Connect the PS4 controller to an Apple Mac or MacBook via USB or Bluetooth

Play with the PS4 controller on a Mac? This is possible via USB or Bluetooth. Here are instructions for connecting the PlayStation 4 controller and Apple computer. (Image: Amazon, Apple assembly: Johannes Domke)

If you want to connect a PS4 controller to the Apple Mac in order to play with a good control unit on a very good computer, then you're in luck. Because here I have put together a guide for you to pair the PlayStation 4 controller and Mac or MacBook. So if you're looking for a gaming controller for the Mac: take the PS4. It can be easily connected to the computer via USB or Bluetooth.

Play with the PS4 controller on a Mac? This is possible via USB or Bluetooth. Here are instructions for connecting the PlayStation 4 controller and Apple computer. (Image: Amazon, Apple assembly: Johannes Domke)
Play with the PS4 controller on a Mac? This is possible via USB or Bluetooth. Here are instructions for connecting the PlayStation 4 controller and Apple computer. (Image: Amazon, Apple assembly: Johannes Domke)

Play with the PS4 controller via USB on the Mac

If you connect the PlayStation 4 controller to a USB port on the Mac or MacBook is connected, then this is the easiest way to gamble on the Apple computer. However, the trend is more and more towards wireless operation of pretty much all devices. Therefore, for the sake of completeness, here is the possibility to connect the PS4 controller to the Mac via USB:

  • Step 1: by matching Micro-USB to USB cable connect the controller to the Mac/MacBook
  • Step 2: Press the PlayStation button on the controller
  • Step 3: Select "About This Mac" in the Apple menu (Apple)
  • Step 4: Select “USB” for the hardware in the “System Report”
  • Step 5: Select the "Wireless Controller" listed there

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Connect the PS4 controller to the Apple Mac via Bluetooth

Granted, there aren't too many games Apps for the mac. But precisely because of the move away from DVDs that can be purchased towards the App Store, more and more titles are being added. In addition, the merger of macOS and iOS is making it increasingly clear that sooner or later iPhone game apps will also be available as Mac apps (and vice versa).

Enough of the preface, you couple the PS4 controller with the Apple computer via Bluetooth:

  • Step 1: Go to the system settings of the Mac / MacBook
  • Step 2: Then select the item "Bluetooth"
  • Step 3: Press the share button and the power button on the PS4 controller at the same time
  • Step 4: The controller light should now flash, the wireless controller appears in the overview of the Mac
  • Step 5: Now all you have to do is connect; so click on "Connect"

Conclusion on the topic

Not every game supports the use of a wireless controller on a Mac. But with the PS4 controller, those game apps that do this can be played much more comfortably. Even if you may first have to dig into the control system at first. How about you, have you ever paddled with the PlayStation Controller on your Mac? Feel free to leave a comment;)


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16 Responses to “Connect PS4 Controller to Apple Mac or MacBook via USB or Bluetooth”

    1. Hello Rocco! As far as I here in the Apple Support Forum could read, it is technically possible to pair the PS4 controller with the Apple TV 4 via Bluetooth. Unfortunately, the games don't support this controller, so you have to rely on one well-known controllers such as the Nimbus from SteelSeries to buy. Apple also offers this as an accessory in the Apple Store. So it probably has the best/safest compatibility. My older article might be relevant to the topic”Game controller for the Apple TV4” in which I also MFI certified Recommend Controllers from SteelSeries. The nimbus didn't exist back then, but I'll add it to the article when I get there. LG! Jens

    1. Hi Colin! I'm sorry. Unfortunately, I don't have a controller here at the moment with which I could try it. But what's wrong with you? Can't find the device when searching for bluetooth devices on the ATV?

  1. Hello, what exactly do you mean by “Step 5: Select the “Wireless Controller” listed there?”
    I can see the controller, but I can't select it.

    1. Hallo,
      that's a bit unfortunate, admittedly. The steps for the controller connected via USB are basically only intended as a control to see whether it is recognized. If you select it, information about the device (manufacturer, etc.) is displayed. This is how you can see if it has been correctly identified. There is not much more to it than that.
      Best Regards

  2. Hi folks, can you tell me how I can change the key assignment on the controller?
    I can't do it and can't find a reasonable thread on the Internet ...

    Otherwise, many thanks for the tips.

    1. Hi Paul,

      since I don't have a controller at hand, I can't look for a general solution.

      In which software or in which game do you want to use the PS4 controller? Most platforms like Steam or the individual games have hidden the key assignment in their control options.

      Best Regards

    2. Hello Paul! I might as well throw “BetterTouchTool” in the ring. With this you can actually adapt all assignments of USB mice and other USB controllers to your own taste. Maybe this will help you? If you try it out, it would be great if you could briefly write here whether it worked or not. If others have the same problem... LG!

  3. Hello, I have a problem:
    The PS4 controller is recognized by my Macbook, but cannot be connected to the computer via USB or Bluetooth and can therefore not be used in Fortnite. I have already reset the controller and performed a PRAM and SMC reset on the Mac - without success.
    I can't find a really helpful approach to solving the problem on the Internet. Someone wrote something about deleting or renaming plists, but I couldn't even find them on my computer. What else could i try?
    I am grateful for any help.

    1. Hello Kathe! So you can find the .plist files in the “Library” > “Preferences” folder. You can reach the Library folder in the Finder via the “Go” menu (hold down the ALT key).
      Other than that, I don't quite understand how the MacBook recognizes the controller but you can't connect to it. If it's "visible," you can actually use it.

  4. Hi and thanks for the quick reply. In the meantime I have already found and deleted the Bluetooth plist file, but that didn't help either. Normally the controller should of course connect, but it doesn't. The problem seems to occur more often - I found some questions about it on the internet - but unfortunately no answers. My computer runs on Mac OS Catalina, which should be compatible with the controller - so it can't be because of that ... who else could be familiar with something like that ?!

  5. Hello Sir Apfelot,

    I just got a PS4 controller from Saturn. is probably a newer model PS4 NACON controller. there is a USB stick (bluetooth I think) with it. I can use the share button and ps button to let my MAC find the controller, but when I try to connect it says: Connection was rejected.

    my old ps4 controller runs normally and connects directly. What can I do there? why is that now?

    Thanks in advance

    1. Hello Besim! Unfortunately I have no experience with the PS and also not with their controllers. But the error message is very strange... I've never seen it on a Mac. Sounds like there is a connection in principle, but then the negotiation was somehow rejected. But why?!

    2. Hello Besim,

      Nacon is a third-party manufacturer that distributes video games and console accessories. It is therefore not an additional name assigned by Sony for a new controller, but rather a subsidiary of Bigben Interactive (see Wikipedia). That's why Nacon was written on the packaging - but admittedly: the design of the packaging and controller can easily be confused with the original.

      So the error might appear because it is not a Sony original controller. But what can also lead to the error is the connection to another device. So if you've already paired the new controller to the PlayStation or another device, you can try removing it as an accessory there, removing it from the Mac's Bluetooth list as well, and then pairing the Mac all over again.

      Let us know if that worked or if you found another solution.

      Best regards

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