Mobile gaming has come a long way. There are many console-quality video games available on mobile, and remote game streaming via services such as PS Now, Stadia and Xcloud should now become a regular service on mobile devices.
While you can certainly use touch controls with these games and apps, nothing beats the right physical game controller. So if you want to use a great PS4 controller with your Android device, read on to find out what to do.
Unlike iOS, there are no universal controller standards on Android. This means that while you can connect any controller via USB or Bluetooth, the application developer must support that controller.
This means that some games will work with one proprietary controller and not another. This also means that just because a given game works with an Xbox One controller, for example, it will also work with a PS4 controller.
In practice, it is very unlikely that developers will support one primary controller and not another. However, before investing in a particular controller, check the games you most want to play for DS4 compatibility. The types of controllers supported are usually listed in the app description in the Google Play Store.
Alternatively, you can always visit the game’s homepage or send an email to the developer. Fortunately, you can get a refund for most of the games purchased from the Play Store if they don’t suit you.
Is a better Xbox controller?
As we mentioned above, controller support varies from one application to the next. Given its cross-platform popularity, the Xbox controller will likely have native support for Android games.
It’s very important to note, however, that if you want to use the Xcloud service, which streams Xbox games to your phone, you don’t need an Xbox controller. Microsoft announced that Xcloud officially supports the PS4 controller. So if this bothers you, you can allay those fears.
Consider a control bracket
Unlike tablets, which usually have built-in stands, smartphones need some sort of support if you’re not holding them. This is especially noticeable when you use a controller. Even worse, on small screens, they are not comfortable playing from a distance.
So if you are planning on using a PS4 controller with your Android phone, consider choosing a good controller bracket. It’s a device that has mounts for both your controller and your phone. Allows you to play comfortably. The next best solution might be a proprietary split controller or a controller with a built-in bracket, but these can rarely be used as well as a regular Sony PS4 controller.
How to connect PS4 controller to Android device wirelessly
Connecting a PS4 controller to your Android device works in much the same way as connecting any other Bluetooth device. The only part that isn’t entirely obvious is how to get your PS4 controller into pairing mode to start. Here’s how to do it:
1. On your PS4 controller, press and hold the Round PlayStation button and the Share button until the light bar flashes white like a strobe.
2. Go to the Bluetooth menu in the phone settings. The controller should show up as a wireless controller (or perhaps with its own name).
3. Select an available device and the controller will connect to your phone. You may need to confirm pairing if asked
This should be all you need. The controller will work immediately. In fact, you will notice that you can control Android itself with a controller! This means that not only games will work. You can use your controller as a remote control for applications like Powerpoint, or control video playback in multimedia applications. So there are more reasons to plug in a PS4 controller than just play games!
To turn off the controller, simply unplug it via the Bluetooth menu or hold the round Playstation button until the light bar goes out.
How to connect a PS4 controller to an Android Wired device
In order for this setup to work, you need a few things. First of all, you need an Android phone that supports OTG or on-the-go connections. This essentially means that the phone can act as a USB host and devices such as flash drives or keyboards can be connected to it.
Almost any modern Android phone will support OTG connections, but some lower-end models may not. Check your phone’s user guide or product page for OTG support or official OTG accessories.
The USB connection on the PS4 controller uses micro-USB. A regular micro USB cable will have a large USB Type-A connector on the other end. So the solution is to use an OTG adapter that converts your phone’s main USB connection to a USB Type A female connector. Modern Android phones will use a USB-C OTG adapter or Micro USB OTG adapter.
All you have to do is connect a standard micro USB cable to the adapter and then the adapter to your phone. Then connect the remaining end to the controller. After that, it should start working immediately.
Button mashing on the go
Mobile game designers have tried for years to emulate the precision and feel of physical game controllers on touchscreens. The point is that a touchscreen will never provide the same level of control as a gamepad. There are many games that are great for the touchscreen because they are made for it, but trying to make console games work well on glass is doomed to fail.
So it’s good that developers are now supporting gamepads much more often. It’s especially great that they support mainstream controllers like the DualShock 4. Which means if you already own it, it won’t hurt to give it a try!
As a final tip, though, if you want to use your PS4 controller with your PS4 again, you’ll need to connect it to the console via USB in order to pair it again. It’s a bit of a hassle, but at least quick and easy.