How to Connect any Game Console Controller to Your PC or Smartphone

Play games using any game controller!

by: - Last updated on: July 14th, 2021
Key Takeaways
  • Many people prefer playing games on their PCs or phones using a gaming/console controller instead of keyboards or touch screens.
  • But it’s not as easy as plugging your favorite gaming controller to your phone or PC and start playing.
  • In this guide, we are going to have a look at different types of controllers and how you can connect to them easily.

Around the world, gaming is growing in popularity. The number of esports tournaments held worldwide has already increased. Wouldn’t gaming be so much better if you could connect your gaming controller to your Smartphone or PC? Well, you are about to be thrilled. Today, we will be looking at how you can connect a controller to your Smartphone (both Android and iOS), and PC to make your Battleground 1v1 even more exciting. Let’s take a closer look at what a gaming controller is before we explore various types of controllers and how they’re connected.

gaming controllers

What is a Gaming Console Controller?

Gaming Controller is a gadget we use on different devices for gaming. Generally, all gaming controllers come with joysticks through which we can provide various input in different types of games. Many people prefer controllers over keyboards or touch screens because of their ergonomic design. Furthermore, physical buttons offer a better experience when compared to playing games using touch. A gaming controller can be easily held with two hands and offer huge flexibility. These controllers come with numerous buttons (including the shoulder buttons), which quickly perform various tasks in a game.

Different types of Gaming Controllers

There are many kinds of gaming controllers available today. Some are specific to the popular consoles, while others are generic ones capable of pairing with multiple devices. Let’s take a look.

1. Generic USB controllers

generic usb controller

Generic USB controllers, as the name suggests, are the controllers that work over USB. These controllers connect to your smartphone using a USB OTG cable. That being said, you can just plug these controllers into the USB port of your PC. Moreover, these types of controllers are very easy to find online and do not require any additional setup. What about latency? As these types of controllers work over cable, the next time you are in an intense situation in Call of Duty, latency should not be an issue. Furthermore, such types of controllers cost comparatively less compared to their Bluetooth counterparts.

2. Generic Bluetooth Controllers

generic bluetooth controller

If you are tired of cables lying around your home, you might like the generic Bluetooth controllers. Unlike the USB controllers, these work over Bluetooth. These controllers pair very easily to your smartphone/PC and work quite well. That being said, as these controllers over Bluetooth, you might face some latency issues. But, if you are a casual gamer, then higher latency should not affect you as much.

3. Xbox Controller

xbox controller e1626246450764

Did you know you can use your Xbox controller with your smartphone/PC? As Xbox controllers work over Bluetooth, you can pair them easily with your other devices without additional accessories. Moreover, you can also use the Xbox wireless controller using a USB OTG cable.

4. PS4/PS5 controllers

connecting Ps5 controller

Much like the Xbox controllers, you can use a PlayStation controller with your mobile device or laptop. This saves you from the hassle of buying an additional controller to use with your other devices. While Sony has been using Bluetooth in their controllers for a while now, only PS4 controllers and PS5 controllers are supported. That means you cannot connect your old PS3 controller easily to play mobile games.

5. Nintendo Joy-Con controller

nintendo joy-con controller

Have a Nintendo switch lying around? If yes, you can use the famous Nintendo joy-con controller with your Android phones. One can easily pair their controller using Bluetooth. The best part is you can also pair only a single joy-con if you want.

Now that we have taken a look at different types of controllers (including console controllers) let us have a detailed look at how you can connect them to your smartphone/PC.

1. Connecting Controller (Wired Connection)

  1. Well, connecting a wired controller is a very straightforward process. Just make sure you have an OTG cable to connect to your smartphone.
  2. Now, just connect one end of the USB cable into the controller and the other end to your smartphone using the OTG cable. For connecting to a PC, just plug the other end into the USB port of your PC.
  3. Boom, you have successfully connected your controller to your smartphone/PC. That being said, many smartphones have an option in settings to turn on the USB OTG option. Just make sure that option is enabled, or the controller will not work.

2. Connecting Generic Bluetooth Controller

  1. Navigate to Bluetooth settings on your smartphone/PC and turn discoverable on.
  2. After turning on discoverable, turn on your game controller and look for the pairing button. Different controllers have this button placed differently.
  3. Now, go back to the Bluetooth settings and search for your game controller.
  4. Once you see your controller under scanned devices, just tap on it, and now you have successfully connected your generic Bluetooth controller to your smartphone/PC.

3. Connecting Xbox Controller

  1. Firstly, we must turn off our Xbox console so that we can put the controller in Bluetooth pairing mode.
  2. After that, turn on your controller using the Xbox button.
  3. Once the controller is on, hold the pairing button for 3 seconds.
  4. Now, go to Bluetooth settings and turn on discovery.
  5. In a few seconds, you will see your Xbox controller listed there. Just tap on it and your Xbox controller will pair with your smartphone/PC.

4. Connecting PS4/PS5 controller

Connecting your DualShock 4 or DualShock 5 controller is a very simple process. That being said, the process to connect the controller stays the same for both PS4 and PS5. Let us have a look at how you can just do that.

  1. Turn off your PlayStation console so that the DualShock controller is disconnected from that device.
  2. Now, hold the PlayStation and share buttons together. Hold on to these buttons until led starts blinking on the controller.
  3. Once the LED is blinking, go to the Bluetooth settings on your Smartphone and turn on the b  discovery,
  4. You will now see your PlayStation controller listed there. Just tap on it to connect the controller to your smartphone.

5.Connecting Nintendo switch Joy-Con controller

  1. Disconnect the joy-con controller from the Nintendo switch.
  2. Now, press and hold the sync button on the joy-con controller
  3. Navigate to Smartphone settings and turn for Bluetooth of device.
  4. Under scanned devices, you will find the listed controller. Now, you can enjoy using the Joy-con controller.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now let’s take a look at some of the frequently asked questions people have around using console controllers with mobile devices or PCs.

1.Why should I use a gaming controller?

Gaming controllers offer more flexibility over traditional gaming methods. Many games are configured to work well with gaming controllers and offer a better experience. Furthermore, haptic feedback on many controllers uplifts the gaming experience.

2. Will my game account get banned if I use a controller?

Yes in a few multiplayer games like BGMI or COD your account might get banned so please try it at your own risk. That being said, there are still a huge variety of  games in which you can use controllers.

3. Why won’t my Xbox controller connect to my PC via USB?

If you’re having trouble connecting an Xbox One controller through USB, try unplugging all other peripherals before plugging in the controller. If it still doesn’t work, make sure that the power cable is plugged into the right port. Also, ensure that the controller isn’t turned off by accident.

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