How to use the PlayStation 4 DualShock controller on a Windows PC

PlayStation 4

Many PC gamers will probably not entertain the idea of using a controller to play PC games. But arguably, there are a lot of games that works far better using a controller.

If you’re going to opt for a controller, then the PlayStation 4 Dualshock 4 is a better choice. The button layout has all the buttons that most PC games require. Also, you can even use the trackpad as a mouse input.

The only disadvantage is that the controller’s audio jack isn’t currently supported. This means you’ll have to plug your headphones directly into your PC if you want to use them.

You don’t even need a PlayStation 4 to get the DualShock 4 experience. What you just need is the controller, a Windows PC and a USB cable. There used to be a need to use specialist software to use the DualShock 4 on a PC. But Sony has now made it pretty easy to connect the DualShock 4 to your PC and start making use of it.

The PS4 controller can also work wirelessly with your PC via Bluetooth.

Now, here are the steps to use the PlayStation 4 DualShock controller on a Windows PC.

Download DS4Windows

PlayStation 4


Using the PS4 DualShock 4 controller on your PC is pretty simple, but it’s not plug-and-play. You’ll need to install a piece of software to get it running on your PC.

This software is called DS4Windows, and it makes connecting the PlayStation 4 controller to your PC pretty simple. It pretty much fools your PC into thinking the connected DualShock 4 is an Xbox 360 controller, which Windows supports.

To download it from the DS4Windows website, click the Download Now button.


Install DS4Windows

PlayStation 4

Look for the downloaded file in your Downloads folder, right-click and select ‘Extract All…’

A window will display asking you where you want to extract the files to. You can either choose the folder to which you downloaded the zip file, or choose another one.

After the files have been extracted the folder will open, and you’ll see two files. The first, DS4Updater.exe, is a program that keeps the DS4Windows program updated with the latest drivers. So, you may have to run this file if you encounter problems later.

Then, double-click the second file, DS4Windows.exe, to start the setup procedure that will get the PlayStation 4 Dualshock Controller working on your PC.

Set up DS4Windows

PlayStation 4 DualShock

If you launch DS4Windows for the first time, you’ll be asked where you want your settings and profiles saved to. I recommend using the default choice ‘Appdata’.

Now, a new window opens. Click on ‘Install the DS4 Driver’ to allow you use the PS4 DualShock controller in Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10.

In a case where you have Windows 7 or older, you’ll have to click on ‘Install 360 Driver’ as well.

Connect the PS4 controller to your PC via USB

Hdmi cable

Now you can be able to connect your PS4 DualShock 4 controller to your PC in two ways. Either through a USB cable or through Bluetooth.

To connect the PlayStation 4 DualShock controller to your PC via a USB cable, you need a regular micro USB cable. The same type that comes with most modern smartphones.

After you’ve plugged the cable into both the DualShock controller and your PC, Windows will detect it. Then you’ll be ready to play your PC games using the PS4 controller.

Connect the PS4 controller to your PC via Bluetooth

PlayStation 4

One of the great things about using the PS4 DualShock 4 controller on your PC is that it can be used wirelessly. Which gives you better flexibility when gaming.

The PlayStation 4 DualShock 4 controller uses Bluetooth. So you’ll need to ensure your PC or laptop has a Bluetooth receiver inbuilt. If it doesn’t, you can buy an external Bluetooth USB dongle.

To connect the PS4 controller through Bluetooth, press and hold the central PS Button + the Share button for three seconds. Until the lightbar at the top of the controller starts to flash.

Next, open the Bluetooth settings on your PC. In Windows 10, click the Bluetooth icon in the Taskbar at the bottom-right corner of your screen. Click on ‘Bluetooth’ and then select ‘Wireless Controller’.

You may be required to enter a pairing code. If so, type in 0000. The PlayStation 4 DualShock controller will then be connected wirelessly to your PC.

Then you’ll be ready to play your PC games using the PS4 controller.

I hope you’ve learnt a few from this post. If there’s any area that needs clarification, just drop it in the comment section and I’ll be ready to oblige.

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