Typically if you wanted to use a DualShock 4 controller on your Windows PC, you had to pick up a Bluetooth adapter or dongle and use a 3rd party software like DS4Windows or Joy2Key. For the most part, it worked and it did the job that Sony failed to do, which was providing a working driver for Windows. Fast forward to 3 months ago when Sony announced a wireless adapter that gives the PC native DualShock 4 support.
But does it deliver on that promise?
Update: I did mention I’d update this review once the native Dualshock Support in Steam or Sony the official driver from Sony was released. Well, the Steam support has been released and it’s a bit spotty and while Sony hasn’t released an official driver yet, the crew behind DS4Windows has added support for it. Meaning that the adapter does, in fact, work in just about everything now, as long as you have DS4Windows that is.
Click here to download the latest version of DS4Windows.
Name: Sony DualShock 4 USB Wireless PC Adapter
Platform(s): PC / Windows 7, 8/8.1, 10
Manufacturer(s): Sony Entertainment
For a piece of hardware that was supposedly going to resolve the DualShock 4 connectivity issues for the PC, this thing was launched without much mention. There was no marketing, no commercials, not even an announcement on the PlayStation Blog. It was really low key, and considering what it does, compared to what it doesn’t, I can understand why. Had I not visited my local Gamestop and was doing my weekly “sight seeing”, I wouldn’t have even noticed the adapter. It was hidden in the back, behind several other controllers. I guess it was fate that I found it.
The adapter itself is pretty standard stuff, in fact, if you didn’t look closely at it, you’d confuse it for a simple USB flash drive. There’s a single PlayStation logo etched in black, and not much else. Besides that, there are no buttons on it either, leaving one confused on how you actually use it to pair it with a DualShock 4 controller. Thankfully, it’s pretty simple – at the USB connection end of the adapter, it depresses with an audible click. That way when you connect it in a USB slot, you just push it in for a few seconds, the built-in LED will flash and then you pair it up with the DualShock 4 controller by holding down the share and home button.
Pairing with the adapter is simple and I was actually impressed by how well built it was. Especially compared to the Xbox One Wireless adapter, which has some build quality issues (talked about here).
The Sony DualShock 4 USB Wireless PC adapter works perfectly if you’re using it to play PlayStation 4 games directly to your PC. I experienced zero issues while testing it with both PS4 Remote and PS Now for the PC. This is where the adapter shines. So if this was the main reason you wanted this adapter – get it, it’s worth it.
Sadly, that’s just about all it’s good for.
The other side of the coin, however, isn’t so rosy. I really need to stress this as well – if you’re getting this for the sole purpose of playing PC games with a DualShock 4 controller, then don’t. Out of the 11 games, I tested, only 2 of those worked somewhat, while only 1 worked completely.
- Steam Big Picture – Worked fine, was able to navigate using the analog stick and access any games/movies with ease.
- Street Fighter V – Did not work
- Shovel Knight – Did not work
- Dark Souls II – Did not work
- Dark Souls III – Did not work
- BioShock Remastered – Did not work
- Rocket League – Did not work
- Redout – Did not work
- 20XX – Analog and button presses work, however, you could not press more than two buttons at a time.
- Shadow Warrior 2 – Worked fine, no issues.
- Shadow Warrior – Did not work
- DOOM 2016 – Did not work
As you can see, just about every game failed to see the DualShock 4, While 20XX was able to use the controller, moves requiring multiple buttons or needing fast button presses such as jumping and dashing, were not possible. On the other end of the spectrum, Shadow Warrior 2 worked without a hitch – which was surprising as there’s no advertised DualShock 4 support for the game. This is due to both Steam and the games not having any native DualShock 4 support, which removes any ability to use them in games. This, in turn, makes the DualShock 4 USB Wireless PC adapter is useless for PC gaming, at least for now.
The Saving Grace
While this isn’t helping the DualShock 4 USB Wireless PC adapter at the moment, Valve did confirm during the Steam Dev Days that Steam (here) will eventually receive official DualShock 4 support. While there’s no date set for when we can expect to see this implemented, at the very least we know that it is coming. Sure it doesn’t help at the moment but it’s worth mentioning that in the near future we’ll be able to use the adapter and have it working in more games than it currently does.
Once that support does make its way into Steam, we’ll revisit the adapter to see where it stands.
While this isn’t official support, thanks to DS4Windows being updated to version 1.4.52 (download 1.4.52 here), they have added support for the official adapter. After testing this in multiple games, I”m happy to report that it does, in fact, work as intended with DS4Windows installed. It’s still a shame that this support didn’t come from Sony, but I’m not one to stare a gift horse in the mouth.
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DualShock 4 USB Wireless PC Adaptor
Fares a bit better with DS4Windows
When Sony announced the adaptor, the first thought in my head was that we're finally getting some native support. Sadly, that wasn't the case in this instance at all. While being a great idea it just wasn't implemented well - unless you count using it exclusively for the PS4 Remote Play and using it for PS Now service. Short of that, I can't recommend anyone picking up this, especially if they were looking forward to using this over DS4Window or Joy2Key.
Update: While it's still not officially support via Sony, at least the update of DS4Windows gives Windows users the ability to use their DualShock 4 USB Wireless adaptor in any game they seem fit. This effectively changes the adaptors worth, as long as you're willing to use a 3rd party software to get it where it needs to be.
- Works great for PS Now and PS4 Remote Play
- Well built and I really liked how the unit pairs
- Sadly this doesn't really support many PC games, rendering it useless - Unless you use DS4Windows 1.4.52 or higher.