How To Connect a PS5 Controller to a PC: A Step-by-Step Guide

The beauty of PC gaming is that you can use any kind of input to play video games. Want to play Counter-Strike on a steering wheel? Sure, even if it’s weird. Still, most people will use a gamepad as an alternative to the standard keyboard and mouse, especially in racing games. Now, one of the best things SONY did when it launched PlayStation 5 was creating the DualSense controller. Along with Xbox controllers, it is the best option for playing on a PC.

Naturally, many people wondered how to connect a PS5 controller to their PC and play games with it. Today, we will guide you through all the steps, including the Steam setup and accessories you need to purchase to make it all work.

What You Need To Use DualSense Controller on PC

Just like on consoles, the PS5 controller needs a way to pair with your PC. As you can probably figure out by looking at its pictures online, this controller doesn’t have a USB cable sticking out, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it in wired mode.

The DualSense controller has a USB-C port on its back, so you can connect it to your PC using a USB cable. That can be a cable you got with your smartphone charger, a power bank, or any other USB-powered device. If you’re one of the lucky owners of a SONY PlayStation 5 console, you’ve got an appropriate cable to connect a DualSense PS5 controller to a PC. The cable doesn’t come bundled with PS5 controllers purchased separately, which is a bit of a letdown considering their price.

Another option is the Bluetooth connection. After all, this is primarily a wireless controller, and nothing beats the comfort of playing wirelessly. To pair the controller with your PC, you’d need to get a Bluetooth dongle and hook it up in one of your PC’s USB ports. But, you may not even need to make this purchase. Some motherboards have a Bluetooth module integrated, so check whether your PC already has Bluetooth capabilities.

Connecting PS5 Controller to a PC via USB

The simplest and fastest way to start playing your favourite games with a PS5 controller is to connect it with a USB cable. As we’ve previously explained, the cable needs to be a USB-C on the end that goes into the controller and a standard USB-A on the other end to plug it into your computer.

Once you’ve got everything connected, just wait for your OS to recognize this new USB device, and you’re good to go.

How To Connect a PS5 Controller to a PC via Bluetooth

The wireless connection is more complicated, but the result is often better than getting tangled with a long USB cable.

To start, plug the Bluetooth adapter into one of the USB slots of your PC and, if required by the manufacturer, install the appropriate drivers. You then need to initiate the pairing process. Open the Windows menu, type “Bluetooth,” and choose “Bluetooth & Other Devices” from the menu. On this screen, click on the big “Add Bluetooth device” button at the top to pair a PS5 controller with the PC.

Then, press and hold the PlayStation and Share buttons on your DualSense controller at the same time until the LED indicator around the touchpad starts flashing. That means the controller has started looking for a Bluetooth connection. It will take just a few seconds for your controller to show up on the list of devices. Once it does, press “Connect,” and you’ll be paired up and good to go.

Configuring a PS5 Controller on a PC

One of the main problems with using DualSense, or any other official PlayStation controller for that matter, is that SONY hasn’t yet created drivers for these controllers. That means your PS5 controller, in most cases, won’t be recognized by most games. There has been some progress recently, and these games support a DualSense controller natively:

  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War
  • Call of Duty: Vanguard
  • DEATHLOOP
  • Death Stranding Director’s Cut
  • Dying Light 2 Stay Human
  • Far Cry 6
  • FINAL FANTASY XIV
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade
  • Ghostwire: Tokyo
  • Genshin Impact
  • F1 2021
  • Metro Exodus PC Enhanced Edition
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction
  • The Riftbreaker
  • The Smurfs – Mission Vileaf

To use the PS5 controller in the PC games above, you’ll have to connect it via USB. Even then, some of the controller features, like haptic feedback, touchpad, and adaptive triggers, won’t work as intended.

Another option is to install an app called DS4Windows. It’s a free app that lets you access the controller’s features and even remap buttons. Furthermore, this app makes the DualSense mimic the Xbox controller, which in turn helps it get recognized by all PC games. The downside is that you’ll be seeing Xbox prompts in games. Still, that is the beauty of PC gaming and why many choose PC over consoles – you can make anything work with a bit of tinkering.

How To Use a PS5 Controller With Steam

Steam is arguably the best avenue for playing PC games using a PS5 controller. The most popular gaming app and storefront added official support for DualSense in late 2020. Best of all, it works with controllers connected through both USB and Bluetooth, so you won’t be sacrificing any features.

To start, launch Steam and fire up its Big Picture mode. Then, go to Settings -> Controller Settings; you should see the PS5 controller in the “Detected Controllers” section. Make sure that the setting labelled “PlayStation Configuration Support” is checked. This will enable the features DualSense has on PC and let you navigate Steam Big Picture using your controller.

Now, you can enter the controller mapping tool and do a button check. Steam allows full controller customization, including touchpad remapping, and support for integrated gyroscopes for precise aiming. Even the games you add as non-Steam games will work with this setup.

Conclusion

DualSense is a fantastic controller for playing PC games, and, despite lacking official drivers, it’s great that we can now fully utilize it through Steam. It is, along with the Xbox Series X|S controller, the best way to enjoy arcade, racing, and various action games on a computer. Now that you too can sync your PS5 controller to your PC, it’s time to download some Steam titles, sit back, and have an epic gaming session.


FAQ

How do I connect my PS5 controller to Windows 10?

You either need to connect it via a USB cable, or wirelessly via Bluetooth. Windows 10 will instantly recognize the controller in both cases.

Why won’t my PS5 controller connect to my PC?

If you’re using a wireless connection, chances are you haven’t put the controller into pairing mode. Press and hold down PlayStation and Share buttons simultaneously until the light on the controller starts blinking. If you’re using a USB cable, you might need to switch it.

Can you use a PS5 controller on Steam?

Yes. Steam is, in fact, the best way to use this controller on PC as it includes drivers and deep customization tools. The app can recognize the controller and remap all of its buttons, but also grants access to its advanced features like gyro aiming, haptic feedback, and adaptive triggers. Just make sure you’re running Steam’s Big Picture mode to take full advantage of the controller features.

Can I use the PS5 controller on PC Bluetooth?

Yes, Bluetooth is one method of connecting this controller to a PC. In our article, you can read up on how to connect a PS5 controller to a PC and then configure everything to work wirelessly.

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