Resolve The “Cannot Start PS4. Connect The Dualshock 4” Issue [Learn]

If you come across this error message, you can try restarting the PS4, updating it, fixing or replacing the USB cable, port, console, or controller. Other options include restoring default settings, resetting the controller, rebuilding the database, initializing your PS4, or reinstalling the software.

Sony introduced the PS4 in 2013 as its next-gen gaming system. People loved it for how smoothly it played multiplatform games. Its focus on graphics also contributed to an enhanced user experience.

It sets apart from the other consoles due to its stylish design and the DualShock 4 whose updated features and strong connectivity have been the talk of the town.

What’s cool about the Dualshock 4 is that while it’s primarily designed for the PlayStation 4, you can also connect and use it for gaming on your PC.

Here is a list of the specifications of PS4:

Product CodeCUH-2000 series.
Main ProcessorSingle-chip custom processor.
CPU: x86-64 AMD “Jaguar”, 8 cores.
GPU: 1.84 TFLOPS, AMD Radeon™ graphics cire next engine.
MemoryGDDR5 8GB RAM.
Storage500GB (1TB).
DimensionsApprox. 275.1 x 305.1 x 53.1 mm.
WeightApprox. 2.8 kg.
Input/OutputUSB 3.0 ports.
AUX port.
DriveBlu-ray/DVD drive (read-only).
PowerAC 100-240V, 50/60Hz.
Specifications of PS4

Why Is My PS4 Displaying The Error Message “Cannot Start PS4. Connect The Dualshock 4”?

Error
Error

If you’ve experienced this error message, you’re not alone. Many people have faced this annoying issue. Before jumping into solutions, it’s helpful to understand what might be causing the problem. This way, if it happens again, you won’t just be trying random fixes but will have an understanding of the potential reasons behind the error message.

Outdated Firmware

Outdated written on a white background.
Outdated

Updates exist to fix mistakes from previous versions, providing you with an enhanced experience. They are necessary because your device requires them.

If your PS4 firmware isn’t up to date, this outdated version can lead to various problems, affecting the functionality of your PS4. One such issue is encountering the “Cannot start PS4. Connect the DualShock 4” error message.

New Update

A typewriter writing "Update"
Update

You know what’s ironic? Despite all the positive impacts I’ve mentioned about updates, sometimes the update itself can be the reason behind this error message. It’s both interesting and confusing.

Basically, when you update your PS4 firmware, there might be instances where the update brings along some issues, like errors or incomplete installations. This could also happen if your PS4 doesn’t fully support the update temporarily.

Defective USB Cable Or Port

A black USB cable and a port
USB cable and port

The USB cable and port are crucial components for your PS4. Surprisingly, issues with either can lead to various problems, including the “Cannot start PS4. Connect the DualShock 4” error message.

The trouble might be from a damaged USB cable with faulty wiring or a port that’s either damaged, not functioning due to dirt and debris, or a bit shaken after a console fall or water entry.

Connectivity Issues

Two people unable to connect
Concept of connectivity issues

The error message we’re discussing reads “Cannot start PS4. Connect DualShock 4.” Now if you’ve already connected the DualShock 4 but the message is still there, it can be quite confusing, right?

This error message might indicate an underlying issue with your controller. Perhaps it experienced a hard fall, leading to internal component problems, or it got exposed to water or any other issues preventing the controller from establishing a perfect and strong connection with the PS4.

Problems With The Console

PS4 Console
Console

While it’s less common, it’s still worth considering that if you’re experiencing problems with your console, you might also encounter the error message telling you that you can’t start your PS4 and need to connect the DualShock 4.

Issues with the console could involve internal components like faulty wiring, problems with the motherboard, or damage from a hard fall.

Anything that causes the console to malfunction could result in it displaying this error message.

How Do I Fix The “Cannot Start PS4? Connect The Dualshock 4” Issue?

Two people using tools to fix something
Fix

I understand your eagerness to find solutions to fix this issue and get back to using your PlayStation 4 without any trouble. Rest assured, you’re in the right place.

Below, I’ve provided some solutions that have proven effective for others who found themselves in the same situation as you.

Restart Your PS4

I think most of us probably tried this unconsciously the first time we encountered this error message, right? Surprisingly, for some people, it works, especially if the issue is temporary and minor.

Restarting your PS4 kind of gives it a refresh, and there’s a chance the error message will disappear when it starts again.

Follow these steps:

  1. Unplug the console to disconnect it from the power source.
  2. Remove all the related cables and cords.
  3. Wait for a moment.
  4. Insert all the cables and cords back in.
  5. Now plug the console back into the power outlet.
  6. Your console will restart.

Update Your PS4

As you already know how crucial updates are for your PlayStation to function smoothly, it’s advisable to regularly check for new updates. When you spot one, without hesitation, install it to ensure your PlayStation operates seamlessly, avoiding any potential issues.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Turn off your console.
  2. Press and keep holding the power button until you hear two beeps.
  3. After the beeps, you’ll still see the “Cannot start PS4. Connect the DualShock 4” error but on a dark background.
  4. Use the cable to connect your controller to your console.
  5. After that, press the PlayStation button. Your screen will light up, and you’ll be redirected to Safe Mode where your screen will display multiple options.
  6. Click on “Update System Software.”
  7. Choose either “Update Using USB” if you have an update stored on a USB, or “Update Using Internet” to install the update online.
  8. You’ll see the update progress on the screen.
  9. Once done, your PS4 will restart.

If the new update seems to be the issue, ensure there are no interruptions during the update, and let it fully install.

Fix The USB Cable And Port

It can be a bit challenging to spot issues with your USB cable or port since we often focus on the bigger picture and overlook small details.

If you’re still getting the error message after connecting your controller, it indicates there might be problems with the USB cable, port, or the controller itself.

To check the USB cable, try plugging it into your PC or another device to see if it works correctly. If it doesn’t, then the cable is likely the issue, and you can replace it with a new one.

For assessing the port, plug the cable into each port one by one. If only one port triggers the error and the others work fine, you’ve identified the problem. However, if the error persists across multiple ports, there might be another internal problem that needs professional attention.

You can also maintain your ports by using a soft cloth or tool to clean any dirt and debris that may be causing connectivity issues.

Fix Or Replace The Console And Controller

Now, when it comes to your console or controller, figuring out if the controller is causing the issue is quite straightforward. Since the controller also works with your PC, you can easily check if it functions properly there.

If it doesn’t, consider getting a new controller or having the existing one repaired. However, if it works, and you’ve confirmed that both your USB cable and port are in working order, the problem likely lies with your console. It’s advisable to have your console inspected and repaired or replaced.

If you’re still under warranty, getting a new controller or console is especially hassle-free.

Bring The Default Settings Back

This method of bringing back your default settings has proven effective for many people. It works because, firstly, it removes any changes made that might have triggered the error, and secondly, it restores the cache.

Follow these steps:

  1. Turn off your console.
  2. Press the power button on your console and keep holding it until you hear two beeps.
  3. After the beeps, you’ll still see the “Cannot start PS4. Connect the DualShock 4” error but on a dark background.
  4. Use the cable to connect your controller to your console.
  5. After that, press the PlayStation button. Your screen will light up, and you’ll be redirected to Safe Mode where your screen will display multiple options.
  6. Click on “Restore Default Settings.”
  7. Follow the on-screen instructions.
  8. When your default settings are restored, restart your PS4. This should likely resolve the issue.
PS4 Controller.
PS4 Controller

Reset Your Controller

Just like how we restored our PS4 console data to default settings, a similar approach can be taken to hard reset the controller, bringing it back to its default settings.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Turn off your PS4.
  2. On the rear side of the controller, at the L2 button shoulder, you’ll find a small hole.
  3. Insert something like a needle that fits into the hole and push it inside.
  4. Hold for at least 5 seconds. This will hard reset your controller.
  5. Connect the controller to the PS4.
  6. Turn it on again. This will hopefully resolve the error.

Rebuild Database

If your issue continues even after updating your software, you can try this method to get rid of the error and fix the problem effectively.

Follow these steps:

  1. Turn off your console.
  2. Press the power button on your console and keep holding it until you hear two beeps.
  3. After the beeps, you’ll still see the “Cannot start PS4. Connect the DualShock 4” error but on a dark background.
  4. Use the cable to connect your controller to your console.
  5. After that, press the PlayStation button. Your screen will light up, and you’ll be redirected to Safe Mode with multiple options.
  6. Click on “Rebuild Database.”
  7. Then, click “OK.”
  8. You will see a progress bar while your data is being rebuilt.
  9. Once done, your PS4 will restart.

Initialize Your PS4

Initializing the PS4 is equivalent to resetting it. This means that all your data and updates will be removed, and it will revert to its initial default settings. Thus, make sure to back up your data beforehand.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Turn off your console.
  2. Press the power button on your console and keep holding it until you hear two beeps.
  3. After the beeps, you’ll still see the “Cannot start PS4. Connect the DualShock 4” error but on a dark background.
  4. Use the cable to connect your controller to your console.
  5. After that, press the PlayStation button. Your screen will light up, and you’ll be redirected to Safe Mode with multiple options.
  6. Click on “Initialize PS4.”
  7. Then, click “OK.”
  8. Once the PS4 is reset, it will restart.

Reinstall Software

This process is quite similar to initialization, except that you’ll also be deleting the operating system itself. It’s usually considered a last resort but has proven to work very efficiently, even if the new update is causing the issue.

Follow these steps:

  1. Turn off your console.
  2. Press the power button on your console and keep holding it until you hear two beeps.
  3. After the beeps, you’ll still see the “Cannot start PS4. Connect the DualShock 4” error but on a dark background.
  4. Use the cable to connect your controller to your console.
  5. After that, press the PlayStation button. Your screen will light up, and you’ll be redirected to Safe Mode with multiple options.
  6. Click on “Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software).”
  7. Once it completely resets, your PS4 will restart.
Cannot start the PS4-Safe Mode loop-How to fix

Sum Up

  • The PS4 is a popular video game console designed to offer an enhanced gaming experience.
  • If you see the error message “Cannot Start PS4. Connect The DualShock 4,” it could be because of many reasons such as problems with the controller, USB cable, port, console, outdated software, etc.
  • To address the “Cannot Start PS4. Connect The DualShock 4” issue, you can try restarting the PS4, updating the system software, checking and replacing the USB cable or port, restoring default settings, resetting the controller, etc.

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