Repairing your PS4 Controller between different devices

I recently signed up for a free trial of the Apple Arcade and enjoy casually using my Apple TV to play the odd iOS/tvOS game. Trouble is, my trusty PS4 controller can only be paired with one device at a time, and the design is not clever enough to understand there’s more than once device in this world. Perhaps newer controllers will be designed like wireless headphones, but until that distant day arrives, I have to re-pair my controller manually.

It’s not difficult, I just have to remember to do it in the following order. Assuming the controller is currently paired to another device (PS4, iPad, Apple Arcade etc), and we’d like to pair it with Windows:

  • open your Bluetooth devices and remove the paired controller
  • put the controller into pairing mode (hold SELECT and the PS button until it starts flashing rapidly)
  • add it as a new device
  • start playing

The same thing has to be done when switching to another device. There’s no immediate need to remove the controller from the unused device, nor should there be a need to reset the controller.

A common mistake that can happen is to press the PS button on the controller as it’s paired to the previous device (the one we don’t’ want to use). It will potentially switch said device on, and we don’t want that. In that case:

  • switch said device off
  • switch off the PS4 controller (keep holding the PS button for like 20 seconds)
  • remember not to do it again 😁

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