How to Use a PS5 Controller With a PC or Mac
The PS5’s DualSense controller is an excellent piece of hardware, but like many other modern controllers, you can use it on a computer too. Unlike specific older-gen controllers like the PS4’s, you don’t have to install any software. They already work once you connect them to your computer via one of two ways.
For those who own a PS5 and wish to play computer games using the controller, you’ve come to the right place. Both Bluetooth and USB are good ways to let your computer recognize the controller, and here we will show you how to use both. It won’t take long before you can start gaming.
How to Connect a PS5 Wired Controller to a Mac
Most gamers who own current-gen console controllers can easily pair them to their computers instantly. Bluetooth technology has come very far, and it barely takes a minute or two before you can start playing. However, there are reasons to stay wired, such as:
- No need to turn Bluetooth on
- Wired mode charges the controller
- Your Mac doesn’t have Bluetooth functionality
Not all Macs can accept the PS5 DualSense controller, as it has to run macOS Big Sure 11.3 or later. If your Mac is too old, it may not support the controller at all.
If the points above apply to your device, follow these steps to connect the DualSense controller:
- Disconnect your PS5 DualSense controller from your console.
- Connect the charging cable to the controller.
- Plug the cable into your spare USB port.
- Your Mac should detect the controller and set it up.
- After a moment, you should be able to use the controller and play games.
It’s straightforward to use wired mode, as you don’t have to pull up any menus. However, if your Mac doesn’t detect the controller at first, you might have to fiddle with some settings and make it visible.
Should your device not detect the controller even after repeated attempts, you might have a faulty cable, controller, or your Mac may have a malfunctioning USB port.
When you get into a compatible game, you should be able to use the controller right away.
The best part about using wired mode is that you don’t have to remember charging the controller. The USB cable will draw power from your Mac automatically. This feature is highly convenient when it comes to long hours of gaming.
How to Connect a PS5 Wireless Controller to a Mac
Now that you know how to connect a wired PS5 controller to your Mac, you can try using it wirelessly as well. Note that doing so allows the controller to run out of battery, and you’ll have to recharge it before you can continue playing. However, you’re free from the wire’s constraints and can sit as far away as you wish from the Mac.
To connect the PS5 DualSense controller to your Mac wirelessly, these steps will do:
- Grab your PS5 controller and bring it near your Mac.
- On the controller, hold down the power button and Share button.
- Wait for the lights to start flashing on the controller.
- Go to your Mac.
- Turn on Bluetooth connectivity if you haven’t already.
- Check for a list of Bluetooth devices.
- If the controller is there, click on it and let it connect to the Mac.
- Start playing games.
This process takes almost no time at all, and it can almost be an afterthought as you sit down and prepare for a long session of games.
As with the process for wired controllers, you might have to search for the controller manually in your settings if it refuses to connect. In most circumstances, your Mac should remember the controller, so connecting it will be even faster.
Using the PS5 Controller on Mac
Not all games available on Mac can support the use of the PS5 DualSense controller. The games that you can use it with are:
- Apple Arcade games
- Sony Remote Play
- Some other App Store games
- Steam games
- Epic Games Store titles
- GeForce Now titles
If you install a game that doesn’t belong to these categories, the controller won’t register.
While the other categories should automatically detect the controller, Steam requires users to configure it manually. Here’s what to do:
- Connect your PS5 DualSense controller to your Mac.
- Launch Steam.
- From the top-left corner, click on Steam.
- Go to “Preferences.”
- Select “Controller” from the left pane.
- Click on “General Controller Settings.”
- Check the box for PlayStation Configuration Support.
- After doing so, you can play Steam games using the controller.
Other features, like advanced haptics and force feedback triggers, aren’t available on Mac. There is standard vibration and rumble, but the sensation isn’t as detailed as with a PS5 itself.
How to Connect a PS5 Wired Controller to a Windows PC
Connecting a PS5 controller to your Windows PC using a USB cable is similar to that on Mac. The main difference is that your Windows version doesn’t matter too much, though you should always use the latest Windows version.
Here’s what you have to do:
- Grab your PS5 DualSense controller and its USB cable.
- Plug the cable into the controller.
- Connect the USB cable to your computer using a spare USB port.
- Wait for your PC to detect the controller.
- In a few moments, you should be able to use the controller in games.
This process is almost identical, and you’ll also have to search for devices should the controller not appear. The same problems preventing you from using the controller can also be found on Windows PCs.
How to Connect a PS5 Wireless Controller to a Windows PC
If you don’t like a cable dangling nearby as you play your games, the wireless mode is the best choice. As with using it on a Mac, make sure you charge it often to prevent the controller from suddenly running out of battery. That might cost you a game of Halo or Apex Legends.
These are the instructions:
- Bring your PS5 Controller near your Windows PC.
- Hold down the power button and Share button on the controller.
- After a few seconds, the controller will start flashing brightly.
- Turn to your PC.
- Turn on Bluetooth connectivity if it’s not on yet.
- Bring up the list of nearby Bluetooth devices.
- The PS5 DualSense controller should be on the list, and you can click on it.
- Allow the controller to access your PC.
- Start playing games.
As you can see here, both Mac and Windows follow similar procedures for using PS5 controllers.
Using the PS5 Controller on a Windows PC
Most modern games that support controller usage should accept the PS5 DualSense controller. However, most of them don’t support advanced haptics and adaptive triggers, except for titles like Metro Exodus: Enhanced Edition and Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla.
Nevertheless, Windows is a better platform if you wish to play computer games with the PS5 controller. You also have to follow the same steps as above to play Steam titles with the controller.
- Connect your PS5 DualSense controller to your Windows PC.
- Launch Steam for Windows.
- Click on Steam.
- Choose “Settings.”
- Select “Controller” from the left menu.
- Go to “General Controller Settings.”
- Check the box to enable PlayStation Configuration Support.
- You can now use the PS5 controller for any supported Steam titles.
Currently, it’s not known if Steam will support the PS5 controller’s advanced features for more games.
With both PC and Mac, the controller’s 3.5mm headphone jack doesn’t work. If you wish to connect earbuds or headsets, you need to use your computer’s original audio output jack.
No matter the operating system, these current-gen controllers are excellent for gaming and take no time at all to connect. Their predecessors often required additional setup and software, which could be a hassle.
Easy Access and Connectivity
The PS5 DualSense controller’s advanced features might not be fully available, but it’s still a fine piece of hardware. Gamers will like its ergonomic shape and familiar feel, making transitioning from console to computer effortless. Things will feel the same, and you don’t need too many controllers just to play on multiple platforms.
Do you use the PS5 controller while playing PC games? Would enabling advanced haptics and adaptive triggers on PC be something you’d want? Let us know in the comments section below.