We’re diving deep into the ever-debated topic of PS4 vs Xbox controller for PC gaming. Whether you’re on team PlayStation, or Xbox, or just curious, by the end of this guide, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to make an informed choice.
If you enjoy playing games on your computer but find the mouse and keyboard a bit unwieldy, you’ll be glad to know that both PS4 and Xbox controllers offer compelling options for gaming on PC. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down the key differences between these popular console controllers and how to set them up for optimal PC gaming.
Comparing the PS4 controller vs Xbox controller for PC
At a glance, the PS4 DualShock and Xbox One controllers have some obvious similarities as well as notable differences:
- Form Factor: The PS4 controller has a slim triangular shape that some find more ergonomic for smaller hands. The Xbox controller takes on a more traditional rectangular shape that fills out larger hands.
- Buttons: The PS4 controller features a traditional D-pad on the left and analog sticks above the face buttons. The Xbox adds paddles on the underside of the grips for extra buttons.
- Connectivity: The PS4 controller connects via Bluetooth or with a USB cable. The Xbox controller uses a proprietary wireless technology but also works with USB.
- Battery Life: On a single charge, the PS4 controller lasts around 6-8 hours compared to ~30 hours for the Xbox controller.
So in summary, the Xbox controller overall feels a bit larger and heavier duty with extra buttons, while the PS4 controller has a more minimalist design focused around its iconic DualShock shape.
Setting Up PS4 and Xbox Controllers on PC
Setting either controller up for PC gaming is pretty straightforward with a few different connection methods:
The DualShock 4 supports both Bluetooth and wired USB connections:
- Put the PS4 controller into pairing mode by holding the Share and PS buttons simultaneously
- Open Bluetooth settings on your PC and select the controller
- It should now pair and connect wirelessly
- Connect the PS4 controller to your PC with a standard USB cable
- It will be recognized automatically in Windows
The Xbox One controller connects either through its wireless adapter or via USB cable:
- Plug the Xbox Wireless Adapter into a USB port
- Turn on the controller and press the sync button
- It will sync automatically
- Connect the controller to your PC with a USB cable
- It will power on and be ready to use
Once connected, both controllers should work out of the box with no additional drivers or software needed in most cases.
Customizing Controller Settings
Both Steam and individual game clients also allow full remapping and customization of controller buttons:
- In Steam, go to Settings > Controller Settings to remap any buttons
- Many games have button mapping options accessible through their in-game menus as well
This lets you tailor controls entirely to your preference regardless of the controller. You can even mix and match button functions between a gamepad and keyboard if desired.
The controller software is also available to fine-tune settings:
- DS4Windows – Customize DualShock 4 lights and buttons
- Xbox Accessories – Update firmware, remap, and check battery on Xbox controllers
With the right software and configurations, both PS4 and Xbox controllers offer an immersive experience comparable to console gaming on PC.
Popular Games Supporting ps4 controller vs Xbox controller for pc
Luckily, the vast majority of games released today have full or partial controller support directly built-in, including big AAA titles as well as smaller indie games:
- Rocket League
- Dark Souls series
- Diablo III
- Stardew Valley
- Borderlands series
Many games will automatically detect an attached controller and prompt button mappings on startup as well. Be sure to check individual game pages to confirm compatibility.
In summary, both the PS4 DualShock and Xbox One controllers are excellent options for playing games on your PC in a more relaxed setting compared to a mouse and keyboard. Some key advantages and differences include:
- Xbox controllers have proprietary wireless, extra buttons, and longer battery life
- PS4 controllers connect easily via Bluetooth or USB cable
- Button mapping is fully customizable in Steam and game clients
- A vast library of controller-supported games across all genres
- Third-party software enhances the controller experience
With the right connection method and configuration, you can enjoy your favorite console-style games from the comfort of your computer with either PlayStation or Xbox pads.
Is a PS4 or Xbox controller better for a PC?
Both PS4 and Xbox controllers are compatible with PC. Preference varies by user; Xbox generally has better native support.
Is the PS4 controller good on PC?
Yes, the PS4 controller is good on PC. Though it might require additional software like DS4Windows for full compatibility, its ergonomic design and features make it a popular choice for many PC gamers. Preference ultimately depends on individual users.
Does the Xbox controller work better with PC?
Yes, the Xbox controller has better native support with Windows, given Microsoft’s ownership of both Xbox and Windows. This often results in seamless plug-and-play compatibility for PC gamers, making it a preferred choice for many due to its convenience.
Is the Xbox One controller better than the PS4 controller?
Both Xbox One and PS4 controllers have their merits. Xbox One offers better native PC support and durability. PS4’s DualShock 4 features a touchpad and built-in speaker. Preference varies by user and intended use; neither is universally “better.”
Last Updated on 22 October 2023 by Ray Imran
Controller Review, founded by Ray Imran, is a premier online platform delivering comprehensive insights and unbiased reviews of gaming controllers and peripherals. Established in 2023, it has grown into a trusted resource, guiding gamers and tech enthusiasts with rigorous testing and up-to-date information about the latest gaming innovations.