PS4 Controller Won’t Connect (FIX) 2023

You’re settling down for a gaming session, eager to dive into your favorite PS4 title, but your controller decides to throw a curveball and simply won’t connect. Infuriating, isn’t it? Fear not, as this guide will help you troubleshoot that stubborn controller and get you back into the game.

Basic Checks First

Before diving deep into technical solutions, it’s always wise to start with the simple stuff. Often, it’s the basics that we overlook. Here’s a comprehensive rundown to ensure your PS4 controller is in good shape:

  1. Battery Check: Before anything else, ensure your controller’s battery isn’t dead. Plug in your controller and let it charge for a good 15 minutes. If the light bar at the top begins to glow, you’re in business. If it remains dead, it’s possible that the battery is entirely drained or has a fault. In such cases, you may need to consider replacing the battery.
  2. Visual Inspection: Examine the controller for any obvious signs of damage, especially around the charging port. Any cracks, dents, or foreign particles can interfere with its operation.
  3. Connectivity: Ensure that your PS4 console is in the appropriate range. While PS4 controllers use Bluetooth to connect and have a decent range, walls or other electronic devices can interfere with the signal.

Once you’ve ensured these basic things and your controller is still not connecting, proceed to the next step.

Reset the Controller

Sometimes, controllers just need a bit of a nudge to get them back on track. Resetting can help in fixing minor glitches or connection hiccups:

  1. Locate the Reset Button: As mentioned earlier, this is found on the back of the controller, close to the L2 button.
  2. Press and Hold: Using a pin, paperclip, or any other tiny pointed object, gently press and hold the button down for about 3-5 seconds. This action will force the controller to reset, clearing any temporary data that might be causing the issue.
  3. Reconnect: Once reset, plug the controller into the PS4 using a USB cable. It should ideally recognize and pair with the system.

Try a Different Cable

USB cables, as basic as they seem, can be the root of many tech issues. Let’s delve deeper into this:

  1. Check for Physical Damage: Examine your USB cable for any signs of wear and tear. If the cable is frayed, twisted, or if the connectors look corroded, it could be the culprit.
  2. Data Transmission: Not all USB cables are created for data transmission. Some are designed only for charging. Using a data-cable ensures that the PS4 system can communicate with the controller, essential for pairing.
  3. Use the Original Cable: The cable that came with the PS4 or your controller is designed specifically for data transmission. It’s always a good idea to use that one for troubleshooting.
  4. Ensure a Good Connection: When plugging in, make sure the USB is seated correctly in both the PS4 and the controller. A loose connection can prevent data transfer.

By diligently following these extended steps, you increase your chances of spotting the issue early and saving yourself the hassle of more complex troubleshooting later on. Remember, when it comes to tech, it’s often the simplest things that catch us out.

Rebuild Database

Okay, if you’re here, the basics didn’t cut it. Sometimes, the PS4’s database can get a little cluttered, leading to various issues, including controller malfunctions.

To rebuild the database:

  1. Turn off the PS4 completely (not Rest Mode).
  2. Hold the power button until you hear two beeps: one immediately and another after a few seconds. This will boot your PS4 into Safe Mode.
  3. Connect your controller with a USB cable and press the PS button.
  4. Select the ‘Rebuild Database’ option. It might take some time, so grab a cup of coffee.

This process will not delete any of your games or data.

Check for Interference

Interference can be a sneaky adversary when it comes to wireless connections. Your PS4 controller, which connects via Bluetooth, isn’t immune to this. Let’s get a deeper understanding of how interference can play its part:

  1. Sources of Interference: Common household devices, such as cordless phones, microwaves, and even baby monitors, can operate on similar frequencies as your Bluetooth devices. This can cause disturbances in your PS4 controller’s signal.
  2. Other Bluetooth Devices: Having multiple active Bluetooth devices in close proximity can cause signal congestion. If you’ve got Bluetooth headphones, speakers, or other consoles active nearby, consider switching them off or moving them away temporarily.
  3. Physical Obstacles: Walls, especially those with reinforced concrete or metal, can obstruct Bluetooth signals. Try to reduce the number of obstacles between the PS4 and the controller for an optimal connection.
  4. Positioning the PS4: Sometimes, simply moving the PS4 to a more central or open location in the room can help with interference issues. Avoid placing it inside closed cabinets.

After ensuring an interference-free environment, give your controller another shot at connecting.

Consider a Software Issue

While we like to think of our consoles as standalone machines, they’re heavily influenced by the software that runs on them:

  1. Game-Specific Issues: Occasionally, a specific game might have bugs or glitches that affect controller connectivity. If you notice your controller disconnects frequently with one particular game but works fine with others, the game software might be the issue. A patch or update from the game developer might fix this.
  2. System Updates: The PS4 gets regular system updates that enhance performance, fix bugs, and sometimes, introduce new ones. If you’ve recently updated the system, or if there’s an update pending, there’s a chance it might be causing your connectivity issues.
  3. Rollbacks and Restores: If a recent update seems to be the culprit, consider rolling back to a previous version or restoring the PS4 to factory settings. Do remember, this can erase personal data, so ensure you back up any critical game saves.

Another Controller?

When in doubt, cross-checking is an age-old troubleshooting step:

  1. Test with a Different Controller: If you have a spare controller, try connecting it. This step can help you quickly identify if the problem is controller-specific or if it’s the console that’s causing the headache.
  2. Pairing Mode: When trying a new controller, ensure it’s set to pairing mode. The PS button and the ‘SHARE’ button need to be pressed simultaneously until the light bar starts flashing.
  3. Console Examination: If neither controller connects, it’s time to closely inspect the PS4. Ensure there are no evident hardware damages, especially to USB ports if you’re trying a wired connection.
  4. Professional Help: If it seems like your PS4 is the issue, and basic troubleshooting doesn’t solve it, consider getting a professional diagnosis. Sometimes, internal components like the Bluetooth chip might be faulty and require replacement.

By being methodical and breaking down the problem step-by-step, you’re better equipped to identify the cause and find a solution. Happy troubleshooting!

Controller’s End Days

Let’s be real for a moment. Controllers, like all tech, have a lifespan. If you’ve been using your controller for a good number of years, subjected it to intense gaming marathons, and maybe (just maybe) thrown it in a moment of gaming rage, it might be reaching its end. If none of the solutions work, it might be time to invest in a new controller.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why does my PS4 controller keep blinking and not connecting? A blinking light on your PS4 controller indicates it’s attempting to establish a connection with the console but is failing. This could be due to interference, a drained battery, or a potential pairing issue between the controller and the console.
  2. How do you fix a PS4 controller that won’t connect or reset? If your PS4 controller won’t connect or reset, you can try using a different USB cable to connect it directly to the console, ensuring there’s no interference from other devices, and checking for any software updates on the PS4. If all else fails, it might be time to consider professional repair or replacement.
  3. How do I connect my PS4 controller back to my PS4? To reconnect your PS4 controller, first plug it into the console using a USB cable. Then press the PS button on the controller. Once the light bar turns solid or stops blinking, it means the controller has successfully paired with the PS4.


I know it can be downright maddening when tech doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to. But, by systematically going through these steps, most of you should find a solution to the vexing PS4 controller connection issue.

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