How to Use Your PS4 Without a Controller
Sony’s DualShock 4 controller for the PS4 is generally very intuitive and comfortable to use, but depending on what you’re using your PS4 for, you may prefer to use another device to control your system.
Some players may prefer to play certain games with a mouse and keyboard, and using your phone as a remote is a convenient way to browse the Internet, sort through the PlayStation Store, and watch content on streaming services.
Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to control your PS4 without a controller. Here’s how you can connect a keyboard and mouse or a cell phone to your PS4.
Use PS4 with Keyboard and Mouse
PlayStation allows you to play games with third-party keyboards and mice. They can be either Bluetooth or USB, and you can install them in place of your regular controllers.
How to Connect a USB Keyboard & Mouse to PS4
To connect a USB keyboard or mouse to PS4, you have to do the following:
- Plug your device into an empty USB port on the PS4.
- The console should recognize your device and ask which profile you would like to pair the device with.
- Select the PS4 profile that you would like to pair with the device.
How to Connect a Bluetooth Keyboard or Mouse to PS4
Setting up a Bluetooth Keyboard is slightly different than USB. Here is what you have to do:
- From the PS4’s Home Screen, press up on the D-pad to select the navigation menu.
- Go to Settings.
- Find Devices.
- Enter Bluetooth Devices.
- Wait for the system to scan for nearby Bluetooth devices.
- Pair the devices normally by following the default pairing process of your Bluetooth device.
- The PS4 will recognize a new device.
- Choose the profile that you want to link with the device.
After following these steps, you should be able to use your Bluetooth keyboard to control your system.
Change the Keyboard Settings
Once you set up your keyboard, you will be able to change the settings by following these steps:
- Go to Settings.
- Select Devices.
- Choose your keyboard.
From here, you’ll be able to change key repeat delay and rate, the keyboard type, and the language.
Can I Play PS4 Games with a Keyboard?
Unfortunately, many PS4 games do not support using a mouse and keyboard. Certain games, like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn support keyboards; however, for most other games, you’ll have to use a DualShock 4 controller for an intuitive gameplay experience.
You may not be completely out of luck as products like the XIM APEX keyboard adapter for PS4 allow you to use your keyboard in place of a controller. These devices work by translating your keyboard inputs into controller button presses — essentially tricking your console into believing you are using a DualShock 4. However, some users report having issues with input delay, and at $125, it’s a fairly pricey option.
Still, if you choose not to use an adapter like the XIM APEX, you’ll still be able to use your keyboard for some games and general browsing purposes.
Use a PS4 with a Smartphone
Sony officially launched a PlayStation app (iOS and Android) which enables you to use your smartphone or tablet to control your PS4 remotely. You can use them as a keyboard, as a controller, or even as a remote controller.
The smartphone controller feature is still not available in many games, but it may come in handy in certain situations.
Step 1: Download the App
Once you’ve downloaded the app, install it on your device, and open it. When prompted about login information, you should enter the same PlayStation Network username and password as you have on your PS4.
Step 2: Link the Devices
Connect your PS4 by using the ‘Second Screen’ feature. To do this, you need to follow these steps:
- Open the PS4 app.
- Tap the Connect to PS4 icon.
- Select the Second Screen option. If it can’t find the PS4, then make sure they are in the same network.
- Tap to link the devices.
After this, you’ll need to input a unique code to register your device to the PS4:
- Go to the Settings menu on your PS4.
- Find the PlayStation App Connection Settings menu.
- Select the Add Device menu on your PS4.
- There should be a code displayed on this screen.
- Copy the code to your phone’s app t officially register the device.
The ‘PlayStation App Connection Settings’ screen will display all the devices that you link to your PlayStation, and from this menu, you can unlink them in the future.
Step 3: Start Using Your Smartphone
After the devices are linked, the only thing that’s left is to use it as a remote. To do so, follow these steps:
- Go to the PS4 app on your smartphone.
- Tap the Connect to PS4.
- Select Second Screen.
- Tap the Second Screen button below your PS4.
- The remote along with four icons will pop up at the top of the screen.
The first icon lets you use the remote in-game, but only if the game is compatible with the feature. The second enables you to use your smartphone as a remote to browse through the PS4 menu. The third is a typing keyboard which enables you to type on the console, and the fourth icon allows you to see comments from the viewers while you’re streaming.
After you’ve finished with all these steps, your phone should automatically connect with your PS4 every time you turn on the app. Note that you won’t be able to play that many games with your phone, but more games are getting compatible with the app every day.
Even if you don’t use the controller, you can have a similar experience by using a keyboard, mouse, and even your phone.
Of course, you won’t be able to enjoy many games, but these devices are usually more convenient for out of the game activities. You can easily send a text, browse the web, and even stream a movie with a few clicks or taps instead of trying to do everything with a controller.
What would you use instead of the PS4 controller? Do you know of any PS4-compatible keyboard or mouse? Leave a comment and let us know.