How to Use a PS4 Controller on Your PC or Mac

The DualShock 4 is compatible with Steam and most PC games

It's possible to play PC games with a PS4 controller thanks to the DS4Windows driver. If you want to use your PS4 controller on Steam or a Mac, you don't even need to download any special software.

Information in this article applies to the official Sony DualShock 4 controller for PS4.

How to Play Steam Games Using a PS4 Controller

Steam has updated its platform to support PS4 controllers, but it requires some setup on your part:

  1. Unplug any nearby PlayStation 4 consoles to avoid syncing interference.

  2. In the Steam client window, select Steam > Check for Steam Client Updates. If there are any available updates, download and install them, then wait for Steam to restart.

    In the Steam client window, select Steam > Check for Steam Client Updates.
  3. Plug the PS4 controller into a USB port on your PC.

  4. Select View > Settings.

    Select View > Settings.

    If you're using a Mac, select Steam > Preferences.

  5. Select Controller, then select General Controller Settings.

    Select Controller, then select General Controller Settings.
  6. Select the box beside PlayStation Configuration Support.

    Select the box beside PlayStation Configuration Support.
  7. Select your PS4 controller under Detected Controllers, then select Preferences.

    Select your PS4 controller under Detected Controllers, then select Preferences.

    If your controller isn't showing up in the Steam settings, try unplugging the controller and plugging it back in.

  8. From this screen, you can give the PS4 controller a name, change the LED color, and toggle the rumble feature. Once you're satisfied, select Submit. Your controller will be ready to use, so close the settings screen and launch a game.

    Adjust the PS4 controller settings and select Submit.
  9. To access the controller settings while playing a game, press the PlayStation button on the PS4 controller. Most games should show the PlayStation button configuration, but older games that don't support Steam's generic controller may show the Xbox controller buttons on-screen. The PS4 controller should still work fine.

How to Play Non-Steam PC Games Using Your PS4 Controller

To play non-Steam games on a Windows PC, you'll need a special device driver. The DSWindows driver works by tricking the computer into thinking the PS4's DualShock controller is really an Xbox controller.

  1. Unplug any nearby PlayStation 4 consoles to avoid syncing interference.

  2. Plug the PS4 controller into a USB port on your PC.

  3. Open a web browser, go to ds4windows.com, and select Download Now. This will take you to GitHub with a listing of the latest drivers.

    Go to ds4windows.com and select Download Now.
  4. Select DS4Windows.zip to download it.

    Select DS4Windows.zip to download it.
  5. Open the zip file and move the files inside onto your PC.

    Open the zip file and move the files inside onto your PC.
  6. Open the DS4Windows.exe file.

    Open the DS4Windows.exe file.

    If nothing happens when you select the file, restart your computer and try opening it again.

  7. Select Appdata in the pop-up window.

    Select Appdata in the pop-up window.

    If prompted to give DSWindows.exe permission to make changes to your computer, select Yes.

  8. The driver should install automatically, and your controller will be ready to use. A menu will open where you can adjust the PS4 controller settings. Open DS4Windows.exe any time to access this menu.

    A menu will open where you can adjust the PS4 controller settings.

    If you are on Windows 7 or an earlier version, you will be prompted to install support for Xbox 360 controllers.

If you experience any problems, you may want to reboot the computer. Sometimes this may be needed for Windows to properly detect the driver and the controller. 

How to Connect Your PS4 Controller Wirelessly

Sony sells a Bluetooth adapter for connecting PS4 controllers to PCs, but you can use any cheap Bluetooth adapter if your computer doesn't have Bluetooth built-in.

  1. Put your controller in discovery mode by holding down the Share button and the PlayStation button until the light blinks.

  2. Open the Windows Bluetooth settings and select Add Bluetooth or other device.

    Open the Windows Bluetooth settings and select Add Bluetooth or other device.
  3. Select Wireless Controller.

    Select Wireless Controller.

Steam can sometimes cause problems by intercepting the Bluetooth signal, so you should exit out of Steam when playing non-Steam games.

How to Use a PS4 Controller on a Mac

It's even easier to get your DualShock 4 up and running with a Mac than it is using a PC. Just plug in your PS4 controller using the same USB cable that connects it to the PS4. You can hook up the PS4 controller wirelessly by the same method you would connect any device to the Mac with Bluetooth:

  1. Select the Apple icon at the top of the screen, then choose System Preferences.

    Select the Apple icon at the top of the screen, then choose System Preferences.
  2. Select Bluetooth.

    Select Bluetooth.
  3. Put your controller in discovery mode by holding down the Share button and the PlayStation button until the controller light starts blinking.

  4. When you see Wireless Controller in the Bluetooth menu, select Pair.

    No extra drivers are required to use the DualShock 4, so there is no DS4 for Mac.