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For years, the PC gaming world has been dominated by a single gamepad: the Xbox 360 controller.
There have always been competitors out there, but the Xbox 360 was the king of the castle.
But ever since the PS4 was released, gamers have started using the DualShock 4 controller to play more and more PC games.
What kind of advantages does the DS4 have over the Xbox One controller and other gamepads? Well, it’s got a trackpad for one. It’s also not an Xbox controller – which, let’s be honest, is the first and most important advantage for many people.
Here’s what you need to know about using the DualShock 4 controller to play games on your PC:
Sony has never released official PC drivers for the DualShock
First, it’s important to note that Sony does not officially endorse using your DS4 as a PC controller. Unlike Microsoft, Sony has never released PC drivers for the DS4.
I don’t know why they’ve never released those drivers. It seems like it would be an easy way to make a lot of fans happy. Sony actually promised to release PC drivers a while ago, but still hasn’t made good on that promise.
But fortunately, the community has developed a better solution.
How to use the DualShock 4 controller on your PC
What you need:
-Windows 8, Windows 8/8.1, Vista SP1 or XP SP1
-.NET 3.5 or .NET 4.0 (these come bundled with the installer)
-C++ Common runtime libraries (also bundled with installer)
-USB 2.0 port somewhere on your computer
-SC Virtual Bus Drivers (also bundled with installer)
-Bluetooth 2.1+EDR minimum (Windows BT stack), which is only required if you want to use your controller wirelessly
Download the installer
Download the latest version of the DualShock 4 installer files from here (it’s updated on a regular basis)
Watch the video
There are a number of installation guides all across the internet, but some are better than others. I liked the video below, which walks you through the process in five minutes.
You may have to individually configure the controller for some games. But most games should work perfectly fine. Games tend to recognize the controller just like they would recognize a 360 controller. Even on new games like Shadows of Mordor, this method worked for me.
At this point, you may be wondering if there are any actual advantages to using a DualShock 4 controller on your PC instead of an Xbox One/360 controller.
Well, both controllers are very similar. But the DualShock 4 does come with a few advantages, including:
-The DS4 has a trackpad, which works well using the installer tool featured above. You can use the trackpad as a mousepad, which means you can easily navigate your desktop without putting down your controller.
-You can hook your PC up to your living room TV and play superior PC games from the comfort of your couch
What about disadvantages?
Ultimately, these benefits come at a cost: the DS4 controller tends to be slightly more finicky than the Xbox controller and you may have to do some additional configuring in certain games.
The other main disadvantage is that your brain will need to mentally “translate” Xbox 360 controller requests when they appear on screen. If Call of Duty asks you to press the blue “X” button to kill someone, you’ll need to press the purple square button.
This isn’t nearly as difficult as it might sound. It might take a few minutes to get used to, but if you’re familiar with both controller layouts, it won’t be a problem.
Consider donating $2
The installer tool is free. But developing software like this takes a lot of time and effort. If this method works for you, consider donating to the original developer. He suggests an amount of $2, in which case your forum account gets upgraded. But I’m sure whatever you can give is greatly appreciated.
You can view donation details here.
Obviously, setting up a DualShock 4 controller on your computer isn’t nearly as easy as plugging in an Xbox One controller. But if you really don’t like the Xbox controller design and have grown up with the DS4 design, then this is the best way to get that controller on PC.