The Playstation 4 has sold over 100 million units and for good reason. It boasts a truly impressive library of games, prompting gamers worldwide to spend hours in their virtual worlds. At least they do when their controllers are charged.
Unfortunately, the DualShock 4 controller has abysmal battery life. For reasons unknown, Sony decided to only include a measly 1,000 mAh battery in PS4 controllers. To put that in perspective, a single AA battery has roughly twice the capacity. The Internet is rife with people lamenting the short battery life of their DualShock 4 controllers. Fortunately, there are a few tips to help you get the most battery life out of your DualShock 4 controller.
Change Controller Shutoff Time
When you are using your PS4 console for anything other than playing games, like watching Netflix or YouTube, your DualShock 4 controller remains powered on. By default, the DualShock 4 controllers are set to power off after 60 minutes. To save your controller’s battery, you can tell it to automatically shut itself off earlier.
You can adjust the the auto shutoff time of your controllers in one of two ways. First, head to the PS4’s Settings menu and select “Devices -> Controllers.” Here you’ll see various options including “Set Time Until Controllers Turn Off.” To extend your controller’s battery life, choose the lowest setting, 10 minutes. The other way to do this is to pull up the PS4’s quick menu by long-pressing the PS button on your DualShock 4 controller and selecting “Sound/Devices.”
Dim the Light Bar
The DualShock 4 has a forward-facing “light bar” that changes color during certain games. While it certainly looks cool, there is a practical purpose behind it. The light bar works in conjunction with the PS Camera hardware add-on. The camera tracks controller movement via the light bar when playing PSVR games. Other than that, it doesn’t serve much of a purpose. Unfortunately, leaving the light on will contribute to battery drain, and there’s no way to shut it off completely. That being said, it can be dimmed to minimize the amount of power consumed.
Jump into the PS4 quick menu by long-pressing the PS button on your controller. From there, select “Sound/Devices,” then “Brightness of DualShock 4 Light Bar.” By default, this is set to “bright;” however, changing it to “dim” will help you wring out a little extra battery life. Alternatively, you can access this option by heading to “Settings -> Devices -> Controllers.”
Reduce Controller Speaker Volume
The DualShock 4 controller has a little speaker built into it. Whereas the main game music and sound comes from your TV or stereo system, the DualShock 4 speaker is used by certain games to provide novelty sound effects. The controller speaker is most often used as a way to further immerse the player in the world of the game. For instance, in “The Last Of Us,” the sound of your flashlight clicking on and off, as well as the audio from voice recordings, is delivered through the controller speaker.
As fun as that may be, the controller speaker is much louder than it actually needs to be. And the louder the volume, the more power it requires. To turn the volume of the controller down, pull up the quick menu by pressing the PS button on the controller. Select “Devices,” then “Volume Control (Speaker for Controller).” Here you’ll be able to toggle a lower volume that suits you and saves a bit of juice. Additionally, you can also change the controller speaker volume by navigating to “Settings -> Devices -> Controllers.”
Turn Off Vibration
As it’s name implies, the DualShock 4 controller houses a motor that delivers powerful vibrations. Regrettably, these vibrations sap power from your controller’s battery. Luckily, you can shut off the vibration function of your DualShock 4 completely.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to turn off vibration by long-pressing the PS button on your controller to pull up the quick menu. Instead, you’ll have to head to “Settings -> Devices -> Controllers.” From there, scroll down to the option labelled “Enable Vibration.” Pressing the “X” button will remove the check from the box and disable the vibration function of your DualShock 4 controller.
Never Worry About Battery Life Again
While you are always going to have to charge your DualShock 4 controller, there are gadgets that will help prevent interruptions in gameplay. First, we recommend buying a DualShock 4 controller charging station. They are very affordable and easy to use. Just pop your controller on the charging station after very session to make sure the battery is always topped up.
If you don’t want to invest in a charging station or don’t trust yourself to actually use it, do yourself a favor and grab an extra-long micro USB cable. This way you can charge your controller while sitting comfortably on the couch, all without interrupting your your game. If you really despise the idea of cords, you could opt for an external battery pack for your DualShock 4. There are a few different ones on the market, but the external batteries by Venom are officially-licensed products.
Do you have any tips or tricks for getting the most play time out of your DualShock 4 controller? Let us know in the comments!