The PlayStation 5 has proven to be phenomenally popular. At the time of writing, it’s pretty much impossible to get a PS5 no matter where you are in the world, so those who do have them are very lucky indeed. If you are lucky enough to be the proud owner of Sony’s next-gen console, you’ll know that the DualSense controller is one of the crowning achievements of this generation already. It’s an engineering marvel, enhancing any game you play with it through haptic feedback and trigger vibration the likes of which have never been seen before.
If you’re just getting your PS5 out of the box - or, indeed, if this happens to be your first gaming console, as it certainly will be for many - then you may be wondering how to do something as basic as connecting your controller to the console. This is actually a significant stumbling block for many gamers, especially if you’re someone who hasn’t really played games since the days of the PlayStation 2. Controllers don’t simply plug into the console anymore; there are slightly more complex connection protocols now, but don’t worry, because we’re here to help. Here’s how you can sync your PS5 DualSense controller with your console.
As you might imagine, the best and most effective way to connect a PS5 controller to your console - as well as the only way you can possibly do it if it’s your first controller - is to use a cable. Unlike the PS4’s DualShock 4, the PS5’s DualSense controller’s charging port is USB-C. This means you’ll either need to use the supplied USB-C cable to connect the controller or find a phone charging cable or similar to do the job. Don’t worry - any USB-C cable will function just fine, so connect the cable to the DualSense and then find a spare USB port on your PS5. Once you do, press the PlayStation button in the centre and you should see the controller blink into life. Hey presto - controller connected!
Connecting your DualSense to your PS5 wirelessly is just a little bit trickier than doing it using a cable. If you don’t already have a PS5 controller synced up to your console, you won’t be able to use this method, but it’s perfect for adding another controller for a second player. Here’s how to do it.
First, you’ll need the controller you want to connect (obviously). Make sure it’s sufficiently charged and that it isn’t already connected to something else, like another PS5 or a PC. Head over to your PS5’s Settings menu and then select Accessories. From there, you’ll need to select General, then Bluetooth.
Once you’ve found your way to this menu, press and hold the DualSense controller’s Create and PlayStation buttons. The Create button is where the Share button used to be on the DualShock 4, and the PlayStation button is in the centre of the controller (it’s the one with the distinctive PlayStation logo on it). Your controller will start flashing. Use the controller you’ve already connected to select the new one, and that should complete the process!
Tips, tricks, and extras
Perhaps the most-asked question regarding the DualSense controller is whether you can use it on your PS4. After all, DualShock 4 controllers were technically compatible with the PS3 (after a lot of wrangling, of course, and only through a wired connection, but still).
Unfortunately, we can confirm that it’s not at all possible to use the DualSense controller on the PS4. It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to connect the controller via cable or wirelessly; you simply won’t be able to use the DualSense on a last-gen console. This is likely because the DualSense has a bunch of extra functionality that the DualShock 4 doesn’t have, and the PS4 probably isn’t set up to understand how to interpret that tech.
The good news is that you can use the DualSense controller to play PS4 games, as long as you’re playing them on your PS5. Hey - if you’ve got a PlayStation 5 and you want to play PS4 games, why would you want to play them on your old console? The PS5 powers up many PS4 games, giving them better visuals and performance, so you’re much better off opting for the PS5 now if you’ve got one and want to revisit your PS4 library.
Did you know that the DualSense controller can also be used on PC? It’s true - if you’ve got a gaming PC, the DualSense controller makes an excellent option for playing PC games. You can either use it via a wired connection or wirelessly, and either way, it’s a great controller for PC gaming. Simply connect the DualSense to one of your PC’s USB ports to use the controller with a cable, and if you’re connecting wirelessly, use Windows’ built-in Bluetooth setting to find and connect the DualSense controller. If you want to use it for games that aren’t on Steam, you will need to use a third-party program to fool Windows into thinking you’re using an Xbox controller, unfortunately, but this is a small price to pay for such an excellent gaming experience!