PS5 DualSense controller in front of a TV
Alena Veasey/

If you’re playing a Sony PlayStation 4 and you happen to have a spare PS5 controller. You might be wondering: Can I use a DualSense controller on a PS4? The answer is no—with one big exception. We’ll explain.

PS5 Controllers Don’t Work on the PlayStation 4

While you can use a DualShock 4 on a PS5 to play PS4 games, you can’t use a PS5 controller on a PS4. (It’s possible to pair a DualSense controller to a PS4 via Bluetooth, but Sony has made it so the PS5 controller won’t register any inputs.)

Sony's DualSense controller for the PS5 against a teal background

In Sony’s Ultimate PlayStation 5 FAQ, they write “The DualSense wireless controller is not compatible with the PS4 console.”

Sony designed the PS5 controller to be a showcase for the PS5 console since it has special features that are unique to PS5 games. So it makes sense that Sony is moving forward from the PS4 era by forcing players to use DualSense with the PS5.

The Workaround: Remote Play

There’s an exception that will let you use a PS5 controller to play games on a PS4. However, you’ll have to use Remote Play, which is a way to stream games from your PS4 to another device.

If you connect to your PS4 with a device that has a DualSense controller attached (via USB or wirelessly)—such as a PS5, Windows PC, iPhone or iPad, Android Phone, or Apple TV—you can use that DualSense to play games on your PS4 console. Happy gaming!

DualShock 4 Wireless Controller for PlayStation 4

PlayStation 5 controllers aren't backward-compatible with a PlayStation 4 (unless you use Remote Play.) You'll need PS4 controllers for your PS4.

Profile Photo for Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is a former Associate Editor for How-To Geek. Now, he is an AI and Machine Learning Reporter for Ars Technica. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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