Can You Charge a PS4 Controller With a Phone Charger?

You probably noticed right away that the charge cable for your PS4 controller has the same sized USB as your phone charger. Right away you probably plugged one into a phone charger to see what happens, but is this really good for your controller? Can you charge a PS4 controller with a phone charger

Yes, you can, but you need to choose carefully. There are specific voltage guidelines that you need to follow or you risk burning out your controller. Specifically, you want an 800ma output. 

In this article we’ll tell you the specific outputs of your console, as well as what you need to look for in a charger, and what you most definitely should avoid. We’ll also give you some tips to increase your controller’s battery life in the bargain. 

Without further ado, let’s talk about the specifics you need to charge your controller with your phone charger. 

Charging your controller from your PS4 Console 

In order to answer this question in detail we need to talk about the power levels involved. With you PS4 console charging method, you can expect a charging time of approximately 2 hours (with a new controller) being required before you reach a state of ‘full charge’. 

Your Ps4 console employs the USB 3 cable providing a steady charge rated at 5v 900ma, which comes to approximately .9 amps of charge. Now, your DualShock 4 controller only requires about .8 amps, which is 5v and 800ma. This is the ideal rate of charge and what is recommended for maintaining the longest battery life that you can from your controller. 

Now that you know the required charge, you can certainly use a phone charger to accomplish the same thing, but we are going to need to follow a few ground rules. As long as you select the RIGHT charger you can certainly charge your controllers efficiently without worry, but you need to be picky about what you use. 

The power rates need to be the same so you’ll have to select your charger carefully. Let’s get into what this really means so that you’ll know exactly what ratings you’ll need to look for in an external charger and why your choice here is very important. 

Charging your controller from a phone charger 

Choosing the right charger is imperative and we’ll tell you why. First off, if the charge is too low, you’ll likely get the charging signs of the flashing amber light on your controller but when you plug it in, you’ll find that it hasn’t charged at all. 

This is because some phone chargers simply don’t have the juice that you need to properly charge your controller. This is easily avoided by making sure that your phone charger is rated for 800ma. This is exactly what your controller needs, no more and no less. 

While you might have a little luck with a lower voltage, you risk burning out your controller’s battery by ‘trickle charging’ it, so we really can’t recommend anything lower than 800ma. 

That said, if you have a charger that is rated higher than 800ma, that’s not a problem either. This is because your PS4 controller is only going to draw 800ma. It’s designed to take a steady stream of only what it needs and this obviously works (within reason), when you consider that the PS4 console is putting out 900ma. 

There is one exception, however, and this has to do with ‘quick-charge’ adapters. 

Warning: Stay away from ‘quick charge’ phone chargers 

Quick charge adapters are another beast altogether. These adapters ship with a lot of the newer phones and the easiest way to identify them is that you will likely have 2 cable outputs. One of these outputs is rated for 5v and the other is for 9v. The latter is almost twice what your controller needs. 

While the PS4 controller is designed to only draw 800ma, the 9 volts that are being put out by a quick charge adapter along with the different USB wiring scheme makes these chargers dangerous for your controller. 

While we can’t guarantee that this will be the case with your own controllers there have been numerous reports online stating that quick charge adapters did indeed damage their expensive controllers and so we must advise you to avoid the ‘quick charge’ temptation. While a smartphone can draw safely on those 9 volts to charge quickly, your PS4 controller is simply not designed for this. 

So, our official recommendation where quick charge adapters are concerned is that you shouldn’t use them. Good controllers aren’t cheap and it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

Quick tips to extend your battery life on your PS4 controller 

Now that you know what kind of adapter you’ll need, we thought we’d share a few quick and easy tips for getting the most battery life out of your PS4 controller. It ultimately boils down to 3 recommendations: 

  • Discharging your controller battery completely every 2 – 3 months is a good idea. Simply let it run completely out so that you can give it a slow, full charge and this will extend your battery life. When your battery never runs completely out it actually lessens the overall life, so be sure to discharge it completely periodically to get the most life out of your controller.    
  • Lower your light bar brightness by going to your Ps4 settings for this. Select Settings, then Devices, and then Brightness and you can select the lowest option to reduce this value for longer battery life. 
  • Turning off vibration is a simple way to save on power and may be done by selecting Settings, then Devices, and Controllers. When you have a game where you want the vibration, you can simply turn it back on as-needed and you’ll save a lot of power. 

Some final words on charging your PS4 controllers with phone chargers 

Charging your PS4 controller with your phone charger is indeed doable and as long as you select the proper voltage, it’s a great way to always ensure that you have a fresh controller ready. Just be sure that it doesn’t have too little voltage and that you avoid the quick-charge options and you’ve got a great way to safely charge your controller. 

Don’t forget to discharge those batteries fully from time to time to get the most life out of your controllers and you’ll be enjoying your controller and your new charging scheme for many years to come!   

Steven Carr

Steven is a certified IT professional and gaming enthusiast. He has been working in the tech industry for over 10 years, and specializes in all things Tech-related. When he's not geeking out over the latest hardware or software release, he can be found testing out the latest video game.

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