The PlayStation 5’s (PS5) DualSense controller is Bluetooth enabled, which means you don’t have to plug it in to use it with your console. However, you must pair it with the console. Here̵
Like its predecessors, the DualShock 3 and the DualShock 4, the PS5’s DualSense controller can be used wirelessly. However, if it is not connected to the PlayStation 5 with a USB cable, you will need to use pairing mode to register it on the console.
When in pairing mode, the DualSense can be paired wirelessly with another device – the device in question is the PS5.
Note: You can also use pairing mode to pair the DualSense with PC and Mac via Bluetooth. Unfortunately, the controller doesn’t have compatible drivers, so it won’t work easily with games on any of these platforms at the time of writing.
Connecting the PS5’s first controller
When you turn on your PlayStation 5 for the first time, you will need to connect your DualSense controller to your console with a USB cable as you will need it to set up your account. A cord is included with the console, so plug it into the USB port on the front of the console.
Then plug the USB-C end of the cord into the port on the top of your controller.
To turn on the controller, press the PlayStation button between the two analog sticks. Your console will automatically connect to your controller, meaning you can start using it immediately. Once your console is set up, you can unplug the USB cable and the controller will still sync with the PS5.
Enter the pairing mode of the DualSense Controller
Any additional controllers you purchase will require you to pair them with the console via Bluetooth.
The first step to pairing your DualSense controller is to put it into pairing mode. To do this, press and hold the PlayStation logo button and the Create button at the same time. The PlayStation button sits between the two analog sticks, while the Create button is located on the top left of the trackpad.
You know the controller is in pairing mode when the light under the trackpad quickly blinks blue, goes dark for a moment, then blinks again.
Then go to your PS5 settings by selecting the little gear icon in the top right corner of the main menu.
Then navigate to ‘Accessories’.
Go to “General” and then to “Bluetooth accessories”.
If your PS5 controller is still flashing in this menu, you should see “Wireless controller” in the “Accessories Found” list. Select it and your secondary controller is now paired with your PS5 and will appear under ‘Registered Accessories’.
To exit pairing mode without pairing, press the PlayStation button again.
Reset the DualSense controller
If you are having trouble pairing your controller, the best option may be to reset your controller. This will return your controller to the factory mode it was in when it was first shipped, which means you will need to pair it with a console again.
You need to press the reset button, which is located on the back of the controller, next to the word ‘Sony’. You must use a needle or an unfolded paper clip to press the button.
Hold the button for about five seconds. You will not receive an indication that the controller has been reset. From there, you can retry the steps above to pair the controller with your PS5.
The DualSense isn’t the only Sony controller with a pairing mode. The DualShock 3 was the first controller with Bluetooth functionality, although the steps to pair it with a PC were more complicated than just putting it in pairing mode – check out our guide on how to do this.
The DualShock 4, on the other hand, was relatively easy to pair with other devices. Unlike the DualShock 3, pairing did not require any special software to be downloaded. For more information, read our guide on how to pair the PS4 controller with a PC or with a Mac.