PC gamers can now update DualSense controllers without connecting to a PS5

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,498   +1,043
Staff member
Why it matters: If you have been using a PS5 DualSense controller with your PC, you know what a pain it is to have to update its firmware. Heck, it's a bit of a pain even on the PS5 if you are anxious to get started. Fortunately for PC users, it got a little easier with a new updater app for Windows 10 and 11.

As you probably know from previous coverage, Sony's DualShock 4 controllers make decent gamepads for PCs and are relatively easy to set up. That didn't change with the release of the PlayStation 5 and its DualSense controller. The only difference is that, unlike the DualShock, the DualSense requires frequent firmware updates.

The problem with updating a DualSense is that it requires users to connect it to a PlayStation 5 via USB. Therefore, those using one on a PC have to connect it to their PS5, update it, then re-pair it to their PC, which is a hassle. It also limits players who may have bought the controller separately for their PC and don't have a PS5 to perform updates.

Fortunately, Sony is aware of the situation and dropped an updater app for Windows 11 and "select Windows 10 devices" on Wednesday. Sony lists the system requirements on a dedicated help page.

  • OS: Windows 10 (64 bit) or Windows 11
  • Storage space: 10 MB or more
  • Display resolution: 1024x768 or higher
  • USB port: Required

The same page also hosts a link to the DualSense firmware updater software.

Once the app is installed, connect the DualSense to the PC with a USB cable and follow the onscreen prompts. After installing the firmware, close the app and disconnect the controller to go back to using it wirelessly. You can only update one DualSense at a time, though. The app also lets users know when new firmware is available.

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BigRedPDX

Posts: 271   +191
Is that what the last update for the controller was for? That'll be way more convenient. I had to plug in to get both updated not too long ago.
 

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,498   +1,043
Staff member
Is that what the last update for the controller was for? That'll be way more convenient. I had to plug in to get both updated not too long ago.
I'm not certain if the last firmware contained processes for this, but I imagine so. This is the first time PlayStation has had a controller that requires firmware updates. So it's a bit of a pain in the ***, even with a PS5. Not that it's hard, but just that you cannot proceed without performing the update.

My typical flow chart when Sony has a DualSense update:
Grab my controller->walk to the couch and sit down->get up from the couch and walk back to the console->plug DualSense into PS5 with the USB cable->Wait->Unplug when it's done->As long as I'm up, turn on spare controller->Wait for update message->Plug it into the PS5->Wait->Unplug walk back to the couch and sit down->Start my friggin' game. FINALLY.
 

BigRedPDX

Posts: 271   +191
I'm not certain if the last firmware contained processes for this, but I imagine so. This is the first time PlayStation has had a controller that requires firmware updates. So it's a bit of a pain in the ***, even with a PS5. Not that it's hard, but just that you cannot proceed without performing the update.

My typical flow chart when Sony has a DualSense update:
Grab my controller->walk to the couch and sit down->get up from the couch and walk back to the console->plug DualSense into PS5 with the USB cable->Wait->Unplug when it's done->As long as I'm up, turn on spare controller->Wait for update message->Plug it into the PS5->Wait->Unplug walk back to the couch and sit down->Start my friggin' game. FINALLY.
Basically the same as my process. Change the couch for a bed. It's a small studio apartment. The wireless updates would be so incredibly convenient. When I saw the first controller update screen, I nearly made skid marks in my draws. 4 generations of console without a controller firmware update and then this. At first I thought it was kind of neat, but now I feel like it's inconvenient lol
 

Usukosej

Posts: 183   +82
How many firmware updates can it take? HOW MANY did you PS5 owners get? And what the hell is the changelog for a controller update.
 

Benny26

Posts: 1,389   +72
I've been using my PS5 controller for about 6 month wireless on PC (DS4) without a single issue regarding needing to update it. Never knew you could to be honest.
 

BigRedPDX

Posts: 271   +191
How many firmware updates can it take? HOW MANY did you PS5 owners get? And what the hell is the changelog for a controller update.
It's the manufactures notes on the update and what they changed. Every application or hardware with updates should have one.