How to Use a PS5 Controller on Your PC or Mac

Be more in control

What to Know

  • Plug your controller into your PC or Mac and your computer should detect it automatically.
  • To put it in Bluetooth pairing mode: Hold down the controller's PS button and the Share button until the lights start flashing.
  • There are some limitations when using a PS5 controller on a PC or Mac.

This article teaches you how to connect a PlayStation 5 controller to your PC or Mac via a USB cable or Bluetooth. 

How to Use PS5 Controller on PC

Setting up a PS5 controller on Windows 10 is simple. Here's what to do.

Tip:

You can also connect the PS5 controller on PC via Bluetooth but you need to have a Bluetooth receiver built-in or to buy a Bluetooth dongle to do so.

  1. Get your PS5 DualSense controller and the USB-C to USB-A cable that came with it.

    Note:

    If you bought a controller separately, it doesn't come with the cable and you'll need to buy one. The controller bundled with the PlayStation 5 includes the charging cable.

  2. Plug the cable into a spare USB port on your PC.

  3. Windows 10 should now detect the controller.

How to Connect PS5 Controller to Mac

Using a PS5 controller on your Mac is just as simple as on PC. Here's what to do.

Tip:

It's also possible to connect a PS5 controller to Mac via Bluetooth. Again, you need a Bluetooth receiver built-in to your Mac or to purchase a dongle to do so. 

  1. Collect your PS5 DualSense controller and the charging cable that came with it.

  2. Plug the controller into a spare USB port on your Mac.

    Note:

    If you have a newer MacBook Pro, you'll need to buy a USB-C adapter to do so. 

  3. The controller is now detected by the Mac and ready to use.

How to Place a PS5 Controller Into Pairing Mode

When connecting your PC or Mac to a Playstation 5 controller via Bluetooth, you need to place the PS5 controller into pairing mode for your device to detect it under Bluetooth devices. It's not as obvious as it looks so here's what to do.

  1. On your PlayStation 5 controller, hold down the PS button (the power button) and the Share button (the button between the d-pad and the Touch Bar) until the lights start flashing on your controller.

  2. The controller should now be an option within your Bluetooth devices menu on your PC or Mac.

How to Use PS5 Controller With Steam

One of the main reasons why many users want to have a PS5 controller connected to your PC or Mac is to be able to play Steam-based games. Here's how to set up your controller within Steam once it's connected.

  1. Open Steam.

  2. Click Steam > Settings/Preferences.

    Steam app with Steam menu highlighted
  3. Click Controller.

    Steam app with Settings open and Controller options highlighted
  4. Click General Controller Settings.

    Steam app with Settings > Controller options open with General Controller Settings highlighted
  5. Click on the PS5 controller.

    Steam app with Controller Settings open and Sony Wireless Controller highlighted

    Note:

    It's usually referred to as Sony Interactive Entertainment Wireless Controller.

  6. Enter the button configuration you want for each button tap.

  7. Click Save and Exit.

Limitations When Using the PS5 Controller on PC or Mac

There are a few things that the PlayStation 5 controller can't do on a PC or Mac. Here's a quick overview of its limitations.

  • There's no haptic feedback. While you can feel every explosion or jump on your PlayStation 5, there's no haptic feedback when using the controller on your PC or Mac, limiting how your senses feel in-game.
  • The adaptive triggers aren't active. One of the best PS5 features is how you can gently squeeze the triggers and see how they affect what you're doing. This isn't possible on PC or Mac.
  • You may have to set up the button configuration. Some games will show the correct PlayStation button prompts but not all, so expect to need to configure things for each individual game.
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