How to Connect a PS4 Controller to a Mac

If you game on your Mac, you’re probably itching for a decent controller. You could open up your wallet and shell out your hard-earned dollars for a dedicated Mac game pad, but you may have an excellent controller for your Mac already in your possession.

If you have a Sony Playstation 4, you can use the DualShock 4 controller with your Mac. This is especially useful since Steam now offers full DualShock 4 support across Mac and PC. This means you won’t have to mess with any additional settings when playing a controller-supported Steam game. Sound good? Let’s see how it all works!

Connect Your Dualshock 4 Controller to Your Mac Wirelessly

Once upon a time, Sony manufactured and sold an official PC adapter for the DualShock 4 controller. You can still get your hands on one today; however, it is discontinued and (at the time of this writing) runs more than the controller itself. Fortunately, there is a way to connect your DualShock 4 controller to your Mac using nothing more than its built-in Bluetooth. This is a great option because it doesn’t require any additional hardware and you won’t have to contend with a tangle of cables.

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To get started, open up System Preferences on your Mac. You can do this by either clicking the Apple icon and clicking System Preferences in the drop-down menu or typing “System Preferences” in Spotlight. Once the System Preferences window has appeared, locate the option labelled “Bluetooth” and click on it. Ensure that your Mac’s Bluetooth is on before moving on to the next step.

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At this point grab your DualShock 4 controller and put it in to Discovery Mode so that your Mac can see it. To do this, press and hold the PS button and the Share button simultaneously. The light at the front of the controller should flash on and off if you are successful.

On your Mac, check the devices panel in the Bluetooth settings. This is where the DualShock 4 controller will appear once your Mac has “found” it. The DualShock 4 will show up as “Wireless Controller.” Click on it to pair it. The DualShock 4’s light will stop blinking and stay a solid color once it has successfully paired to your Mac.

Connect Your DualShock 4 Controller to Your Mac Using a Micro-USB Cable

If you don’t want to stuff around with Bluetooth, or if your Mac’s Bluetooth isn’t working, you can connect your DualShock 4 to your Mac using a Micro-USB cable. Using a Micro-USB cable may not be ideal; however, it is a surefire, hassle-free way to use your DualShock 4 controller with your Mac.

To get started, plug in your DualShock 4 controller to your Mac via a micro-USB cable. Then, press the PS button on your DualShock 4 controller to turn it on. You should see the light on the front of the controller turn on, indicating that it is ready to be used. That’s it, your DualShock 4 is ready to go!

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To make sure that your Mac recognizes your DualShock 4 controller, click the Apple icon in the top-left of your screen. From there, click on “About this Mac -> System Report.” This will open up a new window. In the column on the left, select “USB.” You should be presented with the USB Device Tree.

In this list you should see an option labeled “USB Bus.” How many you see will depend on how many USB ports your Mac has. You can expand the information by clicking the little arrow next to “USB Bus.” Doing so will show you the device connected to that particular USB port (e.g. a keyboard). Upon connecting your DualShock 4, one of your USB ports should read “Wireless Controller”. If so, your DualShock 4 is recognized and should work with your Mac.

Do you use your DualShock 4 controller with your Mac? If not, which controller would you recommend for gaming on a Mac? Let us know in the comments!

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