PS4 Controller Only Works When Plugged In – Causes and Fix It

PS4 controller that only works when plugged in means that the controller operates with a direct connection to any power source that you cannot charge and use with the battery power. The playstation controller has several issues now and then that you need to be frequently checking to avoid further problems.

The primary thing you need to check about when the playstation controller only works when plugged in is that there could be an issue with the battery that is not receiving charge or that it cannot hold an order for long that you need to be charging it when using the controller.

The article below shows the causes of the playstation controller that only works when plugged in and later provides ways to fix the problem. There is the table of contents before the guide; then, at last, will be the frequently asked questions and the conclusion.

How to fix a PS4 controller that only works when plugged in

ps4 controller only works when plugged in

When the PS4 controller only works when plugged in, be sure that there is a problem with the controller, either with its parts or the system itself. However, every situation has its way of fixing things. Follow the guide below to find out how you will fix the problem with your controller.

Techniques to use to fix the PS4 controller that only works when plugged in

TechniqueFunctionEssential product
Reset the PS4 controllerIt helps in changing the settings with the playstation controller since some scenes are where the battery cannot store charge and that the controller works when plugged in only. 
Charge the controller upside downIt helps to try a different method of charging if the normal process fails to work 
Inspect the charging cable of the controllerIt helps identify the main reason for the problem apart from battery and other issues.Check Amazon for the best charging cables
Inspect the charging portIt helps identify the main reason for the problem apart from battery and other issues. 
Replace batteries with the controllerIt helps remove the older battery that has defects and fix a new battery since when you continue using a terrible storm for a long time, it can damage your device.Check Amazon for the best batteries to use with PS4 controllers.

When the controller is charging only when plugged in, it is not that there is a problem with the controller itself, but it can be that some settings are not good with the device. Therefore, you are required to follow some steps to reset the controller, which is as follows:

a. Reset the PS4 controller

i. Identify the reset button on the controller, which is usually a tiny hole at the back of the controller. Check the button keenly to identify the right button.

ii. Use any sharp objects to check the holes with the controller, reset it, press the button, hold it for sometime, and release it.

iii. At this point, the controller should restart; you need to try and charge it to store power.

b. Charge the PS4 controller upside down

When the main problem is not about charging, consider charging the PS4 upside down since it helps many PS4 players get the controllers to work again and assign them for use. Choose to use this method and see if it works for you.

c. Check the charging cable of the PS4 controller

Sometimes the controller may fail to store charge with the battery that it only works when you are plugged in. It may be because the charging cable is not transmitting enough power that the battery can keep for use with the controller. Consider following the steps below to check the charging cable:

i. Try charging your controller with a different cable if you have it, or use a separate controller with the cable if you have it.

ii. If the process fails to work when the controller is not charging at all, or the cable is not working, try to follow a different solution for the problem.

iii. Always try to charge the controller with the cables compatible with it.

d. Check the charging port of the PS4 controller

Check the charging port of the PS4 controller

As much as there could be other different problems, the charging port could also be a big problem as it is not transmitting power to the battery to store it, but it gets through to the controller that makes it work while it is plugged in. Remember, using a lousy charging port with the controller can destroy both the controller’s battery and the charging cable since it can sometimes cause more power that the line cannot handle hence damaging it.

Consider checking if there is any problem with the charging port by charging the controller with a different cable or using the same cable with a separate controller to notice what is causing the pain. If you note the change with an extra controller, the problem could be that the charging port is the issue. Therefore, you need to replace the charging port of your controller for it to provide enough power to the controller and store some in the battery.

e. Replace the PS4 controller battery

Replace the PS4 controller battery

One of the most issues with the power in any device having issues is with the batteries that are old or have defects that cannot hold a charge for some time. you only need to use the device while connecting it directly to any power source. Therefore, in this case, the controller that is not storing power and instead works only while plugged into power has a bad battery.

The last thing to do to fix the charging problems is to check the battery after knowing that there is no other issue causing the pain in your device. Therefore, if your battery is for use for an extended period, you need to replace the battery. Storms turn out to be wrong after using them for a long time and recharging them now and then. Check Amazon for best batteries

What causes the PS4 controller to only work when plugged in?

What causes the PS4 controller to only work when plugged in
  • Use of controllers that are not from the playstation manufacturer

Using a controller from a different manufacturer than your playstation can cause the problem. The PS4 controller can be a wireless device that is not compatible with the playstation, and you need to plug it into the machine to use it.

  • Use of USB cables that are not compatible with the PS4 controllers

Different USB cables are designed to work for other purposes; in this case, you can have a line that only works to transmit power but cannot work when sending data to the device. Therefore, when using the USB cables to charge the controller, ensure that the wires you are using are original and work in setting the controller and transmitting data. Check Amazon for the best USB cables to charge the play station controllers.

  • Using bad batteries

Bad batteries are a result of using the battery for too long that they fail to work due to recharging them repeatedly. Bad batteries can cause the worst problems with your controller; you need to identify the issue and fix it immediately. Replacing batteries in a controller is not that hard; all you need to do is remove the circuit board and place the new battery after removing the older one.

  • Use of a bad controller

The battery and all other parts can be okay, but the issue is with the controller itself that it could not be working correctly. Therefore, after trying to fix all the other problems, consider changing the controller and see if it has any issues playing.

Frequently asked questions:

  • Can a PS4 controller turn off when unplugged?

Yes, a PS4 controller can turn off when unplugged since the controller could be set so that it only works in a standby mode that it will automatically turn off after some time or when you unplug it. The other reason could be that the controller has meagre battery power, that when you open it, it will automatically turn off.

  • Do PS4 controllers work wirelessly or wired?

In the olden days, controllers used to work in a weird manner; however, in the modern days, the controllers, in most cases, work wirelessly. The only requirement here is ensuring the controller is charged and has enough power to run for a long time. If the controller is not working wirelessly, choose to restart the whole system to work with it.


The PS4 controller working only when plugged in is not standard; you need to check the problem and fix it immediately before you get more issues. The guide above shows the causes of the pain and how to fix them in steps.

Kindly check the guide to fix the problems with your controller so that you can have a simple time playing your games. If you fail to resolve the console after trying the different methods, consider consulting a technician to help you fix the issue. 

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