The touchpad is an important part of the PS4 DualShock controller, allowing you to navigate menus and interact with games in unique ways. However, it can be extremely frustrating when the touchpad stops functioning properly.
In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the common reasons for PS4 touchpad not working issues, as well as step-by-step solutions to get your controller working again.
The DualShock 4 touchpad allows PS4 players to navigate menus, interact with in-game maps, change weapons, and more. When it suddenly stops working, it can significantly hinder the gaming experience.
There are various potential causes for a malfunctioning DualShock 4 touchpad. By methodically troubleshooting and testing possible solutions, you can often resolve touchpad problems yourself without having to replace the controller.
Common Causes of a Malfunctioning PS4 Controller Touchpad
Here are some of the most common culprits when a DualShock 4 touchpad is unresponsive or acting erratically:
- Faulty hardware – Dropping the controller or subjecting it to impacts can damage internal components and connections. This includes issues with the touchpad ribbon cable inside the controller.
- Dirty touchpad surface – Dust, dirt, and debris on the touchpad can prevent proper functionality.
- Software/firmware issues – Bugs, glitches or improper PS4 controller-console pairing can cause touchpad problems.
- Loose internal connections – Damage from drops or normal wear and tear can loosen internal cables and connections related to the touchpad.
- Incompatible games – Some games don’t support DualShock 4 touchpad features, so it will not function as expected in those titles.
How To Fix PS4 Touchpad Not Working
If you’re experiencing issues with your DualShock 4 touchpad, try these troubleshooting tips:
1. Soft Reset the Controller
Press and hold the PlayStation button for at least 5 seconds to turn off the controller, unpairing it from your PS4. Then press the PS button again to turn it back on and re-pair it. Often a soft reset will resolve intermittent touchpad problems.
2. Check for Damage and Dirty Touchpad
Closely inspect your controller for any visible damage like cracks or dents, which can cause malfunctions. Also check for dirt, dust, or debris on the touchpad surface, and gently clean it with a dry microfiber cloth if needed. Avoid liquid cleaners.
3. Update PS4 System Software and Game
Go to Settings > System Software Update on your PS4 and install the latest system update. Also check for game updates, as outdated game software can sometimes cause controller issues.
4. Reset the Controller
With the controller powered off, use a paperclip to press and hold the reset button on the back for at least 5 seconds to reset it to factory settings.
5. Check Internal Ribbon Cable
If you are comfortable taking apart the controller, open it up and ensure the touchpad ribbon cable is securely attached at both ends. Damage from drops can detach this small cable.
6. Try Different USB Cable
Connect your controller directly to the PS4 with a USB cable.
If problems persist, switch to a different USB cable, as a faulty cable could cause connectivity issues.
7. Test With Different Games
Try your controller with various games, ideally ones known to utilize the touchpad. If it works in some games but not others, it is likely a game compatibility issue rather than a controller defect.
8. Contact Sony Support
For persistent issues not resolved by troubleshooting, contact Sony support online or by phone. They can help diagnose issues and arrange a replacement if needed.
Specific Problems and Solutions
Beyond general touchpad malfunctions, here are some solutions tailored to these common PS4 controller touchpad problems:
Touchpad Intermittently Works
- Soft reset the controller
- Check for debris/dirt on touchpad and clean
- Make sure controller software is updated
Touchpad Isn’t Accurate
- Clean touchpad surface gently with microfiber cloth
- Check surface for damage like scratches or cracks
- Connect controller via USB cable for wired operation
Touchpad Cursor Drifting
- Clean touchpad and controller thumbsticks
- Make sure no input when controller is idle
- Check for stickiness or physical damage
Touchpad Buttons Not Working
- Clean touchpad surface and buttons
- Check for physical damage of buttons
- Test buttons wired and wireless
Touchpad Unresponsive in Certain Games
- Verify game supports DualShock 4 touchpad
- Check for correct controller configuration in game settings
- Soft reset controller after changing games
By methodically trying the applicable solutions above, you should be able to get your PS4 controller touchpad working again without having to replace the controller itself in most cases.
Preventing Future PS4 Controller Touchpad Issues
To help avoid DualShock 4 touchpad problems in the future:
- Handle controller carefully to prevent drops and damage
- Keep touchpad surface clean and free of dirt or debris
- Always update PS4 system software and games
- Store controller in a safe, dry place when not in use
- Consider a protective case or grip
- Charge controller regularly to avoid battery issues
While occasional touchpad issues are inevitable, taking proper care of your DualShock 4 will minimize problems and keep you gaming without interruptions.
When to Replace Your PS4 Controller
If you have tried all applicable troubleshooting tips but your touchpad still isn’t working properly, it may be time to replace the controller.
Warning signs it’s time for a new DualShock 4:
- Visible cracks, splits or physical damage
- Persistent unresponsiveness or inaccurate touchpad
- Problems present both wired and wireless
- Issues not resolved by troubleshooting
- Sony support advises replacement
Fortunately, replacement PS4 controllers are readily available both new and used online and in most retail stores. While pricier than repairing, a new controller will provide the best performance and longevity.
With a bit of troubleshooting and testing, you can often get a PS4 controller touchpad working again without replacing the controller itself. Just take the time to methodically try potential solutions and identify the specific problem.
By keeping your controller properly maintained and handling it with care, you can minimize issues and maximize gaming enjoyment. But even well-cared for controllers can develop problems, so don’t hesitate to replace aging or damaged controllers when needed.
With the steps and advice in this guide, your DualShock 4 touchpad should be back in working order in no time. Now get back to enjoying your PS4 to the fullest!