How to Connect a Controller to a Mac

Charlotte Daniels

Mac, Tutorials

Connecting a controller to a Mac can greatly enhance your gaming experience. Whether you’re playing games on Steam or using emulators, having a controller can make gameplay more immersive and enjoyable. In this tutorial, we’ll guide you through the process of connecting a controller to your Mac.

Step 1: Check Controller Compatibility

Before connecting a controller to your Mac, it’s important to ensure that it is compatible with macOS. Most modern controllers are compatible, but it’s always a good idea to double-check. You can usually find compatibility information on the manufacturer’s website or in the product documentation.

Step 2: Connect via USB

The simplest way to connect a controller to your Mac is via USB. First, locate the USB port on your Mac. Then, connect one end of the USB cable to the controller and the other end to an available USB port on your Mac.


If you’re using an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 controller, make sure to use a micro-USB cable for connection.

Step 3: Configure Controller Settings

Once you’ve connected the controller via USB, you may need to configure some settings on your Mac. Open “System Preferences” by clicking on the Apple menu in the top-left corner of your screen and selecting “System Preferences.”


If you’re using an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 controller, macOS should automatically recognize it without needing any additional configuration.

In “System Preferences,” click on “Bluetooth.” If your controller supports wireless connectivity, make sure Bluetooth is turned on and then follow the manufacturer’s instructions for pairing the controller with your Mac.

Step 4: Test Controller

Once you’ve connected and configured your controller, it’s time to test it. Open a game or emulator on your Mac that supports controller input and check if the controller is functioning correctly.


If the controller is not working as expected, try disconnecting and reconnecting it. You can also try restarting your Mac or updating the controller’s firmware.

Step 5: Additional Software

Depending on the type of controller you’re using, you may need to install additional software to fully utilize its features. For example, if you’re using a PlayStation 4 controller, you can install the “DS4Windows” software to enable touchpad functionality and customize button mappings.


You have successfully connected a controller to your Mac. Now, you can enjoy your favorite games with enhanced control and precision.


Remember to disconnect the controller when not in use to conserve battery life.

  • Step 1: Check Controller Compatibility
  • Step 2: Connect via USB
  • Step 3: Configure Controller Settings
  • Step 4: Test Controller
  • Step 5: Additional Software

This tutorial has covered the basic steps for connecting a controller to a Mac. By following these steps, you can easily connect various controllers and enjoy an enhanced gaming experience on your Mac.


  • Xbox One and PlayStation 4 controllers are widely supported by macOS.
  • The process may vary slightly depending on the specific controller model and macOS version.

We hope this tutorial has been helpful. Happy gaming!

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