Don’t worry if you’ve misplaced your PS4 DualShock controller charging cable or if it’s damaged.
Even if you just want to free up that USB port on your controller for some other accessory, I’ve got you covered.
Let’s quickly go through how to charge a PS4 controller without a PS4.
Additionally, I’ll give you a highlight of the quick fixes if your controller doesn’t charge.
There are several methods for charging your PS4 controller without the console. You can charge it from the USB ports on your computer, TV, or from a DualShock 4 (DS4) charging station. You can also use a smartphone charger or a mobile power bank with a USB Micro B cable.
Now that you have a nice little hint of what we’ll be doing, let’s dive into the details.
Before we get into how to charge a PS4 controller without a charger (PS4 console), let’s briefly discuss its charging ports and how they work.
You should only charge your PS4 controller from a 5 volts source that delivers at least 800 milliamps of current (0.8A).
Your PS4 DualShock controller has a standard USB Mini Type B charging port at its top. You can readily connect it to a USB cable and charge it from any 5 volts (5 V) source.
Understandably, any USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 cable will work. The controller also has an EXT port at the bottom of the thumbstick.
While it’s commonly used as an extension for other accessories, you can use it for charging. Simply connect a USB type C cable to it and hook it up to a 5 V source.
Tip: Charge your PS4 controller only when low on battery. This greatly helps to prolong the battery life.
These are the 5 practical ways to charge your PS4 controller without the PS4 console:
A good smartphone charger will charge your PS4 controller without posing any danger to the device. So feel free to use an Android charger or an iPhone charger.
You’re probably surprised at the mention of “iPhone charger”.
However, what I mean is you can hook up a USB micro connector to the iPhone charger head and connect your DS4 controller.
Notably, an adapter whose maximum current output is below 800 milliamps will only take longer to charge the controller.
But if you use one rated higher, say 1.2 A (1000 milliamps) or 2 A (2000 mA), it will charge your PS4 controller quickly.
Your controller only takes in 800 mA, and these chargers’ output ratings imply the maximum current they can give.
While you may be tempted to use a smartphone’s fast charger, I strongly recommend sticking to the regular chargers.
Fast chargers can switch from the normal charging voltage of 5 volts to 9 volts, which the latest smartphones can handle.
However, your PS4 controller can only work with 5V. This means a fast charger can burn out the controller’s internal circuit and damage it completely.
Note: Don’t use an old charger rated less than 800 mA while using the controller.
It may not supply enough power to match your controller’s usage. This ultimately reduces the controller battery’s efficiency and longevity.
A mobile phone power bank can do the trick if you can’t get your hands on a DS4 charging station.
Your DS4 controller uses a 3.7 V battery rated at 1000 mAh (milliampere-hour).
Generally, the power bank you use to charge your controller should have a capacity higher than 1000 mAh to charge the controller fully.
As a rule of thumb, I always charge a 2500 mAh power bank fully and use it to recharge my controller.
Using a power bank is easy since you just connect it to your controller using a USB micro-type B cable.
Just ensure the power bank is fully charged before hooking up your controller.
If you don’t have a DS4 charging station and can’t access a power bank, your computer comes in handy.
As I highlighted before, your controller only needs a steady charging voltage of 5 V.
Understandably, your computer’s USB port delivers 500 milliamps (0.5 A) of current, which falls shy of the 800 mA your controller needs.
While that can’t harm the controller, it will take longer to charge fully.
Connect a USB micro cable to the USB port at the top of your controller. Next, hook up the other end to any of your computer’s USB ports.
The controller will charge as long as your computer is on.
We’ve got as many options for charging the DS4 controller, and a USB port at the back of your TV works just as well.
Remember, the controller only needs 5V, which a USB port from your TV can reliably deliver.
Just like with the computer USB port, the only issue here has to do with the current. TV USB ports typically deliver between 500 mA and 900 mA.
If you’re lucky to plug into the port that gives 900 mA, your controller will charge incredibly fast.
But with the 500 mA USB port, you have to wait a bit longer before you get back to the game. It’s not a big deal, really. It’s only tricky that you can’t figure out the current output at a glance.
Connect a USB micro cable to the USB port at the top of your controller. Next, hook up the other end to any of your TV’s USB ports.
The controller will charge as long as the TV is on.
Sony’s original DualShock 4 (DS4) charging dock allows you to charge your controller efficiently and safely.
There’s no need to worry about the charging voltage or current since these stations are specifically designed for PS4 controllers.
Through this method, you don’t need a USB cable. And to crown it all, a standard charging station lets you charge two controllers simultaneously.
Here’s how to charge a PS4 controller using a DualShock charging station:
- Connect the PS4 charging station to its adapter.
- Plug the adapter into the wall outlet.
- Carefully snap down your controller onto the charging dock through the EXT port.
Your controller’s charging light should alternate between amber and off as the charging process continues.
The light won’t flash when it’s full, and it can just rest on the charging dock.
The best way to charge your PS4 without connecting it to the PS4 console is through a PS4 charging station. However, you can also charge it safely using a 5V mobile charger, a smartphone power bank, and from the USB port on your computer or TV.
I hope you’ve learned how to charge a PS4 controller without a PS4. If your controller won’t charge, try a different USB cable or plug into another power outlet.
As it turns out, the controller won’t charge if the charging port is clogged with dirt. If that’s the case, clean it using a cotton swab.
If you need a permanent solution, we recommend you should go for a PS4 charging station from Amazon.
Lastly, if you’ve got some real DIY skills up your sleeve, open the back of the controller, take out the battery and test it with a multimeter. If it’s dead, replace it.
Finn Wheatley holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from UCL, London. He helped small data science consultancy firms, helping large corporations to grow their data capabilities, deploy advanced machine learning-based analytics and troubleshoot tech-related issues. Check out more about him here.