PS4 Controller Not Connecting: What Should I Do?

February 21, 2022 • Shannon Flynn


If your PS4 controller is not connecting to the console, take heart and know that thousands of people around the world have experienced and solved the same problem. You don’t have to get a new console or upgrade to a PC (not yet, anyway), and your connectivity issue likely has a simple fix that you can complete in just a few minutes. Try these standard solutions so you can get back to playing your favorite games!

1. Try a Cable

If your Dualshock PS4 controller’s wireless connection fails, try hooking it up to your PlayStation with the cable that came with your console. The cable should connect the two devices and charge the controller as well.

If the default cable doesn’t work, try a USB or micro-USB cable. You’re in luck if you have an Android smartphone because most Android devices use these cables. In any case, you can find a USB cable at pretty much any tech store or buy one online at an affordable price.

2. Restart the Console

Sometimes, fixing a technical problem is as easy as turning the device off and restarting it. If you’ve made multiple failed attempts to connect your controller to the console, turn the device off and step away for a while. Try not to press any buttons in the meantime.

After a few minutes, turn the console on just like you usually would. Again, avoid overloading the console by pressing too many buttons. Let the devices take their time to reboot. If all goes well, your controller will connect to the console without issues. If not, see step three.

3. Check Your Bluetooth Connections

The Bluetooth connections on other wireless devices, including laptops, tablets, and mobile phones, may interfere with your PS4 controller’s ability to connect to the console. Walk around the house and make sure the controller hasn’t connected to one of those other devices instead. Temporarily turn off the Bluetooth feature on the devices just to be sure.

With all other possible devices out of the picture, the controller only has the option to connect to your console. Turn off and restart the console’s Bluetooth feature as a final precaution.

4. Resync the PS4 Controller

If you most recently used your controller to play on another PlayStation console, the controller still only recognizes that console. That means you have to resync the controller with your own console to become compatible again. Just follow these steps:

  • Find the tiny hole on the back of your controller next to the L2 button.
  • Poke into the hole with a paperclip or small pin. You should feel a small button.
  • Hold the button down for a few seconds, then release.
  • Connect the controller to the console with a cable. Wireless works too, but a cable creates a more stable connection.
  • Press and hold the PlayStation button on the center of the controller. After a few seconds, the button will start blinking and attempt to resync with the console.

Keep in mind that this method only works with the standard Dualshock controllers that come with the PlayStation console. Third-party controllers like Scufs and Razers have different resyncing instructions. 

5. Update Your Console

If you manage to reconnect your controller to the console, make sure the console has all of the recent updates. Un-updated consoles are more susceptible to errors, cyber-attacks, and other technical difficulties, slowing down the console’s performance and interfering with its connectivity. 

You might also find it helpful to play around with your controller’s settings, like the button assignments and vibration feature. These settings won’t necessarily help with the connection, but at least you’ll know that your controller is fully functional.

6. Get a New Controller

If your PS4 controller still is not connecting, you probably have a defunct controller. While that’s a slight inconvenience, it’s no cause for panic. You can easily obtain another Dualshock controller online or at a local tech store. Alternatively, you can use this situation as an opportunity to make a controller upgrade. Invest in a high-quality gaming controller and you won’t have to deal with connectivity issues for a long time.

Remember: It’s Just a Game

Dealing with minor technical issues like a PS4 controller not connecting can be extremely frustrating, especially when the problems prevent you from doing fun activities like gaming. If your PS4 controller doesn’t connect, just stop, take a breath and remember that it’s just a game. Don’t stress over it too much. You can always put the controller down and come back to it later with a clearer head.