Ds4windows Alternatives – 11 Best PS4/PS5 Controllers On Windows PC

Since most video publishers and developers now use modern xInput standards, owners of direct input-based controllers have been relying heavily on DS4Windows to enable them to continue using their gamepads on their PCs.

Without DS4Windows, your legacy PlayStation controllers won’t work with your Windows OS. This is because the consoles only come with support for generic drivers that Windows cannot read.

DS4Windows helps bridge that gap by allowing you to emulate an xInput-compliant controller or map your controller to your keyboard and mouse so your PC can recognize it.

However, DS4Windows is not the only gamepad input mapping tool out there. There are plenty of alternatives like DS4Tool, SCP Toolkit, and reWASD with functionalities that can stand in place of or even rival DS4Windows.

That said, the best DS4Windows alternative is DualSenseX because it gives you ample room for customizing your game controller.

Why look for DS4Windows alternatives?

DS4Windows is one of the best tools you can use to map your PlayStation controller to any game. However, it has some limitations that might prompt you to look for similar programs that you can use to optimize your PC gaming experience.

For starters, DS4Windows tends to lag considerably when you connect a gamepad to your Windows system via Bluetooth. The software is lacking on the customization front as it only offers basic features for modifying the controller layout and configurations.

Also, DS4 Windows only supports Windows 10 and 11, leaving owners of older versions of the OS without a way to use their controller for PC games.

Given all this, you might want to explore other options to DS4Windows.

Let’s take a look at some of the best.

Best DS4Windows alternatives

1. reWASD

Get more out of your paddles and put an end to support problems that may be preventing you from playing the games you want on your PC with reWASD.

This gamepad mapper enables you to control and optimize your DualShock, Xbox, Joy-Cons, and Nintendo Switch Pro controllers so they work with any PC game.

With reWASD, you can change your controller’s entire layout or switch up particular controls by assigning your desired gamepad buttons to mouse and keyboard clicks.

So every time you click on that button, reWASD will reproduce it on your keyboard, fooling your PC into thinking you’re using a compatible controller.

reWASD offers you more customization opportunities than DS4Windows by allowing you to remap your Xbox or DualShock controllers to suit your specific preferences. You can add over 1,000 different mappings to your gamepad and build your dream configurations.

You can expand your gamepad’s native features and turn it into a Macro controller with lots of cool functions and buttons like toggle, activators, shortcuts, turbo, slots, and shift modifiers.

The app even lets you turn your Android smartphone into a controller and use it like a traditional gamepad. And if you’re at a loss for where to start, you can always choose from the variety of preset profiles and configurations that are available in reWASD’s vast collection.

Download reWASD

2. Xpadder

Xpadder is a simulation software that lets you use your PS4 or PS5 controllers on your PC without experiencing any challenges. It makes it possible for your controllers to emulate your mouse and keys as if it were a virtual gamepad.

This program has an intuitive user interface that makes it extremely easy for you to get a hang of things and start running the console configurations you want in no time.

Using Xpadder, you can play almost any game using a wide array of controllers and customize their functions to your heart’s content.

One thing that makes Xpadder superior to DS4Windows is the fact that it supports many versions of Windows including Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, XP, and Vista whereas DS4Windows only works on Windows 10 or newer.

This means that you’ll still be able to reap the advantages of mapping your gamepad buttons to your mouse or keyboard even if your PC is running an older version of Windows.

Xpadder doesn’t need to be installed on your computer. It can run in the background and save an unlimited number of configured profiles in designated folders without registering its presence in your system.

Additionally, the program can detect when you connect to a controller and automatically select the configuration you created for that specific gamepad, making your gaming experience as smooth as possible.

Download Xpadder

Also Read: Can You Track A Nintendo Switch?

3. JoyToKey

This software enables gamers to bypass limitations preventing them from playing certain games on their Windows PC by transforming their controller actions into mouse and keyboard actions.

JoyToKey works similarly to DS4Windows. It allows you to create and choose multiple configuration profiles and assign special functions or specific keys and mouse input to each button on your pad.

When you press a stick or button on your gamepad, JoyToKey will take that input and render it as mouse movements or keyboard strokes. This way, the game you’re trying to play will recognize your activities even if it doesn’t support your controller.

One advantage that JoyToKey has over DS4Windows is that it allows you to do more than just operate games. You can also use it to control applications, flash-based web games in your browser, and pretty much any kind of software using your joystick.

JoyToKey is also compatible with older versions of Windows going back to Vista, unlike DS4Windows.

Download JoyToKey

4. ScpToolkit

ScpToolkit is a utility tool that emulates game accessories so people using Windows PC can fully enjoy using their DualShock and PlayStation controllers to play their favorite games hitch-free.

The beauty of ScpToolkit is that it’s super fast, lightweight, and easy to master. Once the app is installed on your system, it will automate and guide you through the process of prepping your PC to simulate your legacy controllers.

After the completion of this process, ScpToolkit will immediately begin detecting and emulating wireless PlayStation and DualShock gamepads of different generations.

This will enable your PC to read them and give you full access and control over all the features offered by your gamepads in any video game you choose.

ScpToolkit allows you to connect and configure multiple controllers—regardless of whether they belong to different brands—simultaneously and provides ample options for setting them up.

Although ScpToolkit and DS4Windows make use of the same driver and share similar features, the former outshines the latter in a few areas. For example, ScpToolkit provides support for users who want to connect PS2 and PS3 controllers, not just PS4 and PS5.

Also, instead of restricting the software to Windows OS versions 10 and 11 as is the case with DS4Windows, ScpToolkit can be used on all modern versions of Windows from XP to 11.

Download ScpToolkit

5. InputMapper

As its name suggests, InputMapper is a utility software that helps you map your DualShock and Xbox controllers to your keyboard.

It makes it possible for you to conveniently play PC games that don’t support gamepads instead of relying solely on your mouse or keypad.

InputMapper is compatible with different kinds of gaming devices so you’ll be able to keep using your favorite controllers. It also has a decent interface that’s easy to figure out even for beginners.

You can use this program to connect your PS4 or PS5 gamepads to your Windows device via Bluetooth or USB and map any input you want to any keystrokes, mouse actions, or buttons.

One of the advantages of using InputMapper is it offers advanced customization options to help you extend and unlock the full power of your controller. When it comes to the creation of hardware macros and tuning of LED lights, InputMapper’s functionality is not easily rivaled.

InputMapper also allows you to execute any configuration of strokes, complex functions, and action sequences with a single tap on your controller.

Download InputMapper

6. Antimicro

Another alternative to DS4Windows that you can count on whenever you need to map the buttons and controls on your gamepad to your PC is Antimicro.

It permits you to optimize your unsupported controllers to make them compatible with any games you wish to play on your system.

With Antimicros you can create and save your preferred profiles and configurations so that they load instantly whenever you connect the associated gamepad.

You don’t have to use the standard settings and buttons for your controller because Antimicro lets you customize paths and buttons to maximize convenience.

Antimicro boasts a straightforward interface that’s easy to navigate even if you’re not technically proficient so you won’t have to use the time you want to spend gaming researching how to use the program.

The upside of using Antimicro in place of DS4Windows is that you will be able to run it on other operating systems and platforms besides Windows such as FreeBSD and Linux.

Download Antimicro

Also Read: Best Multiplayer Games On Steam

7. DS4Tool

Want a tool that lets you remap mouse controls and keyboard buttons for your Windows PC to your gamepad, preview the modifications immediately, and jump right into a game?

If yes, this DS4Windows alternative built for power users and gamers might be the answer you’re looking for.

DS4Tool is an open source emulator that enables you to set up and connect your favorite game controllers to run on Windows and whatever PlayStation games you decide to play.

All you have to do is install the app and accompanying files on your PC, then connect your PS4 controller via cable or Bluetooth to begin the mapping process.

The great thing about this software is that it offers features and customization options that are more advanced than what’s available on DS4Windows.

It gives you greater control over the settings of your gamepad input so you can tweak and refine every detail to suit your specific needs.

For example, DS4Tool allows you to calibrate the level of pressure you need to apply before your controller can register an action.

This feature is particularly helpful for people with arthritis and other physical conditions that restrict movement as it lessens the effort and motion required during gameplay.

Also, DS4Tool lets you control other functions like tapping to rumble intensity and touchpad sensitivity to create your ideal game profile.

Download DS4Tool

Check Out: Best Geforce Now Alternatives

8. DualSenseX

DualSenseX is one of the newer DS4Windows alternatives on this list and it’s specifically designed to be used with PS5 controllers on PC through Bluetooth or USB.

However, it supports Xbox and DualShock 4 controllers so if you own one of those you can still enjoy using your gamepad on Windows.

DualSenseX gives you the ability to remap your physical gamepad to a virtual controller or to your computer’s keyboard and mouse to simulate key presses for games that don’t support controllers.

With this gamepad virtual emulator and input mapper, you will be able to use your controller with all kinds of games on PlayStation, Steam, or any other platform.

You can use it to customize your controller to suit your preferences and access all the new features available for the device.

Unlike DS4Windows which most offer basic mapping features, DualSenseX enables you to utilize advanced controller functions such as RGB customization, gamepad tester, and audio haptic feedback integration.

It even provides over 20 different adaptive trigger modes to choose from as well as a profile system for creating unique configurations for each game.

The moment you launch the DualSenseX app, it automatically detects and connects to any controller you’ve added, and then loads the saved profile for that pad.

Download DualSenseX

Also Read: Best Steamlink Alternatives

9. X360CE

If you’re using a gamepad that is not an Xbox controller, X360CE will help you disguise it so your PC recognizes it as a standard Xbox controller and allows it to communicate with the video games without you having to go to too much trouble.

It provides the option of downloading ready-to-use configurations for the games you want to play or creating your own based on your gaming preferences. You can reassign the functions of the keys and sticks if you’re not satisfied with the standard configurations.

X360CE can automatically detect when a gamepad is connected and run saved presets for that device so you don’t have to set it up from scratch every time you want to use it.

With this program, you can customize the entire emulation process and gamepad functions to your liking or personalize controllers for specific games.

It also enables you to map gamepads from almost any manufacturer. X360CE requires you to be using Windows 7 or newer versions for it to run properly.

This support for legacy versions of the Windows operating system makes it a better alternative to DS4Windows. App installation isn’t a requirement for using X360CE unlike DS4Windows and most other gamepad mapping technologies.

Download X360CE

10. Pinnacle Game Profiler

Pinnacle Game Profiler is one of the oldest gamepad mapping solutions on the market. Like the other programs on this list, it facilitates gaming on your PC by allowing you to control the games you want to play with any gamepad you own regardless of whether it’s supported or not.

This app doubles as a game launcher, enabling you to organize and launch your games using your PC’s taskbar.

It’s remarkably easy to set up and it gives you a great deal of freedom to customize your buttons and controls using features like toggles, cycles, sensitivity adjustments, double commands, force-feedback, and multiple shift states.

It is this impressive range of functionalities that sets Pinnacle Game Profiler apart from DS4Windows. Additionally, the program comes with a broad variety of profiles that have been tailor-made for specific games, especially popular titles.

All you have to do is click and download the premade profile for the selected game and begin playing it. The configurations for some of these profiles are so good that your gameplay will feel almost indistinguishable from native controller support.

Pinnacle Game Profiler can automatically detect when games have been launched and configure connected controllers with the best profile for an enhanced gaming experience.

Another area where this gamepad mapper differs from DS4Windows is in the number of Windows operating systems it supports.

Unlike DS4Windows which only works with Windows 10/11, Pinnacle Game Profiler is compatible with Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8/Windows 10.

Download Pinnacle Game Profiler

Also Read: Best Poki Alternatives

11. Steam Big Picture Mode

Steam’s Big Picture Mode is an excellent DS4Windows alternative for users who already belong to the Steam ecosystem and want to use their DualShock4, Xbox, and Switch Pro controllers to play games on their PC without having to download extra apps.

Big Picture Mode also works with generic third-party game controllers, so pretty much anyone can take advantage of it to remap their gamepads. This software has one of the quickest and easiest setup processes among the tools listed here.

All you have to do is press the PlayStation button and the Share button on your controller and don’t let go until the light bar starts flashing, showing that the gamepad is ready to be paired.

Once this happens, go to the Steam app, launch Big Picture Mode, and enable PS4 or PS5 configuration support in the gamepad’s profile or config.

You can then connect the controller to your PC and load the game you want. The great thing about using Big Picture Mode as opposed to DS4Windows is that it eliminates the need to manually map mouse actions or keyboard strokes to your gamepad.

This is as long as when using DS4 or Switch Pro controllers which the program provides native support for.

The only downside to Big Picture Mode is that it doesn’t allow you to use your controller on non-Steam games unless you add and route them through Steam.

However, for Steam games and generic controllers, it offers extensive options for customizing your gamepad layout so you can remap buttons however you like.

Download Steam

Also Read: Steam Revenue & User Statistics

Wrapping Up

The right tool for mapping your PlayStation controllers and emulating input on your Windows PC will depend on your preferences and priorities.

However, in our experience, the best DS4Windows alternative is DualSenseX because the level of customization it delivers is hard to beat.

But if Steam is your primary game platform and you want native support for your DS4 controller, Steam Big Picture Mode is the perfect option.

About Author

Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.