Sony launched the PlayStation 4 more than four years ago, and included a next-generation controller with the next-generation console. The DualShock 4 debuted with an impressive set of features, allowing it to quickly supplant the DualShock 3 among Sony loyalists. Though slightly heavier than its predecessor, the controller showcasedimproved analog sticks and triggers, not to mention the addition of a capacitive touchpad.
Perhaps one of its greatest features was Sony’s commitment to making the DualShock 4compatible with Windows-based PCs. Thatpromised compatibility provedelusive, however, and only recently surfaced. But now that Sony has officially released an external dongle for PCs — and third-party applications such asSteam and DS4Windows continue to improve support for the controller — there are more ways than ever to connect your DualShock 4 to your Windows PC. Here’s how.
The simplest, quickest way to get your PC and DualShock 4 controllers talking is with the official Sony Wireless Adapter($25). This device is fairly inexpensive, and plugs directlyinto a standard USB port on your PC. To get it working, simply:
Step 1:Plug the adapter into your PC.
Step 2:Turn on your DualShock 4 controller, and the two should automatically detect one another.
That’s it! This is definitely the easiest solution, even if it is somewhat inconvenient. Also, keep in mind that theadapter measuresabout 3 inches long, meaning it will stick out of your PC or laptop like a big flash drive. Luckily, you have other options.
Steam, the most popular PC gaming portal, offers native controller support for the DualShock 4. It’s incredibly easy to use your DualShock 4 to play games on Steam All you have to do is:
Step 1: Make sure your Steam client is updated.
Step 2:Just plug your controller into your PC.
Problem solved! Well, almost. Even if Steam is up-to-date, you may encountera few hiccups while setting up your controller. Steam supports the DS4 as a platform, but that doesn’t mean every PC game works with the controller automatically. If you fireupDark Souls III,you’ll see what we mean. Steam detects the controller, butDark Souls III doesn’t. If you find yourself in that boat, or just want to use your controller wirelessly without using Steam, you’re not out of luck. DS4Windows might be the solution for you.
This solution requires a bit of setup, but it’s still the best way to get your PC and DualShock 4controllers talking without any major headaches. You can connect your DualShock 4 controller to your PC usingDS4Windows, a third-party application, in either wired or wireless mode (if your PC has Bluetooth). Unless you buy the adapter, this is the best option if you want you plan to play games through Origin, UPlay, GoG, or other PC gaming portals.
Step 1: Download the latest version of DS4Windows, which can be found on theapplication’s official website.
Step 2:Extract it using an archive managersuch asWinRAR or 7Zip. You will then have two files, DS4Windows and DS4Update.
Step 3:Double-clickDS4Windows to run the installer, which will prompt the following dialogue box:
Step 5:Follow the on-screen instructions, beginning with driver installation. The installation is quick, so you won’t have to wait long. Click on Install 360 Driver if you’re running Windows 7 or older — the driver comes preloaded on Windows 8 and 10 machines.
Step 6:Once you’ve completed both installations, your controller is ready to be connected. Simply plug the DualShock 4 into yourPC using a Micro USB cable (the same kind used for most Android phones). This will also charge the DualShock 4 battery, but in order to use the DualShock 4 wirelessly, you’ll need to pair the controller withyourPC usingBluetooth.
Step 7:Hold the PS Button on yourDualShock 4 for three seconds, or until the light bar begins to flash.
Step 8:Open the Bluetooth settings on your PC.
Step 9:Connect to Wireless Controller.
Step 10:If prompted to input a pair code, enter “0000”.
Step 11:Click Finishon the DS4Windows installer.
The primary DS4Windows interface allows players to adjust almost every facet of the controller, right down to the color of the LED light bar. The default controller profile should work for most recent PC games, especially if they’re designed to work with the Xbox controller already.
For games that aren’t easily adaptable to controllers, users can select specific premade profiles or create their own, assigning more or less any keystroke to any of the DualShock’s buttons. Touchpad sensitivity, macros, and game-specific profiles are supported — just look around to see what works best for you.
If you runinto issues while usingyour DualShock 4 controller, youhave a couple of options.
Step 1:First, under the settings tab is an option to Hide DS4 Controller. This is handy if your DualShock 4 is taking priority over other connected controllers — such as anXbox 360 controller — or if you want to make sure your DS4Windows settings take precedence over Steam’s DualShock 4 configuration.
Step 2:Similarly, if the DualShock 4 isn’t working correctly while other input devices are connected, there is a button at the bottom of DS4Windows you can select to connect the DualShock 4 exclusively, making it the primary input source for games.
Step 3:The other file included in the DS4Windows installation, DS4Update, will check for and automatically download the latest version of DS4Windows. Be sure to run this every once in a while to keep the program current, which will help ensurethe DualShock 4 continues to work properly with yourPC.
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