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May 08 2014
By: da1writer PlayStation MVP 4374 posts
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[GUIDE] Improve Your Dualshock 4's Battery Life

[ Edited ]
20 replies 3477 views Edited last month
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Improve Your DualShock 4's Battery Life

  
So Who's At Fault Here?

  

So I've been reading news articles, watching YouTube video's, and lurking  or indulging threads by the forum members like yourselves here talking about the short Battery life on the DualShock 4. Many can't pinpoint the reason why DualShock 4 drains so fast or the battery itelf is so low. While many either live with it or maybe don't experience the problem because they charge often (like a phone), this wireless controller has less gameplay time than it's prodecessor no matter how you slice it. 

  

So what does the majority of everyone believes and assumes is the culprit for this is .... 

  

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...The Light Bar.    

 

The lightbar is considered by many that it's the biggest drain on the DualShock 4. While it does somewhat make sense and I agree sorta but why is it the ONLY reason? The brightness thereof is why many point to it, it annoys a multitude of people for some odd reason and would rather just turn it off. Glare on their TV's... Lighting up their rooms ... hate the colors thereof ... these are the few things that irritate some and just put the blame solely on the light bar because of these for the low battery life. 

  

While the light bar (or LED's used) does add to the battery drainage to the DS4, keep in mind it's amperage draw on the battery is .08A. That's not enough to drain it as fast as many would think, it's actually very low. So that only leaves the notion that something else is adding to the power drain of the DS4 battery...

  

dualshock-4-touchpad.jpg 61db506ce32f7bbf7fb9a358e0f6ac856e86479b.jpg ps4-dualshock-4-bottom-close-up_1280.0_cinema_640.0.jpg
...No way right.    

  

Think about it. Firmware 1.7 has shown us that the Touchpad may have always been on but not active for touch unless a game or function told it to react. Type a message on your PS4 but touch the Touchpad now with  firmware 1.70 installed... What does it do? That's because the Touchpad is an "always on" Active Monitoring Surface (AMS). Sucks right...

 

 

Now how are you able to hear the lady announcer in Resogun or Audio Logs in Killzone Shadow Fall from your controller? Well if you didn't know, the DS4 has a built-in amp and requires power to drive the speaker to do this (above feature) AND the headphone jack as well. Now both are sharing this, so if the speaker is on than the headphone jack is active as well in case a Mic or headphone is plugged in. And also, like a phone, the louder the volume, the more power is needed to drive the amp to be at a higher volume/frequency, draining even more battery life.

 

I'm sure you're asking, "Are these three in combination with the Light bar enough to drain battery life?" Well, these weren't in the DS3 afterall but in actuaility the answer... Nope, not entirely at least. The biggest culrpit everyone forget's is draining power the most out of the DS4....

  

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...Yep, the DualShock 4's MULTIPLE Vibration motors. 
  

Just like your phone, vibration drains battery . It's a great novelty to alert your senses that something is happening in your game but the rumble destroys battery life by surging power sporadically to activate the motors in the controller, say like a shooter that tries to make you feel like your shooting a gun or the pedals of a car as you rev it around in a race. No one thinks this drains that much battery due to the enjoyment it brings by giving you that hightened realism in your hands but with two motors going off a lot in your games to provide this feeling (one on each side of the controller), there's no denying battery life is being sacrificed for your enjoyment. 

 

With these five concoctions of features on the controller, combined with the normal Sixaxis feature (if used) and Bluetooth streaming for the wireless feature itself - now we have a reason (and there is other reasons later) that the Dualshock 4 is working against you the Player by killing your battery sooner than you thought it would.

  

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So What Are My Options?

  

Your Options? What do I look like, a doctor Jim? Your options... well... Settings are key to improving battery life with little effort and are easy to do. This next section requires you to be in multiple Settings menu's, turning things down or off completely. So lets go with the worst offender of battery life and work our way down shall we.

  

1. Vibration of the DS4

   

Vibration in the Dualshock 4 is taken for granted and often ignored as a battery drainer. A small or large amount of energy from the battery is needed to run each of the Motors of the DS4. If you are shooting an automatic weapon or reving your engines at the start of the race or around turns, the rumble in your controller is constantly happening within that time frame your playing. Some like it and choose to leave the vibration on, but some feel it's a bit overboard and turning it off eases their fustration and improves their battery life at the same time. 

  

2. Dimming the Lightbar

  

With Firmware 1.7, PS4 owners all over the world rejoiced due to having an option to dim the light bar. Not only did PS4 owners have the glare on the screen finally gone (a relief for some), but they also gained battery life. Not many know this and assumed that only disabling the light bar would gain some battery life. Measurement's have been conducted though, with Light bar settings [from the highest brightness] changed to Medium, you will gain an additional 50 minutes of game time (Yay!) More so if you dim the lightbar [from the highest brightness] to the lowest setting Dim, you will gain a whopping additional 1 hour and 20 minutes of game time (OH YEAH!) Link to tests here.

  

3. Lowering down the volume on the Controller

  

No matter what device you're listening to; a MP3 player, Phone, or what we are talking about - the Dualshock 4 - the louder the volume, the more power is need to bring it up to that volume. The Dualshock 4 has a built in amp, and as mentioned before really puts a drain on the battery life if it's used to have sound coming out the speaker of the controller. With every little drop you can squeeze out of that battery, the novelty of the sound coming out the speaker needs to go (eventually this feeling of this speaker immersion may fade off your interest radar anyway). Holding the PlayStation button, go to Adjust Devices and lower the Volume Control (Speaker for DUALSHOCK 4).

  

4. Auto-Off Your Controller
 

  

"Time for Dinner!" , "The dog got out again from under the fence!" , " You going to cut the grass this century or what?"

 

Sound familar? Those times when you're in the Game, getting those revenge shots with your buddies, chugging that Mountain dew, Controller sweaty from the hours spent... but then a voice is heard from the distance, someone needs you to come downstairs or outside or whatever, so you put the controller down and who knows how long you are away from you PS4 game time. Precious battery life is being lost at this very moment! No not right now but you know what I mean. So your best bet is to go into Settings and then Power Managament settings, set the timer of when your DS4 should turn off automatically, whether that's 10 minutes, 30 minutes, or 60 minutes, doing this could save tons of battery life you don't think you are loosing (but you are). There might be some other power setting you may like to use in there btw.

  

5. Turn Off the DS4 When Not in Use QUICKLY

  

Love watching movies? I sure do! But what about the DS4 - what is it doing while you watch your movie on Netflix or whatever? It's just sitting there draining your precious battery life. So instead, try turning the controller completely off at anytime by holding the PlayStation button for more than 10 seconds and it'll shut off eventually without the need to rely on the Auto-off option [from the Power Saving menu]. It also doesn't matter if it's a movie, game, app, whatever you are doing on your PS4 and you have to go somewhere for a while or aren't using the controller for a bit, just shut it off to conserve that battery when you need it most - while gaming!

 

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Is there anything else I can get?

 

What do I look like, the Wizard of Oz? If you want more battery life besides the settings' changes I have suggested to you above, you can buy yourself better battery life. Whaa? Word of caution though, the first one of these purchases may void your warranty but if that's not a concern (or you'll just buy another DS4 if something goes wrong), then by all means continue on reading. So open up those wallets Gamers, it's time to buy better battery life!

 

6. Replace the Battery - $9

 

This one is the BEST way to increase your battery life by almsot two fold. Replacing the current DS4 batter (which is a 1000mAH battery) with the DS3 replacement battery (1800mAH) or DS4 replacement Battery (2000mAH) is pretty easy to do but take note, that this may very well void your warranty for the controller. If it's not something that bothers you, here is a link with a great tutorial in how to replace it easily with the right tools. I'll also provide two links for the batteries as well.

  

This gains you 14 hours btw vs the original 8 but milage my vary of course depending on the Gamer! (DO NOT swap the original DS3 {your controller} battery into the DS4, the battery is only 300mAH).

 

 

PS3 1800mAH Replacement Battery 

PS4 2000mAH Replacement Battery (Thanks MurderStyle75)

 

7. Nyko PowerPak - $19.99

 

Too scared to take your DS4 apart to replace the battery? Understandable. Nyko understands this as well more so as they will be providing a Powerpak soon on May 26th for those who find the DS4 battery lacking (even with the settings tweaks above). It's another 1000mAH battery on top (bottom?)  of the original, outside of the DS4 of course. Retailing for only $19.99, the price is pretty good, especially since it will more than likely provide you double your battery life (like Option 6 , 14 hours or more). Unvieled at CES 2014, this may very well supply the extra battery life needed easily for the DS4!

 

EDIT: UPDATE- You can also buy the Vita Portable Battery for $21 here now. It's a 5000mAH battery which can extend your battery life to about an additional 35 hours (42hr's in total or more actually!) Just recharge when you need to and use your usb plug to plug the DS4 into it. Still wireless!

   
8. Buy a Second Controller - $59.99

  

Yeah, Yeah, I know - how is this a solution you may ask? I'm sure me and others did the same thing by buying a secondary controller either on launch day or shortly after. Let's say your one controller dies, simply swap to your second controller and charge the one that died (and have the circle of life happen vice versa). It's like having a swappable battery pack... except their controllers. Which now leads us to...

  

9. Charging Stations - $30+  

  

Now that you have two controllers, wouldn't it be great if you could charge them alot quicker than using the USB ports on the PS4 for charging and even more so allow you to have available slots for future reasons (*Cough* Whenever Sony allows External drive support *cough*). Well this charging station is powered via an AC adapter, so not only can it charge two controllers at once and much quicker than USB ever could, you can swap between controllers on the fly when one dies and charge it (circle of life again) with no issues. Place one of your DS4's in the station, Play the other DS4 until it dies out, grab the fully charged one (after putting in the dead one to charge it) , and continue playing with only a few seconds of interruptions. Game on!

 

10. Extended USB cable - $2

 

Obviously we must be near the end of this guide because grasping at straws now, lol. If battery life is something you want to avoid altogether, you can buy a cheap extended usb cable if you are ok sacrificing Wireless functionality. Monoprice, a very trusted online cable store, sells a 15ft. cable for around $2, which is pretty cheap, and yes - I bought from them before (HDMI cables). Here is a link to the Monoprice page to grab one, but this is a last resort and more so the cheapest solution in resolving battery life on the DS4. Your pretty much just making it a wired controller.

 

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Conclusion
 

So there you guys have it, My Top Ten ways to improve or avoid the battery life issue of the Dualshock 4. I hope it helped you out and be sure to pass this on to your buds if it did (if they have a PS4 that is). If you have any other tips and tricks to gain more battery life for the DS4, please, do share with a reply if you will. Thanks for reading and hopefully it was intriguing enough to not warrant a TL;DR tag, lol. For now, I'm off to game, and so should you :smileywink:! Happy gaming!

  

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Message 1 of 21 (3,477 Views)
Wastelander
Registered: 06/13/2013
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Re: [GUIDE] Improve Your Dualshock 4's Battery Life

[ Edited ]
May 8, 2014

Or you could just remember to keep charging the thing whenever your not playing it, theres no way anyone can play for the 10 or 12 hours straight that it takes to die. Keep charging it at night and keep charging it during breaks and there should be no problems.

 

Those charging stations you mentioned are a great idea, just keep one of those beside the couch and your golden, I wouldn't go as far as turning off the speaker and vibration, you can still have those on and never run out of battery as long as you keep charging it.

 

It would be nice if they let us turn off the light bar though, thats something most of us don't even need without the camera. even if it has less of an impact like you said but we don't use it, however we do use the speaker and vibration for most games.

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Keyblade Wielder
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Re: [GUIDE] Improve Your Dualshock 4's Battery Life

May 8, 2014

Kind of related but kind of not related

 

The point of the lightbar was revealed http://ca.ign.com/articles/2014/05/08/dualshock-4-light-bar-created-for-project-morpheus

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PlayStation MVP
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Re: [GUIDE] Improve Your Dualshock 4's Battery Life

[ Edited ]
May 8, 2014

Mightylink wrote:

  

It would be nice if they let us turn off the light bar though, thats something most of us don't even need without the camera. even if it has less of an impact like you said but we don't use it, however we do use the speaker and vibration for most games.


 

For those who are curious, Someone Figured out how to Disable the Light Bar but did actual game playing tests to determine the battery life increase benefits (not idling, which have bogus numbers from THAT one article we've all seen.)

 

 

Spoiler

 

 

 

 

To put things in Perspective though :

Medium Light Bar Setting = 50 min additional

Dim Light Bar Setting = 1 hour and 20 min additional

Disabled Light Bar = 1 hour and 50 min additional

Pretty much increments of 30 min additional each.

 

I do not advise anyone disabling the light bar yourself, it's why I don't even mention how in the Guide.

 

My advice is use the DIM setting for the brightness of the Light Bar as it gives you the same additional battery life benefits as disabling the Light Bar for just 30 minutes less.

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PlayStation MVP
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Re: [GUIDE] Improve Your Dualshock 4's Battery Life

May 8, 2014

Awesome thread da1writer!      Thanks for all the tips and showing all the different options via picure/video.   I didn't know about some of those!

 

 

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Re: [GUIDE] Improve Your Dualshock 4's Battery Life

May 8, 2014

Sorry about posting this up late everyone that expected this yeaterday. I did mention I would have it up last night but took longer than I intially thought and wanted a bit of feedback as well to make sure it was done right. Hopefully many find this helpful and thanks goes out to those who have replied and kudo'd so far :smileyhappy:!

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Re: [GUIDE] Improve Your Dualshock 4's Battery Life

last month

You can also buy the Vita Portable Battery for $21 here now. It's a 5000mAH battery which can extend your battery life of the DS4 to about an additional 35 hours (42hr's in total or more actually!) Just recharge when you need to and use your usb plug to plug the DS4 into it. Still wireless despite something hanging off the controller!

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Re: [GUIDE] Improve Your Dualshock 4's Battery Life

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Great tips. Excellent write up as alway Writer. On a side note, I am all over that Blue DS4 whenever they hit the States!


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Re: [GUIDE] Improve Your Dualshock 4's Battery Life

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Simple keep it plugged in :-)

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I noticed my Battery life is horrible while there is no Rumble and its me using it as a remote to watch Netflix all day ... Still lasts me around 4-5 hours and the light bar is set to Dim

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