PS4 Controller Lights Meaning and Troubleshooting Guide

PS4 Controller Lights: Meaning and Troubleshooting Guide

Are you wondering what the various colored lights mean on your PS4 controller? If you’re like us, you’ll undoubtedly be confused by them—but a little digging should tell you these lights are crucial to treating your game console right. 

The PS4 controller’s light bar glows blue, red, green, and pink to indicate the player number of four connected users. White light means the controller is disconnected or low on battery, turning orange when charging.

Don’t worry; we’ll discuss each color in detail so you won’t have to call a friend or, worse, cause a stir just to know what all the colors are all about. Moreover, we’ve included vital troubleshooting tips for you, so read up. 

What do the PS4 controller lights mean?

The lights indicate various things on your PS4 controller, such as your player number, in-game status, current level, and more. While the lights are predetermined when it comes to player numbering, they may vary depending on the game you’re playing.

Below are what the PS4 controller lights indicate during use and some other examples where they can mean different things in specific games. Refer to these examples to know why the controller’s light changes during your playthrough.

White Light 

White is one of several PS4 controller lights you’ll encounter during your gaming sessions, but it isn’t something you should look forward to. Aside from showing the starting karma in Infamous and the flashlight in Destiny, white light isn’t usually good.

White Light_1

In most situations, the white light on your PS4 controller indicates that it has been disconnected from the console. 

Don’t worry. You won’t have any problem confirming if this was the case since you’ll notice losing input right away as soon as the controller disconnects.

When this happens, you’ll need to press and hold the PS button on the PS4 controller to reconnect it to the console. 

Take note, the PS4 controller’s indicator light will turn white when its battery is running low, which is your cue to plug it into a power source.

Blue Light 

Among the PS4 controller lights, blue is the one you’ll encounter the most since it’s used to indicate your player number. In particular, having the blue light on your PS4 controller means that you’re Player 1, which is default if you’re playing alone.

Blue Light

As such, you’ll mostly have a blue indicator light on your PS4 controller if you gravitate toward single-player games. The player numbering is decided based on which PS4 controller connects to the console first, making you Player 1. 

But in-game blue is a telltale sign for different things. 

The blue PS4 controller light may also be used during sequences in Uncharted and Aliens: Isolation or to indicate good karma in Infamous. It will also flash successively with the red light during a police chase in Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto 5.

Red Light 

As mentioned earlier, the red light will blink with the blue light if you’re in a police chase during your GTA 5 playthrough. So if you’re playing the game, that should be  a given. 

Conversely, if the controller is the second to connect to the PS4 console, its indicator light will glow red. That should tell you you’ve been designated as Player 2 and shouldn’t raise a red flag. 

Red Light

Like blue, red is also one of the most common PS4 controller lights you’ll encounter as it’s used in most games to indicate low player health or damage taken. 

A classic example here is when playing Call of Duty. In that game, the controller’s light will turn red if your character is gravely injured.

In some games like Infamous, red light is used when you have bad karma due to a series of bad deeds. 

Meanwhile, Far Cry utilizes different colors to indicate what class you’re playing, which means you’ll have a red light if you play as an Assault class.

Green Light 

If you’re the third player to connect a PS4 controller to the console, you’ll be given the green light to show that you’re Player 3. But in-game green is a totally different thing.

Green is common in games that use red light as damage or low health indicator since it works as the complete opposite. It’s an indicator of good health. 

Green Light

Unlike the red light, green indicates that your character is in full health or being healed, which is the case in games like Killzone. 

But green light can also mean different things in other games. In Far Cry, having the green light on your PS4 controller means that you’re playing as a Trapper class instead.

Pink Light 

The fourth player to connect a PS4 controller to the console becomes Player 4, which you can identify through the pink controller light. Since up to four controllers can be connected on a PS4 console, this is the last color for player numbering.

Pink Light

Unlike the other PS4 controller lights, pink isn’t used as much. Besides some select massive multiplayer titles like Fortnite, which has different colors to distinguish each player. 

Also, you can also encounter the pink controller light when playing some levels of Thumper.

The only other way you’ll see your PS4 controller glow pink regularly is if you play with three other people via local coop. You have to play a game like Injustice that uses multiple colors depending on the character you’re playing or their power levels.

Other Colors 

Three other colors can be seen when using your PS4 controller based on the game you’re playing or the mode your console is on right now. Check out below these  colors and what they might mean in-game. 

Yellow Light

Other PS4 controller lights like yellow are mostly seen by players during their playthroughs as they’re not used for general control functions. Far Cry and Tomb Raider are some games where you’ll find your PS4 controller’s light turning yellow.

Yellow Light

Yellow PS4 controller light when playing Far Cry indicates that you’re playing as either a support or monster class. With Tomb Raider, the yellow light blinks alongside the orange light when the protagonist Laura Croft picks up the lantern item.

The yellow controller light is also used in games like Injustice and Fortnite since these games use many colors to differentiate the players or characters. But that’s about it. 

Pale Blue Light

Like yellow, the pale blue controller light is also exclusive to certain multiplayer games that use multiple color schemes for their players. In Far Cry, this PS4 controller light is specific to the Medic class.

Pale Blue Light

Orange Light

Compared to the other PS4 controller lights, orange is more commonly used for general functions instead of being an in-game status indicator. You’ll notice that your PS4 controller will glow and blink orange whenever it’s plugged into a power source.

Orange Light

After all, the orange light is your PS4 controller’s charging indicator. However, you don’t want your PS4 controller to glow orange when it isn’t charging or used in certain single-player and multiplayer games, as it also functions as a fault alarm.

If the orange light on your PS4 controller is blinking fast, it might indicate that it’s experiencing a hardware or software-related issue. You can confirm this to be the case if some other controller problems accompany the blinking orange light.

In such cases, if necessary, you might need to have your PS4 controller looked at and repaired. If you’re unlucky, your PS4 controller might already have a serious hardware problem, so replacing it with a new one is your only viable option.

How to Troubleshoot Your PS4 Controller

The trick to troubleshooting your PS4 controller is to diagnose a problem before applying specific remedies. 

A troubleshooting solution can sometimes work on multiple color flashing issues. When that happens, you may have to try everything until you find one to fix your controller’s problem.

FIX 1. Restart the console

Restarting your PS4 console effectively attacks the most common issues that will emerge during use. This includes disconnection issues, performance issues, and other software-related problems.

Sometimes, you’ll find that the console itself is the root cause of many controller problems, so it’s good to perform a restart occasionally.

Doing so not only corrects the errors on your PS4 but also resets its system to help it perform better.

We also think it’s the ideal solution to perform first as it’s quick and easy. Plus, it works most of the time, so this trick is shared in most PS4 troubleshooting guides and forum discussions.

Do note that you can restart your PS4 console in two different ways. You can do it conveniently using the controller or with the physical button on the console if the former option isn’t available.

Use the PS4 controller to restart the console from the quick menu

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps3
Time to Perform Fix40 seconds
Things NeededA working PS4 controller
Step 1: Press and hold the PS button on the controller to open the console’s quick menu.

Step 2: Scroll down and click Restart PS4 to shut the console down.

Step 3: Wait for your PS4 console to boot back up.

Use the power button on the PS4 console to perform the restart

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps3
Time to Perform Fix50 seconds
Things NeededA working PS4 console power button
Step 1: Press and hold the power button of your PS4 console.



Note: The location of your console’s power button will vary depending on the model. Check the user manual if you’re having trouble locating it.
Step 2: Release the power button once the console turns off.

Step 3: Press the power button on your PS4 console to turn it back on and wait for it to boot up.

FIX 2. Factory reset the PS4 controller

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps6
Time to Perform Fix60 seconds
Things NeededA toothpick or paperclip
A PS4 console
A Micro USB to USB Type-A cable

The best way of troubleshooting a faulty PS4 controller is to perform a factory reset and restore it to its initial settings. This method will work on most software-related issues regardless of what color the PS4 controller lights are glowing or blinking.

After the reset, the PS4 controller will be disconnected from the console, so you’ll have to pair them afterward. 

To do this, you need the Micro USB to USB Type-A cable that came with your PS4 console so buy a replacement cable in case it got lost or broken.

Step 1: Press and hold the power button of your PS4 console to shut it down.



Note: The location of your console’s power button will vary depending on the model. Check the user manual if you’re having trouble locating it.
Step 2: Find the pinhole that contains the reset button on the PS4 controller below the L2 shoulder button.

Step 3: Use the pointy end of a toothpick or paperclip to press and hold the reset button inside the pinhole for 10 seconds.

Step 4: Plug the USB cable that came with your console into the controller.

Step 5: Plug the other end into the PS4 console and turn it back on.

Step 6: Press the PS button on the controller to pair it with the console.

FIX 3. “Forget” the controller

Difficulty Easy ●●○○○
Number of Steps11
Time to Perform Fix60 seconds
Things NeededA working PS4 controller

Instead of performing a factory reset, you can also make the console forget the PS4 controller to undo their pairing. You can redo the pairing process and fix any issues messing up the connection between your console and controller.

You can use this solution for recurring disconnection problems during your playthroughs. As mentioned before, know that your PS4 controller keeps getting disconnected if its indicator light turns white and you no longer have any input.

If your PS4 controller only keeps getting disconnected, it can be used to perform this action. Otherwise, you’ll need an extra PS4 controller if the button inputs aren’t registered.

Step 1: Navigate to Settings from the PS4 console’s home screen.

Step 2: Scroll down and open your console’s Devices menu.

Step 3: Open your console’s Bluetooth Devices menu.

Step 4: Select the PS4 controller you want the console to forget.

Step 5: Press the options button on the controller to open the options menu.

Step 6: Select Forget Device to unpair the PS4 controller from the console.

Step 7: Select OK to continue.

Step 8: Press and hold the PS button on the controller until it turns off.
Step 9: Press and hold the PS and Share buttons simultaneously to turn on the controller and put it into pairing mode.

Step 10: Return to your console’s Bluetooth Devices menu and select the controller once it reappears on the list.

Step 11: Select Yes to pair it to your console again.

FIX 4. Connect using a cable 

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps6
Time to Perform Fix30 seconds
Things NeededA working PS4 controllerA Micro USB to USB Type-A cable

If your PS4 controller keeps getting disconnected even after performing the solutions above, you might have a problem with signal interference. 

Since PS4 controllers use Bluetooth to connect wirelessly, other Bluetooth and WiFi devices may interfere. 

One solution for this is to move or turn off nearby Bluetooth and WiFi devices, but that’s not a viable option if you’re using all these devices simultaneously. 

Luckily, there’s an alternative solution! You can connect your PS4 controller to the console via a USB cable to make the connection wired. Doing so not only reduces the input lag but also prevents the disconnection issues caused by signal interference.

Step 1: Navigate to Settings from the PS4 console’s home screen.

Step 2: Scroll down and open your console’s Devices menu.

Step 3: Open your console’s Controllers menu.

Step 4: Scroll down and select Communication Method.

Step 5: Select Use USB Cable.

Step 6: Plug in the USB cable into the PS4 controller and console to switch to a wired connection.

How To Dim The PS4 Controller Light Bar 

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps4
Time to Perform Fix20 seconds
Things NeededA working PS4 controller

Sometimes, the intensity of the PS4 controller’s light bar can be too much, especially if you play at night or in a dark room. In such cases, it’s much better to dim the light bar’s brightness to make it less distracting.

Alternatively, you can even brighten them a bit more if you think the normal brightness level is not enough for you.

Step 1: Navigate to Settings from the PS4 console’s home screen.

Step 2: Scroll down and open your console’s Devices menu.

Step 3: Open your console’s Controllers menu.

Step 4: Scroll down and select Brightness of DUALSHOCK 4 Light Bar to set it to Dim.

How to Turn Off The PlayStation Controller Light Bar

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps4
Time to Perform Fix20 seconds
Things NeededA PS4 controllerA tape or paperPhillips 00 screwdriver

While there’s an option to dim the PS4 controller’s light bar, Sony didn’t include the option to turn it off completely. It’s understandable since the light bar is a key feature of the PS4 controller and the indicator for its general/in-game control functions.

The only way to turn it off completely is to open the PS4 controller and block the connector pin for the light bar. Doing so is risky if you don’t know what you’re doing. but it’s useful if you want to trade the light indicator for a longer battery life.

If you’re not confident with your skill in handling electronic devices, we suggest asking an experienced friend to help you out. Or you can cover the light bar with tape if you want to eliminate the light without messing with the controller. 

Step 1: Turn off your PS4 controller and unscrew its back panel.

Step 2: Start from the bottom and gently remove the back panel of the PS4 controller.

Step 3: Unplug the white ribbon cable.

Step 4: Insert a small piece of tape or paper to cover the two contact pins on the side that connects the ribbon cable to the light bar.

Step 5: Plug the ribbon cable back into the connector and reassemble the PS4 controller.

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