If you like to play games on your PS5 and PC and want to use the upgraded DualSense controller to play your favourite PC titles, the good news is that it’s a relatively straightforward process. The bad news is that support isn’t universal just yet, and despite a number of high-end features on offer from Sony’s latest controller, not all of these are supported on PC.
Still, you’ll get basic controller support that’ll allow you to use the DualSense controller to play your favourite PC titles. We outline the various ways to connect your DualSense controller and play PC titles, along with the limitations of using the controller, right here.
Connecting your DualSense controller to your PC
Like with the PS4’s DualShock 4 (and just about every other controller on the market right now) you have the choice between connecting to PC via cable or Bluetooth depending on which is better suited to your setup.
Wireless Bluetooth connectivity will be the go-to for most PC gamers, because let’s be honest, who wants a cable running across the desk the entire time? It’s a simple process to connect your DualSense controller wirelessly, but first, you need to check that your PC has Bluetooth connectivity – unlike laptops, many don’t offer it as standard.
If you haven’t got Bluetooth built-in but you’re still keen on connecting your DualSense wirelessly, you’ve got the option of picking up a USB-powered Bluetooth dongle for PCs, like the TP-Link UB4A Nano Bluetooth 4.0 adapter from Amazon, available for £7.99/$15 at the time of writing.
To connect your DualSense controller to your PC wirelessly, follow these steps:
On the DualSense controller, hold the PS button and Create button for three seconds (until the lightbar begins to flash) to put it into pairing mode.
On your PC, head to the Bluetooth settings menu and select Pair new device.
Click Wireless controller.
Select your DualSense controller from the list and connect – if you’re prompted to enter a code, enter 0000.
That’s it! Once the pairing process is complete, you’ll get a notification and you’ll then be able to use the DualSense controller on your PC.
If you don’t want to rely on Bluetooth connectivity, you’ve always got the option of hooking up your DualSense controller via USB cable.
You’ll need a USB-C cable, as the DualSense uses the upgraded USB-C compared to microUSB of the DualShock 4, but it can be either USB-A or USB-C at the other end depending on what you’ve got available on your PC. Simply plug it in and you’ll be ready to go.
Using the DualSense controller to play PC games
Here’s the catch – not all games will support the DualSense controller by default. Rather, it’s down to developers to specifically add controller support, and that doesn’t always happen, especially when it comes to games never released on console.
The good news is that Steam does offer limited support for Sony’s latest controller when playing PC games, and you can even use it to play unsupported games via custom button mapping tech on offer from the platform. Here’s how to do it:
Connect your DualSense controller to your PC using one of the methods outlined above.
Open Steam and head to Settings > Controller > General Controller Settings.
On the Controller Settings menu, enable both Generic Gamepad Configuration Support and PlayStation Configuration Support to use the DualSense in supported PC titles.
For unsupported titles, click the device (a generic controller) and click Define Layout.
Select PlayStation 4 from the dropdown to get PS button prompts in supported games and input your custom button mappings.
Save and name the controller.
Your DualSense controller should now be ready to use in both controller-supported and unsupported games on PC.
What are the limitations of using a DualSense controller on PC?
Sony’s DualSense controller is arguably the strongest selling point of the PS5, offering new tech including adaptive triggers and enhanced haptic feedback – the problem is that not all of these features are available when playing PC titles.
In fact, there are a few notable limitations of using the DualSense controller on PC, which we outline here:
No support for adaptive triggers
No haptic feedback support
Can’t use the built-in 3.5mm headphone jack
Not all games show PS-specific button prompts
It’s hopeful that developers and PC storefront providers offer support for the upgraded features in future, but the ball is very much in the developers’ court right now.