How to Connect PS4 Controller To Laptop

The DualShock 4 controller from Sony is basically just a conventional gamepad, and you can use a USB cable, common Bluetooth, or the company’s own wireless USB adapter to connect it to any laptop that runs Windows OS. Given that Steam now offers official compatibility for DualShock 4 controllers, it will also function in a range of games.

You can use PS4 Remote Play to broadcast games from your own PS4 system or Sony’s PlayStation Now service to stream games from Sony’s servers once a PS4 controller has been attached to a Laptop computer.

Why To Use PS4 Controller On Laptop

The PS4 controller has emerged as one of the team’s favorite gaming controllers for laptops out of all the available choices, in part because it feels amazing in your hands. Despite having joysticks and triggers better suited to contemporary shooters and action games than its predecessor, the design keeps the DualShock controller’s iconic shape. However, it is not as sensationally thrilling as the DualSense controller for the PS5.

On the other hand, playing on your laptop makes a different sense. The biggest benefit of playing on your laptop instead of PS4 is portability. You can take your laptop anywhere outdoor and connect your PS4 controller to it, and enjoy.

The Problem Of Connecting PS4 Controller To Your Laptop

Unfortunately, utilizing a PS4 controller on a laptop computer isn’t nearly as simple as plugging in an Xbox gamepad because the DualShock 4 uses generic DirectInput drivers rather than the XInput drivers that the Xbox controllers use.

Connecting the DualShock 4 to a laptop requires a little bit more effort, but things are made simpler by Steam, the PC gaming community, and an official (optional) Bluetooth dongle. In fact, native Steam integration makes it as plug-and-play as an Xbox gamepad if Steam is your preferred gaming platform.

We’ll start by showing you how to connect your PS4 controller to Steam. DS4Windows is the program you use if you want to use your DualShock 4 to play titles that aren’t available on Steam.

Things You Need To Connect Your PS4 Controller To Laptop

There are a few hardware and software tools you will need in order to successfully connect your PS4 controller to your laptop, which are:

Hardware Tools

  • Dualshock 4 PS4 controller (That’s intuitive).
  • A micro-USB cable if you are going to connect your PS4 controller to the laptop wirily.
  • USB wireless Bluetooth adapter in case you want to connect the PS4 controller wirelessly to your laptop, and your laptop Bluetooth is not compatible with your PS4 controller.

Software Tools

You have to download and install the following software tools in order to help your laptop recognize your PS4 controller and approve it.

The supplied USB-to-micro-USB cable—the same one you use with your PS4—allows you to utilize the controller as a wired controller by connecting it to your laptop. It won’t require any additional setup; it will “just work.”

It’s recommended to buy a USB Wireless Adapter if you wish to connect your controller wirelessly.

Put your PlayStation 4 controller in Bluetooth pairing mode to wirelessly connect it to your laptop without any additional gear. Depending on your Bluetooth chipset and drivers, according to several users, the controller’s Bluetooth connection can be a little shaky on laptop. If this is the case, you might wish to utilize a wired connection or a wireless adaptor.

Connecting Your PS4 Controller To Laptop

Where you’re connecting your PS4 controller to your laptop wirily or wirelessly, you have to go throw one of these methods:

Method #1: Using Steam

  1. Open Steam
  2. In top left dropdown, go to Settings
  3. Open Controller tab
  4. Click General Controller Settings
  5. Register device to your account
  6. Change preferences
  7. Calibrate joysticks
  8. Tick PlayStation Configuration Support
  9. Remap from Settings Controller tab/in game

It takes almost little setup to get your PS4 controller to work in Steam due to the great official support. Prior to starting Steam or any Steam games, make sure your controller is paired or plugged in to avoid any issues.

Closing and restarting Steam should solve any connectivity problems you encounter. If not, try switching to a USB 2.0 port from a USB 3.0 port. The way DualShock 4s operate is peculiar.

Once you’re connected, go to the settings section of Steam (in the top-left dropdown) to get everything up and running. Open General Controller Settings under the Controller tab; your controller should be shown under Detected Controllers. From this point, you can link it to your account so that it will remember your preferences for whichever laptop you log into.

To rename, or modify illumination and rumbling settings, click Preferences. If you feel the need, you can also click Calibrate to adjust the joysticks and gyro.

One key piece of advice: if you want to be able to customize the controller further for each game, make sure PlayStation Configuration Support is checked.

You can set up Guide Button Chord Configuration and set up your controller for use with Big Picture and Desktop back in the Controller tab of the Settings menu.

Method #2: Using DS4Windows For Non-Steam Gaming

If the first method doesn’t suit you, you need to download and install an additional software utility called “DS4Windows” which enables you to connect your PS4 controller to your laptop. Here are the steps:

  1. Download Microsoft .NET Framework
  2. For Windows 7, get Xbox 360 controller driver
  3. Plug controller or Bluetooth dongle in
  4. Download DS4Windows and extract
  5. Open DS4Windows
  6. Check connection in the Controllers tab
  7. In Settings tab Hide DS4 Controller
  8. Set Use Xinput Ports to one
  9. Edit/Create a profile and remap

Install the most recent Microsoft.NET Framework first. Install the Xbox 360 controller driver next if you’re still using Windows 7. Windows 8 and 10 come with this driver.

Before you do anything else, connect your PS4 controller to your laptop using a micro-USB cable, pair it with Bluetooth, or use a USB wireless adapter.

Next, open the most recent file that you downloaded and extracted. If you already have the most recent version, you can disregard the DS4Updater.

Under the Controllers tab, all connected controllers will be shown. If not, shut down DS4Windows, attach your controller, and then launch it again. We won’t need your controller’s ID number, so don’t worry about it.

Open the Settings tab in DS4Windows next to make some configurations. Ensure that the box labeled “Hide DS4 Controller” is ticked. By doing this, DS4Windows won’t interfere with any game’s default controller configuration. Make sure Use Xinput Ports is set to one for the same reason.

You can configure DS4Windows to launch automatically or operate continuously in the background from the Settings tab. By selecting Check for Update Now in the bottom left corner of this tab, you can also instantly update DS4Windows. You’ll see Controller/Driver Setup above that. Open this setup and follow the instructions to install any missing drivers if you encounter any problems.

Your DualShock 4 is read by DS4Windows just like an Xbox 360 controller would be. As a result, most games don’t come with the appropriate Square, X, Triangle, or Circle button icons by default. Most contemporary PC games that accept gamepads now have Xinput support, which means that you may be given the choice to change in some games.

You don’t need to remap anything; simply select the Profiles tab in DS4Windows to modify specific buttons or change the sensitivity outside of the in-game menus. Although it is easier said than done, select New to begin a new profile if you are feeling confident. Select the DualShock 4 profile instead, then click Edit.

Consider that you wish to switch up your bumpers and triggers. To start, locate L1/R1 and L2/R2 in the Controls area of the scroll wheel or simply click them on the virtual controller. Start by clicking L2 to swap L1 with L2 and R1 with R2.

Afterwards, simply press the L1 button, in this case L2, to make it L2. You now have a left trigger that doubles as a left bumper. To complete the modification and avoid duplication, repeat this procedure with the additional triggers and bumpers. This button configuration can be saved as a different profile, and you can switch between profiles in the Controllers tab.

Connecting Your PS4 Controller To Laptop Via Bluetooth

If you’d like, follow these instructions to wirelessly pair your controller with your laptop using Bluetooth: If the controller is already on, turn it off first. Hold down the “PlayStation” button while the device is turned on and connected to a PlayStation 4, and then choose “Log Out of PS4” or “Enter Rest Mode” from the menu that shows on your screen. A controller shutdown will occur.

Next, activate pairing mode on the controller. On the controller, simultaneously press and hold down the “Share” and “PlayStation” buttons. The controller’s LED bar will begin to flash. The controller is in Bluetooth pairing mode, as indicated by this.

Lastly, pair the controller with your laptop just like you would dow ith any other Bluetooth device. You can choose “Devices” from the Start menu on Windows 10 and then “Bluetooth” in the Settings app. If the DualShock 4 is in pairing mode, it will show up here as a “Wireless Controller.” Then, after selecting it, click “Pair” to connect it to your laptop.

You can access the Devices and Printers window in the Control Panel on Windows 7, 8, and 10. The controller will show up as a nearby Bluetooth device when you click “Add a device.” Once connected, it will also show up here in the list of linked devices as a “Wireless Controller.”

Fortunately, you don’t need to pair your controller with your laptop every time you use it. Simply hit the central PlayStation button on your controller to re-establish the connection as long as you don’t unplug the adapter.

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