How to use a PS4 controller on PS5

PS4 controller
(Image credit: Sony)

Can you use a PS4 controller on PS5? Well, yes, technically, though not to any great degree and with a whole load of frustrating limitations - you'll definitely want a PS5 DualSense controller instead if you can get one, as the PS4 controller only works with very specific games in mind - and you can probably guess which ones. Still, if you've got a PS4 controller lying around, it can still work for you in the right circumstances. With that in mind, here's everything you need to know how to use a PS4 controller on PS5 and what you can do with it. 

How to use your PS4 controller with PS5

(Image: © Sony)

To use a PS4 controller on a PS5 you just need to pair and sync it with your console - plug it into your PS5 via a charging cable and press the home button to activate it. It's that easy, you can then unplug the cable and continue using it wirelessly. However, as we'll explain in more detail below, you can can only play PS4 games on PS5 with a PS4 controller.

You'll also find that most PS4 headsets work on Sony's new console, but if you fancy getting the freshest audio experience, then we'd check out the latest picks on our best PS5 headset guide.

What can you play with a PS4 controller on PS5

PS4 controller

(Image credit: Sony)

While you can use a PS4 controller on PS5, you can only play PS4 games on PS5 - you can't use a DualShock 4 to play PS5 games. 

That's because of all the PS5 specific features according to Sony: “We believe that PS5 games should take advantage of the new capabilities and features we’re bringing to the platform, including the features of DualSense wireless controller,” says Sony in a statement on the PlayStation blog. This also extends to "PlayStation officially licensed third-party gamepad controllers" too.  

If you do sync up a PS4 pad with your PS5 and try and play a PS5 game you'll get the a warning saying "PS5 games can't be played using the DUALSHOCK 4". 

Thankfully, the benefits of using the PS5 controller are seriously worth it. You'll just need to buy a second if you want to play co-op or simply have a spare to switch out.

Can you use a PS5 controller with PS4?


(Image credit: Sony PlayStation)

Sadly, the simple answer is just no. A PS5 controller cannot be used with a PS4. Even if you try plugging it in, the PS4 will simply just not recognise it as an input device. 

You can however use a PS5 pad on PC.

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Sam Loveridge
Global Editor-in-Chief, GamesRadar+

Sam Loveridge is the Global Editor-in-Chief of GamesRadar, and joined the team in August 2017. Sam came to GamesRadar after working at TrustedReviews, Digital Spy, and Fandom, following the completion of an MA in Journalism. In her time, she's also had appearances on The Guardian, BBC, and more. Her experience has seen her cover console and PC games, along with gaming hardware, for a decade, and for GamesRadar, she's in charge of the site's overall direction, managing the team, and making sure it's the best it can be. Her gaming passions lie with weird simulation games, big open-world RPGs, and beautifully crafted indies. She plays across all platforms, and specializes in titles like Pokemon, Assassin's Creed, The Sims, and more. Basically, she loves all games that aren't sports or fighting titles! In her spare time, Sam likes to live like Stardew Valley by cooking and baking, growing vegetables, and enjoying life in the countryside.