Playstation 4 controllers are notoriously slow to charge after they’ve aged for a bit, mostly due to the fact that the PS4 uses 4 watts to charge controllers through its two front-facing USB ports. Four watts is pretty much the industry standard for a USB charger.
A brand new, Playstation 4 controller will take roughly two hours to charge if left completely alone. If you’re using it while it is plugged in, it won’t turn off on you, but it will take longer to charge.
Playstation 4 came out well before the switch to USB-C, so its controllers have the standard USB mini-ports that you’re used to from the early half of the last decade. Of course, as the controller ages, the 3.7V lithium polymer battery within will take longer to charge.
Are There Faster Ways To Charge A Playstation 4 Controller?
There are definitely faster ways to charge your Playstation 4 controllers, and it all boils down to plugging them into a wall outlet rather than the PS4. For one, you’re getting more juice out of a wall outlet. For two, you can use charger bricks with a higher charging capacity.
For instance, Apple iPads come with a charging brick that’s rated at 20w, versus the 4w you get from plugging directly into the system. It will shock you how quickly a 20w charging brick with a micro-USB plugged into it will boost your charging speed.
Most of the time, with a 20w charger, you can have your PS4 controller fully charged and ready to go in half an hour, if not faster.
The only drawback to charging your controller from the wall outlet is that you can’t forget and leave it there. Playstation 4 controllers are not known for their batteries blowing up, but there is such thing as overcharging and damaging your battery.
Sony has claimed that the DualShock 4 controller’s batteries stop charging at 100%, so there can be no overcharging. In practice, though, it does have a dramatic effect on the longevity of the battery.
To help minimize that problem, you can purchase a charging dock that has a battery level indicator, such as the HyperX ChargePlay Duo. You can still plug it into a 20w charging brick, and now you’ll know when the charging process is complete and when to remove the controller.
Why Do Some PS4 Controller’s Batteries Last Longer Than Others?
Sony never made a huge announcement concerning their DualShock 4 controllers. However, they did quietly release a second version on September 15, 2016. The battery listed for v2 of the Dualshock 4 is exactly the same as the previous iteration.
Fortunately, though the batteries are nearly identical, Sony made some tweaks to the v2 DualShock 4 that extended the battery life. So you may happen to have a 2nd generation DualShock 4 and never realized it.
Lasting longer was the goal, and Sony accomplished the mission with their 2nd generation rollout. However, when it comes to charging, two hours’ worth of battery juicing remained the same.
So regardless of which version you own, it will still take roughly two hours to charge a PS4 controller on a 4w charger or directly plugged into the PS4’s USB port.
How Long Do PS4 Controller’s Batteries Last Between Charges?
There’s a pretty wide window where that is concerned, with the official approximation being that they will last between four and eight hours. Typically, they last around 4 hours.
The DualShock 4 controllers are well-reviewed and hold much acclaim from Sony Playstation 4 owners. However, they don’t last as long as their competition when it comes to battery life.
The Xbox One controller uses replaceable double-A batteries and lasts up to 40 hours. If you purchase the optional, rechargeable battery pack, you can get roughly 30 hours between charges.
At a full charge, a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller can last up to 40 hours as well. Clearly, there’s quite a bit of disparity between the DualShock 4 controllers and the competition. What this comes down to is you will be charging your Playstation 4 controller an awful lot.
That’s not to say that DualShock 4 controllers are bad; quite the opposite. Sony created one of the greatest controllers of all time when it came to the DualShock. Unfortunately, it just needs to be charged a lot.
Why Does My PS4 Controller Die So Fast?
PS4 controllers have a lot going on. They have the light bar, speakers, vibration motors, and a default setting to stay on for as long as the system is on. All of this will kill your battery quickly. On the bright side, there are some fixes.
- Reduce the brightness of the light bar
- Turn off the vibration function
- Remove the default “always-on” setting
- Replace the battery with a stronger one
Most of these things can be taken care of in the settings menu. For the light bar, bring up the quick menu, select DualShock 4, and reduce or eliminate the light.
You can reduce or eliminate the vibration and turn down or turn off the speakers in the same menu:
- Go to the Settings Menu
- Select Devices
- Select Controllers
- Uncheck the box for Enable Vibration
- Adjust the volume under Volume Control
Doing all of those things will help extend the battery life for your DualShock 4 controller in between charges. If you really want to get crazy, you can also change the battery that came with it.
The PS4 controller comes with a built-in, 3.7v Lithium-Polymer, 1000mAh battery. There is a way to replace it if you’re comfortable completely disassembling your PS4 controller.
You’ll want to purchase a thoroughly well-researched 2000mAh upgrade and follow the tips from this link to efficiently replace it without damaging the controller.
All Things Considered
The DualShock 4 controller for the Sony Playstation 4 is one of the all-time greatest controllers ever made. Its Achilles Heel is an unfortunately limited battery life.
However, now that you know you can charge it in two hours, fast charge it, replace the battery and make it last, you’ll get a whole lot more out of this well-designed device, which means more gaming time in between charges.