RetroPie and the BerryBlue DualShock 4 Controller

πŸ“… September 27, 2018
A new color scheme of controllers has been released for the PlayStation 4 a few days ago, and one of these controllers is the colorful Berry Blue DualShock 4.

Of course, a fancy controller like this must have more than one purpose in life, right? So, here is the important question: How compatible is it with RetroPie?

As it turns out, this is a very good addition to any RetroPie system as a wired or Bluetooth wireless controller, and it works flawlessly.

Berry Blue DualShock 4

In the box. It even reads “NEW COLOR” on the front.

The colors are actually quite good in person: light cyan with a light purplish-lavender. The controller feels to be made of quality like any other official Sony DualShock4 controller. The weight is solid to hold in the hand, and the thumb stick movement is smooth and fluid without any wobble.

The color scheme contrasts from top to bottom.

Underside is a solid, textured purplish color. This is the second generation model# CUH-ZCT2U.

PC Compatiblility

Do you plan to use this on a PC with Windows *cough* games? Then, be prepared for a surprise. The previous model# CUH-ZCT1U is a better option because, for PC games that recognize the PlayStation 4 controller, proper PlayStation controller icons will appear in-game. But the newer model# CUH-ZCT2U (the berry blue) will be seen as an XBox controller and display XBox icons or might not work at all. I have encountered compatibility issues regarding the new DualShock 4 models and PC games.

For example, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate will recognize the first model# CUH-ZCT1U controller and display PlayStation icons in-game, but the second model# CUH-ZCT2U will be seen by Assassin’s Creed Syndicate as an XBox controller and the game will display XBox icons. For other PC games, model CUH-ZCT2U is not even recognized and cannot be used while the older CUH-ZCT1U works perfectly.

RetroPie Setup

This controller is 100% compatible with the latest (as of this writing) RetroPie 4.4 running on a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, which is recommended due to its faster CPU and built-in Bluetooth. This has been a solid performer for over two years, and it continues to delight.

Wired Usage

Usage is simple. Connect the controller to the Pi via a USB to micro USB cable and the controller works out of the box. No configuration or drivers are necessary. The only controller mapping involves EmulationStation and RetroArch, which you would perform with any other controller anyway.

Wireless Usage

The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B has built-in Bluetooth. On the latest RetroPie versions, this works flawlessly with all DualShock 4 controllers that I have tried (old and new models), but you need to register the controller with RetroPie first.

Connect the DualShock 4 to the Pi via USB and connect a USB keyboard. Yes, we will need a keyboard (or a second DualShock 4 controller that has already been registered and paired with RetroPie). After RetroPie boots and EmulationStation shows the start screen (you might need to map controller buttons if this step has not been performed yet), use the controller to enter the RetroPie menu.

Navigate to RetroPIe Configuration.

 

In RetroPie Settings, choose Bluetooth.

You will see this old-school text menu that appear incongruous with the rest of RetroPie. The controller should enable navigation, but I found a keyboard to be easier. Choose Register and Connect to Bluetooth Device.

Pairing

Disconnect the DualShock 4 controller from the USB cable at this point, and put the DualShock 4 into pairing mode by holding the Share + PS buttons (in that order) on the DualShock 4 for a few seconds. The controller light will flash white in rapid succession twice every few seconds.

Press Enter on the keyboard (another controller already paired will also work) to select OK.

RetroPie will look for any Bluetooth devices. Be prepared to wait up to a minute for this to complete.

Here, the Berry Blue DualShock 4 controller appears at the top of the list. Another wireless controller was already paired, so it appears also. The order of your listing might vary, but, usually, the newest device being paired is shown at the top. Select the device and OK to continue.

Choose the default option 1 DisplayYesNo, and select OK to continue.

Oops! If you take too long to complete the process and the DualShock 4 exits pairing mode before complete, then you will see this message. Restart the process.

Once successfully paired with the RetroPie, you will see this message and the associated MAC address of the new controller.

If you have trouble connecting or become confused by a large number of listed registered devices, it might be helpful to remove them to avoid confusion. Select Remove Bluetooth Device to remove any previously-paired devices.

Testing

The new controller should now work immediately as a wireless controller. If you registered a DualShock 4 controller in the past and mapped the buttons previously, then they should still be available for the new DualShock 4 and you can navigate EmulationStation now. If not, then it is necessary to map the controller buttons for both EmulationStation and RetroArch.

Let’s test the DualShock 4 as a wireless Bluetooth controller. Restart RetroPie (from EmulationStation or sudo reboot from a terminal). Disconnect the keyboard and the DualShock 4 USB cable.

You can restart RetroPie from within EmulationStation instead of unplugging the power cable. The DualShock 4 controller light will turn off as it disconnects.

As RetroPie boot, press the PS button on the DualShock 4. It will attempt to pair with RetroPie.

If you do not press the PS button on the DualShock 4 controller, it will not pair and RetroPie will think that no controllers are available. If you see this screen, just press the PS button and the controller will connect after a few seconds. Press any button on the controller to continue.

Note: If the DualShock 4 does not pair at the EmulationStation Welcome screen despite pressing the PS button, then reboot RetroPie and ensure that you press the PS button during the Raspberry Pi boot process. The DualShock 4 light should be flashing before this screen appears. I have encountered this situation a few times, and this fixed the issue.

If this is the first time you are connecting a DualShock 4 controller, then EmulationStation will prompt you to map the buttons. Note that you must also map the buttons in RetroArch as well. The two are separate and require separate button mappings.

RetroArch input configuration. the emulators will use these settings to control games. Customize your controller as you see fit at this point. Connect a keyboard to aid button mapping since it is possible to make mistakes and lock yourself out. To access this menu from EmulationStation, go to RetroPie Settings > RetroArch > Input.

 

EmulationStation navigation is smooth and fluid with the DualShock 4 as a wireless Bluetooth controller. Games run well too. Absolutely no Bluetooth lag was detected during menus or gameplay, and controls were immediate and responsive.

Multiple DualShock 4 Controllers

“Can I use more than one DualShock 4 controller wirelessly with RetroPie?”

Yes. Register each new controller one at a time using the same process described above. When you want to use a controller, just press its PS button. The controller will pair and become active. It will then be up to you to configure which controller is for Player 1, Player 2, Player 3, and so on in RetroArch.

You can even register controllers and only use one at a time. Are you in the mood the use a steel black DualShock 4? Press its PS button. When you boot RetroPie another day, you might be in the mood to use the berry blue colored controller, so press its PS button.

Conclusion

The new DualShock 4 model works well, and I have not experienced any issues. Wireless gameplay is just as reliable as a wired controller without any input lag.

Other colors are available besides Berry Blue, and the DualShock 4 color schemes can make it easier to find out which controller belongs to which player if not wired — and to add variety.

Have fun!

Advertisements

, , , ,

  1. Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: