While iOS and iPadOS got much of the love from WWDC ’19, tvOS was not left out of the loop. In fact, this is a huge update for those gamers out there, as you will be able to use an Xbox One or DualShock 4 controller to play games. This is a huge sigh of relief for folks who were not happy with the other MFi controller options that were on the market.
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What makes this inclusion even more awesome is the recent release of Steam Link onto the tvOS App Store. Steam Link makes it possible to play your favorite Steam games on your Apple TV without the need for any wires and just using your Wi-Fi connection.
Today, we’re going to take a look at how you can pair your DualShock 4 controller with your Apple TV. We are also going to help walk you through the steps of getting Steam Link set up and paired.
Pair your DualShock 4 controller with your Apple TV
Before you can do anything, there are a few steps that you’ll need to take. First and foremost, head over to the App Store on your Apple TV and download Steam Link. While that is downloading, head back to the home screen and get ready to pair your DualShock 4.
- From the Home Screen, open the Settings application
- Scroll down and select Remotes and Devices
- Select Bluetooth under “Other Devices”
Now that you have gotten to this screen, you will need to put your DualShock 4 into pairing mode. This can be done by pressing and holding the PlayStation and Share buttons at the same time for three seconds. The light at the top of the controller will begin rapidly flashing.
Back on your Apple TV, you should see “DUALSHOCK 4 WIRELESS Controller” appear under “Other Devices”. With your Siri Remote, swipe down and select that controller to pair it. After it has been paired, a notification will appear confirming that your DS4 is now paired with your Apple TV.
Set up your DualShock 4 controller with Steam Link
While you were pairing the DS4 with your Apple TV, the Steam Link application should have downloaded in the background. Head back to the Home Screen, scroll down to locate the app, and open it.
Before getting started, you will need to make sure that the Steam application is open on your computer. This will make the process easier, as you will need to enter some information later in the process.
Here are the steps to get Steam Link set up:
- Open Steam Link on your Apple TV
- Select Get Started
- Click on Pair Other Controllers
At this point, you need to turn on the DualShock 4 if it turned off so that the Steam Link app recognizes it. Once Steam Link recognizes the controller, you need to set up the button mapping so that your games properly work.
It seems that there have been some who have not been able to properly set up the mapping for the DualShock 4. tvOS 13 is brand new and there are still some bugs, but there is a workaround to make it possible.
With your Apple Siri Remote, scroll up until the “?” button in the top right-hand corner is highlighted. Click on that to bring up the Tips screen on your Apple TV. From here, go through and set up the mapping and bindings for the buttons on the DualShock 4.
When you get to the point of mapping the “center” button, take your Siri Remote and scroll down until Skip is selected. Skip that mapping and then go back and click on the “?” button with your Remote. Map the Start button to your DS4 and then the Steam Link application will automatically restart.
It’s important to note to not be surprised by the seemingly sudden restart. The app has to make sure that the controller will work properly, and this is one method to “starting fresh” after the setup process is done.
Sync Steam Link with tvOS and your computer
Now that your DS4 is paired with Steam Link and the buttons are set up, it’s time to get connected to your computer. Using the DS4, select “Connect to Computer” and Steam Link locates all of the compatible computers on your home network.
Select the correct computer, and the app prompts you to enter a pin code from within the Steam app on your computer. Enter that pin code and then Steam Link runs through a series of tests to make sure that everything is connected.
We would be remiss if we didn’t share that if this is your first time setting up Steam Link, there are some additional files that need to download. Let those download, restart your computer, and then start Steam Link application on your Apple TV again.
Provided that everything installed properly, your computer will connect to the Steam Link app quickly and easily. After the diagnostic tests are finished, the Steam application will load on your Apple TV and all of your games can be accessed!
Apple TV fans everywhere should rejoice, even if you are not a gamer. Being able to play your favorite Steam games on the big TV in the living room is something we have been asking for. Apple finally delivered, and you don’t have to worry about using an awkward third-party controller. Instead, the DualShock 4 and Xbox One controllers are capable of being used!
Let us know if you run into any issues when setting up Steam Link with tvOS or when you set up the DualShock 4. In the meantime, sound off and share some of your favorite Steam games that you are playing!
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.
He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.