PSLS Help Desk – DualShock 4 Custom Button Mapping on PS4

December 1, 2016 Written by Chandler Wood

Help Desk

Last week’s PSLS Help Desk talked about getting music on your PS4 with PlayStation’s Spotify partnership. We detailed some pretty cool features about the service that easily make the PS4 a centerpiece for streaming music in your home. This week we’re going to go over another feature that should be well known, but is oft overlooked by many gamers as an option hidden in the settings. Diving into the Accessibility menu, we’re talking button remapping on your DualShock 4.

Why remap your buttons? You might think it’s a silly feature but there are two big reasons I can think of. The first is accessibility for everyone to enjoy games. Some people may have physical handicaps that render traditional control schemes difficult or impossible to use, and if the game doesn’t allow any kind of remapping from within the software, these people are out of luck. Remapping buttons allows them to find a control scheme that works for them, regardless of any limitations that might otherwise hinder their ability to play. The other reason is personal preference as different games may have differing control setups. While I personally adhere to most default control schemes, many people like to have their gameplay set to particular settings, like always have the square button be reload. Again, if the game doesn’t allow this on a software level, Sony has made it possible with the hardware.

How to Remap Your DualShock 4 Buttons

On your PS4 home menu, go to [Settings] > [Accessibility] > [Button Assignments]. You will need to check the box that says [Enable Custom Button Assignments]. This will make an option appear just beneath it labeled [Customize Button Assignments]. Click on this to enter the customization menu. From here, you can remap any of the DualShock 4’s buttons besides Share, Options, and the Touchpad. Simply click on the button on the screen that you would like to remap, and then select the button to remap it to from the scrolling list that appears. Repeat for all buttons that you would like to change.

Things to Note

  • Remapping is done at a hardware level, so button prompts in games will not change to adjust for modified settings. For example, if you’ve changed your X button to R1, the screen will still show”Press X to continue.” You will need to remember that your X button is now R1 (or whatever other button assignments you make).
  • Remapping can be done for things as simple as swapping analog sticks or switching which trigger is used to shoot. If the game doesn’t have these options built in, remember that the PS4 will allow you to make these simple changes to make for more comfortable gameplay if you are unable to adapt to a developer’s certain controls.
  • Mapping at the hardware level means that the custom button mapping will be in effect for all games. There is no way to set up custom map profiles for separate games, and you will need to change the mapping for each game if the settings for one don’t fit the needs of another.

Quick Menu

Accessibility has the option to be added to the quick menu, for easy access at any time. This means that remapping buttons on the fly can be accomplished more easily than ever if a handicap requires altering some games’ inputs, or if you’re just the type that likes to have full modular control over each of the games you play.

  • To add this to the quick menu, go to [Settings] > [Accessibility], scroll to the bottom, and checkmark the box labeled [Add to Quick Menu]. You will now be able to quickly access these options from the quick menu during a game by holding down the PS Button on your controller.

Whether necessitated by physical handicaps, or just by the neurotic need to alter default control schemes, Sony has made it pretty simple to swap entire controller layouts with custom button mapping on the DualShock 4. Do you use custom remapping for any games?

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