The PS4 controller is a fine piece of hardware. Over the PlayStation’s many years, it is the embodiment of the old saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Starting from the first PlayStation, the design has never undergone any radical changes, with only the addition of the thumbsticks and touchpad being included over the gaming eras.
That said, there is one mysterious jack that very few people have any idea as to it does. All of the other buttons, X, Square, Triangle, and O all have clear identifications as to what they do, the others speak for themselves. The EXT port though? What does that do?
And, for a frame of reference, EXT means extension.
Anyway, since it’s so small, you’re probably not going to notice it, and that’s fine. Its function won’t come up unless you have a specific need, and that need won’t come around too often if you have other options.
And believe me, despite being an avid PS4 player myself with well over a hundred hours racked up on the console, I don’t think I’ve ever used it. But, there are a few uses for it, which we will go over.
What is the EXT port on a PS4 Controller?
The EXT port on the controller, located in between the thumbsticks and below the touchpad, is for additional accessories and devices. Things such as headphones, keyboards, extra thumb or trigger grips, charging station port, or even just another place to insert a USB-C cable.
Let me give you a few examples of what it is for.
For starters, the EXT port acts as a way for other devices to be connected to the PS4 controller. Take, for example, the controller charging station. Just gently make sure the PS4 controller is lined up correctly, and don’t slam it in, and you should be good to go! In addition, you can also insert a mini-keyboard, and headset, and microphones.
Here, let me go into a bit of detail about what these are and what they do.
The Charging Station
The EXT port isn’t used for a lot, as many, many, many gamers haven’t really noticed it, and if they have, they likely don’t use it in their day-to-day gaming. I mean, would you even think twice about it if you didn’t use any of these accessories?
The Charging Station is…well, just that, a charging station for your controllers can be at full power when they run out of juice. Different from the USB-C cable that comes with the PS4 because with the Charging Station, you can charge multiple controllers at once.
These are useful if you don’t want cables everywhere, and just want a place you can put controllers away safely, like on a desk. Safe, simple, and easy to use.
Granted, that’s all it can do, but it is a charging station, what were you expecting?
So, you know how sometimes you see mini keyboards at electronic stores? You know, the ones that wouldn’t work for any computer-based on how small they are? And how the buttons were smaller than the imprint of a thumb? Well, turns out, many of those are for video game controllers.
See, many games have a chat function, usually for voice communication between two or more players. But, sometimes a player won’t have a microphone, or perhaps they’re just nervous to talk to other people online.
To that end, many games have a typing function that allows for the use of in-game messages. But, to that end, the in menu keyboard is oftentimes slow and cumbersome, necessitating the need for a keyboard on the controller. For that, these little toys exit that allows players to type much, much faster.
That said, since the buttons are so small, and players are generally pressed for time when typing something out, expect to backspace a lot if you care about grammar. Or, heck, get good at using the autocorrect function.
Still, if you’re not comfortable talking on a headset or just enjoy being able to type, then one of these keyboard devices, such as the Sony Chatpad.
Headset and headphones
….So, yeah, this one is kinda obvious, but the EXT port is for you to insert a headphone or microphone set into. Sadly, I’ve heard that those are no longer in production, but you can find older models on eBay, Amazon, etc.
Also, you can plug in any headphones that work with the port, so if have any lying around, they should work. That said, I don’t think headsets used by the Xbox are compatible with the PS4, but you’re welcome to try nonetheless.
Any other devices?
It may work with the PlayStation VR function, but I have no confirmation for that, so go ahead and try, but be prepared for failure.
You may also be able to connect other accessories to the EXT port if you have them, but I think you’re already aware of how seldom used the EXT port is. So you’re not missing out on much if you can’t find any.
So, let’s recap
The EXT port on a controller is a small, barely noticed plug for the PlayStation controller. It is mainly used for attaching accessories to the controller for additional functions.
The chatpad for example is used for typing, while the headset is used for verbal communication and audio transmission. The most useful device would most likely be the charging station, however. As it is likely that the ps4 controllers will run out of battery if you play on a day to day basis.
You can usually find said devices in electronic stores, such as Gamestop, Best Buy, your local department store, or online sites. Such as eBay.
So, the EXT port is generally one of those things that kinda doesn’t get used as much as it should have, on account of how little people seem to know about it. But hey, that’s fine. So long as you know what it does, and what it can be used for, then the EXT port is a fine extension of the controller.
Ah, see what I did there?
I’m sorry, I’ll see myself out…