How To Fix “Cannot Start PS4. Connect the DUALSHOCK 4” Error

Cannot Start PS4. Connect the DUALSHOCK 4

A wave of panic hits when you see the dreaded message: “Cannot Start PS4. Connect the DUALSHOCK 4”. This error message is your console’s SOS, letting you know it’s having trouble connecting to your DUALSHOCK 4 controller. It’s a real party pooper, especially when you’re just about to beat that challenging level or win that intense match.

Why is fixing this error crucial? Simple! Your gaming world revolves around your PS4. And without a properly functioning controller, it’s like having a sports car with no steering wheel. You need to get this fixed pronto if you want to dive back into your virtual adventures ASAP!

Troubleshooting Steps for “Cannot Start PS4. Connect the DUALSHOCK 4” Error

When you encounter the ‘Cannot Start PS4. Connect the DUALSHOCK 4’ error, it’s like a pothole in your gaming highway. No worries though, we’ve got some troubleshooting steps that can help you navigate around it and get back on track.

1. Restart the PS4 Console

One of the simplest ways to fix the ‘Cannot Start PS4 Connect the DUALSHOCK 4’ error is restarting your PS4 console. Think of it as giving your console a short nap to rejuvenate itself.

  • Step 1: Press and hold the power button on your console until you hear two beeps.
  • Step 2: Once completely off, wait a few minutes before turning it back on.

Like magic, this little nap can resolve various software-related issues and clear out any temporary bugs causing trouble.

2. Perform a Hard Reset on the DUALSHOCK 4 Controller

It’s not just your console that might need a break, your DUALSHOCK 4 controller might do as well. You can perform a hard reset on your controller to give it a fresh start:

  • Step 1: Locate the tiny reset button at the back of your controller.
  • Step 2: Use a thin object like a toothpick or pin to press and hold this button for about five seconds.
  • Step 3: After releasing the button, connect the controller to your PS4 using a USB cable and press the PS Button.

Remember, fully powering off your controller can resolve connectivity issues.

READ MORE >> How To Reset IP Camera Without Reset Button

3. Check the Cable and Port for Any Issues

Sometimes, it’s not about what’s happening inside but outside! Inspect your cable and port for any visible damage or debris. If something doesn’t seem right, switch to a different USB cable or port, if available.

4. Verify if the Controller is Faulty

Your trusty controller might be throwing you curveballs! Test it on another device or try using a different controller with your PS4. Unresponsive buttons or erratic behavior can indicate that it’s time for your controller to retire.

5. Update The Firmware Of The PS4

Just like how we need regular check-ups, so does our PS4 firmware. Firmware updates often include bug fixes and compatibility improvements which could iron out any wrinkles causing our error:

  • Step 1: Navigate to the PlayStation main menu.
  • Step 2: Select Settings > System Software Update.
  • Step 3: Follow on-screen instructions to complete the update process.

6. Rebuild The Database On The PS4

A bit more technical but totally doable! Rebuilding the database is like doing an internal spring cleaning — it reorganizes all data on your PS4 and can resolve various system-related issues:

  • Step 1: Turn off your PS4 completely (not in Rest Mode).
  • Step 2: Press and hold down the Power button until you hear two beeps.
  • Step 3: Connect DUALSHOCK 4 controller via USB and press the PS button.
  • Step 4: In Safe Mode menu, select Option “Rebuild Database”.

7. Restore Default Settings On The PS4

If things are still looking grim, let’s bring everything back to square one by restoring default settings:

  • Step 1: Head over to Settings > Initialization > Restore Default Settings.
  • Step 2: Follow the instructions to restore all settings (except user data).

This step can help resolve configuration-related issues.

Next up, we’ll tackle one of the most drastic measures available – initializing your PS4.

8. Initializing the PS4

Roll up your sleeves, gamer friends! It’s time to dive into the deep end. The next step to fix the dreaded “Cannot Start PS4 Connect the DUALSHOCK 4” error involves initializing your PS4.

But wait! Initializing sounds techy, right? Don’t fret, we’ve got your back. However, it’s essential to know what you’re getting into. Initialization means returning your PS4 to its original factory settings. That’s right, everything gets wiped out – game data, user profiles, and all those precious hours you put into winning that last boss battle.

  1. Head over to Settings from the PS4 home screen.
  2. Scroll down and select Initialization.
  3. Now choose Initialize PS4.

Take a deep breath before you hit that final Yes button. Remember, this is the nuclear option; it’s irreversible!

But hey, look on the bright side. If none of the previous steps worked, this could be your knight in shining armor! This process can fix any hidden errors or glitches lurking around in your system files causing this pesky error message.

So keep calm and game on! Let’s solve this issue once and for all.



You’ve taken charge of your gaming experience. Each troubleshooting step navigated, brings you closer to resolution. Remember, you’re not just a gamer, but a troubleshooter extraordinaire! Your PS4 isn’t just a console, but an adventure waiting to happen. We’d love to hear your stories! Tell us about the dragons you’ve slain, the high scores you’ve shattered, or the errors you’ve squashed. And if you’re still wrestling with that pesky “Cannot Start PS4. Connect the DUALSHOCK 4” error, don’t sweat it—reach out! We’re here, controller in hand, ready to help you game on.


Q: What does the “Cannot Start PS4. Connect the DUALSHOCK 4” error mean?

A: The “Cannot Start PS4. Connect the DUALSHOCK 4” error is a common error message that appears on the PlayStation 4 when the console fails to detect or connect to the DualShock 4 controller.

Q: Why am I seeing the “Cannot Start PS4. Connect the DUALSHOCK 4” error?

A: There are several reasons why you might encounter this error, including a faulty or unresponsive controller, a problem with the console’s USB ports, or a software glitch.

Q: How can I fix the “Cannot Start PS4. Connect the DUALSHOCK 4” error?

A: Here are a few troubleshooting steps you can try to fix the error:

  • Ensure that the controller’s battery is charged and try connecting it using a USB cable.
  • Disconnect all other USB devices from the console and try connecting the controller directly.
  • Restart the console in Safe Mode and select the “Restart PS4” option.
  • Reset the controller by pressing the small reset button on the back using a paperclip or similar tool.
  • If none of the above steps work, you may need to contact Sony customer support for further assistance.

Q: Will resetting my controller delete any data or settings?

A: No, resetting your controller will not delete any data or settings. It simply restores the controller to its default factory settings.

Q: If I can’t fix the error myself, what should I do?

A: If you have tried all the troubleshooting steps and are still unable to fix the error, it is recommended to contact Sony customer support or visit an authorized service center for further assistance with your PlayStation 4.

About The Author

Williams Alfred Onen

Williams Alfred Onen is a degree-holding computer science software engineer with a passion for technology and extensive knowledge in the tech field. With a history of providing innovative solutions to complex tech problems, Williams stays ahead of the curve by continuously seeking new knowledge and skills. He shares his insights on technology through his blog and is dedicated to helping others bring their tech visions to life.

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