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If you’re an avid video game player, you may wonder how well your PS4 controller will work when you’re on the other side of the room.
The PS4 controller can work through walls so long as the controller is within a certain range of the console. However, depending on the number and material quality of the obstruction between the devices, the strength of the connection may become weaker.
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Sony has developed their own line of controllers for their PlayStation, which are the DualShock controllers. These devices utilize Bluetooth technology to connect with your console.
Thus, allowing you to freely move around and play games without the hassle of wires.
Now, Bluetooth is a means for connecting devices wirelessly. And it does so by using high-frequency radio waves that carry the information without a physical wire. This makes devices with Bluetooth functionality very versatile and flexible. This also gives the PS4 so much of its appeal.
You do not need a clear line of sight for controlling your PS4 with a controller. This may seem odd at first. Because Bluetooth sends out radio waves, it is easy to think those signals can be blocked and therefore, require a clear path for travel.
But imagine someone is playing a radio on the other side of the wall. Provided that the volume is not too low and you are not too far away from the wall, you will be able to hear the sound. The quality of the sound may be compromised, but you can still hear nonetheless.
The same applies to Bluetooth technology. These radio waves can travel through even solid objects and reach their destination. Since the PS4 controller also implements this same wireless technology, it has no problem going through solid materials. So, they do not require a line of sight.
This is in sharp contrast to how a tv remote and other similar controllers work. Most tv remotes work with infrared (IR) technology, which is a type of light.
Your eyes cannot see this light but the tv can. However, the tv needs a clear line in order to see the light coming from the remote.
This is a key difference between light waves and radio waves. Most forms of light cannot travel through a solid material as the waves are as small if not smaller than the atoms in the walls. As such, they need a clear line of sight to work properly.
But your PS4 controller does not have such limitations. So, even if someone steps in front of the console, you will not lose control, though you will be blindsided.
A functioning PS4 controller will work through any wall, provided the Bluetooth inside your PlayStation is intact.
Go back to the discussion about Bluetooth and radio wave technology. These waves are larger than the molecules of the material you commonly find in walls (I.e., concrete, cement, etc).
So, when the radio waves from your controller encounter a wall, it can just go through them without being reflected or absorbed.
This is why you can control your PlayStation from the other side of a wall, while your tv remote fails to work the moment you place a solid object in front of it. Sometimes, the signal can penetrate multiple walls and still reach the console.
When it comes to Bluetooth connections, the range of the connected devices matters a lot more than the obstacles placed between them. And as long as you stay within that range, your Bluetooth signal will reach its designated target.
Of course, there are some mitigating factors involved here. Not every material has the same transparency. Meaning a Bluetooth signal will not travel through every type of material with the same intensity. If there are multiple walls or other such obstructions in the way, it may interfere with the connection.
Think of it like hearing the same sound through a sheetrock wall versus a proper concrete establishment. Of course, the sound will be much more muted in the latter case. And this applies to Bluetooth as well. Certain materials are more proficient at blocking or absorbing the radio waves than others.
Now, in the case of most PlayStation users, this will hardly be an issue. Typically, the walls in our residence are not made out of substances that specifically hamper Bluetooth signaling. Otherwise, that house would be a very poor choice in today’s climate, given how wireless technology is everywhere.
So, it is best to have the controller and the console within the same room. This not only eliminates any potential interference but also ensures that you stay on top of your game and do not miss any action.
Typically, the PS4 controller works with a radius of 50 to 100 feet. Meaning you do not have to sit exactly in front of the console in order for the controller to work.
While this range seems pretty impressive at first, there can some factors that decrease it. So, not everybody will be able to enjoy this range to the fullest.
One of the common causes for signal interference is merely the presence of another signal. Especially, if the signal is near or identical to the Bluetooth frequency, the two signals can potentially cancel each other out.
In homes with a PlayStation, this sort of interference can come from the Wi-Fi. If your router is set right next to the PS4, you may encounter issues with your controller when you veer even 20 feet away.
Additionally, the range of your PS4 controller may be less depending on your setup. If the signal has to pass through walls or if the console is inside a thick casing, then it might lower the range significantly.
If you are within 20-30 feet from the console, there really should be no problem controlling the PS4, regardless of how many obstructions there are in the way. So, it is better to stay close to the console and not risk a connection failure midway through a game.
Despite the PS4 controller having a decent range, it may not be sufficient for some users. Other times, there can be too many interferences in the way and so, you need a way to boost the strength of the signal.
One method for extending any Bluetooth signaling is using a device called a Bluetooth extender or repeater.
You attach this device directly to your PS4 console. The extender is capable of boosting the strength of the signal, thereby “extending” the signal’s reach. This way, you can increase the range of your PS4 controller several times.
In addition to increased distance, the extender can also increase the speed at which the signal is being received. These devices come in various shapes and forms. Some connect to a standard audio jack, while others may work through a USB port.
Another way of ensuring a smooth connection is removing any potential interference away from your console. If you suspect that your Wi-Fi is colliding with your Bluetooth connection, just set them up apart from each other.
Also, sometimes the short-range can be an issue because of faulty devices. If there is any defect in your PS4 controller, it will not offer you the same distance. If this is the case, you either need to fix the controller or replace it with a fully functioning one.
With the advancement of wireless technology, namely Bluetooth, a PlayStation controller has become much more dynamic and flexible. You can enjoy your favorite games without worrying too much about the position of your controller or any obstacles in between.