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Catalina Quick Tip: How to Connect a Wireless Game Controller

I really like most of the games in Apple Arcade, Apple’s streaming game service that allows you to play games on — and across — Macs, iPhones, iPads, iPod touches, and Apple TVs. And I really like that you can pair a PlayStation DUALSHOCK 4 or Xbox Wireless Controller for gameplay. Here’s how to connect of the controllers to your Mac:

Go to System Preferences > Bluetooth and make sure Bluetooth is enabled.

Screenshot of Bluetooth System Preferences in macOS
Enable Bluetooth in System Preferences

Begin with your controller turned off. (I’m using the DUALSHOCK 4). Then to put your controller in pairing mode.

Connect an Xbox Controller

With an Xbox Wireless Controller, press the Xbox button to turn on the controller. Then press and hold the Connect button for a few seconds.

Connect a PS Controller

With a DUALSHOCK4 Wireless Controller, press and hold the PS and Share buttons at the same time until the light bar begins to flash.

Under the list of Devices, the name of your controller should appear. Click its name and choose Connect.

Screenshot of Bluetooth System Preferences in macOS

To unpair, Control-click the name of your controller, then click Remove.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Contributing Author
Dennis has over 40 years of journalism experience and has written hundreds of articles. For the past 20-plus years, he's been an online journalist, covering mainly Apple Inc. He's written for MacCentral, MacWorld, MacMinute, Macsimum News, Apple Daily Report, and is now contributing editor at Apple World Today.
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