Just like on PlayStation or Xbox, we can play games on Windows with a wide variety of controllers, from basic to professional ones. And if you have a console at home, such as the PS4 or PlayStation 5, you can even use its controller to play games on your computer. And the best way to do this on Windows is with the DS4Windows program.
If you have an Xbox controller, being from Microsoft itself, using it in Windows is very simple, both wired and wireless. However, when it comes to connecting a PlayStation controller to your PC, things change.
Problems connecting PS4 / PS5 controller to Windows
While it’s much easier to do this in Windows than in previous versions of the operating system, setup and mapping at the OS level is very limited. Unless we turn to tools like Steam, it’s very complicated to configure Sony controllers on Windows.
In addition, not all games that support controllers allow us to play with PlayStation controllers. It is very common to find that a game does not detect the controller in Windows because it is not an Xbox controller.
Also, some users experience connection problems, especially when connecting the controller via Bluetooth, because it is not connected to the Sony system and disconnects, hangs or latency problems often occur.
DS4Windows, the easiest way to connect your controller to your PC or laptop
DS4Windows is a program designed to allow us to get the best possible experience when using a Play 4 or Play 5 controller on our computer. This program emulates an Xbox 360 controller with our controller so that it works normally. Because games detect it as an Xbox 360 controller, vibrations and other functions work normally.
This program is completely free, open source and portable, so we can use it on any computer without having to install anything on it.
DS4Windows allows us to connect PS4 and PS5 controllers either via cable or Bluetooth to Windows. Either way, it gives us total and easy control. So we can see the remaining battery life of the controller, use the trackpad as if it were a mouse, and even use the controller’s motion sensor for certain actions.
The interface of this program is very simple and clear. The first thing we’ll see is the identifier of the controllers we’ve connected (we can connect multiple controllers at the same time) and assign each controller a different profile and configuration. In addition, we can easily change profiles depending on the game we are about to play.
Controller profiles are fully configurable. We can change the profiles as we wish or set them up automatically. This means that we can assign a profile to a particular program so that it is activated when we open that program or game.
How to connect the PS4 / PS5 controller to Windows
The first thing we need to do is install the software on our computer. This can be done by doing a Google search of the keyword DS4Windows, going to the website and then downloading the program.
If we’re going to play with the wired controller, all we need to do is plug it into our computer and let Windows detect and install it by default. If we plan to connect it via Bluetooth, the first thing we need to do is connect the Bluetooth receiver to the PC (that is if you don’t already have one). Open the Windows Settings menu to add a new device, press the “Share” and “PS” buttons on the controller at the same time, and when the light bar starts flashing, Windows will detect it.
Once it is connected, open DS4Windows and the controller will appear in the list. We’ll be able to see if it’s connected via cable, Bluetooth and how much battery it has left.
Options for configuring the controller can be found in the “Profiles” section. From this section we’ll be able to configure everything from control inputs, controller button mapping and touchpad configuration. We will also be able to configure a number of macros or special actions (such as turning off the controller with a combination of buttons) and we will be able to access the controller readings, to see the latency (between 1 ms and 2 ms for Bluetooth) and sensors.
This program was created as a result of poor support for connecting and setting up a PlayStation controller to the PC. However, things have changed a lot since the first versions of this program were released in 2014 (and even before). In turn, Windows is now able to seamlessly recognize Sony’s console controller, though it’s true that customization and mapping options are somewhat limited. Also, platforms like Steam or uPlay are already ready to recognize these controllers and allow us to use them as if they were Xbox controllers.