Gaming

5 Tips for Maximizing Battery Life in Your PlayStation 4 Controller

The PlayStation 4 is an impressive console featuring an extensive library of exclusive games. As avid players, we’ve spent a considerable amount of time with its wireless controller, the DualShock 4. While the controller boasts excellent functionality with its large face buttons, responsive directional pad, and snappy triggers, it falls short in terms of battery life. Typically, the DualShock 4 lasts between four to eight hours per charge, with the lower end being more common. This pales in comparison to the Xbox One or Nintendo Switch Pro controllers.

Why does the DualShock 4 battery drain so quickly? The answer is simple – it comes equipped with a 1000mAh battery, which is significantly smaller than the standard AA batteries found in the Xbox One gamepad. Unless you want to resort to a wired connection, you’ll need to take some measures to extend your PlayStation 4 controller’s battery life. Fortunately, we have a few tricks up our sleeves to ensure you never have to wait to play again.

Change Your Controller’s Auto Shutoff Time

PlayStation 4 PS4 20th Anniversary controller top
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Occasionally, we use our PlayStation 4 for activities other than gaming. When streaming movies on Netflix or watching streams on Twitch, you don’t need to keep your DualShock 4 powered on throughout. To conserve your controller’s battery life, make sure it shuts off as quickly as possible when not in use.

To adjust the time delay before your DualShock 4 automatically powers down, go to the PlayStation 4’s Settings menu and select Power Save Settings. In this menu, you’ll find options for turning off the console itself, as well as rest mode. Below that, you’ll find what you’re looking for – Set Time Until Controllers Turn Off. Change this setting to the lowest option, 10 minutes, to minimize battery drain during breaks and passive activities.

You can also access these settings from the system’s quick menu by holding the PlayStation button in the center of your controller. This allows for easy adjustment of the delay without having to exit your current game or application.

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Dim Your Controller’s Light Bar

5 Tips for Maximizing Battery Life in Your PlayStation 4 Controller
Image used with permission by copyright holder

One of the unique features of the DualShock 4 is its front-facing “light bar.” This bar changes colors in certain games and enables the PlayStation camera to track the controller for player registration and PlayStation VR games. While it’s impossible to turn off the light completely, you can significantly dim it from the quick menu. Simply select Sound/Devices and Brightness of DualShock 4 Light Bar, and you’ll find three different settings – bright, medium, and dim. By default, the light is set to bright, but you can change it to dim.

We haven’t encountered any issues with the camera recognizing the dim light, so there’s no reason not to save some extra battery power and extend your controller’s runtime.

Reduce Speaker Volume and Disable Vibration

5 Tips for Maximizing Battery Life in Your PlayStation 4 Controller
Image used with permission by copyright holder

In addition to the audio from your television or sound system, the DualShock 4 itself features a speaker that certain games utilize for gameplay cues, sound effects, and immersive experiences. For example, in games like Destiny 2, the controller produces noise during combat to provide timely alerts that surpass the standard game audio.

However, the speaker is much louder than necessary. To reduce the volume, simply navigate to the quick menu, select Devices (similar to when adjusting the light bar), and locate the Volume Control (Speaker for Controller) option. From there, you can lower the volume to a quieter level, conserving battery power in the process.

If you want to disable all controller feedback, go to the Devices menu in your PlayStation 4 Settings, followed by the Controllers option. Here, you can turn off vibration entirely. Keep in mind that this step is quite extreme since most games use vibration as a gameplay cue. However, if your controller’s battery struggles to hold a charge, this measure may help extend its longevity.

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Keep a Spare Controller Ready

5 Tips for Maximizing Battery Life in Your PlayStation 4 Controller
Image used with permission by copyright holder

There will come a time when you’re deeply immersed in an online shooter or role-playing game, and your controller’s battery will start to dwindle. While you could take a break to allow it to charge or connect it to your console with a Micro USB cable, neither option is ideal. Instead, it’s wise to have an extra controller on standby.

If you’ve purchased a second controller for your PlayStation 4, connect it to your console using the included cable and let it charge while you continue using your other controller. If you prefer to keep your console in rest mode instead of turning it off completely, return to the Power Save Settings menu mentioned earlier and select Set Features Available in Rest Mode. In this menu, you’ll find an option to supply power to the USB ports, allowing the controller to charge continuously.

If keeping your PS4 on standby all the time doesn’t suit your preferences, consider investing in a charging cradle from a reputable third-party brand. These cradles provide a convenient place to store and charge extra controllers. For instance, the PowerA charging cradle offers the ability to charge two controllers simultaneously without being tethered to your PS4. It comes at a price between $25 and $30, offering a practical solution to keep your controllers ready for action.

When a controller is charging, the top indicator light will blink orange. Once the light completely shuts off, you’ll know that the charge has completed. To ensure you always have a fully charged DualShock 4 controller available, it’s a good idea to keep one controller on the charging cradle at all times.

When in Doubt, Charge it Fully

Even if your DualShock controller still displays a few bars on the indicator, it’s always a good idea to fully charge it when not in use. You might have heard concerns about “battery memory” and overcharging devices, but rest assured, these worries are a thing of the past.

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The lithium-ion batteries found in modern devices typically don’t suffer from battery memory limitations. Therefore, you don’t need to be concerned about draining or overcharging your controller. The DualShock 4 and similar controllers utilize this type of battery, allowing you to charge them anytime, for any duration, without jeopardizing their lifespan.

With the advanced technology available today, it’s worthwhile to test your controller’s full battery capacity on occasion. Additionally, you can calibrate the battery life indicator to get an accurate reading. To do this, it’s recommended to fully drain the battery once every 30 charges. This may seem counterintuitive, but occasionally depleting the battery helps prevent issues like “digital memory” in the long run.

Digital memory refers to the device providing false battery capacity reports, which can cause confusion when trying to gauge if or when your controller requires charging after prolonged use.

In Conclusion

By implementing these tips and tricks, you can maximize the battery life of your PlayStation 4 controller. With longer play sessions and less frequent charging breaks, you can fully immerse yourself in the fantastic gaming experiences offered by the PlayStation 4. Remember to keep a spare controller ready to go, adjust the controller’s settings, and charge it fully when not in use. Enjoy gaming to the fullest!

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