You know, just because you think all of your PS4 and Xbox One controllers would always place nice and stay completely faithful to your consoles that you have paired them with does not mean they actually will.
In fact, it is never the case where you can rely on your controller for long.
You can thank the wonders that have come our way due to technologies such as Bluetooth and other wireless ones for making it possible for us to use input devices such as controllers with our macOS and Windows machines.
That was not always possible in the past.
Now, things have changed.
Even the setup thing has become as easy as you’d like it.
In this guide, we will talk about those users who are looking for an easy and simple upgrade for their desktop or laptop gaming experience.
Of course, there is no restriction on people who just want a change as far as reading this guide is concerned.
We will take a look at how you can go about connecting your Nintendo, PlayStation and Xbox controllers directly with your Mac or PC.
Now, because we do not want you to spend the rest of the week reading this guide, we will make it short.
And to make it short, we have no choice but to focus only on the latest versions of Switch, PS4, and Xbox One consoles.
How to connect my controller to Windows
We will start off with, without a doubt, the easiest case where there is a user who wants to connect an Xbox One controller (which is made by none other than Microsoft) to the latest edition of the Windows operating system (which is also developed by none other than Microsoft).
So if you are ready for this, you need to……wait for it…… plug your Xbox One controller right into your machine running the Windows operating system via its USB.
As it turns out, the company allows users to plug in up to a total of eight controllers at any given time.
If you are making use of headsets as well then you can only connect four.
For people making use of stereo headsets then the limit comes down to just two of such headsets.
Of course, users who have a preference for the freedom that wireless controllers offer nowadays, they are all free to try out Bluetooth.
You should not need us to tell you that you will probably need the latest version of the given console’s controller in order to have success connecting it to your machine.
In other words, you need the controller that Microsoft launched with the latest Xbox One S console.
It also comes with a headphone jack.
Now, if you are one such user who happens to have that controller then you will first have to go to your machine’s Windows Settings.
After that, you will have to select the option that says Devices.
And then after that, you will have to click on the option that says Bluetooth & Other devices.
This should allow you to make sure that you have enabled the Bluetooth discovery option on your mobile device.
What do you need to do next?
Well, you need to turn on your console controller but only do that with the help of the Guide button.
After that, you will need to press and then hold the button that says Sync which appears at the top.
You need to keep holding it unless and until your controller’s Guide button starts to flash.
If you are on the on the Windows platform, you will either need to select Add Bluetooth or other devices.
If you have to select the option that says other devices then you will need to press the option that says Bluetooth.
After that, you have to choose the option that says Xbox Wireless Controller.
Remember that you really only have the option of attaching a single controller in this manner.
Moreover, no headsets are supported if you go down this path.
Of course, there is another option for users like you to connect more controllers.
In other words, there is still hope for you if you have an older controller that you have a desire to attach to your machine wirelessly.
All you really need to do in that case is to purchase a thing called Xbox Wireless Adapter.
It will cost you around $20 or slightly more.
When you purchase this adapter and then attach it with one of the many spare but working USB ports on your machine running the Windows operating system, you actually have the option of pressing the Sync button which is present on your current and older Xbox Controller.
Then you need to press the same Sync button which appears on the adapter that you have just bought in order to connect your old controller to your machine wirelessly.
Now is the time when we will start to talk about how to attach an official PS4 DualShock 4 wireless controller to your machine if your machine is running the Windows operating system.
Well, as was the case with the official Xbox One controller, users have the option of making use of a simple USB cable in order to do that.
This should also work with steam and you do not even have to install any kind of extra software or it.
All you really need to do is to perform a right-click on your Steam icon which appears in the system tray of your machine and then select the option that says Big Picture.
From there we want you to head into the option that says Configuration support.
Now, remember that if you are not currently playing a game on steam but you still want to make use of a wireless controller belonging to your PS4 console then you will need to download and open source piece of software application that goes by the name of DS4 Windows.
The other thing you should know here is that once you have managed to install the DS4Windows software on your computer machine (it is an easy process as all you really need to do is to follow the instructions and prompts which appear on your screen), your machine should not have a problem in recognizing your PS4 DualShock 4 controller.
It should actually do so as soon as you plug it in.
Of course, there could be cases where you would need to reboot your machine or may have to restart the program.
This holds true especially for those users who are setting up the DualShock 4 controller on their machine for the very first time in their machine’s life.
We also want to let you know that you also have the option of connecting your controller via BlueTooth with the help of the same application called DS4Windows.
All you need to do here is to go to the Windows Settings menu and then tap the option that says Devices.
After that, you need to click on the button that says Bluetooth & other devices.
Once that is done you need to make sure that you have toggled your Bluetooth discovery to ON.
There is a switch there.
And you need to make sure it is not set to the OFF option.
Now, return to your controller and then press and then hold the button that says PS in there.
You also need to hold the Share button while holding the PS button.
You need to keep holding it until your controller starts to flash its controller light.
When that happens then you can make your way back to your machine running Windows and then select the option that says Add Bluetooth or other devices.
After that, you need to select the option that says Bluetooth.
Once that is done you need to hit the Wireless Controller option in order to complete the whole thing and see your very own controller appearing in DS4Windows.
While we are at it we would like to let you know another option with which you can connect your PS4 controller to a machine that is running the Microsoft operating system.
However, this option will cost you some amount of money.
We are talking about the official DualShock 4 Sony USB Wireless Adapter.
It will set any user back around $60.
Granted, this is a region that very few users would want to go into just that they can make sure their controller works with their Windows machine.
But if you do decide to purchase this adapter, we want to let you know that you will have the option of connecting a lot of devices and wirelessly to your Mac or PC.
Moreover, you will no longer require the services of the DS4Windows program.
Apart from that, it will also provide you with more stability and reliability.
That is something you may or probably may not recognize as worth the cost.
In the end, everything depends on you and not on us.
Last and certainly not the least, we have to talk about the Joy-Cons that accompany all Nintendo Switch consoles.
With Joy-Cons, the only question that you really need to answer is how you will pick them up and add them as gaming controllers to your machine via Bluetooth.
You will probably have to follow the same process that we have described before.
But for those of you who like to forget things so that their brain keeps things fresh and interesting, we have got you covered.
All you need to do here is to press the syncing button which appears on your Joycons right in the middle of the SR and SL buttons.
Look at the top region of your gamepads.
In the majority of the cases, you will see that your machine and Joy-Cons would form a connection very quickly and very efficiently.
Now, for some folks, we want to mention some extra options regarding controller configuration.
More specifically, we want to talk about how you can make use of a total of two Joy-Cons together on your machine but only as one controller.
We hope that was clear.
Here is what you need to do.
You need to make use of the internet and download and then install the very good open source app or tool called vJoy.
Then you also need to enable a kind of smooth operation between your computer machine and your Nintendo Joy-Cons.
To do that you will need to make use of another tool that goes by the name of JoyCon Driver.
Now, you do not need much help in working with these tools since both of them come with sufficient amounts of instructions on how to get up and (hopefully) running in no time.
How to connect my controller to macOS
Now, the Mac option (as you would expect) is a bit different from the Windows option.
This time around though, we would like to start things off with PS4 DualShock 4 controllers.
More specifically, wireless DualShock 4 controllers.
DO you remember that time when we told you about an official Sony wireless adapter?
The one we mentioned (with no surprises) will make things very easy for you.
Of course, for all that easiness you will have to pay a good amount of money asd well.
In fact, we do not know of any option that is more expensive than the one we have mentioned in the form of the official Sony wireless adapter.
But in the end though, if you are guaranteed that your PS4 controller would connect to your macOS computer machine and would also work then we think spending close to $60 is not as outrageous as it may seem in the beginning especially for those people who are short on time and have too much learning to do on their job to mess around for hours with their controller and their macOS machine.
Now, let’s turn our attention to those people who are adamant that they will not get any kind of $60 official Sony adapter.
We want to let them know that despite their choice, they can still pick from wireless or wired options.
Most of all, you will not need to make use of any kind of extra software application either.
All you really need to do is to attach your Sony DualShock controller directly to your Mac machine with the help of a good micro USB cable and you are all done.
Or you should be done.
To put it another way, you should have a connection with your controller and machine within moments.
In order to check if everything is working as it should be, you need to open up the official Apple menu.
Then you need to select the option that says System Report.
After that, you should click on the option that says USB.
Once you do that you should not have a problem in finding the entry that says Wireless Controller.
Now, we know that your controller is wired, you still need to look for the option that says Wireless Controller.
Let’s turn our attention once again to the Bluetooth connections.
These connections are also pretty easy to set up and work with.
You should start off by opening up the official Apple menu.
Then you should go to the System Preferences menu.
And after that, you should go to the option that says Bluetooth.
It is here that you need to make sure that you have turned on the Bluetooth technology.
Once ensured, you need to put your official PS4 DualShock controller into its pairing mode.
You can easily do that by pressing the button that says PS on your controller and then pressing the button that says Share button and holding both together until the controller starts to make the light on it blink a little faster.
If you are on the Mac machine, you need to then click the option that says Connect.
Once you do that you should not have a problem in making a good connection.
That is pretty much all that you need to know about connecting your PS4 controller to your Mac machine.
Though you need to bear this in mind:
A lot of games will not support PS4 DualShock controllers that come with consoles.
We will leave you with that and move to how you can attach your Xbox One controller with your computer machine that is running on the macOS platform.
In order to get started, the first thing that you will need is a good micro USB cable.
You will also need some extra software applications in order to move through this process as quickly as possible.
The other thing you need to know here is that if you want to make use of an Xbox One controller with your Mac machine then Bluetooth, as an option, is out.
We say this because Xbox One controller does not make use of the standard Bluetooth technology.
Microsoft makes use of a proprietary wireless connection with its controller.
This is great for people who have machines with Windows on them.
But not so great for people running Mac machines.
Users who are okay with a wired connection should know that the process is simple.
What you need to do here is to first go to 360Controller official website, download the problem which is open source and then run it on their Mac machine.
To check, just head on over to the Apple menu.
And then select the option that says System Preferences.
You should see a brand new entry for the Xbox 360 Controller.
But you do not need to worry though as it covers the latest Xbox One controllers almost equally well as well.
Now you need to take your Xbox One controller and then connect it to your Mac machine with the help of a USB cable.
After that, you should open up the utility that is Xbox 360 Controllers.
Once you do that you are in business.
So get working.
You have the option of tweaking and configuring various aspects of your controller’s setup.
More specifically, you can invert the present joysticks.
You can also modify the rumble options.
There are many other options, so make sure you give them a look before moving on.
With that out of the way, now we will talk about how to connect Joy-Con controllers which come for free with the Nintendo Switch console with your computer machine.
To do so on PC running Mac, you need to make use of the magic that is the Bluetooth technology.
Just like before, you need to open up the Apple menu and then you need to hit the option that says System Preferences and then you should pick the one that says Bluetooth.
After that, make sure you have turned on Bluetooth.
Now, press and the hold the official Nintendo pairing buttons on your Nintendo Switch Joy-Con.
The pairing button exists between the SR and SL buttons.
Once you do that you should have no problems in seeing the entry that says Joy-Con appearing in the shown list of Bluetooth devices that are available to your Mac machine.
After you have spotted the option you need to hit the button that says Connect in order to complete the process of pairing.
Now, when you want to start using the Nintendo Joy-Con controller that you have just set up you shouldn’t have to do anything but play video games on your machine running on the macOS platform.
As we write this guide, we do not know of a method (we’re pretty sure no one else knows either) via which you can pair two right and left Joy-Cons and then use them together.
For the end user that means they might have to limit themselves to playing only those types of games on their machines that support a single Joy-Con.
Of course, you have the option of making use of Nintendo Switch Pro Controller.