When it comes to finding the perfect controller to use for playing games on PC, you could do a whole lot worse than the PS4’s DualShock 4 controller. It works so well that many Steam and Epic Store players consider it to be their preferred gamepad. This is because, following years of constant iteration since the original PlayStation One’s release, Sony has perfected a design that feels comfortable to hold, is well-made and will withstand a daily battering.
So, if you’re an avid PC player but can’t stand the traditional mouse and keyboard setup, we’ve put together this little guide to help get you gaming on PC using a PS4 controller in no time. It’s a little more involved than, say, the plug-and-play ease found with the Xbox One controller, but the ends will very much justify the means. Here’s how to connect your PS4 DualShock 4 controller to PC!
Steam is the name of Valve’s online storefront and game launcher which plays host to most blockbuster games releasing today. It’s largely gone unchallenged in the PC space up until very recently, meaning that if you play on PC this is likely the go-to place you visit to purchase games. Lucky for you, Steam makes it incredibly easy to use the DualShock 4 to play games on PC.
To use a DualShock 4 controller to play Steam games with a USB cable, all you need to do is load up Steam and plug in your DualShock 4 into an available USB port on your computer.
Steam should recognise the controller, your PS4 controller's light should come on, and you'll be set. To test it's working, load up Steam Big Picture Mode to navigate the Steam interface with your controller.
If you've got a Bluetooth dongle, or a Bluetooth compatible PC or Laptop, you can forgo using a cable entirely. Though the set up is a little more complex, it's still easy to do once you know how.
If your Bluetooth is enabled, open the Bluetooth & Other Devices Settings menu by searching 'Bluetooth' in the Windows search bar, or by double-clicking the Bluetooth icon in the taskbar.
Once open, click the plus button next to 'Add Bluetooth or other device'.
Then, on your PS4 controller, press and hold the share button and middle PlayStation button at the same time until the controller light starts flashing.
Next, click 'Bluetooth' on the 'Add a device' window.
Finally, wait a few seconds for a 'Wireless Controller' to appear. Click that once to pair your PS4 controller to your PC.
Sometimes it will take a few tries before the wireless controller appears on the menu. If your controller stops flashing and it still hasn't appeared, close the window and repeat the process until you see it. You may need to restart your PC if you still can't see it.
Confirm your PS4 controller has paired, by checking it says 'Connected' underneath 'Wireless Controller'.
Open Big Picture Mode in Steam and navigate using your controller. If you can move through the menus all okay, then you're good to go.
To achieve PS4 controller functionality on PC you’ll need the help of a piece of online software. That software is called DS4Windows, and as the name suggests it has been specifically developed for this exact purpose. It works by tricking your PC into thinking that the Dualshock 4 being connected is actually an Xbox 360 controller, which as a Microsoft product is already compatible. To download it head to the DS4Windows GitHub website.
Download 'DS4Windows_3.0.18_x64.zip'. Extract it and click on 'DS4Windows.exe'. From here it’ll begin the set-up process until a pop-up menu will appear, asking you to choose where you want your settings and profiles to be saved – all standard stuff. Following this, click the 'Install the DS4 Driver' option and the software will get to work making any plugged-in PS4 controller compatible with Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10. If you’re still running Windows 7 then you’ll need to also click ‘Install 360 Driver’.
It’s what we’ve all been waiting for: Connect your PS4 DualShock 4 controller to your PC or laptop. You can do this using any USB-Micro USB cable or connect the gamepad wirelessly via Bluetooth. Not all PCs and Laptops will have a Bluetooth receiver built-in, but it’s relatively easy to find one that will plug into your set-up. Check the guide above to find out how to connect your PS4 controller via Bluetooth.
Once you run the program and your controller is connected, you should see it listed in the DS4Windows application. Next, try and play your game. Unfortunately, not all games will support this method, and others may require some more setting up. However, most modern games that support controllers should work without much issue.
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