Why is my PS5 controller red?

So, have you ever been playing on the PS5, or PlayStation 5 and noticed that, at times, your controller changes color randomly? You could trucking along, playing your video games in peace, stomping bad guys ruling cities, swinging through New York, or getting killed by undead hordes, and then, out of the blue comes red?  

If Your ps5 controller turns red, this means that your Dualsense controller is about to run out of battery and that red glow is the system informing the user that they better plug in their control fast. Your Dualsense controller can also turn red to indicate that you are player 2 in a multiplayer game. 

See, the Dualsense controller usually has a battery power of around 12 hours, and when those hours are about to run out, the light changes to red in order to inform the user that it is about to die. When the light goes out completely, the batteries are completely dead. 

But why does it do this? 

Well, the onboard software (amazing what they can make these days huh?) detects the decreasing battery power and changes the built-in LED light to accommodate this. It should be worth noting that it doesn’t automatically change from blue to red in a snap of the fingers. 

As the battery decreases, so too will the color change. It starts at blue, before slowly morphing into green, then red as the battery goes down. 

See, it is red because we, as a species, tend to associate the color red with potential danger. Like how if you were to see blood on the ground, you would naturally think: “There’s danger ahead,” and, many stop signs and streetlights are colored red in order to get drivers and other street-users to come to a halt. 

And, in many video games, if the screen turns red, then that signifies that you are in danger of dying or are in a troublesome spot.   

When the battery does finally run out, then the best course of action would be to just insert it into a charging station, or place a USB-C cable into it and the PS5 so it will change. Please follow the instructions for properly using a charging station. 

Of course, there are other reasons as to why the battery changes. 

As the Dualsense controller shares many similarities to the Dualshock one, that being the controller for the PlayStation 4, the two are basically the older, rugged brother and the fancier younger brother who has a lot of cool new tricks. 

The Dualshock controller also possesses a changing light bar in the back of the controller, which would change depending on the game you were playing. For most video games, it would remain a solid purple or blue, but in some games, such as Nier: Automata, it would become a silvery-white, to reflect the hair colors of the protagonists, 2B, and 9S.  

In addition, it should change if there’s more than one player hooked up to the PlayStation. I.E: player 1 will have the signature blue, but player 2 will instead have a red one. In addition, if two more controllers are added, they will change as well. 

Player 3 will have green, and player 4 will have pink. All in all, a pretty cool feature. 

The Dualsense controller also shares these changing lights, though, with their more advanced nature, they’re not locked into presets like the Dualshock controller. 

Like the Dualshock, the player color changes depending upon which one you are. Blue for player 1, red for 2, etc. But, certain actions in certain video games will change the color, or so the rumors say.  

However, you can change the colors of the lights by going through a lengthy process of inputting new firmware into the controller. But, in doing so, you also risk breaking the controller, so I will have to advise against it. 

So, is there any other way to know if the color red is useable without running low on battery or playing as player 2?  

Well, to put it simply: no. No there isn’t. 

See, the red is, again, warning light for when the internal battery is about to run out, and it would be annoying if your controller was constantly red all the time.  

Think of it this way, if the warning light is no longer a warning, would you be aware of when it’s supposed to warn you? 

Okay, that made no sense, but basically. If it was constantly on red, then you wouldn’t know if it was about to run out. You grow numb to it and, therefore, won’t heed the warning light. 

In addition, you can also actually change the light brightness of the controller. That being, should you find the default light too annoying, it can be adjusted to your specifications.  

To do this, follow these simple steps:

  1. Go into Settings from the home menu, and then go into Accessories. 
  1. Select Controllers on the left side of the menu. 
  1. The controller options should be shown. 
  1. Go to “brightness of controllers” and then press X. The menu displaying the options should appear on the right side of the screen. 
  1. From there, adjust the brightness level of your ps5 controller.  
  1. You can choose from preset conditions, with “Bright” being the default. 
  1. You can adjust to be “Dim” based on your preferences. 

And that’s about it. 

Again, the red warning light is to show the user that the battery is about to run out, and the color red is chosen due to humanity’s tendency to associate it with danger.  

While the battery does run for 12 hours, its energy will be depleted sooner or later, and a user should take caution that their Dualsense Controller will still be useable.  

It is possible, however, to change the light to red even without a loss in battery power if a controller is chosen to be player 2. While players 3 and 4 would green and pink respectively in a throwback to older games.  

Finally, while it isn’t possible to change it to red all the time, and would indeed be a very bad idea to do so, it is possible to adjust the overall light of the Dualsense controller by going into the options. 

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