The PlayStation 4 controller is one of the most advanced controllers in the gaming market, with DualShock vibration technology and a range of other innovative features. One thing you’ll certainly notice is that the controller flashes different colors when you’re playing or seemingly at random. So, what do these colors mean?
Some colors on the PS4 controller are used to indicate a player’s, status, or position in games. Other colors may flash when there’s something wrong with your console or the controller, such as a faulty connection or a charging issue. Flashing lights typically signal problems.
Once you get used to the different flashing lights on the PS4 controller, you’ll be able to identify when the controller is flashing normally and when the flashing colors could mean there’s something wrong. Let’s take a closer look at the different colors and how to interpret them.
Why Your PS4 Controller Has So Many Colors
The PS4 may flash different colored lights depending on the game you’re playing or whether the system is indicating an error. The lights on the PS4 controller (on Amazon) can tell you a lot about what’s happening on the console or in the games themselves.
Some lights are accompanied by an error on the screen and can help you identify the cause of common PS4 errors. Other lights are specific to certain games and don’t indicate an error at all.
The most common lights you’ll seed on the PS4 controller are blue, red, and white. These lights usually indicate system information or simply flash when the controller is charging. Other lights like yellow, orange, pink, and green can be used to indicate levels inside games or to mark players in multiplayer games.
Unlike previous controllers, the wide array of colors on the PS4 controller can help you identify problems with the PS4 and ultimately enhance the playing experience.
What Flashing Lights Mean on Your Controller
Flashing lights are usually quite normal, but they also can be used to indicate problems with the PS4. If your controller flashes different colors during games, it’s usually nothing to worry about.
Here’s what flashing lights usually mean to your PS4 controller:
A flashing red, orange, or white light may mean there’s something wrong with the hardware of your PS4 or the controller. While orange and white flashing lights are often a sign of a hardware problem with the controller, a red flashing light may indicate a problem with the PS4’s system.
A flashing light on your controller may also indicate that your console is overheating. If this is the case, switch off your console and let it cool down for a few minutes. Try moving the console to a different location with better ventilation.
On less obvious hardware issue is joystick drift, which we cover in a separate article here. Basically, if you notice joystick drift, it’s probably starting to get to a point where the controller needs some attention, either some cleaning or maybe replacement.
If you notice lights flashing on the controller when you put it on charge, there’s a possibility that it isn’t charging properly. Charging problems could be due to a faulty USB cable, a damaged charging port, or dead batteries.
Check the health of your PS4 controller by measuring how long it takes to charge. If the cable or batteries are faulty, you’ll have to replace them.
Another common cause of a white flashing light is a connectivity problem between the PS4 and the controller. Sometimes a glitch or bug may cause your controller to suddenly disconnect from the PS4. This is a minor problem that can usually be solved by restarting the console.
Not all flashing lights mean there’s something wrong with your PS4 or controller. Different colored lights are also used to indicate the different players in multiplayer games. Blue is used for player 1, red for player 2, and so on.
Different colored lights may also flash according to different functions in the game. For example, a red light might flash when you’re low on health, and a green light could indicate positive health. Orange or green lights may also flash when you’re shooting with a certain game character.
Which Colors Are Normal and When You Need to Pay Attention
Flashing lights on your PS4 controller are often a message. This could be a system message to tell you that there’s something wrong with the controller or PS4 system. It could also be an in-game message to indicate different players or actions within the game.
Here’s what different flashing lights mean on your controller:
Blue Flashing Light
The blue light is the most common light, and your controller will flash blue for most of your playing duration, especially during single-player games. A blue light is usually used to indicate player 1. It could also be used when you’re in the neutral mode in a game, although this varies from game to game.
A blue flashing light can also mean that the PS4 is trying to connect to the controller. Normally, you can easily pair your controller with Bluetooth. However, sometimes the controller will have a blue flashing light when the PS4 is having trouble forming a connection.
If the blue flashing light doesn’t go away after a few seconds, try restarting the console. Also, check that the controller has enough charge; a low charge can also cause connectivity problems.
Red Flashing Light
Red is often used to indicate danger, and the same is true of a red flashing light on the PS4. Sometimes a red light will flash when you’re taking damage in certain games, or it can be a warning sign. It could also simply indicate that you’re player 2 or 3.
If your controller flashes a red light when you’re not on a game, it could mean that there’s something wrong with the controller’s software or battery. A red light means your controller isn’t charging properly or the batteries are faulty.
If the red light repeatedly flashes on the PS4 controller, try connecting it to the charger. If it continues to flash, check the USB cable. A faulty USB cable is often the cause of a red flashing light. Lastly, try replacing the batteries on your controller. If you need some more help with a red light, check out our full article unpacking on just how to manage through that!
Green Flashing Light
A green flashing light isn’t usually associated with software problems and will usually only flash during a game. A green flashing light is usually used to indicate a player’s health during games. If the light flashes green, it could mean the character is in full health, while a red flashing light could be a warning of critical health.
In some controllers, a green light will indicate that your controller isn’t properly connected to the charging port. If you have a PS4 controller charging port, check whether the port is working properly. If you’re charging the controller with a regular cable, try a different cable and check if the light stops flashing.
White Flashing Light
A white flashing light may appear during certain games to indicate player health or other in-game features. However, a white flashing light usually means your controller has disconnected from the PS4.
If your controller disconnects from the PS4 and you see a white flashing light, check the Bluetooth connectivity. Press the PS button for 15 seconds and wait for the controller to reconnect.
Orange Flashing Light
An orange flashing light usually means that there’s something wrong with the controller. It could be used for player 3 or 4 in multiplayer games, but it usually appears when the controller has a hardware or software issue.
If you see an orange flashing light that accompanies other problems on your PS4 controller, try restarting the PlayStation and reconnecting the controller. If the controller has a charging problem, you may have to replace the charging cable or controller’s batteries. Have a look at our full guide on unpacking what the PS4/orange light controller means if you’re seeing this!
Other Flashing Lights
While these are the main colors you’ll see on your PS4 controller; other flashing lights may appear during certain games. Pink, purple, light green, and sky blue may also flash occasionally on a PS4 controller. These lights will usually flash during certain games and may accompany the in-game functions.
How to Keep Your PS4 Controller Functioning Properly
The average lifespan of a PS4 controller is around 5 years. However, most people will need to replace their controllers in less than 2 years, mainly because of poor maintenance. You can prolong the life of your controller by maintaining it properly.
Here are some PS4 controller maintenance tips:
Avoid Dropping the Controller
While you probably won’t drop the controller on purpose, there are precautions you can take to avoid dropping the controller. Store the controller in a cupboard instead of on a ledge and avoid charging it in precarious positions.
You can also keep your controller in a protective case (on Amazon) when it’s not in use.
Clean the Controller Regularly
Dust and dirt can accumulate in the controller and damage the buttons or joystick. Cleaning your controller regularly will help you prolong its lifetime. Use a damp cloth to wipe dust and dirt off the controller after every few gaming sessions.
Charge Your Controller Properly
While the PS4 controller’s batteries should last more than 5 years, you still have to maintain them properly. Always charge your PS4 controller before the battery dies and preferably when there’s still at least 25% of the charge left.
Always make sure the charger fits perfectly in the charging dock (on Amazon), and avoid leaving the controller on charge for a long period after the battery is full. If your PS4 has a question mark symbol near the battery icon when connected, be sure to check out our other article on how to handle that.