Your PS4 controller is one of the most important gaming peripherals you own. If you regularly game on your PS4 – and you should, given just how great a machine it is – then you’ll know that your controller is an extension of you. It’s how you interface with your favourite games, how you experience interactive stories that are completely unforgettable, and how you dominate in multiplayer games. As such, if something goes wrong with it and you’re left thinking “what can I do with a broken PS4 controller?”, that can be a demoralising and depressing feeling indeed.
Happily, we’re here to help you. There’s actually a lot you can do with a broken PS4 controller, so don’t throw it in the bin out of anger or frustration just yet. Whether you’re recycling parts, trying to fix it yourself, or even getting it to work through sheer willpower (maybe not that last one), there’s always an avenue you can explore when it comes to repurposing or recalibrating a dead DualShock 4. The answer to the question “what can I do with a broken PS4 controller?” is “a lot!”. Here’s what you should do with a broken PS4 controller.
Check it’s definitely broken
First, before you decide what you should do with your “broken” PS4 controller, you should make sure that it’s definitely broken. Connect it wirelessly to your console; you never know, it could simply start working again, in which case your problem has solved itself! If it doesn’t, however, try using a Micro USB cable to connect the controller instead. The problem could be with the Bluetooth functionality, and if it is, then you simply need to play with your controller wired from now on. A small price to pay for an operational controller, we’re sure you’ll agree.
Reset your controller
If you simply can’t get your controller to connect to your console, then you may want to try resetting it. Check around the back of the controller for a small, pin-shaped hole. You’ll find it next to the L2 button and a screw. Using a small object like a paperclip or a pin, push the button inside the hole for a couple of seconds, then release it. Afterwards, connect your controller to your console wirelessly. Hopefully, this will solve the issue, and you’ll find that your controller isn’t actually broken! If not, of course, you may need to move on to more advanced troubleshooting techniques.
Clean your charging port
If the controller connects wirelessly but doesn’t connect with a cable, then the problem might be your controller port. As such, it’s a good idea to try and clean it before you move on. First, grab yourself a can of compressed air; any brand will do, but make sure it has a long, thin cleaning nozzle. Aim the compressed air can towards the USB port (make sure the console and controller are both off) and spray quick, short bursts of air into the port, trying to dislodge any dust that might be stuck in there. You’d be amazed how much dust there can be in those ports!
Try to repair it yourself
Once you’ve diagnosed the problem with your PS4 controller, you can try to repair it yourself, depending on how severe the issue is. Problems like faulty analog sticks, a non-working trackpad, or a bad battery can all be fixed if you take the controller apart (you will need the relevant screwdriver). Do exercise caution if you disassemble your controller; it’s entirely possible to put it back together incorrectly, meaning that you’ll end up with a controller that’s in a worse state than when you started. Only attempt to repair your controller yourself if you’re confident in your abilities.
Send your controller for warranty repair
If your PS4 controller is under warranty, then it’s entirely possible you can send it off to Sony in order for it to be repaired. First, make sure that your warranty is still intact. You can get in touch with Sony and ask them if you’re not sure; just tell them when you bought the console and where from, and they’ll tell you if your warranty is intact. If you are still under warranty, send your controller off and it should be repaired. Alternatively, send your controller to your retailer if they offer a distinct warranty, and they should be able to take care of it for you.
Get the controller fixed with a third-party repair shop
There’s a chance your controller may not be in warranty. If it’s not, then you could still be in luck, as there are many third-party repair shops that will tend to your controller and fix it for you. These engineers will often have the same level of expertise as Sony’s own staff, so you won’t need to worry about the quality of repair (although you will need to vet the shop yourself to make sure they’re above board). A good-quality third-party repair will make your controller good as new again, so make sure you don’t throw it away before you need to!
Recycle your controller
If you’ve tried absolutely everything and nothing has worked, then unfortunately, it might be time to recycle your controller. There are few problems that can’t be fixed by swapping parts or sending your controller to an engineer, but sometimes, the controller simply cannot be saved. A number of electronics retailers will recycle the controller for you; they’ll strip it for parts, use what can be used, and discard what they don’t need. Try not to just throw your controller in the bin, because it might not be disposed of properly, which could be damaging for the environment.