The PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller is one of the biggest leaps in controller design ever, adding advanced haptic feedback to Sony’s new console. For games that take full advantage of it, like Astro’s Playroom, the effect it has on the play experience can be truly game-changing. Like most other console controllers, the DualSense can also be used to play games on PC, though without the full benefit of features like variable-resistance triggers.
For those who want to get a little more mileage out of their DualSense, here’s how to connect the PS5 controller to a PC. While the good news is that the DualSense works just like any other controller on a PC, the bad news is that, well, the DualSense works just like any other controller. It may lack the PS5-specific features that make it such a standout when connected to a PC, but it’s also simple to set up and use, whether you want to connect using a USB cable or Bluetooth.
How to connect a PS5 controller to PC with USB
Connecting the PS5 controller to a PC with a USB cable will likely be the go-to option for most people, as it’s extremely easy to do and won’t run the risk of draining the DualSense’s battery during a play session. Just connect the DualSense to a USB-C to USB-A cable (like the one that comes with the PS5), and plug the other end into your PC. If your PC has a USB-C port, you can also use a regular USB-C cable. If you’re purchasing a new DualSense on its own, as opposed to using one that comes with the console, just be aware that it won’t come with its own cable.
How to connect a PS5 controller to PC with Bluetooth
If your computer has built-in Bluetooth capability or you have a separate Bluetooth adapter, you can also connect the DualSense wirelessly. The process is the same as connecting any wireless controller. Just hold the PS button and the Create button on the DualSense to start pairing. On your PC, navigate to the Bluetooth & Other Devices menu and click Add Bluetooth or other device, then select the Bluetooth option. When the connection is made, the PS5 controller will show up as Wireless Controller in the menu.
How to use a PS5 controller on PC with Steam
The major caveat to using a PS5 controller on PC is that not all games will recognize it natively. Fortunately, Valve added limited DualSense support to Steam almost as soon as the PS5 was released and is continuing to add features. All the Steam games with controller support are playable with the DualSense, and functions like motion controls, rumble, and the light bar should work just like they did for the PS4’s controller, though new features like adaptive triggers still aren’t working.
An update released shortly after the PS5’s launch made full DualSense support (which was at first only available in beta) available to all Steam users. However, if Steam doesn’t automatically recognize your controller, or if you just want to change its settings manually, you can still configure the controller yourself. To configure your DualSense with Steam, just open Steam with the controller connected and navigate to the Controller menu under Settings. Open General Controller Settings and find your PS5 controller (which may be listed as Sony Interactive Entertainment Wireless Controller), and you can configure each individual button, just like with any other controller.
If you find that your PS5 controller isn’t working with a game outside of Steam, there’s even a workaround for that. In Steam, just click on Games in the top toolbar, then Add a Non-Steam Game to My Library. You can add any installed game to Steam from this menu and enjoy the full benefits of Steam’s DualSense support.