How To Use a PS4 Controller on your PC

How to use a PS4 controller on your PC-1

It wasn’t that long ago that it was more trouble than it was worth trying to connect a PS4 controller to anything other than a PS4. Recently, thanks to the introduction DualShock 4 and its inherent Windows compatibility that things began to change. So now, if you want to use a PS4 controller on your PC you can.

Early versions of DualShock 4 still had teething problems but thanks to some serious improvements by Sony, the process is relatively painless. Now, if you use a wired DualShock 4 controller it is mostly plug ‘n play. If you use a wireless one, the process is similar to that of connecting an Xbox One controller.

Whichever side of the console vs. PC fence you’re on, some games are just better when you use a controller. Driving games are a particular genre that benefit hugely from having a fast, responsive controller over mouse and keyboard. Movement is smoother, acceleration and braking is easier and the entire experience is enhanced. Driving isn’t the only genre but is a great example of why you might want to use a PS4 controller on your PC.

Add to that support by Steam and many newer games for the DualShock 4 and there are more reasons than ever to try one.

Connect a DualShock 4 controller on your PC

DualShock 4 controllers can connect through USB or wirelessly. To use a wired connection you simply have to connect one to the other, allow Windows to find drivers and it should work right away.

To use DualShock 4 wirelessly you will need a Sony Wireless Adapter. It is a USB dongle, so connect it to a free port on your PC, give Windows a minute or two to download and install drivers and you’re ready to go. Once the drivers are installed, press the dongle in to enable search and hold down Share and the PS button on the controller.

DS4Windows

Once paired, you will need some middleware to get everything working properly. Even though DualShock 4 has Windows compatibility, it doesn’t always plays nicely. DS4Windows is an app that tells Windows it is working with an Xbox One controller rather than DualShock 4.

  1. Download and install DS4Windows then start the program.
  2. Connect the DualShock 4 controller to your PC.
  3. DS4Windows should automatically detect the controller and begin working.

You have three main options when using a DualShock 4 on a PC. You can rely on native support, use Steam or PlayStation Now.

Native support

Some games natively support DualShock 4. No Man’s Sky, Witcher III, Watch Dogs 2, Final Fantasy XIV, NBA 2K17 and Dark Souls III all support the controller and have control sets within their configuration menu to suit. There isn’t currently a definitive list of games that natively support DualShock 4 so it is a little bit of trial and error for now.

Once the controller is connected, start the game and select DualShock 4 as the input or controller. You should then be able to load or configure the specifics that you’re comfortable playing with.

How to use a PS4 controller on your PC-2

Steam

Even though Steam are trying to push their own controller, the platform is also compatible with DualShock 4. Getting it all working is a bit of a pain, but once done should work seamlessly from that point on.

  1. Connect your DualShock 4 controller to your PC.
  2. Start Steam and go into Big Picture Mode.
  3. Select the Settings gear icon top right of the screen.
  4. Select Controller Settings on the left and select PS Configuration Support.
  5. Register your controller when prompted.

Once registered with Steam, you will be able to change control schemes and modify setup as you wish. Depending on game compatibility, you may or may not have to do this for each game you play.

How to use a PS4 controller on your PC-3

PlayStation Now

PlayStation Now has restricted itself to PS4 and Windows 10 compatibility so is tuned to work on your PC. Setting up is a breeze, just follow the instructions below.

  1. Download and install PlayStation Now onto your PC.
  2. Connect your DualShock 4 controller to your PC.
  3. PlayStation Now will pick up the controller and configure itself automatically.

The only thing you cannot do with PlayStation Now on PC is navigate menus with the controller. You will still need a keyboard and mouse for that. Strange but true!

Those are the three main options to use a PS4 controller on your PC. You can also use Sony Remote Play or Inputmapper but I think the three options above give you enough scope to make the most of system compatibility.

Posted by Jamie on March 7, 2017

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