How to Use a PlayStation 5 DualSense Controller With a PC or Mac

Key takeaways:

  • The PS5 DualSense controller can be connected to PCs and Macs via USB-C cable or Bluetooth
  • Steam has native support for the DualSense controller, allowing customization and use in most games
  • For non-Steam games, third-party tools like DS4Windows (PC) or Joystick Mapper (Mac) can enable DualSense functionality

The PlayStation 5 DualSense controller is a fantastic piece of gaming hardware, offering advanced features like haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. But did you know that you can also use this controller with your PC or Mac? Whether you prefer the comfort and precision of a controller for certain games or just want to try something new, connecting your DualSense to your computer is a simple process.

Connecting Your DualSense Controller

There are two main ways to connect your PS5 controller to a PC or Mac:

  1. USB-C Cable: Using the included USB-C cable, simply plug your DualSense controller into an available USB port on your computer. Your system should automatically recognize the controller and install any necessary drivers.
  2. Bluetooth: If your computer has Bluetooth capabilities, you can pair your DualSense controller wirelessly. To do this, put the controller into pairing mode by pressing and holding the PS button and the Create button simultaneously until the light bar starts flashing. Then, go to your computer’s Bluetooth settings, find the DualSense controller, and click “Pair.”

Once connected, your DualSense controller should be ready to use with compatible games and applications.

Using Your DualSense Controller with Steam

Steam, the popular digital game distribution platform, has native support for the PS5 DualSense controller. This means that most games on Steam will automatically recognize your controller and map the buttons accordingly. To ensure your DualSense is set up correctly with Steam:

  1. Open Steam and navigate to the “Controller” settings in the top-left corner.
  2. Click on “General Controller Settings” and make sure your DualSense is recognized.
  3. Customize your controller settings, such as button mapping and sensitivity, to your liking.

With Steam’s DualSense support, you can enjoy a wide range of games using your controller, taking advantage of features like haptic feedback and adaptive triggers in supported titles.

Using Your DualSense Controller with Non-Steam Games

For games outside of Steam, or for applications that don’t have native controller support, you may need to use third-party tools to get your DualSense working properly.

On Windows

DS4Windows is a popular tool that tricks your PC into thinking your DualSense is an Xbox 360 controller, enabling compatibility with a wider range of games. To use DS4Windows:

  1. Download and install DS4Windows from the official website.
  2. Connect your DualSense controller to your PC via USB-C or Bluetooth.
  3. Open DS4Windows and follow the setup instructions to configure your controller.

Once set up, your DualSense should work with most games that support Xbox 360 controllers.

On macOS

For Macs, you can use an application called Joystick Mapper to map your DualSense controller buttons to keyboard and mouse inputs. This can help you use your controller with games that don’t have native support. To use Joystick Mapper:

  1. Download and install Joystick Mapper from the Mac App Store.
  2. Connect your DualSense controller to your Mac via USB-C or Bluetooth.
  3. Open Joystick Mapper and create a new mapping profile for your controller.
  4. Assign controller buttons to keyboard and mouse inputs as desired.

With Joystick Mapper, you can customize your DualSense controller to work with a variety of games and applications on your Mac.


If you encounter issues while using your DualSense controller with your PC or Mac, try the following:

  • Make sure your controller is charged and properly connected via USB-C or Bluetooth.
  • Update your computer’s operating system and drivers to the latest versions.
  • Check if your game or application has controller support and if there are any specific settings you need to configure.
  • Restart your computer and reconnect your controller.
  • If using Bluetooth, try unpairing and re-pairing your controller.

By following these steps and using the appropriate tools, you should be able to enjoy using your PS5 DualSense controller with your favorite PC and Mac games.


Can I use the DualSense controller’s haptic feedback and adaptive triggers on PC or Mac?

Haptic feedback and adaptive trigger support on PC and Mac depends on the game and the developer’s implementation. Some games on Steam, such as Metro Exodus and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, have added support for these features. However, many games do not utilize these advanced capabilities of the DualSense controller when used on PC or Mac.

Is it better to connect the DualSense controller via USB-C or Bluetooth?

Both connection methods work well, but using a USB-C cable provides a more stable and responsive connection. Bluetooth can sometimes introduce a slight amount of input lag, which may be noticeable in fast-paced or competitive games. However, for most casual gaming, Bluetooth should work just fine and provides a wireless experience.

Can I use my DualSense controller with non-gaming applications on my computer?

Yes, you can use your DualSense controller with various non-gaming applications, such as media players or video editing software, as long as they support controller input. You may need to use a tool like DS4Windows (PC) or Joystick Mapper (Mac) to map your controller buttons to specific functions within the application.

How do I check the battery level of my DualSense controller when connected to a PC or Mac?

When connected via USB-C, your DualSense controller will charge automatically, so you don’t need to worry about the battery level. If you’re using Bluetooth, you can check the battery level in Steam by going to the “Controller Settings” menu. For non-Steam games, you may need to use a third-party tool like DS4Windows, which displays the battery level in its interface.