Sony releases Firmware Updater for Windows to allow users to update the DualSense wireless controller without a PS5

Apr 20, 2022

Many people use a controller to play games on their computer. A gamepad can provide better controls for movement or combat in games like Elden Ring, and tighter driving/steering in racing games like Forza Horizon 5, than a mouse and keyboard setup might provide.

Some games may be downright unplayable without a controller, but usually these are bad ports of a console version. Regardless of that, there is an issue with such gamepads. If you don't have a Sony PlayStation 5 but own the controller, you can't update the game pad's firmware, simply because there is no way to do it. Even third-party tools such as DS4Windows don't have a workaround for this problem.

Updating a controller's firmware is quite important, as it can help patch bugs that can cause connectivity issues, battery drain, and other problems. This is why Sony has released a Firmware Updater for Windows, to allow users to update the DualSense wireless controller from their Windows PC. Sony's stance towards Windows users is changing, and that can only mean good news for PC gamers.

While a Tweet from the company says that users will need a Windows 11 PC, the system requirements listed on Sony's download portal says that the Firmware Updater is compatible with Windows 10 64-bit too.

How to update the DualSense wireless controller firmware without a PS5

According to a tutorial that is available on the download page, users will have to install the Firmware updater on their computer, and connect the DualSense controller to the PC using a USB cable, i.e. the gamepad cannot be updated wirelessly. The program will detect the connected accessory, and display some instructions for the user to follow, after which it will patch the software. Users are advised not to unplug the cable while the update process is running. Wait for the app to tell you when the update has been completed, then you can disconnect the controller.

I don't have a DualSense controller to test the app's capabilities, I only have an Xbox Series controller. The process to update the PS5 gamepad seems to be quite similar to how the Xbox controller can be updated on Windows via the Xbox Accessories app.

Currently, very few games on PC support DualSense's adaptive triggers and haptic feedback, like Death Stranding, Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Deathloop, Far Cry 6 to name a few. Game developers have to code their products to support the device. And even then, these games don't support those features in wireless mode, they require the controller to be plugged in via USB. Now that an official firmware updater has been released, it remains to be seen whether Sony will allow more PC games to use these features, that would require a driver for the gamepad of course.

While the Sony PS5 DualSense controller's haptic feedback is better than the competition's rumble motors, a fact that the head of Microsoft Xbox, Phil Spencer acknowledged about a year ago. That said, the Xbox Series controller offers superior compatibility with PC games thanks to native support for it in Windows 10 and 11.

Have you tried the DualSense Firmware Updater on your computer?

Article Name
How to update the DualSense wireless controller firmware without a PS5
Sony has released a Firmware Updater for Windows, that allows users to update the DualSense wireless controller without a PS5.
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  1. yhalabra said on April 29, 2022 at 8:51 pm

    this software does not charge the battery of dual sense through usb, only update the official firmware

  2. Semicolon said on April 21, 2022 at 12:23 am

    so the scp toolkit and vigem bus driver are dead with this sony ds5 digitally software installer?

  3. Rhada said on April 20, 2022 at 10:37 pm

    Sony release that because the alternative scp toolkit of ds4windows or others spread a lot of malware

  4. Corky said on April 20, 2022 at 5:18 pm

    Been waiting for something like this for ages, thanks for the heads up Ashwin. :)

  5. John G. said on April 20, 2022 at 3:49 pm

    Shouldn’t be a better idea to allow Microsoft to offer this update throught Windows Update itself? Thanks for the article by the way! :]

    1. Anonymous said on April 20, 2022 at 4:44 pm

      not sure that gonna be a better choice…firmware is different than driver, with windows update track record not looking that good(update failed, bsod during operation, etc). i rather download standalone and verify everything, and keep a collection of few version of firmware for mobo, phone, external stuff and etc.

      not gonna let microsoft bricking things. :)

      1. John G. said on April 20, 2022 at 6:36 pm

        I understood, thanks for the information provided. :]

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