Some of us are very specific about how they play their favorite games, right down to the type of controller they use. While you might think it’s more about a mouse and keyboard, you can also learn how to use PS4 controller on PC to give a whole new spin to your gaming. We show you the steps to take to make it happen and how you can benefit from it.
In a perfect world, gamers would have access to all types of controllers and devices that helped them game, and it wouldn’t be a hassle to use them. You’d simply choose the one you want, pick it up and it would be automatically connected to your game.
The reality is quite different from this, unfortunately, and if you want to game on your PC with anything other than your keyboard and mouse, it takes some work. The most popular request gamers have is how to use PS4 controller on PC, so we’re here to show you how.
There are many benefits to using the popular PS4 DualShock Controller on your PC and just having the options has given gamers so much more freedom in how they play. With a few simple steps your PS4 controller, you’ll be enjoying the power of PC gaming with the fun of your favorite console controller.
The Benefits of Using A PS4 Controller on PC
Before we get into the instructions, we’re going to look at why someone might want to learn how to use PS4 controller on their PC. Whatever reason you decide to try it out will depend on you as a gamer, but here are some of the biggest benefits to be had.
Anyone who’s gamed for more than a few hours at a time knows how strained your hands, wrists, and fingers can be when you’re crouched over a mouse or keyboard. Using the PS4 controller is a far more comfortable position for them to be in and it’s especially useful for longer gaming sessions.
The added bonus of using the DualShock features is a nice touch to your gaming. You’ll get the lighting and vibration that these controllers offer which feels completely different to your standard keyboard and mouse setup. The buttons are all laid out to make it easy to play and if you’re already a PS4 owner you’ll know how to operate them with ease.
Rather than spending hundreds of dollars on a new gaming keyboard, you can simply grab the PS4 DualShock controller that you already have and plug it in. The software is free to download that will enable you to connect it as well, so there are no hidden costs.
Having another option for a controller on hand gives you more versatility for your gaming. Some games might work best with your dedicated keyboard and others will play better with a PS4 DualShock controller, so it’s up to you to figure out which.
Why Controllers Matter
As the controller is the one thing that connects you in the real world with the virtual world on screen, they’re an important part of gaming. Some people might not like to play with a keyboard and mouse but prefer the PC due to its smooth visuals and high definition display, so they simply put up with it.
When you start using the right controller that suits you, you’ll find that your gameplay improves as well. You might be more agile or find yourself getting less strained which means overall you become a better player, too.
The PS4 DualShock Controller is known within gaming circles as one of the best ever made, so thankfully there’s nothing stopping you anymore from using it on your PC. With just a little bit of work and the right accessories, you can experience a whole new way of gaming.
What You’ll Need to Get Started
Regardless of what controller you use to game with, if you don’t have a powerful enough PC it will be worthless. The most important thing you’ll need is a quality gaming laptop or desktop computer that has a Bluetooth function as well. While the Bluetooth isn’t necessary if you’re using a USB connection it is handy for a wireless gaming experience.
The other important part you’ll need, in addition to your PS4 DualShock controller, of course, is a USB cable. This should be a micro UBS cable with the smaller head to fit into the PS4 controller and the regular USB for your laptop. You’ll also need a good internet connection and enough space on your system for the download.
For those who don’t have a Bluetooth connection on their laptop but still want to play wirelessly, have no fear. You can purchase an extremely affordable Bluetooth USB dongle that plugs into your computer and gives you the wireless freedom you need.
The Step by Step Guide
The easiest way to use your PS4 controller on the PC is with Steam, as they recently released an update that allows you to quickly and easily set up the controller when you’re running it. You simply plug in the PS4 DualShock device and it lets you play all of your PC games through their, provided you’ve got the latest update.
This isn’t always possible for PC users, so follow these steps instead to set up your DualShock controller.
First, you’ll need to find and download the software that makes it all possible, called DS4 Windows. This means you can connect the PC and controller with relative ease because it tricks your computer into thinking the PS4 is an Xbox 360 controller, which is totally okay with it because it’s supported by Windows.
Start the download for DS4 Windows and once it’s downloaded, right-click to Extract All files into the folder you downloaded it into. Once complete, find the DS4Windows.exe file and click on it to start the setup. The other file there, DS4Updater.exe, is a file that keeps the program updated. If you ever run into problems, there’s a good chance a simple update will fix it.
Once downloaded, start the program and use to recommended settings and profiles. When the window opens with the option, click on ‘Install the DS4 Driver’ which will let you use the controller in all recent versions of Windows. For those operating on Windows 7 or earlier, select ‘Install 360 Driver’ in addition to this.
To connect the controller to your PC there are two options: Bluetooth or USB. You’ll need a micro USB cable to do this, and Windows should detect it instantly. For those using Bluetooth, press and hold the middle PS button and share button on the controller for a few seconds. Open the Bluetooth settings on your computer and find the PS4 DualShock controller, entering the passcode if necessary.
How to Use the PS4 Controller
Because the program DS4 Windows thinks you’re playing with an Xbox 360 controller, you can set up the buttons on your PS4 as you wish. Once done, your controller will work with any game that a 360 controller would have, which are those with Xinput support. You may need to make some adjustments in-game so that it suits your PS4 controller though.
There will be further options for changing buttons or adjusting sensitivity. You’ll get a lot of flexibility on creating a controller that suits you specifically, so it can be a lot more versatile than a standard keyboard and mouse setup. Using the DS4 Widows program you can also make your own profile and keep it saved, but it’s recommended not to try and start your own.
It may take some getting used to when you first plug in your PS4 controller, especially if you’re playing games that you’ve already enjoyed with a keyboard and mouse. Give yourself some time to re-learn the controls and how best to master it, and be patient with the process.
A Better Way to Game
Many PC gamers are loyal to their setup, which includes the keyboard and mouse that they regularly play with. This is completely fine and it’s normal for most gamers to never want to try anything else, but if you already own a PS4 controller then there’s nothing stopping you.
These few steps might seem a little convoluted but they’ll be well worth it. You’ll get to play your favorite games with a whole new twist and it means you can enjoy the smooth gameplay of the PC with a comfortable and responsive controller.
Learning how to use a PS4 controller on your PC is a handy skill to have, especially if you feel you need a break from the keyboard and mouse. These controllers are comfortable, cool, and easy to use, so they can be a welcome alternative to your usual setup.