Playing PC video games using a PlayStation 4 (PS4) controller like a Dualshock 4 will bring a whole new experience to the user as its precision handling and force feedback capabilities are second to none in situations where every split-second lag in response makes or breaks your winning potential.
Connecting a PS4 controller to any computer is a walk in the park, thanks to its seamless plug-and-play capability across multiple platforms. We bring you a simple yet comprehensive guide that explains the basics of setting up your PS4 controller on a PC. This tutorial helps you to choose any of the four methods, depending on your style of gameplay.
Here are the four different ways that you can connect your PS4 controller to PC:
- How to set up a PS4 controller via Steam
- How to connect PS4 controller to PC
- How to pair PS4 controller to PC (Wired)
- How to hook up PS4 controller on PC (Bluetooth)
Close-quarter combat (aka CQC) and simulation games are likely to benefit most with the use of a console controller on PC as opposed to the keyboard and mouse combo. This is due to the fact that these games often demand both precision and timing along with faster input-response time.
Method 1: How to Setup a PS4 Controller via Steam
What You Need
- Dual Shock 4 PS4 Controller
- Micro-USB charging cable
- The latest version of Steam
Please note that this method enables you to use your PlayStation 4 controller within the confines of the Steam platform and its associated titles (those listed in the Steam library only).
In order to use your controller outside the Steam for playing non-steam titles, you will have to employ the second method – How to get a PS4 controller to work on PC.
Without further ado, here are the steps to configure your PS4 controller in Steam:
Step 1: Launch the Steam app and log in with your username and password credentials. NOTE: Do not plug-in your PS4 controller to your PC yet.
Step 2: Install the latest version of Steam on your PC by navigating to Steam > Check for Steam Client Updates. Once you login, Steam should auto-update to the latest version by default.
Step 3: Now, enter the Big Picture mode by clicking on the Square icon beside your Steam username (see image below).
Step 4: Click the gear icon in the top-right corner of the screen to the left of the power icon.
Step 5: In the ensuing screen, hit Controller Settings in the Controller sub-section as seen in the image (below).
Step 6: Then tick the box for PlayStation Configuration Support as seen in the image (below). Users with Xbox controller may tick or enable Xbox Configuration Support while Generic Gamepad Configuration Support option can be used for a Universal controller.
Step 7: You can now connect your PS4 controller to your computer with a micro USB cable that shipped with your console. A “bloop” sound can be heard if your device is configured properly and recognised successfully. Alternately, you may hear a Rumble sound, if that option is set.
That’s it. Just hit the PS button and your PS4 controller is all set to play wired or wirelessly depending on your choice.
How to Customise PS4 Controller in Steam
Apart from configuring your controller in Steam, you can also customise it to your personal taste and preferences.
In Big Picture mode, Go to Controller Settings > Hit Preferences button on the right after selecting the freshly-detected controller in the Settings. Here’s what you can do:
- Assign a meaningful identity to your controller
- Switch on/off the Rumble sound feature
- Colour of controller light can be tweaked as per your taste
Method 2: Configure a PS4 Controller to Work on PC
It is a bit more challenging to get your PS4 controller to work on your PC than the straight-forward approach with Steam.
You need to download and install the DS4Windows software to make minor tweaks to your Windows PC to simulate the functionality of Xbox 360 controller.
What You Need
- DualShock 4
- Bluetooth USB Dongle
- A Micro USB cable
- Download DS4Windows app.zip file here
Method 3: How to Pair PS4 Controller to PC (Wired)
Step 1: Extract the DS4Windows.zip file to get the DS4Windows.exe file. You will be prompted (first installation) to choose the location for saving your profile and settings. You may choose to install the files into either Program Folder or Appdata directory. We recommend installing into Program Folder as the necessary system files are always stored there.
Step 2: Start the PS4 driver installation for your localised Windows version by clicking on “Step 1: Install the DS4 Driver” button (for Windows 8.1 and above). Alternately, if you are running Windows 7 or older versions then click on “Step 2: If on Windows 7 or below, install 360 driver” and this will ensure that the compatible PS4 drivers are installed correctly.
Step 3: Hit the Finish button once the driver installation completes and then plug-in your PS4 controller to your PC using a micro USB cable.
NOTE: The controller tab should now indicate that an Xbox 360 controller has been detected in the DS4Windows screen. If not, just hit the Stop button in the lower right-hand corner of the screen, exit the DS4Windows app and then relaunch it. Alternately, just unplug the controller and reconnect it. Try using a new USB cable if the controller fails to get detected.
That’s it. Your DS4 controller is now setup and it will get synced automatically whenever you launch the DS4Windows application with your controller plugged-in to your PC.
Those who prefer the mobility advantage of a wireless setup may proceed with the Bluetooth method of setting up the PlayStation Controller on PC.
Method 4: How to Setup PS4 Controller on PC via Bluetooth
Step 1: Launch the DS4Windows app.
Step 2: Go to the System tray and right-click on Bluetooth Devices. Then click on Add Bluetooth or other device (if using Windows 10) and then click Bluetooth to search for all connected devices including your PS4 controller. Alternately, just click Add a Bluetooth Device on older versions of Windows.
Step 3: To complete the pairing process, press and hold Share and Playstation buttons for 3 seconds or until the light bar on the controller blinks twice repeatedly in a sequence.
Step 4: Now, click on Wireless controller to complete the pairing process with your wireless USB dongle or an integrated Bluetooth device on your laptop. NOTE: For Windows 7 and earlier systems, just enter “0000” as the code when prompted.
Step 5: Hit Done, once the pairing completes. If the light bar on the controller blinks repeatedly then it confirms that the PS4 controller is successfully connected. Also, the controller will be shown in the Controllers tab of the DS4Windows screen if pairing is successful.
Finally, you can customise or personalise your PS4 controller based on your personal taste and preferences by navigating to the Profiles tab in the DS4Windows application.
The DS4Windows app brings superior customisation options for your PS4 controller as opposed to a limited set of options with Steam:
- A meaningful identity to your controller
- Configure and tweak the controller light colour
- Enable or Disable the Rumble sound and vibration level feature
- Low-battery flash feature to alert you when your PS4 controller’s battery levels are critical
- Customise Macros and assign them
- Configure personalised key mapping
That’s it. You are all set to exploit the hidden potential of your PS4 controller on PC as you plan to go one up against your rivals.