How to Use Your PS5 or Xbox Controller Everywhere Else

When you buy a new PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X/Series S console, you get an excellent game controller with it. They’re designed to perfectly complement their respective consoles, but both the PS5 DualSense Controller and the Xbox Wireless Controller can have a life beyond them. 

If you want a controller to play games on your desktop or laptop, or you’re sick of touchscreen controls on your phone or tablet, then try using the best controller you already have. Before we dive into instructions on how to pair these controllers with your other devices, bear in mind that some controller features, like tension in the triggers and vibrations, may not work properly. You will also have to configure your controllers, and they won’t work with every game.

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How to Pair a PS5 Controller With Windows 10

How to Pair Your PS5 or Xbox Controller With a PC Laptop Phone or Tablet
Microsoft via Simon Hill

The easiest way to use your PS5 DualSense Controller with a Windows 10 desktop or laptop is to plug it in with a cable. All you need is a spare USB-A port on your computer, and you can use the USB-C to USB-A cable that came with your PS5.

But a wireless connection is likely preferable, and you can use Bluetooth to establish one, provided your computer has a Bluetooth receiver (click the speech bubble icon in the bottom-right corner of the taskbar to open the Windows Action Center and look for Bluetooth). If your computer doesn’t have Bluetooth, you can pick up a Bluetooth dongle like this TP-Link USB Bluetooth Adapter for around $10. 

Here’s how to connect the PS5 controller:

  1. Start on your Windows 10 computer and type “Bluetooth” into your Windows search box at the bottom left of the taskbar.
  2. Select Bluetooth and other devices settings, make sure Bluetooth is toggled On. Click on Add Bluetooth or other device, then click Bluetooth.
  3. Pick up your controller and simultaneously hold down the Create button at the top left and the central PlayStation logo button for around three seconds.
  4. The light bar on the controller should start to blink rapidly, which means it’s in pairing mode.
  5. On your computer, you should see Wireless Controller pop up in the Add a device list, and you can click on it to pair.