If you own a modern gaming console, chances are you already have a usable Bluetooth controller. That’s because most newer console controllers either use Bluetooth as standard or include it for use on other platforms, which means, yes, it’s possible to use a PlayStation 4 controller on your Android phone, tablet, or TV device. We’re here to show you how.
Products used in this guide
- In case you don’t have one: DualShock 4 controller ($44 at Amazon)
How to do the thing
On your Android device, ensure your Bluetooth radio is turned on by opening settings and heading to the Bluetooth menu. Make sure the phone is in scan mode.
With the controller, simultaneously hold the PlayStation button and the Share button for a few seconds. The controller’s light will begin blinking to let you know it’s in pair mode.
Back on the phone, look for a device named Wireless Controller in the list of nearby Bluetooth devices. Tap that device to begin the pairing process.
The controller’s light should stop blinking and you should get confirmation on your phone that the connection was successful.
If all goes well, you’ll be connected, and the controller can be used to navigate the Android UI.
Should you use a PS4 controller on your Android device?
In testing, I’ve found that it may not behave quite as well as a dedicated mobile controller or even the Xbox One’s controller. For instance, while I could move my character and turn the camera using the analog sticks in Modern Combat 5, the aim and shoot buttons were relegated to the Share and Option buttons, respectively. This made for a pretty awkward and uncomfortable control scheme.
Your mileage may vary in this regard. Give your favorite games a try and see if they present any issues. Ideally, a game would simply let you remap all the buttons like an emulator would, but that’s just not the case with most games.
If you do have a game that works well with it or that allows you to remap the buttons, go nuts. However, we’d recommend an alternative, or just pick up the Xbox One controller with Bluetooth instead. Even if you don’t find it immediately useful, some popular games like Fortnite could offer controller mapping in the future, and you’ll be glad that you already know how to set this up if and when that day arrives.
$44 at Amazon
Great for PlayStation
Although the DualShock controller is an excellent device, and it does have Bluetooth, it’s not really the best choice for your Android phone.
There are better choices if you are serious about playing games on your Android phone or tablet. Here are our top picks.
Xbox One controller with Bluetooth
$45 at Amazon
The Xbox One controller is our favorite controller for Android. It works on almost every game and is very comfortable to use. Make sure you get the Bluetooth version though.
SteelSeries Stratus Duo
$50 at Amazon
If you want a no-compromise controller and something that feels just like the controller you use when you’re sitting in front of your television, SteelSeries has what you need.