How to use PS4 Controller on PC or Laptop

More and more people are switching from console to PC when gaming, simply because powerful gaming PCs can deliver better graphics and frame rates than PlayStation 4 or Xbox One – and high-end gaming PCs can. can easily outperform the PS4 Pro.

Even the confirmed specs of the PS5, due out later this year, can’t compete with some high-end gaming PCs.

However, console switches can have a hard time using the keyboard and mouse, especially those of us who have been using controllers for years. Can we use DualShock 4 controller to play PC games? Technically yes, but it’s not as simple as you might hope.

If you don’t already own a DualShock 4 or would like to purchase a second pad specifically for your PC, you can purchase one from Amazon for £44.99 at the time of writing, in a variety of colors including black, blue, red, and white.

If you want to play PS4 games on your PC, there’s a way to do that too – check out how to use PS4 Remote Play on PC for more.

Is my DualShock 4 controller PC compatible?

Back when the PS4 was revealed in 2013, Sony announced that the DualShock 4 controller would be compatible with Windows. That means gamers don’t have to buy extra accessories and gives them the freedom to switch between the two platforms – or so they think.

Unfortunately, it’s not quite the plug-and-play solution we’d hoped for, and using the DualShock 4 controller on PC takes a bit of work if the game doesn’t have specific DualShock 4 support.

Compatible games

While games didn’t often get DualShock 4 support during the PS4’s early days, 2016 marked the first time that major developers began continually adding full support for the controller, making it easier to play. PC games with PS4 keyboard is much easier.

This trend continues to this day, with most major games offering plug-and-play support for the DualShock 4, connected via USB or using the controller’s built-in Bluetooth. These games include a DualShock 4 button overlay, so the in-game prompt will instruct you to press ‘X’ and not ‘A’, as on Xbox keyboards.

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Not every game will offer support, but more and more big titles will come. If you’re not sure which games support DualShock 4, check out this fan-maintained list.

How to use a PS4 controller with Steam games

2016 also saw Steam add support for DualShock 4, so you can use it to navigate the Steam menu in Big Picture Mode – including on Steam Link.

While initially limited, Steam now offers the ability to play Steam games using a DS4 controller. Just load up on Steam, make sure you’re running the latest update of the game you want to play, and plug in your controller. As with other officially supported games, you’ll even see PlayStation icons like X and O, instead of A and B as with Xbox controllers.

What about games that aren’t on Steam? Luckily, there is a way to use your DualShock 4 with any unsupported PC games.

How to use a PS4 controller with any PC game

As mentioned above, even though DualShock 4 has Windows compatibility, game developers have to add specific support for it, otherwise it won’t work. Alas, there is light at the end of the tunnel because there is an app available that will map DualShock 4 controls directly to Microsoft’s XInput API.

The end result is games that are ‘tricked’ into thinking you’re using an Xbox 360 controller and you’ll be free to play as many games with the DualShock 4 controller as your heart desires.

So what is this app and how do you use it? Good…

1) Download and install InputMapper. The first step is to visit the InputMapper website, download the latest version of the tool and install it on your PC.

2) Connect your DualShock 4 controller. Once you have InputMapper installed, the next step is to connect the controller to your PC. You can do this over a USB connection or via Bluetooth, but it should be noted that a Bluetooth connection is not as stable as a wired connection.

However, if you’re adamant about connecting via Bluetooth, just hold down the Share button and the PlayStation button on the controller until the light flashes to enter pairing mode, then pair with it on your PC.

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3) Open InputMapper and get ready to play. Now that you have InputMapper installed and connected your DualShock 4 controller, it’s finally time to open the app. When you open InputMapper, your DualShock 4 controller will be recognized and Candlestick works identically to Xbox 360/One controllers (in most cases).

It should be noted that you may encounter odd gameplay here and there with compatibility issues. If this issue arises, go to InputMapper’s Settings menu and toggle the checkbox labeled “Use Exclusive Mode”.

If you want to customize your gaming experience and re-edit your buttons (and create macros), you can do this through the Profile menu in the app.

While InputMapper is a lifesaver for those of us with DualShock 4 controllers and PCs, it’s still a work in progress. Firstly, InputMapper must be opened every time you want to play the game.

Although it seems complicated, there is an option in the application to allow it to start minimized whenever Windows starts. Also, since it’s designed to mimic Xbox controls, you’ll most likely see A and B button graphics in the game, as opposed to X and O.

What are the alternatives?

So are there any alternatives to using InputMapper and DualShock 4 controller? The only simple alternative we can recommend is to buy an Xbox 360/One controller to use for PC gaming.

Microsoft’s XInput API makes it so simple to play games with an Xbox 360/One controller that, sometimes, you forget you’re playing on a PC and not an Xbox.

Though even with Microsoft’s own controller, there’s a catch – unless you have one of the newer Xbox One S controllers with Bluetooth, if you’re just using the one that came with the console your device, it will only work when plugged in to USB – you won’t be able to instantly connect it to your PC wirelessly.

However, you can buy an Xbox One controller with a wireless adapter for your PC, or you can simply purchase a separate wireless adapter if you already own the controller. If you still have an Xbox 360 controller, you can still get a 360 wireless adapter.

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There’s also Valve’s Steam Controller, designed to support any Steam game – even those that don’t support the built-in controller. The best price for it we’ve found is £55.99 from Game – be warned though, it’s a bit different than your average controller, with dual trackpads instead of a second analog stick and D-pad, for more precise input.

What about Macs?

But what about Mac gamers? Can they use the DualShock 4 controller to play games on the Mac? It’s technically possible to connect a DualShock 4 controller to your Mac, both via USB and Bluetooth, and your Mac will recognize it as a gamepad, however, it’s a bit trickier since at that moment.

You see, Windows has the advantage of having the XInput API built into its operating system, which is what makes the Xbox controller compatible with Windows and is what programmers use to make the controller work. PS4 controller works on Windows (we’ll get to that in detail below), but the same can’t be said for Mac.

So yes, although the DualShock 4 will be recognized as a gamepad, it will be a lot harder to find games that support the controller and they may require some tweaking settings before it will work. normal movement.

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