You cannot just plug in an Xbox or PlayStation controller to your PC and start using it for games. DS4Windows is not a controller converter.
Instead, it creates a virtual controller inside the program which is then associated with your real controller.
So, your DS4Windows program is starting normally and functioning properly. There are no issues with the real controller, and you have verified that using the Gamepad Tester Website.
Only after that, you can explore the problems of the virtual controller. If one of the above is malfunctioning, then you must first fix those issues before heading in this direction.
Confirm That Virtual Controllers are Being Created by DS4Windows
When facing problems with virtual controllers, you must first ensure that the virtual controllers are being created correctly by the DS4Windows program.
To do that go to the DS4Windows Log and Event Manager, and check to see the error messages.
If there is a log entry of “Associate (x360/DS4) controller…” on the log, but no virtual controller appears in the main controller list, then the problem resides in the ViGEmBus driver.
Go to Device Manager and check the ViGEmBus log. Make sure that the virtual controller is not hidden by HidHide or HidGuardian. The issue can also occur when both HidHide and HidGuardian are installed at the same time.
Check If Virtual Controller Creation/Association is Disabled
It is also possible that in the currently active profile, the creation or association of the virtual controller is disabled. (Not very likely, but still a possibility).
To check if the problem exists:
- Go to DS4Windows’ Controllers Tab.
- Find the active profile and click on the Edit button next to it.
- Go to the “Other” tab in Profile Editor and see if the checkbox in front of Disable Virtual Controller is ticked. If yes, then remove the tick by clicking on it.
- Save the settings. Close DS4Windows and start it again.
- Go to the game’s Controllers List and check to see if the virtual controllers are now appearing.
Virtual Controllers Are Created but Games are Not Recognizing Them
If the virtual controllers are being created and appearing in the Controllers Tab, then the problem is not with their creation but their functioning.
Check the Double Input Issue
There is a possibility that your games are not able to detect the virtual controllers correctly because of the double input issue. So, you must verify this before doing anything else.
Because of the double input issue, the games will be detecting the real controller instead of the virtual controller created by DS4Windows. So, the commands will not be forwarded to the game.
Go to the Controllers tab in DS4Windows and check to see if there is an x mark in the Ex column of the controller. If so, then there is a double input issue.
- If you are using HidHide, then make sure that the HidHide Configuration Client is fully closed before DS4Windows. Otherwise, the Ex check will fail and you won’t be able to verify the double input issue.
Make sure that your real controller is hidden 100% before starting the game. Then your virtual controller should work fine.
Check If Virtual Controller is Working Properly
- Your virtual controller might not be responding properly to input because of a misconfigured profile. You must test your controller on Gamepad Tester Website to confirm or exclude this issue.
- Simply go to the Gamepad Tester Website and follow the instructions to see if the virtual controller is responding to commands as expected.
- If the website fails to detect the Virtual Controller, then you must resolve the Virtual Controller creation issues that we have discussed above.
- If the controller is not behaving properly, then it might be because of a faulty profile. You can create a new profile in the DS4Windows Profiles tab and use one of the recommended game presets. Check to see if the virtual controller works properly now.
- If the gamepad tester website doesn’t show any response, then you must recheck the active profile in the controllers’ tab. Make sure that all key bindings are properly mapped and that you are not using a blank profile.
Games Not Recognizing Virtual Xbox Controller—A Rare Issue
This issue is specific to the Xbox controller. So, if you are using a Dual-Shock controller then you can skip this section.
One of the reasons your games might not be recognizing the Xbox controller is that Windows has associated the controller with an incorrect XInput slot.
This is more of a Windows issue and not a DS4Windows program issue. Hence, you won’t see this issue in DS4Windows Log and Event Manager.
All you have to do is to open the XInput Checker to confirm if this is really the case and if Windows has associated the controller with an incorrect or random slot. If so, then you can remove the controller from there and it will start working.
Games Not Recognizing Virtual DS4 Controllers—A Common Issue
If your games are recognizing the Xbox controllers but not the Dual Shock 4 controllers, then there are two possible reasons.
Reason 1: Games Do Not Support DS4 Controllers
The primary reason can be that your game doesn’t support DS4 controllers. Most of the games only have support for Xbox controllers.
Even games that were released for PlayStation, sometimes do not have support for DS4 controllers on PC.
So, there is nothing wrong with DS4Windows. In this case, your game doesn’t support the controller and you will have to switch to an Xbox-emulated controller.
Also, you must keep in mind that even the games that do support the DS4 controller might not have rumble support.
There are some ways to mod PlayStation keys into an Xbox controller, but that is not 100% reliable and will not work in all games. Also, that is a very complex process. You can find detailed guides on YouTube and Google if you wish to do it.
Reason 2: Game Requires DS4 Controllers to be Launched via Steam
Some games require Steam input for the games to recognize the DS4 controller.
You will have to launch the game through Steam and enable the DS4 controller support through Steam’s PlayStation Configuration Support.
Only then you will be able to use the DS4 controllers in those games.
Also, keep in mind, to be able to use the DS4 controllers properly, you will have to run the DS4Windows program with a custom name that is supported by Steam.
Virtual controllers might be misbehaving or not working on your system because of a number of reasons. You should follow the issue from creation to recognition to troubleshooting and not the other way around.
Remember, most games only support Xbox controllers, and even the games that do support DS4 controllers might not support the rumble or lightsaber feature. So, you will eventually have to shift to Xbox-emulated controllers.
Got any questions? Reach out to us and we will help you out.