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Saturday, February 23, 2019

How to Connect Any Console Game Controller to a Windows PC or Mac

collection of PS4 and Xbox controllers on table

Console controllers don’t always work as soon as you plug them into a Windows PC or Mac. We’ve compiled a list of guides so you can learn how to make your favorite controller work with your computer.

Most controllers intended to be used on PCs, like USB Logitech controllers, will be HID-compliant devices and support the XInput or DirectInput protocol, which you can use in most games. Some may work out of the box and others may need a custom driver. For console controllers, especially older ones, you may need a hardware adapter if it doesn’t plug into USB, as Bluetooth support is hit or miss.

This guide covers Windows and macOS, but most HID controllers will work on Linux, too. It’ll just take a little configuration, with which Linux users are probably familiar.

PlayStation 4 (DualShock 4)

PS4 dual-shock controller

Windows supports Sony PS4 controllers without additional software as long as you plug them in via USB. You’ll need a hardware adapter to use the controller wirelessly.

Macs also support Sony’s latest controllers by default, even with a wireless connection. Unfortunately, these controllers show up as a generic input device, which may not work in all games.

PlayStation 3 (DualShock 3)

Windows needs a custom driver for PS3 controllers, and it’s a bit complicated to set up.

Macs support these controllers without any extra software. Just wirelessly connect via Bluetooth or plug it in with a USB cable.

PlayStation 1 and 2 (DualShock 1 and 2)

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