Like the PS4’s DualShock 4, the PS5’s DualSense controller can also be used to play games in PC. With a bit of fiddling about.
The PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller is pretty neat. While the rest of the console is pretty stupid – it’s so big and the somewhat limited storage isn’t (yet) expandable – the DualSense is one of the highlights. You could go as far as saying it’s one of the only true innovations of the new generation of consoles that isn’t based in hardware grunt. (Like, say, realtime ray-tracing or near-instantaneous loading times.)
Why is it so cool? It’s all in the “adaptive triggers” – an extreme form of haptic feedback that offers varying resistance based on the action you’re performing in-game.
The good news is that, yes, you can use your PS5 DualSense controller on PC, just like the DualShock 4. Quite why you’d want to is another question entirely, however. The bad news is that the adaptive triggers won’t work. Not yet, at least. (The drivers and proprietary PlayStation APIs needed to access those adaptive triggers aren’t available on the Windows platform at the time of writing.)
But if you’re especially attached to the DualSense’s big, white, robot face, you can use it with your PC. Here’s how.
How to connect a PS5 DualSense controller to your PC
You’ll have two options to connect your DualSense controller: a simple wired connection, or slightly more complex Bluetooth option.
- Grab a standard USB-A to USB-C cable
- Plug it into your DualSense controller
- Plug it into your PC
- That’s it
- Open the “Bluetooth and other devices” menu on your Windows PC (obviously, you’ll need a built-in Bluetooth adapter or USB Bluetooth dongle for this)
- Click “Add Bluetooth or other device”
- Click “Bluetooth” (this will make your PC start searching)
- Press and hold the PS button in the middle of the controller and the “Create” button (the one to the left of the touchpad)
- When the lights start flashing, you know it’s also searching
- Click on the “Wireless Controller” option that pops up after a few seconds
And that’s how you connect. But to you use it with games, you’re going to need some help from Steam.
Connect DualSense controller to Steam
- Open Steam
- From the “Steam” menu on the menu bar, click on “Settings”
- Select “Controller” from the list on the left
- Click “General Controller Settings” (this will open the controller menu in Steam’s couch-friendly Big Picture mode)
- You’ll see your generic “Wireless Controller” listed in here
- Click on the “Wireless Controller” to define the buttons (as Steam won’t know what to make of it by default)
And that’s basically it. But as we said earlier, you don’t get the benefit of the DualSense’s biggest selling point, those adaptive triggers, so it’s probably not worth the trouble of having to define all the buttons. Now you know how to do it, though, if you really must.