Sony paved the way for better PS5 DualSense controller support on PC yesterday, by releasing a dedicated Windows app that handles installation of the gamepad’s firmware updates. Previously, the only way to update the wireless controller was the plug it into an actual PS5 – not a problem if you’ve managed to find one in stock, of course, but bad news if you bought the pad standalone to play on your PC.
Per Sony’s announcement tweet, you can download the app directly from the PlayStation site. 64-bit Windows 10 and Windows 11 are both supported, and using it is pretty easy: just connect the controller via its USB cable and click through a full steps. The single catch is you can only update one controller at a time.
This humble bit of software could end up being far more important than it looks. While the PS5 controller handles wonderfully, it’s never technically had full support for playing games on Windows. Steam’s built-in controller support can fill the gaps but outside of Valve’s platform, it’s not always a given that the DualSense will even work, as it doesn’t play nice with Microsoft’s XInput API. Instead, for non-Steam games it relies on the older DirectInput system, which some games don’t recognise. There are workarounds – see our guide on how to use the PS5 DualSense controller on PC – but it’s still a faff.
Some of the PS5 controller’s more distinct features, like haptic feedback and the adaptive triggers, also enjoy merely limited implementation among PC games. The total has expanded in recent months but according to the PC Gaming Wiki’s list, only 12 games currently support both, and they need a wired connection to do so.
The hope, then, is that this addition of official firmware updates will enable Sony to directly improve their hardware’s Windows affinity – and in turn, encourage more game developers to work the PS5 controller’s features into the PC versions of their games. Fingers crossed, as it really is a great pad.
If you’d prefer something else with haptics, our guide on how to use Steam Remote Play with the Steam Deck explains how to turn the handheld PC into a controller for your desktop.