How to Connect PS5 Controller to Mac

10.06.2023

Apple devices are handy and productive as long as they are used with each other. But when connecting gadgets from other manufacturers, problems and malfunctions can occur. This is caused by the peculiarities of the operating system and stringent security requirements, particularly the verification of certificates and digital signatures. But while connecting third-party controllers can cause serious, intractable malfunctions, everything works well with DualSense – official applications support the platform. Today we tell you how to connect your PS5 controller to your Mac, why it’s convenient, and how to avoid malfunctions.

Yes. You don’t have to download any third-party software and risk getting viruses on your system. Sony has embraced globalization in gaming: players are now free to play with friends who have older versions of the console, and the company has released several former PC exclusives. Among the OSs, both Windows and Mac are officially available.

Do I Need Drivers?

Connecting any third-party device to your Mac is usually complicated because the system cannot find drivers. In the case of the PS5 controller, when used on a Mac, a DualSense driver is not required, but you should be sure to configure the controller.

We recommend updating DualSense controller on your Windows PC before connecting. The application is official and easy to learn – the main thing is to update one joystick at a time.

Controller Connection on Compatible Devices

The controller can be connected via USB cable or Bluetooth, but in the second case, it must be registered. This can only be done with compatible operating systems. For Macbook, this is macOS Big Sur 11.3 and later. For other platforms, see here.

connect dualsense to mac

Registering a PS5 controller to your Mac is simple:

  1. Go to registration mode. Disconnect the USB charging wire. Our article lets you know how much you need to charge the controller. Turn off the backlight by holding down the “PS” key. If the DualSense constantly blinks blue and does not connect to any devices, there are various options, but try charging first;
  2. Hold down the “Create” key (left) and the “PS” key until the backlight starts flashing;
  3. Turn on Bluetooth on the Mac device. Refresh the list and look for “DualSense Wireless Controller.” Usually, Mac devices display the names correctly, but if it’s not on the list, select the device that came up last;
  4. If everything is done correctly and the registration is successful, the controller will flash a light bar, and you will see the player indicator light up.

How to Connect PS5 Controller to Mac Wired

DualSense can only be connected (registered) to one device. You will have to re-register it each time you change PCs.

Sony does not guarantee stable operation with all devices, even from the list of supported devices, especially Android OS-based devices. On older systems, work is not supported at all. On new ones – depending on the manufacturer and changes in the OS firmware.

How to Connect PS5 Controller to Mac Wired

Here everything is simple – you don’t need any additional drivers, so just find the USB Type-C cable and connect it to the corresponding port on your PC.

Reject possible errors at this stage right away:

  • Use a wire that supports data transfer – some, even high-quality cables, are designed for charging only (Charging only). You need a wire with the prefix “Data.”
  • If it doesn’t connect, replace the wire. Plug it into a different port;
  • Charge the controller – you can leave it on the docking station overnight.

What About Support?

Everything is fine, but only in supported applications. If the developers have added support for PS5 controller capabilities to the game, they will work regardless of your platform, most importantly from the list of supported. As for titles, it’s not just Sony games with ray tracing and HDR and 4K support on the PS5, but third-party games like – Ghostwire: Tokyo.

You can see a list of Sony games on PC here. To understand, God of war will also support the new controller features because although the game came out in 2018, Sony later released an updated version for the PS5. The same applies to other projects, but you better check.

Setup in Steam

Connecting the DualSense to your Mac is easy, but it is more important to set it up correctly because initially, the functionality may be provided in a limited mode or with the wrong layout. Today, the most convenient way to configure the PS5 controller on the Mac OS is the configuration through the Steam client.

Important! As previously told in the article “How to connect the PS5 controller to Steam and Epic Games” you can run games from any digital store using the Steam application. Including unofficial versions, although we do not recommend doing so because of the high risk of catching a virus, as in the case of installing untested Aimbots on the PS5.

ps5 controller mac steam

Install Steam and sign in to connect your PS5 controller to your MacBook. Open the program, and at the very top, on the right, there will be an expanding screen icon – this is the activation of the “Big picture” mode. In it, objects get bigger, and the interface resembles a console screen, which makes it easier to interact. By the way, if you notice a noticeable gap between pressing and displaying the action, it’s time to manually adjust the input lag of the controller.

connect ps5 controller to macbook

Then go to the “Steam” section (top left), “Settings” directory. You need the item “Controller”. Here you can check whether the device is connected and configure the “Big picture”, key presses, and layout. Read more in the topic article above, but it is recommended to go to “Basic Controller Settings” and check the box next to “User PlayStation Settings”.

macos remote play

By default, most games use the Xbox controller layout, so enabling this option allows you to automatically set up the desired layout and enable the unique DualSense features.

PlayStation Remote Play on Mac

If you cannot connect the controller, you can use the Remote Play feature on macOS. Check the recommended system requirements right away and update your PS5 console. It is desirable to have a high-speed Internet connection – the console’s Internet speed requirements were mentioned earlier.

Download the Remote Play software on Mac and install it. On the PS5, go to the system settings and select “Remote Play”. Enable it.

Open System Preferences, the Power Saving directory, and the Functions Available When Idle subdirectory. The two items “Save Internet connection” and “Allow PS5 to power on via network” need to be checked by activating them. Now you can play on Mac via remote playback, even in another city, even when the console is at rest.

Enabling Remote Play on Mac:

  1. Start the console in sleep mode;
  2. Register the joystick to the Mac;
  3. Launch the program on your Mac OS PC and sign in to the PSN cloud service network. You can check the availability of PSN servers in your area here;
  4. If needed, go to the settings and set the desired video quality and frame rate depending on your TV or monitor. Previously told if you need to overpay for a 4K TV, you can read about the features of the technology;
  5. Now select the PS5 console in your PSN account.

If errors occur, check the Sony manual or contact support.

Bind the PC5 to the Mac:

  1. Open the system settings;
  2. Go to the Manage Remote Settings menu;
  3. Select “Bind Device,” and a number will appear on display.

Useful Video

This article explained using the DualSense Mac controller over Bluetooth and wire. The connection is simple and different from other wireless and wired devices. Problems can arise at the setup stage, but they are easily fixed using our guide, Sony materials, and support. Contact tech support will need your device’s serial number and revision number. Before you start, update all your devices, prepare a proper USB cable, and charge the controller – this avoids half of all possible errors when connecting your DualSense to your Mac.

Egor Borisov

Egor Borisov

PS3 Slim, PS4 Pro, and PS5 owner. I disassemble, clean, and modify consoles and controllers. I share my experiences on this site and tell you about the new console generation.

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