Yes! With a little bit of work. Fortunately, it’s pretty straightforward to connect an Xbox controller to a PS4 and PS5. Why you’d want to is up to a matter of preference I guess. And bragging rights! Who doesn’t want to be able to tell their friends about their hardware tinkering?
I’m Aaron. I love video games and hardware tinkering. I think trying to figure out how to make your gaming environment yours through stuff like controller cross-compatibility is one of many gateways to a much broader world of electronics design and engineering–especially to make your gaming life your own.
In this article, we’ll cover how to use all Xbox controllers on the PS4 and PS5.
Table of Contents
- The methods you’ll use are additive and the more modern the controller, the more flexible the connectivity.
- The original Xbox controller really only works when connected to your PC to control a streamed feed of your PS4 or PS5.
- The Xbox 360 controller can be supported by third-party hardware.
- Bluetooth really simplifies connectivity for all later models of Xbox controllers and makes the experience almost as seamless as adding the controllers anew to an Xbox.
How to Use Xbox Controllers on PS4 and PS5
There are effectively five kinds of controllers released for the Xbox:
- Original Xbox controller, called “the Duke”
- Xbox 360 controller
- Xbox Adaptive controller
- Xbox One controller
- Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S controller
While there are many more controller subtypes, all Xbox controllers fall into these subdivisions. I’ll highlight their features as I go. I’ll also be lumping together the last two since newer Xbox controllers are effectively version two (in my opinion) to the Xbox One controller.
First, we’ll start with…
In my opinion, you can’t write an article about Xbox controllers without talking about the Duke. It was large, clunky, and the last Xbox controller that really catered to gamers with gigantic hands.
Interestingly, the Duke had a proprietary connector, but that connector adhered to the USB standard. So if you have one of those controllers and either want to buy a $10 adapter or hand wire a USB connector, you can connect it to your computer.
Unfortunately, you can’t just connect it to your PS4 and PS5. The Duke, like many other controllers identified here, requires a driver. The driver translates the output signals from the controller into readable input standards for the receiving device.
Microsoft made an Xbox controller driver for Windows XP and Windows 7. Microsoft and Sony have not collaborated on an Xbox controller driver for the PS4 and PS5. However, third parties have made an Xbox controller driver for Windows 8 and higher.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t use the Duke on a PS4 or PS5. You can do so via the PS Remote Play app that Sony developed to allow control of a PS4 or PS5 from a PC and streaming of the device content to the PC.
Apparently, there are even workarounds to get PS Remote Play to work anywhere. Here’s a YouTube video about how to get that working.
As we advance through controller generations, you’ll see that the options become a little more numerous. Next up…
Xbox 360 Controller
The Xbox 360 controller was the first modern controller for the Xbox and the general design hasn’t strayed too much from that. The Xbox 360 controller continued the quick disconnect connector from the Duke, but instead of terminating in a proprietary port design, it ends in a USB cable.
The Xbox 360 controller is also the first to support wireless connectivity. Unfortunately, this isn’t Bluetooth connectivity, but a proprietary wireless standard. There are Microsoft and third-party wireless adapters that facilitate connecting the controller to a PC.
Fortunately, Microsoft has continued to update the Xbox 360 controller drivers, so extravagant workarounds aren’t necessary to get them to work on a PC. Unfortunately, extravagant workarounds are required to get it to work on a PS4 or PS5.
As with the Duke, PS Remote Play allows the use of a controller on a PC to control a PlayStation remotely.
There are also hardware adapters that will work with the wired Xbox 360 controllers or the wired adapters to allow use of the Xbox 360 controller directly with the PS4 and PS5. Here’s a YouTube video about one of those adapters.
There are many adapters on the market and I’m not endorsing the one used in this video, specifically. Please research and find the one that’s right for you.
As you’ll see, it’s a lot easier to attach the…
Xbox Adaptive Controller
The Xbox adaptive controller is a large-format controller designed to facilitate video game playing for individuals with disabilities. It’s a large and flat controller that can integrate numerous other peripherals, like the QuadStick FPS, formally endorsed by Microsoft, to enable paraplegics to play games.
Unfortunately, the Adaptive Controller isn’t natively supported by the PS4 or PS5. Similar to the Xbox 360 controller, it requires a hardware adapter to connect directly to the PS4 or PS5. It can also be used on a PC via the PS Remote Play app.
Xbox One Controller and Xbox Series S/Series X Controller
The Xbox One controller was the first to integrate bluetooth as a connection modality, making this controller plug-and-play without other adapters. It also used a common micro-USB connector instead of the bulky power and data connectors that the wireless Xbox 360 controllers used.
The Xbox Series S and Series X Controller iterates on the Xbox One controller, keeping the same general design and functionality. In lieu of micro-USB, it upgraded to a modern USB-C connection. It also adds a 3.5mm audio jack at the bottom of the controller to plug headphones into. Other changes include the addition of other look-and-feel quality-of-life improvements.
Unfortunately, connecting to a PS4 or PS5 isn’t as simple as just plugging in the USB cable. No matter what, you need an adapter or PS Remote Play.
As with the Xbox 360 Controller, PS Remote Play will let you use your PC-connected Xbox One controller with your PlayStation. The hardware adapters that you can use for an Xbox 360 controller also work, if you want to have your Xbox One controller attached directly to your PS4 and PS5 via USB cable.
However, you can also use Bluetooth for a more seamless experience. Connecting a Bluetooth-to-USB adapter to your PS4 or PS5 will allow for a seamless Xbox One controller connection. Once paired, all you need to do is press the Xbox button to reconnect.
Xbox Elite Controllers
There are three variations of the Xbox Elite controllers now: the Series 1, Series 2, and Series 2 Core. The Series 1 was based on an Xbox One controller, while the Series 2 was based on the Xbox Series S and Series X controller. Both provide effectively identical features and look and feel with the Series 2 iterating and improving on the Series 1.
The Series 2 Core is a trimmed version of the Series 2, providing fewer customizability options.
All connect to a PS4 and PS5 identically to their base controllers, the Xbox One and Xbox Series S and Series X Controllers. Therefore, they use:
- PS Remote Play
- Hardware adapter
- Bluetooth adapter
While there’s nothing special with these controllers from a connectivity standpoint, I thought it bore mentioning given the premium they command. Notably, that’s for the hardware configurations that they enable, similar to the DualSense Edge controllers Sony recently released.
Whatever Xbox controller you have, there’s an option to connect it to your PS4 and PS5. Some of them are more straightforward than others, but with a little perseverance, you can make it work. The great thing about these solutions: they work in reverse.
What simple hardware hacks have you done to make your gaming experience your own? Let me know in the comments!