As we rapidly approach the end of this video game console generation, the PlayStation 4 has managed to cement its place as the undisputed winner even more so than before.
While there never was any question from the start as to who was going to come out on top after the disastrous launch of the Xbox One, Sony still managed to pull off an extremely strong generation with over 100 million consoles sold worldwide.
However, despite Sony’s massive lead, Xbox managed to bounce back during the later stages of the generation with some pretty strong features of its own like the Backwards Compatibility program and Console Streaming. It took Sony quite a while to catch up and get a version of Remote Play for the PlayStation 4 that wasn’t just limited to Sony Xperia devices.
With the 7.00 firmware update released last year, PlayStation 4 players were finally able to play their favorite games on the go, whether it was on their iOS, Android, or Windows PC devices. This obviously opened up a whole new window of opportunities for players to enjoy their games as sitting in front of the TV was no longer required.
Honestly, the PS4 Remote Play has been such a godsend, especially for people who may not have access to their televisions at all times. Having said that, the feature is still far from perfect and has a couple of pretty big caveats involved with it.
Firstly, the PlayStation 4 Remote Play needs an active internet connection to work and cannot function properly just over your network alone.
This means that you need a pretty beefy internet connection to have any luck at getting decent enough speeds for PS4 Remote Play. In addition to that, if by any chance your internet connection goes down, forget about playing your PS4 games anywhere other than your TV.
However, there’s a neat little patcher that allows you to use PS4 Remote Play on an offline network as well. It is called the PlayStation 4 Remote Play AutoPatcher and you can download it via the link below. You do need to note that this patcher is only limited to the PS4 Remote Play app on Windows.
The second big problem with Remote Play on the PlayStation 4 is that it requires a Dualshock 4 controller to play and you literally cannot use any other controller with it. And, although it is true that the DualShock 4 is a perfectly capable controller and is miles ahead of the previous DualShock 3, it is still no match for the Xbox One Controller or the Xbox Elite Series 2 Controller, which are both in a league of their own.
Furthermore, if you have spent over $200 on a fancy controller, you should be able to use it pretty much anywhere. So, it is a shame that Sony has restricted the PS4 Remote Play, especially on Windows PC where most Windows-compatible controllers should work with basically anything.
Thankfully though, there’s a nifty little trick that allows you to pair your Xbox controller, or any Windows-compatible controller with the PS4 Remote Play app on Windows and use that to play your games instead.
We have only tested the Xbox One, Xbox Elite, and the Xbox 360 controller for Windows in this test but in theory, this method should essentially work for all controllers that have enough inputs and are compatible with Windows 10.
How to set up PlayStation 4 Remote Play on Windows 10
Before we get into changing our default PS4 Remote Play controller to an Xbox controller, we need to set up remote play first. Here’s how to do it:
- Download and Install the PlayStation 4 Remote Play app on your PC via this link.
Now go over to your PlayStation 4 console.
- Go into the settings of your PS4 console and select the Remote Play Connection Settings menu.
- Make sure that the Enable Remote Play option has been checked.
Before you try to pair up your PlayStation 4 and get it set up for remote play, you still need to do a couple of things to ensure a smooth experience in the future as well. Firstly, you need to activate your PlayStation 4 console as the Primary console on your profile. Follow these steps to do that:
- Go into your PlayStation 4 settings and select the Account Management option.
- Now choose the ‘Activate as your Primary PS4 option’ and click Activate to confirm.
Once you’ve successfully activated your PlayStation 4 console as the primary console for your account, you need to make sure that you can connect to it even if it is powered down so you don’t have to get up to turn it on every time. Here’s how to do that:
- In the Settings of your PlayStation 4, select the Power Save settings menu.
- Under ‘Set Features Available in Rest Mode’, make sure that the following boxes are checked:
- Stay Connected to the Internet.
- Enable Turning On PS4 from Network.
These settings will allow you to turn on your PlayStation 4 console right from your PC without having to get up and manually turn it on yourself. You can finally pair up your PlayStation 4 with your PC now.
- Open up the PS4 Remote Play app on your PC and sign in to your primary PSN account.
- Follow the on-screen instructions and start the search for your PlayStation 4. The app should automatically find your PS4 and pair-up. You can also change the video quality and framerate from the settings on the pairing screen.
- If the app fails to find your PlayStation 4 console, go into Remote Play Connection Settings in your PS4 settings and select the Add Device option.
- The PlayStation 4 will display a passcode with instructions on how to use it for pairing. Follow these steps to complete the pairing process.
Now, your PlayStation 4 console should be successfully paired up with your PC and you can use Remote Play to play your games on it. You can also use the auto-patcher that you previously downloaded now to fix the connectivity issues with the PS4 Remote Play.
However, it is still recommended to have a stable internet connection and a good 5 GHz network.
Using an Xbox Controller on the PS4 Remote Play app
Now that you’ve successfully set up PS4 Remote Play on your PC, it is finally time to pair up the Xbox controller with it. While it is true that the Xbox controller is not officially supported on the Remote Play app for PlayStation 4, there is a pretty neat trick that lets you use basically any controller that you want with it.
In order to use an Xbox controller on the PS4 remote play, you’re going to need two things, ViGEm (Virtual Gamepad Emulation Framework) and VDX. ViGEm is essentially the driver that will help you emulate a gamepad device on Windows while VDX is the application that you’ll use to translate your Xbox One controller into a Dualshock 4 controller.
Setting them up is relatively simple and doesn’t require tinkering around in Powershell anymore. So, just follow these steps:
- Download the ViGEm Bus & Drivers from here and install them on your PC.
- Click this link and download the VDX app.
- Now, extract the zip file for the VDX setup that you have downloaded anywhere.
- The app will have two versions, x86 and x64. Choose the one that matches your system architecture and Windows version. If you don’t know which one it is, it is probably x64.
- Connect an Xbox controller to your PC either via USB cable or by using Bluetooth.
- Run the VDX app. The app interface will look like the image below.
- As you can see, if you have connected an Xbox controller to your PC, the status for Player 1 will turn to connected. In order to make it run on PlayStation 4 Remote Play though, you need to change the emulation type to DualShock 4 Controller from the default DualShock 4 option using the drop-down menu.
- Press the Connect button under the Action column now to initiate controller emulation.
- Now, run the PS4 Remote Play app and you’ll find that the app will recognize your Xbox One controller as if it was a PlayStation 4 controller.
You’d be surprised at how well the Xbox One controller works on the PS4 Remote Play app. If you’ve always preferred the Xbox One controller over the DualShock 4 but like the PlayStation 4 games over the Xbox One games, this is the perfect solution for you as you can have the best of both worlds.
One little thing that you will notice right away that with the ViGEm emulation for the Xbox Controller, there will be a slight difference in functionality. Since the PS4 controller essentially has an additional button in the form of a touchpad, you won’t be able to use the PS4 guide button with the Xbox controller.
However, the PS4 Remote Play has those buttons built into it at the bottom during gameplay so you can just use your mouse to access those. Overall, this results in a pretty smooth experience, and in our extensive testing, we’ve barely run into any troubles.
Furthermore, with the PS4 Remote Play auto-patcher, you no longer have to deal with the connectivity hiccups that plague the Remote Play app. Now, your dream of playing God of War on an Xbox controller is no longer a dream.