Sony’s DualShock 4 is an absolutely fantastic game controller, and thankfully you can indeed connect it to your PC running Windows 10 to play games. We show you how to do so in this guide.
Update: Sony has launched PS4 Remote Play for Windows and Mac which allows you to play PS4 games on PC. With it, you can use your DualShock 4 to play PS4 games through your laptop or desktop. Pretty neat!
I am a huge, huge fan of the DualShock 4. It is simply the most ergonomic controller or remote I’ve ever used in my life. It fits my hands like an expensive, plush glove. All the buttons and sticks are at the perfect place. The casing feels good. The rubber on the analogue sticks has just the right amount of friction, as do the analog sticks’ own resistance.
I was happy to know that the DualShock 4 can work perfectly with Windows 10… with the right tools. Yes, although you can theoretically just plug & play, the reality is that the DualShock 4 doesn’t work right out of the box with every PC game.
A good example of this is Fallout 4. It detects a game controller when you plug in the DualShock 4, but the buttons are mapped differently. Additionally, you get instructions for “PlayerPOVButton” instead of, you know, X, O, Square, or Triangle.
In order to solve this, you need a tool that allows you to emulate the DualShock 4 as an Xbox controller, which PC games readily support. What happens then is you get correct mappings, and games will tell you to use A, B, X, and Y. This is certainly not as great as getting PS4 UI mappings, but it’s close enough, and certainly better than ‘PlayerPOVButton’. What is that anyway?
There are at least three different programs that allow you to emulate your PS4 controller as an Xbox controller. We’ll cover them one by one, and let you decide what’s best for you.
Based on my research, SCPToolkit was initially made for connecting the DualShock 3 with the PC, but since the launch of the DualShock 4, it supports that, too! It is free and open source, so people who support the FOSS movement will likely opt for this.
You can download SCPToolkit from GitHub [Link] where you will also find detailed step-by-step instructions on how to install, and set it up so you can connect your DualShock 4 with Windows.
DS4Windows is the most popular choice for emulating DualShock 4 as an Xbox 360 controller, and for good reason. It has a lovely, simple UI, support for different profiles for different games, and loads of little options that allow you to deeply customize how you use the DualShock 4 for PC gaming.
The setup procedure is straightforward. Just download and install the tool [Official Website]. Connect your DualShock 4, and it’ll be detected right away.
Interestingly, the DS4Windows fans know and love today branched off from the InputMapper project. While DS4Windows is specifically designed for the DualShock 4, InputMapper is a comprehensive all-in-one software taking input from any controller and emulating it as another. It has the same mapping options as DS4Windows, but supports a lot more than the DualShock 4.
Download InputMapper [Official Website]
Confused about which tool to use? I would recommend going for DS4Windows. It’s simple, free, and just works. You likely don’t need InputMapper’s support for different controllers, and SCPToolkit is not as simple to use.