We’ve all felt the panic when our controller suddenly starts displaying a “low battery” message during a particularly intense gaming session. We scramble to find our cable, only to realise that the message came too late and our controller is now dead. Desperately, we try to hammer the PlayStation button to bring it back to life for just a few precious moments, but there’s no life in the thing; it’s completely dead, and now we have to face down a full charge time.
Your experience of this phenomenon may or may not be as dramatic as ours, but you’ve almost certainly had this happen to you at least once or twice over the course of your PS4 gaming life. As such, you might be wondering: how long does it take a PS4 controller to charge? Well, the answer may vary, which is surprising. It might seem like the PS4 controller charge time should be static no matter what, but the fact is that there are different conditions that could affect this figure. Here’s how long it takes a PS4 controller to charge, as well as some other interesting facts and information about charging your DualShock 4.
Official DualShock 4 charging time
On average, Sony says it should take around two hours for your DualShock 4 to charge. That’s assuming the battery is completely dead and you want to charge it to 100%, of course, and it’s also assuming that all of the components within the charging apparatus – the controller, the cable, and the power source – are functioning optimally.
For most people, though, a PS4 controller won’t take two hours to charge. After all, when was the last time you let your controller go completely dead before you charged it? Doing so is pretty unusual, because Sony usually displays a warning on the PS4 that tells you when your controller is in need of charging. For most people, that warning gives them ample time to go find a cable or attach their controller to a charging station.
Third-party components may complicate matters
So that’s the official charge time for a DualShock 4. What about third-party controllers, though? Does a third-party cable change your controller’s charge time? How about if you’re using a third-party power source?
By and large, a DualShock 4 controller should take around two hours to charge no matter what power source you’re using. However, that time might vary depending on third-party controllers. There are far too many to list here, so you’ll want to check with your controller’s manufacturer to find out what the charge time is. However, most third-party PS4 controllers will manage around seven to eight hours of gameplay before they need to be recharged, and most will charge within around three hours.
If you’re using a third-party cable or a third-party power source, then you might notice some different numbers when it comes to charging times. For the most part, Micro USB cables are identical to one another, but older or damaged cables may struggle to carry a charge. Similarly, if you’re using a third-party power source – a phone charger, for example, or another console – then your controller may take longer to charge due to the different amount of power that these sources may supply.
Should I let my PS4 controller die?
To put it simply: no. Modern batteries operate better if you keep them constantly topped up and charge them little and often rather than letting them die and charging them all the way back to 100%. While letting your PS4 controller drop to 0% battery once or twice isn’t going to destroy the device, if you keep doing this then you may notice that overall battery capacity decreases. Try to make sure that you’re charging your PS4 controller as often as you can.
My PS4 controller won’t charge. What’s wrong?
There are many reasons for a PS4 controller not charging. Here are some of the factors that might be affecting the charge in your DualShock 4.
- Faulty cable. Try to check the cable with another device that supports Micro USB. If that device also doesn’t charge or the connection is intermittent, then the cable is likely at fault.
- Faulty power source. Connect another device to your power source. If the device doesn’t charge but the cable isn’t to blame, then it could be the power source itself. If this happens to be your PS4’s USB ports, you may need to have the console repaired.
- Faulty battery. The DualShock 4’s battery has a finite lifespan, just like every other battery out there. While you can recharge the battery, it will eventually fail, so it could just be that your DualShock 4 is nearing the end of its life. Consider having a professional swap in a new battery (or do it yourself if you’re feeling particularly confident).
One universal way to check what the fault might be is to use another DualShock 4 controller if you happen to have one handy. That way, you can see whether the cable’s at fault, the power source is to blame, or the battery within your controller itself is what’s causing the charge to dissipate quickly.
We hope that this guide on how long it takes for a PS4 controller to charge has been helpful. Hopefully, your controller should only take around two hours to charge from empty to maximum, but as we’ve illustrated, there are several factors that could shorten or lengthen this time. If your DualShock 4 isn’t holding a charge and you can’t isolate the problem, then as ever, we’d recommend you contact Sony support, especially if your controller is still within its warranty period.