While it’s possible to connect a PS5 controller to a PC, functionality will be limited. As of today, Sony is not planning to release official Windows drivers for their PlayStation 5 DualSense controller. This means that some DualSense features won’t be supported by your PC.
It’s likely that an unofficial software tool (similar to DS4Windows for PS4 controllers) will fix these issues in the future. For now, here’s what will work and what won’t work on PC:
|PS5 Controller Feature||Works On PC?||Note|
|Use DualSense basic buttons for PC games|
|Direct input support|
|Games supporting this are usually older|
|X input driver support|
|Games supporting this are usually newer|
|Plug in earphones and play|
|No vibrations possible, sorry!|
|Change light bar color|
|One color only, sorry!|
Just like using a PS5 controller on PS4, you won’t have the ‘full gaming experience’ by default. A software workaround is required to solve this, but an elegant solution currently doesn’t exist yet. If you’re using your PS5 controller to play PC games, this usually won’t be a problem.
This article will explain how to connect your DualSense to a PC or laptop. Two methods are available: wired or wireless. Both will take less than a minute to set up.
How To Connect A PS5 Controller To PC
There are two ways to connect a PS5 DualSense controller to a PC. Make a wired connection with a USB-C to USB cable. Plug the USB-C side in the PS5 controller and wait for the device to pair with the PC. Alternatively, you can make a wireless connection via Bluetooth using controller pairing mode.
Both methods are discussed step-by-step below. It’s easiest to plug a USB-C to USB cable into your devices (a cable such as this one on Amazon). Most USB-C cables that fit the PS5 controller will work, as long as you make sure the cable isn’t exclusively meant for charging.
Wired Method (USB-C Cable)
To successfully establish a wired connection between your PS5 controller and PC, you’ll need a USB-C data cable. Next, follow the steps below:
- Attach the USB-C cable to the PS5 DualSense controller.
- Plug the other end of the cable in your PC (you can pick any USB input socket).
- The basic driver will be automatically installed.
- A few seconds later, you can use the PS5 controller on your PC.
If the device is not showing up on your computer, it’s possible that you’re using the wrong type of cable. Some USB-C cables are only meant for charging. Make sure to use a cable that’s also used to transfer data.
Using the audio output on your DualSense controller? Click the volume icon in the bottom right of the Windows screen, select the ‘Wireless controller’ as your default speaker choice. Next, plug your wired headphones or earbuds in the headphone jack into the 3.5 mm jack on the controller.
Do you prefer using wireless earbuds? Here’s a guide on how to connect your AirPods with a PS5 controller.
Wireless Method (Bluetooth Pairing)
Don’t have the correct cable, or do you prefer to play with a wireless controller? You can also connect your DualSense controller to a PC using a wireless Bluetooth connection. To make this work, the PC should have a native Bluetooth receiver. If your PC can’t receive Bluetooth signals by default, you can use a Bluetooth USB dongle such as this one.
To connect the PS5 controller to your PC via wireless Bluetooth, follow these steps:
- Search for ‘Bluetooth’ in the Windows search bar, or right-click the Windows logo on the bottom-left, choose ‘Search’, and type ‘Bluetooth’.
- Make sure ‘Bluetooth’ is activated on your PC.
- Click on ‘Add Bluetooth or other device’.
- Choose ‘Bluetooth’ in the newly opened window.
- On your PS5 controller, press and hold the ‘PS Logo’ and ‘Share’ buttons simultaneously, until the LED starts flashing rapidly. Your controller is now in ‘Pairing Mode’.
- On your PC, ‘Wireless Controller’ should pop up in the device list. Click on it to connect the controller.
How To Use A PS5 Controller On Steam
If you want to play games via Steam, there are a few more steps left to connect the PS5 DualSense controller. You can also choose to add and play non-Steam games (for easier connectivity). To connect your DualSense to Steam, follow the steps below:
- In Steam, click ‘View’ in the main menu.
- Choose ‘Big Picture Mode’ to activate full-screen play.
- Open ‘Settings’ by clicking on the cogwheel icon in the top right of your screen.
- Choose ‘Controller Settings’, where your DualSense should be listed as a wireless controller under ‘Detected Controllers’.
- Click ‘Wireless Controller’ and assign all the buttons to work with Steam games. Make sure to save your configuration.
PS5 Controller Connectivity Isn’t Perfect
Despite the multiple ways to connect a PS5 controller to a PC, the devices weren’t designed to be used together. Sony isn’t actively discouraging users to connect their DualSense controller to another device. But they don’t make it very easy either.
Making a PS5 controller work with a PC or laptop is relatively easy. However, you’ll have to remember that connectivity is limited. But the gaming experience will not be as good as a PlayStation 5 console game.
Still have some questions about connectivity? Found a better solution to enhance the connectivity between your DualSense and a PC? Feel free to share this in the comments below. I’ll attempt to update the article once a more elegant solution is available. Game on!