How to Connect a PS4 Controller to a PC

The PlayStation 4 was once the talk of the town, but with the PS5 now on the market, you might be considering retiring your PS4. However, before you bid it farewell, why not keep it in your gaming lineup by connecting it to your PC? It’s a simple process that only requires a little time, a mini-USB cable, and a few easy steps.

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How to Connect the DualShock 4 with Steam

Steam, the popular PC gaming portal, offers native controller support for the DualShock 4. Using your DualShock 4 to play games on Steam is incredibly easy.

Step 1: Ensure that your Steam client is up-to-date.

Step 2: Connect your controller to your PC.

Step 3: You’re almost done! Although Steam supports the DS4 as a platform, not every PC game automatically works with the controller. For example, Dark Souls III doesn’t recognize the controller even though Steam does. If you encounter this issue or want to use your controller wirelessly without Steam, DS4Windows could be the solution for you.

How to Connect a DualShock 4 using DS4Windows

This method requires a bit of setup, but it’s the best way to connect your PC and DualShock 4 controllers without any major hassles. With DS4Windows, a third-party application, you can connect your DualShock 4 controller to your PC in wired or wireless mode (if your PC has Bluetooth). It’s the ideal option for playing games through platforms like Origin, Ubisoft Connect, GoG, and others.

DS4Windows tricks your system into thinking you’re using an Xbox 360 controller, while still giving you access to motion controls and the touchpad for many games.

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Step 1: Download the latest version of DS4Windows from the official website.

Step 2: Extract the downloaded file using an archive manager like WinRAR or 7Zip. You’ll find two files: DS4Windows and DS4Update.

Step 3: Double-click DS4Windows to run the installer, which will initiate the following dialogue box:

how to connect a ps4 controller pc sony wireless adapter
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Step 4: Follow the on-screen instructions, starting with the driver installation. The installation process is quick, so you won’t have much waiting time. If you’re using Windows 7 or older, click on “Install 360 Driver” because the driver is preloaded on Windows 8 and 10 machines.

Step 5: Once you’ve completed both installations, your controller is ready to be connected. Simply plug the DualShock 4 into your PC using a micro USB cable (the same type used for most Android phones). This will also charge the DualShock 4 battery. To use the DualShock 4 wirelessly, you’ll need to pair the controller with your PC using Bluetooth.

Step 6: Hold down the PS Button and Share Button on your DualShock 4 simultaneously for three seconds or until the light bar starts flashing.

Step 7: Open the Bluetooth settings on your PC.

Step 8: Connect to Wireless Controller.

Step 9: If prompted to input a pairing code, enter “0000”.

Step 10: Click “Finish” on the DS4Windows installer.

How to Customize Your Setup

The primary DS4Windows interface gives you the flexibility to adjust almost every aspect of the controller, including the LED light bar’s color. The default controller profile works well for most recent PC games, especially those designed for the Xbox controller.

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For games that don’t easily adapt to controllers, you can choose pre-made profiles or create your own, assigning any keystroke to any button on the DualShock. DS4Windows also supports touchpad sensitivity, macros, and game-specific profiles. Feel free to explore and find the settings that work best for you.


If you encounter issues while using your DualShock 4 controller, you have a couple of options.

Step 1: Under the settings tab, you can choose to Hide DS4 Controller. This is useful if your DualShock 4 is taking priority over other connected controllers, such as an Xbox 360 controller, or if you want to ensure that 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’s a button at the bottom of DS4Windows that allows you to connect the DualShock 4 exclusively, making it the primary input source for games.

Step 3: The other file involved in the DS4Windows installation, DS4Update, regularly checks for the most advanced version of DS4Windows and installs it automatically. Make sure to perform this update inspection regularly to ensure that you have the latest version of DualShock 4 working at its best on your PC.

How to Connect with a Sony Wireless Adapter

While we don’t highly recommend this method, we understand that Sony has stopped manufacturing the Sony Wireless Adapter. However, if you can find one, you can use it to connect your PS4 controller to your PC. Here are a few simple steps to guide you:

Step 1: Plug the Sony Wireless Adapter into your PC.

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Step 2: Connect the other end of the cord to your DualShock 4 controller. The two will pair automatically.

How to connect a PS4 controller to a PC
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Due to the discontinued nature of the adapter, this process isn’t the most optimal. However, it remains the easiest way to establish a connection between your PS4 controller and PC. Keep in mind that the 2-inch adapter requires some space and is an additional expense for convenient connectivity. If you can’t find this discontinued adapter, don’t worry! There are still many other options available to connect your controller.

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