Having trouble connecting a PlayStation 4 controller to your PlayStation? Maybe it was working fine then out-of-the-blue it just stopped connecting. I've got two PlayStations sitting side-by-side in my basement setup, and suddenly one day my SCUF controller only wanted to connect to the other PlayStation. I tried a simple restart of the console and controller reset, but it was not enough to get the Bluetooth controller re-connected to the correct PS4. Finally after some research and experimentation – success. Here is some advice in case any of you run into the same problem.
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First off if you have multiple Playstations near each other do this. Turn off and unplug the other consoles first.
How Controller Pairing Should Work
Usually when you get a new DualShock controller pairing it to your PlayStation is a simple matter of connecting a USB cable and pressing the PS button. This pretty much always works, even with controllers that were previously paired to another device. Sony says do this while the PS is on but it seems to work if you power up the console with the new controller too. This didn't work for me in this case, so on to the next setp.
Is It The Battery?
Just a side note make sure your offending non-connecting controller is charged. That takes about 2 hours for a full charge FYI. If you have a very weak battery your controller might not connect.
Is It The USB Cable?
Not all cables are the same, some won't properly connect on the controller side if the grip is too large. Be sure the USB cable works and fits tight, or just find a new cable that hasn't been cursed by the gods.
Before trying the steps below you might just want to just unplug your console for 10 – 15 minutes and then start it up. Sometimes a simple break is all you need.
How To Hard Reset PlayStation Controller
If you’re still having trouble the next step is to hard reset the PlayStation controller. To do that find the tiny hole on the back side of the confused controller. It is near the L2 trigger. Use a small nail or the classic bent paperclip and push the button that is recessed deep in the hole. Pressing this button will turn off the controller. Hold the button down for a few seconds and release. Now repeat the first step – connect with a USB cable. I would also suggest restarting the console too.
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Alternate Method To Reset PlayStation Controller
Another method to try is plug the controller into a USB wall outlet. This sometimes unpairs the controller.You can also try plugging it into a Mac or PC which might pair the controller to that computer. While this isn't the end goal it might “shuffle the deck” making it easier to repair on your PlayStation. If this works go back to step one.
If all of these methods fail the next thing to try is unpair the controller from the console side. This will clear the old pairing and let your console try again. Hopefully you have another controller that will work for these steps. On your PlayStation to SETTINGS > DEVICES > BLUETOOTH. On this screen you will see all the devices that have ever connected to this game console. The device that is currently working will have a green light and probably be at the top. I would suggest clearing or “forgetting” everything else. For some reason Sony does not make it obvious how to forget a PS4 controller. First select the device name by pressing X. On the next screen press OPTION, you should see a panel slide from the right with one option FORGET DEVICE – press X to forget it ever happened.
Thankfully I was able to reconnect my SCUF after doing every step and didn't have to send in my controller for service. If your device is being stubborn you might want to trying mixing at matching the above suggestions. Good luck, let us know what works for you in the comments.
The PlayStation Safe Mode is used to diagnose and solve system and firmware issues. This is not for the faint of heart and depending on what you do here you could lose data. Backing up your stuff is advised. Here is a link to learn more about safe mode. Only use this as your last option, I was able to resolve my issue without using safe mode.
Other Good Stuff To Know
The light bar turns blue when paired. Not necessary to the console you want, but it's pair to something. Blinking light bars indicate it is not paired to anything.
Still screwed? Try pairing something else to your PlayStation like a keyboard. If you can't do that maybe it's not the controller, maybe it’s the expensive part – sorry.