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The right way to pair your PS4 controller together with your Apple units

Here’s how to pair your PS4 controller with your Apple device, now that Apple TVs, iPhones, iPads, and Macs natively support PlayStation 4 DualShock 4 controllers.

Make sure you’re running the latest operating system

To use a PS4 controller, your Apple device needs to be running one of the operating systems slated for a fall 2019 release. Here’s Apple’s schedule:

  • iOS 13 was released on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019.
  • iPadOS 13 and tvOS 13 are slated for a Monday, Sept. 30, 2019 release.
  • macOS Catalina will arrive in October 2019.

You can check the software version that you have installed on your iPad and iPhone by tapping Settings > About and looking for the Software Version row. On Apple TV, that information lives in Settings > System > Software Updates.

You could, if you’re feeing adventurous, participate in Apple’s beta software program to test features like this now, but keep in mind that it’s an inherently risky decision. Yes, you get access to upcoming features early. But also yes, it’s all unfinished — and by its nature buggy — software. Proceed at your own risk.

How to pair a PS4 controller with an iPhone and iPad

  1. Go to Settings > Bluetooth, and make sure that Bluetooth is toggled on.
  2. On your PS4 controller, hold down the PlayStation button and the Share button (that’s the one to the left of the touchpad) at the same time for a few seconds until the light on the back of the controller starts blinking quickly. That puts it into paring mode.
  3. A few seconds later, you’ll see DUALSHOCK 4 Wireless Controller at the bottom of the Bluetooth settings screen on your Apple device. You may need to tap on that. Or your device may just display a pop-up notification.
  4. Either way, tap Pair.

How to pair a PS4 controller with an Apple TV

Paring a PS4 controller to an Apple TV is more or less the same.

  1. Open Settings and select Remotes and Devices.
  2. Select Bluetooth in the menu that loads.
  3. On your PS4 controller, hold down the PlayStation button and the Share button (that’s the one to the left of the touchpad) at the same time for a few seconds until the light on the back of the controller starts blinking quickly. That puts it into paring mode.
  4. A few seconds later, you’ll see DUALSHOCK 4 Wireless Controller at the bottom of the Bluetooth settings screen.
  5. Navigate down with your remote, and click on those words to pair your PS4 controller with your Apple TV.

That’s it for almost everything (macOS notwithstanding). You are now free to use your DualShock 4 controller with games that support … well, controllers. And speaking of games that support controllers, make sure to check out some of the best games from Apple Arcade at launch.


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