Unlocking the Potential: Using PS5 DualSense Controller on PC

The PS5 DualSense controller is one of the console’s spiffiest features. So why not take advantage of it on PC?

As Sony has started releasing more of its games on PC, support for the DualSense gamepad’s fancy haptic feedback and adaptive triggers has found its way into more and more games. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, Returnal, Alan Wake 2, and Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora are just a few 2023 games that can make full use of the PS5 controller. Because of those special features, we think the PS5 controller is one of the best PC controllers. It’s also very easy to use on PC, via a USB-C cable or Bluetooth.

Due to Steam, turning the DualSense controller into your everyday gamepad is really simple. Plug, play, press buttons. No complex setup here: it just works, and games will recognize the controller. If you want to play non-Steam games with the DualSense, though, we can help you make that happen with a bit more setup.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to using the PS5 DualSense controller on PC, via either wired USB or a wireless Bluetooth connection.

Connecting: Wired or Bluetooth


This part of the setup is easy peasy. To connect the controller to your PC via USB, you’re going to need a USB Type-C to USB-A cable for your PC (or a USB Type-C to Type-C cable if you happen to have a convenient port available). While the PlayStation 5 console comes with one packed in, the DualSense sold by itself doesn’t. Bummer! Get your hands on a cable, plug it in, and you’re on your way.


To use the DualSense via Bluetooth, you’ll need a USB Bluetooth adapter (or a motherboard with Bluetooth built-in). To get connected, open the “Bluetooth & other devices” menu in Windows by pressing the Windows key and typing “Bluetooth.” Then click “Add Bluetooth or other device” and the first item on the next menu that says “Bluetooth.” Your PC will start searching for available devices.

On the DualSense, hold down the PlayStation logo button and the Share button (the small one to the left of the touchpad) until the LEDs around the touchpad begin flashing rapidly. Within a few seconds, a generic entry named “Wireless controller” should pop up in your Bluetooth devices list in Windows to connect to. Just click that to finish pairing.

The DualSense will now be accessible in Windows with its DirectInput driver, which some games will recognize and let you rebind controls out of the box. But many PC games today are built around Microsoft’s newer XInput driver for the Xbox controllers, so the DualSense will be a bit limited without some help.

Steam Setup

Steam added initial support for the DualSense back in November 2020 and has continually improved the DualSense functionality since then. Using Steam is by far the easiest way to get your DualSense working on PC, even if you want to play non-Steam games. To start, connect the DualSense to your PC via wire or Bluetooth as described above. Once you have it connected, open Steam and click Settings > Controller. From this part of the settings menu, you can now click “Desktop Configuration” to check out and customize the button layout.

Non-Steam Games

If you want to use the DualSense in a game that you own on the Epic Games Store, for example, there’s a solution that should work for just about anything, even emulators. The easy way to do it: Bring Steam back into the picture.

Steam has an ‘Add to library’ feature for Windows executables that allows you to add other programs to your Steam library and then make use of the Steam overlay. If you prefer to configure the DualSense for non-Steam games without adding those games to your Steam library, a wonderful community tool, DS4Windows, added DualSense support.

PC Game Support

You won’t have to use Steam to make the DualSense work in all games. In Windows, the DualSense uses the generic DirectInput driver, which some games support out of the box. But most games today use Microsoft’s newer XInput driver, which is where Steam Input really comes in handy.

PCGamingWiki keeps a list of games that use the DualSense features, but here are some highlights that support both Adaptive Triggers and haptic feedback. It’s far from an exhaustive list, but these games natively support the DualSense and can tap into its haptics or adaptive triggers or both.

  • Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
  • Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora
  • Alan Wake 2
  • The Last of Us Part 1
  • F1 23
  • Returnal
  • The Witcher 3
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
  • Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection
  • Overwatch 2
  • Final Fantasy 7 Remake: Intergrade
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man
  • Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition
  • Deathloop
  • Final Fantasy 7 Remake
  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
  • Genshin Impact
  • Death Stranding: Director’s Cut
  • Ghostwire: Tokyo
  • A Plague Tale: Requiem

In Conclusion

The PS5 DualSense controller is not only a remarkable piece of hardware for console gaming but also a versatile option for PC gamers. With its advanced features like haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, it enhances the gaming experience across a range of titles. Whether you connect it via USB or Bluetooth, and whether you utilize Steam or other methods, the process is relatively straightforward. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can seamlessly integrate the PS5 DualSense controller into your PC gaming setup and enjoy its capabilities to the fullest. So, why not give it a try and elevate your gaming sessions with the power of the DualSense?

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