We’ve all been there. You sit down in front of your PS5, grab your DualSense, and get ready for an afternoon of gaming, only to find that your controller is dead. You could have sworn you hooked it up to the charging cable overnight (and left your PS5 in rest mode, of course), but you’re thinking “well, it doesn’t matter; I’ll just hook it up and play wired”.
You connect the USB cable to your DualSense, only to realise that the controller just isn’t playing ball; it won’t charge, and you don’t know why. This is a surprisingly common situation, with many PS5 gamers finding themselves unable to charge a DualSense or in possession of a controller that doesn’t keep its charge. Here are some troubleshooting tips and tricks for when you find yourself in this tricky position.
Clean the contact points
This is the first port of call for when your DualSense won’t charge. Simply clean the contact points between the charging cable and the controller. To do this, take a close look inside the controller’s charging port and see if you can spot any dust, dirt, or other foreign material that might be clogging up the port. You can use compressed air to clean out the DualSense’s charging port, although you should make sure to be careful.
Whatever you do, don’t haphazardly jam a cotton wool bud into the charging point, or anything else that could leave debris. After all, you might end up making the problem worse!
Try a different USB cable
The second thing you should do is swap out your USB cable for a different one. Many devices use USB-C charging cables nowadays, including Bluetooth speakers, smartphones, and tablets, so you may well have another cable lying around. If you don’t, ask a friend to borrow one. Try to avoid buying one for the time being; you don’t want to commit even a small amount of cash until you know that’s the problem.
Hook up the DualSense to your PS5 using your new USB cable and see if it begins charging. If it does, then you know your old cable is the problem and you can swap it out without issue!
Swap the USB port
You’re most likely trying to charge your controller using the PS5’s frontal USB port. It may surprise you to know that the console actually has extra USB ports on its rear, next to the Ethernet port and the HDMI socket. Try swapping your cable to one of these ports instead of using the one on the front, and you can figure out whether it’s the frontal USB port or whether the problem persists across all of them.
If the problem is with the USB port, then unfortunately, that’s not an issue you’ll be able to fix yourself. You’ll likely have to contact Sony support and take the problem from there.
Try charging from the mains
Did you know that you can actually charge your PS5 controller with mains power? It’s true – give it a try! Simply connect your USB-C cable to the DualSense, then connect the other end to a universal USB plug. Slot the plug into a wall outlet or a surge protector and watch as your controller springs to life and begins charging (or doesn’t, depending on what the issue happens to be!).
By trying to charge your controller from the mains, you’re eliminating the possibility that your PS5’s USB ports are to blame for the lack of charge being sent to your DualSense.
Update your controller
While the problem is unlikely to be with your controller’s firmware, there is a chance that a DualSense which hasn’t been updated for a long time might fail to charge. Connect the controller up to the console with a USB cable (assuming it has any degree of charge left, of course, and assuming that the cable powers the controller successfully) and confirm that you want to update your controller when you’re prompted to.
If you don’t get a prompt, all you need to do is go to Settings, then Accessories. From there, you will see a Controller option, and once you’re into that menu, you should choose DualSense Wireless Controller Device Software. You can then perform a manual update if one is available.
Check another controller
If all of the above solutions fail to solve the problem, then your next best course of action is to check whether another controller has the same issue. If it does, then it suggests there’s something common between the two controllers, but if not, then you may well have a faulty battery inside your DualSense. If this is the case, again, while it is possible to manually replace your controller’s battery, we wouldn’t recommend doing so without expert knowledge.
If you don’t have another DualSense controller, try to find a friend who has one, or test another USB-C controller with some of the methods we’ve outlined above. Other USB-C controllers include the official Xbox wireless controller, the Switch Pro Controller, and some third-party alternatives.
Contact Sony support
When the controller won’t charge despite trying everything you possibly can, then it’s time to contact Sony support. You can do that here. Simply specify exactly what you’re experiencing an issue with, and Sony will attempt to help you troubleshoot your problem. Failing that, you may need to get your controller repaired or replaced, which Sony support can also help you through.