How can I connect a PS4 or Xbox One controller to my Mac? Can I connect a DualShock 4 controller via Bluetooth? I enjoy Mac gaming but I want to use my DualShock 4 or Xbox One controller.
Keen Mac gamers should consider hooking up Sony’s DualShock 4 or Microsoft’s Xbox One controller to a Mac. It's easy to connect a PlayStation 4 controller to Mac OS X, either using Bluetooth or a USB cable. And once you have a PS4 controller connected to a Mac, you can use it to play Mac games in style. It’s also possible to use an Xbox One controller, but the process will take a little longer. Don’t worry though; here, we’ll show you all the ways that you can use a PS4 or Xbox One controller on a Mac.
How to connect a PS4 controller to a Mac: three ways to connect your DualShock 4 controller to your Mac
So, how can I connect my PS4 DualShock 4 controller to my Mac to play macOS games? While there’s no Mac plug’n’play support for Sony’s DualShock 4 controller, there are still a few ways that you can connect your PS4 controller to your Mac and play your favourite macOS games.
How to connect a PS4 controller to a Mac: Official wireless adapter
While there’s no plug and play support for the DualShock 4 on a Mac, Sony did recently release a wireless USB adapter that’ll enable wireless connectivity across PCs and Macs, although it’ll cost you around £19 on Amazon. If you don’t want to fork out for the official accessory, try our other options below.
How to connect a PS4 controller to a Mac: Micro-USB
The easiest way to connect a PS4 controller to a Mac is to use a Micro USB cable. Follow these steps:
- Use a Micro-USB cable to connect the PS4 controller to your Mac.
- Press the PlayStation button in the middle of the gamepad (to turn it on).
- Choose Apple > About this Mac.
- Click System Report.
- Choose USB.
- Look for Wireless Controller under USB.
If you can see Wireless Controller (it's called "wireless" even though it's connected via a cable), then your PS4 controller is connected to the Mac. It'll now work with any compatible games. It’s worth noting that Steam offers full DualShock 4 controller support across Mac and PC, meaning you won’t need to tweak any additional controller settings when playing a controller-supported Steam game.
How to connect a PS4 controller to a Mac: Bluetooth
Hooking up your PS4 to a Mac using Bluetooth is great because it enables you to game without the wire (and without buying the official adapter), allowing you to sit back and use the Mac just like you'd use a console.
Setting up a PS4 controller to a Mac via Bluetooth takes a bit more effort, but it's still not that difficult. Follow these steps to set up your DualShock 4 controller with a Mac wirelessly.
- Open System Preferences (Apple menu > System Preferences).
- Click Bluetooth.
- Put the PS4 controller in Discovery Mode by holding down the PlayStation button and Share button at the same time.
- The light on the front of the controller will flash quickly, and Wireless Controller will appear in the Bluetooth window. Click Pair.
The device will now say connected, and you'll see how. You can now use the PlayStation controller with the Mac.
Read next: How to connect a MacBook to a TV
How to connect an Xbox One controller to a Mac
Okay, so now we’ve established that it’s pretty easy to connect a DualShock 4 controller to a Mac, an Xbox One controller shouldn’t be much harder, should it? Sadly, due to the way that the Xbox One controller was designed (including use of Microsoft’s proprietary wireless connectivity system and not Bluetooth like the PS4 controller), it means that it’s not possible to use Bluetooth to wirelessly connect the controller.
How to connect an Xbox One controller to a Mac: Micro-USB
Although connecting via Bluetooth is out of the question, there is a way to connect an Xbox One controller to a Mac via a micro-USB cable, but it’s a bit more complex than with Sony’s DualShock 4 controller.
- Head over to GitHub and download the most recent version of 360Controller (it supports both Xbox One and Xbox 360 controllers, don’t worry!).
- Open the .DMG file you downloaded and run the 360Controller installation package.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to install 360Controller. It’s worth noting that the installation requires a Mac restart, so make sure your files are saved before installing.
- Once the Mac has restarted, head to System Preferences (Apple menu > System Preferences) and select Xbox 360 Controllers – it should be a new icon at the bottom of the list.
- Plug in your Xbox One controller and tweak the button mapping as desired.
Once you’ve tweaked the mapping settings, save your preferences and close the System Preferences window. Now, simply load up your favourite controller-supported Mac game and enjoy!