Big Picture Mode, and games in your library will display DualShock 4 inputs. 

If you have any issues with specific titles using this solution, you should try out method number three which should resolve any problems.

DS4Windows

This solution requires a third-party software in order to work, so head on over to the DS4Windows site and make sure you have the most up-to-date version. Extract both files - DS4Windows and DS4Update - and launch DS4Windows to run the installer. You’ll be presented with a pop-up window that will give you instructions on how to install the driver.

Now, you’ll need to connect your Dualshock 4 controller via micro USB or a Bluetooth dongle - the latter will require pairing. As soon as it’s plugged into your PC, the controller will be ready  to use. Press and hold the home button to turn it on and away you go. 

Using DS4Windows lets you customise your Dualshock 4 experience on PC to a significant degree. You can use the touchpad as a mouse, set the lightbar to change to reflect battery power , or turn it off completely, and even set and switch between profiles that you can configure for your controller. If you prefer to fine tune your peripherals, DS4Windows is for you. If you want to plug and play, the official wireless dongle is the best way to connect your PS4 controller to your PC.

Troubleshooting

If you run into issues with DS4Windows, your first port of call should be to access the settings tab and check the Hide DS4 box. This is necessary when a game already supports the controller, making DS4Windows superfluous. Which is when you might run into problems. 

The second file you extracted from the DS4Windows download will also come in handy if you run into issues. DS4Update is responsible for keeping DS4Windows up to date, so be sure to run it at intervals to make sure you have the latest version, and if you experience any hiccups.