How to Sync a PS4 Controller

Connect up to four controllers at once

The PS4 Dualshock 4 Controller
The PS4 Dualshock 4 Controller allows for wired and wireless game play.

The PlayStation 4 controller, known as the DualShock 4, can connect to the console wirelessly via Bluetooth technology.

To sync a PS4 controller with your PlayStation 4, you just have to follow a few simple steps.

Note: You can only sync controllers made specifically for the PS4; you cannot sync a PS3 or PS2 controller with a PS4 console. You can, however, use a PS4 controller with the PS3.

How to Sync a PS4 Controller to a PS4

To sync a controller with the system, especially for the first time, you'll need a USB cable; any USB 2.0 Micro-B cable can connect the DualShock 4 to the console, and although there are only two USB ports on the system, you can sync up to four controllers per player account.

The PS Button on the DualShock 4
After you sync your PS4 controller, you can turn on the console by pressing the PS button.
  1. Before turning on your PS4, plug the small end of your USB cable into the port on top of the controller; plug the other end into one of the USB ports on the front of the console.
  2. Turn on your PS4 by pressing the console's power button. It should automatically detect your connected controller and assign it to the first available player slot.
  3. Press the PS button in the center of the controller and you’ll see the login screen where you can choose a player account or create one.

Tip: From now on, pressing the PS button on the controller will automatically turn on the console so long as it has a charge.

How to Sync Additional PS4 Controllers Wirelessly 

Once you have at least one controller synced with your system, you can add more wirelessly:

  1. With your synced controller, locate the Settings option in the row of icons above the PS4 home menu, represented by an icon that looks like a briefcase.
  2. Navigate to Settings Devices Bluetooth Devices. You should see a list of devices presently synced with your console.
  3. On the PS4 controller you wish to sync, hold down the PS button and the Share button simultaneously for 5 seconds.
  4. When the new controller appears in the list of Bluetooth device, select it with the other controller. The new controller will then be synced with your PS4.

How to Unpair a PS4 Controller

  1. Make sure the controller you wish to unpair is turned off.
  2. Using another PS4 controller, turn on your console. From the PS4 home menu, navigate to Setting > Devices > Bluetooth Devices.
  3. You should see a list of controllers. Select the one you wish to unpair and choose delete.

How to Charge Your PS4 Controller

The controller’s internal battery will charge while it is connected to the PS4. If the controller remains connected while your PS4 is in rest mode, it will continue charging, and the light on top will turn yellow. The light will also flash yellow when your controller is running low on power, and you should see an on-screen message telling you to plug it in.

When charged, the light bar on the top of the controller will glow different colors depending on which player the controller is assigned to; player 1 is blue, player 2 is red, player 3 is green, and player 4 is pink.

How to Reset a PS4 Controller

If you're unable to pair a PS4 controller with your console, try resetting it:

The reset button on the DualShock 4 controller
To reach the PS4 controller's reset button, you will need a straightened paper clip or a similar tool.
  1. Turn off your PlayStation 4 console.
  2. Find the reset button on the back of your controller. It's located in a small hole near the L2 shoulder button.
  3. Using an unfolded paper clip or a similar object, press the button in the hole and hold it down for three seconds.
  4. When you turn on your console, it should not detect the reset controller unless it is plugged in.

Troubleshooting: PS4 Wireless Connectivity Problems

If your controller won’t turn on when you hit the PS button, plug it into the PS4 to make sure it has a charge. If the light bar doesn't glow, it could be a problem with your USB cable, or the controller's internal battery could be damaged. If you have an extra cable handy, try using that instead to eliminate the first possibility.

If the controller can't connect to the console wirelessly even though it is charged, then the problem lies with either your console or your controller's Bluetooth connectivity. If your other PS4 controllers are working wirelessly, the faulty controller is to blame. Nonetheless, you can continue playing with the controller connected to the console via a USB.