How to Connect Your PS4 or Xbox Controller to Your Mac

For some, gaming on Mac’s keyboard and mouse is just far more unintuitive than on a console – which makes complete sense! Some Mac-compatible games that you’d want to play on your Macbook are just better once when you’re using an Xbox or PS4 controller. Having your Macbook Pro as a primary or secondary gaming rig is a great choice, and tends to be quicker than using a tablet or Chromebook for gaming.

Thankfully, connecting your controller to your Macbook is incredibly easy! We’ve outlined the easiest ways that you can connect your PS4 controller or Xbox One controller to your Mac devices, whether it’s a wired or wireless controller.

3 Ways To Connect Your PS4 Controller To Your Mac

If you prefer the PlayStation controller to connect to your Macbook Pro, then you’ll be happy to know that there are quite a few ways to connect the PS4 controller to Mac. The PS4 DualShock 4 wireless controller is an excellent controller that is the standard for many gamers, even over the Xbox One controller.

Whether you want to use your laptop as a monitor for your games or are switching over to your Mac’s GPU for your library of Steam games, here are 3 ways for you to connect your Ps4 DualShock 4 controllers to your Macbook.

Connecting Wirelessly

Connecting your PS4 controller to your Mac wirelessly is fairly straightforward, but you’ll need to purchase a wireless adapter to do so. You can purchase the official Dualshock USB Wireless Adapters although you’ll frequently see many people complaining about the steep price that they cost.

There are quite a few off-brand cheaper alternatives that you can purchase at your local Best Buy, but keep in mind that off-brand adapters may wear and tear more easily than the PlayStation one. Ensure your Macbook has the correct port to do this, but the process is fairly straightforward to do manually afterward.

Connecting via Micro USB Cable

Connecting through a Micro USB cable is another great way to connect your PS4 controller and play games on your Macbook. If you’re not too worried about playing wirelessly or buying an official wireless adapter, then you can always play wired.

A wired controller does limit your mobility since you have to keep it connected to your Apple device, but it’s a solid alternative. The best part about connecting via micro USB is that you’ll keep your cable charged as you play!

Connecting via Bluetooth

The third and final way to connect your controller to your MacBook is through Bluetooth, which is some people’s personal preference. Here’s how you go about connecting your controller to your Bluetooth – just follow our on-screen instructions:

  • Open your System preferences on your Macbook.
  • From there, navigate to your Bluetooth Settings.
  • Then, and we can’t stress this enough, you need to press the PlayStation button and share button simultaneously until the controller begins to flash and blink. This is the controller’s pairing mode.
  • Look back to your Mac, and find the controller that lists the Bluetooth devices.
  • Choose “Pair” and it’ll be connected.

How To Connect Your Xbox One Controller To Your Mac

If you already have an Xbox One controller to pair with your Macbook, then unfortunately there’s a bit more work that you’ll have to do to do so. It’s not a ton of work, but there’s still a bit of configuring and downloading thanks to an ongoing feud between Windows and Apple’s operating systems.

You’ll need to download a Microsoft controller driver onto your Macbook, so let us guide you through it:

  • Navigate to GitHub, our click takes you to the specific one you’ll need for your controller.
  • Download the most recent release.
  • Double-click the downloaded folder and run the dmg file.
  • Follow the installation guide, and then restart your Mac – the program should be there the next time you open it.
  • Once you find it, head to your Mac’s System Preferences through the Apple menu and you’ll find the Xbox controllers within the system. From there, click Connect and you should be golden

You don’t need to know much about coding to complete this, so don’t let the technical aspects scare you. Just follow our instructions and you’ll be fine!

Frequently Asked Questions

Connecting your controller to a Mac is far easier than you’d expect, but there may have been some questions stirred to the surface after reading our article. We’ve collected the most asked remote play questions and answered them right here for you.

Otherwise, check out our guides on how to use a tablet for business or how to couple a Nintendo Switch to your laptop.

Why won’t my PS4 controller go into pairing mode?

There are a few reasons why you might not be able to pair your PS4 controller to a Macbook. Here are a few reasons why your controller may not pair:

  • Your adapter is broken.
  • Your controller or Macbook needs to restart.
  • A broken controller or Macbook.

How do I connect my DualShock 4 to my computer wirelessly?

We’ve covered the best way to couple your Dualshock 4 controller but the most consistent way to do so is to use an official adapter or a Bluetooth connection to your Macbook, Apple TV, and its monitor.

How do I resync my controller?

If you want to resync your controller, the easiest way to do so is to simultaneously press the PlayStation button and the share button – this should cause it to begin to resync and light up like the RGB on an Alienware Aurora.


Happy gaming! Hopefully, this guide has given you a thorough guide on how to pair your console controllers to your Macbook and other devices, but if you’re still experiencing some issues then we recommend you contact your Apple support.

The Holy Tech has plenty of other articles for you to check out, including the best way to remove stickers from your laptop and the top performance testing tools for your device.