Even the most hardened PC enthusiast has to admit that games just work better with a console controller. So, if you’re looking for ways to connect a PS4 controller to a PC for a racing game or you’re just more comfortable with it over the traditional keyboard and mouse combo in general, we have everything you need to know right here.
Our four methods below are going to cover detailed steps on:
- How to set up a PS4 controller in Steam
- How to connect a PS4 controller to PC
- How to pair a PS4 Controller to PC (Wired)
- How to hook up a PS4 Controller on PC (Bluetooth)
Aside from the fact that comfort plays a vital role when it comes to the quality gaming experience, some game genres just work better when paired with a console controller like racing games and fighting games.
So, without further ado, let’s head into the steps.
Note: looking for instructions on connecting your PS3 controller to your PC, then read our guide here.
Don’t want to read our step by step guide? Watch our video guide instead!
On November 1, 2016, in a Steam Client Beta patch, Valve announced the addition of Steam Configurator support for the PS4’s DualShock 4 Controller (beta) on PC. This went live a little over a month later on December 14 of the same year, as confirmed by a new Steam Client Update announcement.
To use your PS4 DualShock 4 controller in Steam, you need to have the following:
- A PS4 Dual Shock 4 controller
- Micro USB charging cable (like what it comes with)
- The latest Steam version
It’s important to emphasize that this only lets you use your controller on Steam and inside of titles in your Steam library (although controller support might vary). If you want to use your controller outside of Steam titles, then you will need to skip down to our “How To Get A PS4 Controller To Work On PC” section.
IMPORTANT: Don’t plug your PS4 controller to your computer just yet.
Open steam and log in using your Steam credentials.
This should be fairly self-explanatory, but on the off chance you're completely new to Steam, checkout our handy guide here which goes through everything you need to know about the platform.
Check that Steam is updated
Check that Steam is updated by heading over to Steam > Check for Steam Client Updates. By default, Steam should automatically update to the latest version after logging in, but it pays to make sure you have the latest version. Check out our more in-depth guide on how to do this here.
Enter Big Picture Mode
Click on the square icon beside your Steam username as shown in the image to enter Big Picture mode.
Click The Gear Icon
Click on the gear icon located at the top-right corner in the Big Picture mode.
Click Controller Settings
Click Controller Settings under the Controller sub-section.
Tick the PlayStation Configuration Support. You can choose to tick the Xbox Configuration Support option if you have an Xbox controller or the Generic Gamepad Configuration Support option if you have a universal controller.
Plug your PS4 controller into your computer using your Micro USB cable that came with the consoles. You should hear a “bloop” sound telling you the device is detected. Alternatively, your PS4 controller should rumble if the rumble option is turned on. You should also see that your controller has been detected, as shown in the image below:
Note: If the PS4 system your controller is synced to is still plugged up, then your controller might try to connect to it if you press the PS button.
If your controller is detected, you’re all set and good to go! You can play either wirelessly or wired, depending on your preference. Of course, if you play wirelessly, don’t forget to keep an eye on your battery levels.
Optional Step - Personalizing Your Controller In Steam
Aside from merely connecting your PS4 controller, you can also personalize your experience.
While still in Steam’s Big Picture Mode, while under Controller Settings click the “PREFERENCES” button that’s located on the right after clicking on the newly detected controller to customize your controller. Things you can do here include:
- Naming your controller
- Turning rumble on or off
- Adjust the controller light color
Getting your PS4 controller to work directly on your PC is slightly more difficult than getting it to work on Steam.
You will need to install a software called DS4Windows and make minor adjustments to trick your Windows PC into thinking that you’re connecting an Xbox 360 controller.
What you’ll need:
- DualShock 4 controller
- Micro USB cable
- DS4Windows application – download the zip file here.
- Bluetooth USB dongle (optional; for wireless)
Note: Make sure you download and install a file archiver utility for Windows software like WinRAR if you don’t have one yet. You’ll need this to extract the DS4Windows zip file.
Extract the downloaded DS4Windows zip file.
Extract the downloaded DS4Windows zip file.
Open DS4Windows.exe. If this is your first time, you will be asked where to save the profiles and settings. You can choose either Program Folder or Appdata, but I suggest going with the Program Folder since that’s where these sorts of things usually go; just for consistency.
Install the DS4 Driver
Click on “Step 1: Install the DS4 Driver” button to install the needed PS4 drivers on your Windows 8.1 OS and later computer.
Click on “Step 2: If on Windows 7 or below, Install 360 Driver” button only if you have a Windows 7 or older OS since this OS doesn’t come with the 360 drivers needed to run the DS4 drivers correctly by default. Otherwise, skip it and proceed to the next step below.
Click Finish once the installation is complete and connect your PS4 controller to your PC via a micro USB cable.
The Controllers tab on the DS4Windows should show an Xbox 360 controller. Otherwise, click the Stop button located at the lower right-hand corner, close the DS4Windows application, and open the DS4Windows application again.
Alternatively, you can also unplug the controller and plug it back in. If all else fails, try using a different cable.
If you want to sync your PS4 controller from here on out just open the DS4Windows application and it should identify your controller as long as it is plugged in.
If you want to personalize your DS4 controller, check the How to Personalize Your Controller with DS4Windows Application below at the end of the How to Setup PS4 Controller on PC (Bluetooth) section.
Add a Bluetooth Device
Open the DS4Windows application.
Right-click on Bluetooth Devices from the system tray and click on Add a Bluetooth Device. If you’re using Windows 10, you will have to click on Add Bluetooth or other device and then Bluetooth to find discoverable devices, such as your PS4 controller.
Making Your PS4 Controller Discoverable
Pair your DualShock4 controller with your Bluetooth dongle by making your PS4 controller discoverable. To do this, press the Share and the PlayStation button for three seconds, or until the light bar at the top of the controller shows a double blinking pattern.
Note: if the PS4 system your controller is synced to is still plugged up, then your controller might try to connect to it if you press the PS button.
Click On Wireless Controller
Click on Wireless Controller to pair your PS4 controller with your wireless USB dongle or your laptop’s built-in Bluetooth device.
Note: For Windows 7 and older users, you may be asked to enter a pairing code- if so, just type in “0000”.
Click on Done when the device is paired. To confirm that the PS4 controller is connected, check the light bar at the top of the controller as this should be lighting up. Alternatively, the Controllers tab on the DS4Windows window should detect the controller.
So there we are, that’s been our guide on how to use your PS4 controller on PC!
If you wish to pair your PS3 DualShock 3 controller to your PC, then make sure you head over to our How to Use PS3 Controller on PC article.
How did these instructions work for you? Did you, or are you currently, having any problems hooking up your PS4 controller to your PC? If so, let us help you out by leaving a comment below!