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If you’re playing a PS4 without a controller, or with a broken one, don’t fret! We have a simple workaround for you to continue the gaming experience.

To press the PS button without the help of a controller, you can use a smartphone or tablet as a remote controller with the official PlayStation app. Alternatively, you can connect a keyboard to the PlayStation and use the pause/break button as the PS button.

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What Does the PS Button do on the PlayStation 4?

The DualShock 4 is the official controller for the PlayStation 4. And arguably has the one of the most recognizable button on the device,  the PS button, which is the small button in the center of the controller with the PlayStation logo. This button is also the most important.

Because this is the button you use to turn the console on when it is either turned off or in rest mode. If the PlayStation is active, the PS button will show you the home screen from where you can perform a multitude of tasks.

Double tapping the PS button lets you switch between multiple applications that are currently active. And if you press and hold the button for a while, you will see the quick menu along with the features and commands currently available.

But you will need the PS button even before that. Because to connect your PS4 controller to the console, you will need to press and hold the PS button for a few seconds in order for both devices to pair successfully.

So, the PS button is a crucial part of the whole PS4 setup. And if this button starts to malfunction, you are going to be very limited as to what you can do with your PlayStation, if anything at all.

How Do You Press the PS Button on a Keyboard?

The keyboard can act as a proxy to the PS4 controller, letting you navigate and even play some games with it. You can also use it to input the PS button command.

The pause/break button on the keyboard acts as an alternative to the PS button on the controller. So, if you wanted to use the PS button with a keyboard attached, you simply need to press the pause/break bar.

How to Start PS4 Without Controller?

So, the normal that one would turn on their PlayStation is by simply pressing the PS button, provided that the power to the console is intact. But what happens when the controller is broken or the battery is dead and you cannot replace it currently?

Fortunately, there are a couple of methods you can apply to start your PS4 even without the official controller. And these methods are readily accessible to pretty much any PS4 owner.

Use the Official Sony PlayStation App

Sony has released an app for their PlayStation that is available on both android and iOS platforms. So, all you will need is a smartphone or a tablet to take advantage of this method.

But remember that in order for you to try this method, you are going to need a PlayStation Network account.

With this app, you are able to use another device as a remote controller for your PS4. You are able to perform all the activities you normally could with the controller. This is particularly beneficial for users who do not have a working DualShock controller or do not have multiple controllers to play in multiplayer mode.

So, here is how you use your smartphone to start and control your PS4:

Download the App

The first thing you need to do is download the official PlayStation app. Android users need to do this from the Play Store, while iPhone and iPad users can get access to it through the Apple Store.

Launch the App

Once you downloaded the app, launch it on your device. Here, you need to sign in by using the same credentials you used to log into your PSN account. This should be the same account you used when entering with your PS4 console. Otherwise, the pairing will not work.

Pair the Devices

For the devices to pair properly with each other, you need to have both the PS4 and your smartphone on the same network.

  • Tap on the “Connect to PS4” icon on the app’s main menu.
  • Then select the “second screen” option. Provided that both devices are on the same network, the app should be able to locate your PS4. If it does, then it will show you the name of your console.
  • Tap on the device to pair them.
  • Now, head over to the settings menu on your PlayStation.
  • Go to the “PlayStation App Connection Settings”.
  • Next, select the “add device” option.
  • Here, your PS4 menu should display a code. Type that code into the app and your phone will be registered to the PlayStation.

Turn on the Second Screen Feature

Now that your device has been recognized, you need to set up your PS4 to allow it to be controlled remotely.

  • Go back to the “Connect to PS4’ option.
  • You will see the option for “second Screen”. Tap on it.
  • Now, you will see the name of your PS4 console with some options immediately below it. Here, you need to once again select “second screen”. You can also use the power button to the left for putting your console in rest mode.

Now, you can use your smartphone or tablet to freely turn on the PlayStation as well as navigate the console and play games.

Use a Keyboard to Control the PS4

Another way for you to control your PS4 is by using a keyboard and mouse setup. Using a keyboard and mouse can have its perks, particularly for PC users who are used to that setup. This can be very useful in certain games that allow you to use the keyboard and mouse.

Other than playing games, using the keyboard to navigate the PlayStation can also be very useful. You can use it to access different applications, surf the internet or load up your desired content without needing a functional controller.

For a wired keyboard, you simply need to connect it with a USB cable. The process is just like how you would connect a keyboard to a computer.

If you want to connect a wireless I.e., a Bluetooth keyboard, here are the steps you need to follow:

  • First, go to the “settings” menu from the PS4 home screen.
  • Select “device”.
  • Go to “Bluetooth Device”. The console will start scanning for any Bluetooth device nearby.
  • Turn on the pairing mode for your keyboard.
  • If it successfully recognizes your keyboard, its name will pop up. Select it and the pairing process will start. This may take a few seconds, after which you will be able to use the keyboard freely to control the console.
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How Do I Turn on My PS4 With a Broken Controller?

Sometimes, a specific button on the PS4 may not work. If this happens with the PS button, you will be unable to activate your PS4 console with your controller. And unless you can turn your console on, it will not matter if the rest of the console is okay or not.

In this situation, you can use the couple of methods we have already discussed above. You can use the PS app on your smartphone and use it as a remote control. Or you can connect a keyboard and use the pause bar as a makeshift PS button.

If the controller still functions outside of the PS button, you will still be able to play games with it. Only when you need to press the PS button, you have to use an alternative way.


The PS button is the gateway that lets you enter the vast and wonderful domain of Sony’s PlayStation. Thankfully, even if the actual PS button is broken on the controller, you can make use of alternative ways to still input this command.