(Updated May 04 2016)
Over 40 million people have a PS4 and everyone is looking to get the controller they already own to work with the Gear VR. Now for the bad news. It won’t work 100% and it never will. The new Samsung S7 cannot even connect to the PS4 controller. The Samsung S6 / Note 5 can connect but needs to be rooted to get this method to work. And even after rooting and using the Sixaxis Controller app the PS4 controller is not ever going to work 100% over Bluetooth on Android and it never will.
If you are looking to get a controller for the Gear VR I made a new guide with some recommendations. Read The Best Controllers for the Gear VR.
If you are still wanting to try and fail in frustration read on below. But take note, any game that requires a controller on Gear VR needs to have a supported controller. The PS4 controller is not supported by any developers and will never work 100% on Android over Bluetooth. Stop leaving bad reviews for app / games because this controller does not work 100% on Android over Bluetooth.
The PS4 controller will work with Google Cardboard just fine if it is plugged in via a OTG USB cable. But you cannot plug the OTG USB cable into the Gear VR. The USB port on the Gear VR can only be used to supply power to the phone. That’s it.
PS4 pairing with Bluetooth Connection on Android
- First root your phone. This method won’t work without root. If you don’t want to root your phone see below and try the USB method. If you don’t know how or what root is, do a search on how to do it for your device. It can be a little risky so do your research first.
- After your device is rooted download the Sixaxis Compatibility Checker. If your device is compatible proceed to step 3. If not USB might be your only solution.
- Download the Sixaxis Controller app. It’s a paid app but so far it’s the only one that I have found that works correctly. Once downloaded install the app.
- You might be able to skip this step but I couldn’t. Go to http://dancingpixelstudios.com/sixaxis-controller/sixaxispairtool/ and download the SixaxisPairTool for your PC. Install the tool. When it’s finished installing, run the SixaxisPairTool and plug your PS4 controller into your PC with a USB cable. It should find your controller.
- Pick up your phone and start the Sixaxis Controller app. At the bottom of the screen it should display your local Bluetooth address for your phone e.g. 22:22:04:12:E0:59
- Enter that local address into the SixaxisPairTool and click update. Your controller should now be set to connect with your Android device.
- Now go back to your Android device and in the Sixaxis Controller app click Start. It will start a server and your phones Bluetooth connection and start looking for your PS4 controller. On your PS4 controller hit the PS or Home button, the controller should blink and then connect to your phone. If it doesn’t connect your Bluetooth address is probably wrong. Repeat steps 4-6. Your PS4 controller light should turn a solid blue when it’s connected.
- In the Sixaxis Controller app click the 3 dots in the top right and select ‘Preferences’.
- In Preferences go to Gamepad settings.
- Check ‘Enable Gamepad’.
- Now go to ‘Edit Mappings’.
- For my controller and android device I had to make the following changes:
- Cross – Set to A
- Circle – Set to B
- Square – Set to X
- Triangle – Set to Y
- The rest of the mappings stayed the same for me, your mileage my vary. Click the back button.
- The Sixaxis Controller app will continue to run in the background and should now be setup correctly.
- Now place your phone into the Gear VR or start your Google Cardboard app and you should have a fully functional gamepad inside your game.
PS4 controller over USB Connection on Android
The Micro USB OTG adapter method only works with Google Cardboard or similar VR headsets. The USB port on the Gear VR can only be used to supply power to the phone. It doesn’t support any type of data transfer.
- For USB your phone doesn’t need to be rooted and it should work correctly once all connected.
- Purchase a Micro USB OTG Adapter if you don’t have one yet. If you do go get it.
- Plug your PS4 controller into a USB cable, and the USB cable into the Micro USB OTG Adapter.
- Plug the Micro USB OTG adaptor into your phone.
- The PS4 controller should flash that is connected and be functional
Let me know if it worked for you in the comments below. I’m not responsible if things go wrong and if it doesn’t work. This is what worked for me and hopefully worked for you. With the popularity of the Gear VR and the PS4 it is really too bad this connection cannot be made. The PS4 controller is a great controller but it just doesn’t work over Bluetooth on Android.
With many of the top selling games on Gear VR such as End Space requiring a controller it’s a good investment in buying a Android specific controller that is going to work hassle free. If you missed it at the top here’s my recommendations for Best Controller for Gear VR.
Hopefully this guide helps you out, and be sure to check out End Space!