Note: Sony recently announced an official USB dongle, which enables wireless use of the DualShock 4 with a PC. It will be out sometime in September, and retail for $25.
Sony launched its PlayStation 4 nearly three years ago, and included with the next-generation console was its next-generation controller. The DualShock 4 debuted with an impressive set of features, allowing it to quickly supplant the DualShock 3 among Sony loyalists. Though slightly heavier, the DualShock 4 improved its analog sticks and triggers while also adding a revolutionary, capacitive touch pad.
Perhaps one of its greatest features was Sony’s commitment to making the DualShock 4 compatible with Windows-based PCs. However, the promised compatibility proved not to exist quite like Sony promised, nor does Sony offer an official set of drivers for the DualShock 4. Sadly, this leaves much to be desired for PS4 owners hoping to use the solid DualShock 4 over a traditional keyboard and mouse for PC-based gaming.
Worry not, the use of a PS4 controller on your PC is no longer a pipe dream. Thanks to a handy little application, you can fool your PC into thinking your DualShock 4 is an Xbox 360 controller. So to help you download and install this tool, we’ve put together this simple, step-by-step walkthrough. Below is our comprehensive guide for doing so.
Connecting the DualShock 4
First, download the latest version of DS4Windows, which can be easily found on the DS4Windows webpage. Download the file, and extract it using a archive manager such as WinRAR or 7Zip. You will then have two files, DS4Windows and DS4Update. Double click on DS4Windows to run the installer. You will see the following dialogue box:
Follow the instructions on screen, beginning with installing the DS4 Driver. The installation is quick, so you won’t have to wait long. Click on Install 360 Driver if you’re running Windows 7 or older — the drive comes pre-loaded on Windows 8 and 10 machines. Once you’ve completed both installations, your controller is ready to be connected. Simply plug the DualShock 4 into the PC using a mirco USB cable (the same kind used for most Android phones). This will also charge the DualShock 4 battery, but in order to use the DualShock 4 wirelessly, you’ll need to properly pair the controller to your PC using Bluetooth and the simple method outlined below.
Step 1: Hold the PS Button on the DualShock 4 for three seconds, until the lightbar begins to flash.
Step 2: Open the Bluetooth settings on your PC.
Step 3: Connect to Wireless Controller.
Step 4: If prompted to input a pair code, enter “0000”.
Step 5: Click Finish on the DS4Windows installer.
Customizing the setup
The primary DS4Windows interface allows players to adjust almost every facet of the controller, right down to the color of the LED light bar. The default controller profile should work for most recent PC games, especially if they’re designed to work with the Xbox controller already. For games that aren’t easily adaptable to controllers, users can select specific pre-made profiles or create their own, assigning more or less any keystroke to any of the DualShock’s buttons. Touchpad sensitivity, macros, and game-specific profiles are supported – look around to see what works best for you.
If you experience errors using the DualShock 4, there are a couple options. First, under the settings tab is an option to Hide DS4 Controller. This is handy for if your DualShock 4 is taking priority over other connected controllers such as the Xbox 360 controller. Similarly, if the DualShock 4 isn’t working correctly while other input devices are connected, there is a button at the bottom of DS4Windows you can select to connect the DualShock 4 exclusively, making it the primary input source for games.
The other file included in the DS4Windows installation, DS4Update, will check for and automatically download the latest version of DS4Windows. Be sure to run this every once in a while to keep the program up-to-date, ensuring the DualShock 4 continues to work properly with the PC.