How to use a PS5 DualSense controller on a Windows PC

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Source: Jennifer Locke / Windows Central

The obvious choice when looking for the best controller for PC gaming is Microsoft’s Xbox controller. It’s natively supported in Windows 10, connects via Bluetooth, and is, let’s face it, the best design for a controller.

But if you are also a PS5 owner as well as a PC gamer, do you need to buy an Xbox controller? No, in this case you can use your DualSense controller with your PC games. It’s not quite as smooth as using an Xbox controller, but for the most part it will work pretty well. Here’s what you need to know.

How to connect the PS5 DualSense controller to a PC

You have two choices here. You can play wirelessly via bluetooth or wired. Both are possible, but obviously the easiest solution is to just plug in a USB-C cable and go your way.

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If you want to connect the PS5 DualSense controller via Bluetooth, here’s what to do.

  1. Open Settings on your computer.
  2. To select Devices.
  3. Click on Add Bluetooth or other device.
  4. Click on Bluetooth.

    Bluetooth settings on Windows 10Source: Windows Central

  5. To put your PS5 controller in pairing mode, press and hold PlayStation and sharing buttons together until the light around the touchpad flashes.
  6. Click on Wireless controller when it appears.
  7. Wait for the end of the pairing.

The controller is now ready to play with it, and the easiest place to do so is Steam.

How to use the PS5 DualSense controller with Steam

The easiest way to use a PS5 controller on a PC is through Steam, as Steam natively supports DualSense. This means that any game you run through Steam can use and configure it properly.

Before you can use it, however, you will need to activate it.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Controller in the sidebar.

    To smokeSource: Windows Central

  3. Click on General controller settings.
  4. To assure Support for PlayStation setup is authorized.

    To smokeSource: Windows Central

That’s all you need to do to enable PS5 DualSense controller support in Steam. This will now work by default. The button mappings will likely match the Xbox controller, but you can set up custom configurations as well.

Press the PlayStation button on the controller while in a game and the Steam overlay will appear, allowing you to access the settings menu.

To smokeSource: Windows Central

Of course, this is all well and good for Steam, but what about games that aren’t in your Steam library? The good news is that you can also play it through Steam and take advantage of this simple controller setup.

Click on Games in the Steam menu bar and choose Add a non-Steam game to my library. From there, you’ll either see the games that Steam can locate on your system, or you’ll need to navigate to the folder they’re downloaded to. Either way, select the games you want and they will be added to your Steam library as a Locally installed. From there, you’re free to launch them through Steam and use whatever tools it has.

How to use the PS5 DualSense controller with Microsoft Store games

Microsoft StoreSource: Matt Brown | Windows Central

Unfortunately, games from the Microsoft Store will not work with the PS5 DualSense controller without a little outside help. But on the bright side, there is a third-party tool that will do all of the heavy lifting for you. It’s called DS4Windows and you can download the latest iteration from its Github repository.

This app installs drivers that will make Windows 10 believe that the DualSense Controller is a supported controller. In this case, it seems to translate to an Xbox 360 controller, but it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that it works. You can create custom profiles in DS4Windows if you want, but it’s not required and you can adjust game settings title by title, just like you would on a console.

DS4WindowsSource: Windows Central

Connect your PS5 controller to your PC using one of the methods described above. Download and extract the DS4Windows application, then launch it. It’s a good idea to go right into settings and tell it to launch on startup (and minimize it if you don’t want to see it) to avoid having to open it manually. You will be prompted to install some drivers, so go through them and then make sure Start has been activated. You may need to restart your PC and reconnect the controller after installing the drivers for the first time.

Assuming everything goes as planned, DS4Windows will now recognize your controller. From now on, you just have to load your games and, well, play them. You don’t have to do anything else.

At the end of the line

Using an Xbox controller is probably still the best way to get gamepad inputs into your PC games, but if you don’t have one and you to do have a PS5, then that’s a perfectly fine alternative.

Steam makes everything easier, but with a little outside help, even games from the Microsoft Store will work perfectly with the Sony controller.

Playstation 5 Dualsense controller

Sony DualSense controller

The Sony PS5 controller is a great tool for playing PC games if you don’t have an Xbox controller, especially if you mainly play on Steam.

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