What to do when your PS4 controller keeps disconnecting

PS4 Controller Plugged into PS4
PS4 Controller Plugged into PS4 (Image credit: Android Central)

What should I do when my PS4 controller keeps disconnecting?

Best answer: The first step is to resync your controller. At the very least, if you can resync the controller, it should grant you access long enough to save your game before resetting the system. After that, there are a few different things to try.

Why is this happening?

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As fun as it would be to blame the issue of your PS4 controller on gremlins, there's a variety of problems that could be causing the disconnect. Wireless interference, bad firmware, or simple wear and tear are all possible culprits. But no matter which little annoyance is causing your controllers to disconnect, there are a few tricks to find out how to fix your PS4 controller from not connecting.

Resync and reset

Before jumping to a console restart and losing progress on your game, try resyncing your controller. This is a swift and easy fix; all you need is a USB cable. Simply plugging your controller into the PlayStation with the USB cable and then pressing and holding the PS button will prompt your controller to resync with the system. If this works, great, you're all set! No progress lost. Save that game and continue gaming.

If your controller doesn't reconnect using the PS button, now is the time to turn off your console. RIP save. With your console off and controller unplugged from the USB, grab that trusty little paperclip (or another similar poking device). Poke the clip into the Reset hole next to the L2 button so that you can hold the tiny button inside for a few seconds. Next, plug your controller back into the console with your USB cable and start'er up. The controller should resync with the console during the start-up, and hopefully, you are good to go.

Restart the console

PlayStation safe mode press and hold power

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

If resetting the controller didn't help and you continue to lose connection to your console, a complete console restart is in order. It is as simple as resetting the controller. It just takes a little longer.

With your PlayStation 4 turned off, press and hold down the power button until you hear two beeps; one when you first press the button and then a second beep after about 8 to 10 seconds. Once you hear the second beep, you can unplug your console from its power source. Leave your console unplugged for a couple of minutes. This gives your PS4 time to cool off, reset, and do what electronics do when you turn them off and on again. Then, reconnect your power cable and plug your controller into the console again with that convenient USB cord. When you start your console back up, your controller should resync.

When all else fails

If nothing seems to be working on getting that controller connected and staying connected to the PS4, the controller or the system may be the issue. Grab your next best PS4 controller or borrow one from a friend and connect it to your system; use the PS button resync method above to get your PS4 to recognize this controller. Take a little time playing as you usually do to see if the disconnection issues continue. If all seems well, the problem is probably with your controller; with the easy fixes not working, a replacement may be in order. Use this as an excuse to pick up a controller you've always wanted.

Should it come down to replacing your controller, at least you get something new and fun out of all this trouble. And if a simple resync or reset worked, you save yourself some cash. That's a win-win in my book.

If the controller disconnections continue happening no matter which controller you use, the issue is most likely with the console. It's time to call customer support; hopefully, your system is still under warranty, and they will be able to fix it up for you to get your wireless controllers working once more. You can visit the Fix & Replacement page, contact PlayStation's Twitter @askPlayStation, or call 1-800-345-7669 for more assistance.

Upgrade to PS5

If simple resets aren't fixing the problem and a service repair is too expensive, consider whether you're ready to upgrade to Sony's latest console, the PS5. Unfortunately, new PS4 consoles and controllers aren't in production right now, so if you absolutely need a replacement, you might be spending a lot of money. Instead, that money could go toward hitting up a PS5 restock, netting you the latest console that can play practically every PS4 game through backward compatibility.

You'll also be able to play the newest PS5-only games, such as the upcoming Marvel's Spider-Man 2 and Marvel's Wolverine from Insomniac Games.

Kelly Peirce