Hands-On: PS5 DualSense Controller Gets Rumble Over Bluetooth Via DS4Windows

PlayStation 5 DualSense Controller Front View
(Image credit: Sony PlayStation)

A recent 2.1.18 update for DS4Windows, the application that enables the PlayStation 5 DualSense controller to work with Windows, adds the much-requested Rumble and Lightbar support over Bluetooth. 

I’ve been following support for DS4Windows as well as Steam’s own support for the DualSense controller. So I decided to give it a try to see if the new features work as stated. The video below shows the new features, both the rumble and lightbar features being demonstrated on a Windows PC.

I'm happy to report that the rumble support works as stated. This is exciting stuff, as rumble support was one of the more requested features added to DS4Windows. Now the DualSense can be used on the PC without the need for a USB Type C cable.

If you’ve already installed the Steam beta client, you’ll need to make sure you’ve disabled both the PlayStation Configuration Support and Xbox Configuration Support options. If you don’t, DS4Windows may not work correctly.

With this update, the only things missing from the Windows DualSense support is the Haptic Feedback and Adaptive Triggers, two features that may not make it to the PC. These features would need to be programmed in-game, and without proper support from Sony, it may not happen. 

However, since Valve has recently announced that more users are utilizing PlayStation controllers for PC gaming, Sony may be willing to step in and make this a reality. Here's a snippet from Valve's statement with some interesting Steam controller stats.

"In the past two years, the number of daily average users playing a Steam game with a controller has more than doubled, with millions enjoying the growing catalog of controller-friendly titles everyday. In controller friendly games, the percentage of players for that game that use a controller can easily be 60 percent or higher. Some games, such as skateboarding games, have well over 90 percent of their players using controllers in game. The growth in controller usage has been even higher among players using PlayStation controllers, which has grown in the past two years from 10.9 percent of controller play sessions to 21.6 percent of all controller sessions across Steam."

To download the DS4Windows application, head over to Github and grab DS4Windows version 2.1.18. If you've already installed DS4Windows 2.1.17, you can either install the download over it or update the application via the settings tab.

Keith Mitchell

Keith Mitchell is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He is an IT professional during the day, and a passionate lover of video games and tech after his 9-5 grind. He has a weird affinity for Soulsborne games and plays them non-stop.

  • Makaveli
    I really hope sony gives full support for this on steam.

    They will get millions of sales from PC players that use controllers and I see it becoming the default option.
  • keithdmitchell
    I agree 100% percent! In fact, I created a video that (hopefully) hammers down several reasons why I feel Sony needs to be on board with this.