How To Fix PS VR2 Sense Controllers That Aren't Working

After much waiting and a fair bit of fan hype, Sony's sequel to its own virtual reality headset is now available. As it turns out, the PlayStation VR2 is running into some rather unfortunate launch issues judging by a recent Reddit thread and various other user reports on social media. More specifically, there seems to be a problem with the PS VR2 Sense controllers resulting in button presses not registering, everything working fine in the system menu but suddenly not working in-game, and similar.

While these problems are understandably frustrating, they should be fixable with minimal effort — though having to repeatedly fix the problem will likely cause irritation. The current theory and hope are that these Sense controller bugs can be fixed on Sony's end via a software update, though for the moment that's just speculation as the company has not commented on the issue or a potential fix at this time. Still though, if you did get your hands on a PS VR2 and have unwanted controller connection woes, there's a good chance you won't have to go through the hassle of getting a replacement or refund.

Basic troubleshooting steps to fix PS VR2 Sense controllers

Assuming your new PS VR2 isn't playing nice with your Sense controllers, here are some quick-fix solutions to try:

  1. Ditch the Sense controller and use the DualSense instead. Some (emphasis on "some") PS VR2 games play just fine with the regular PS5 controller, so if you don't want to deal with temporary fixes this is the simplest solution.
  2. Turn off any connected DualSense controllers as they could cause interference with a Sense controller connection.
  3. Turn the uncooperative controller off (press and hold the PS button) and use the other controller to open or return to the game you want to play, then turn the now-off controller back on.
  4. Mash the buttons. In some instances, this will jar the controllers back into action without requiring more involved efforts.
  5. Randomly remap the buttons (this may require turning remapping on in controller settings), then reset everything to default.
  6. If you use a charging dock for the Sense controllers, try removing the charging "nubs" as they may be causing some kind of conflict.
  7. When in a game (actually in-game and not in the See Through mode), push a small pin into the hole next to the R2 or L2 button (depending on the controller) for a manual reset.
  8. Suspend your game and disconnect the Sense controller that's giving you problems via the Bluetooth settings, then return to the game and turn the controller back on to reconnect it.

If you try all of these more basic steps and your Sense controller is still acting up, there are more ways to approach the problem.

How to reset and re-sync PS VR2 Sense controllers that stop working

While the less involved steps above have achieved results, it's possible you won't have the same amount of luck. If you've tried those other solutions with no luck, here are some additional (and more complex) measures you can take:

  1. Turn off your PS5 console and use a small pin to reset both Sense controllers (push the pin into the small hole next to the L2 and R2 buttons). Plug the right controller into the PS5 via the USB cable and use it to turn the console back on, then follow the on-screen instructions to re-pair the left controller.
  2. Open the Settings menu (the gear icon) and select General, then Bluetooth Accessories. Delete the left VR2 Sense Controller from the list first, followed by the right, then re-sync both controllers to your PS5 one at a time using the included PS VR2 USB cable.
  3. Turn on the PS5 using a regular DualSense controller, then turn on the PS VR2 headset, but don't turn on the Sense controllers yet. Then open the game you want — be sure you're not in See Through mode — and press the PS button on the right Sense controller to turn it on, then turn on the left controller.

Keep in mind that even if you do end up resorting to any of these more complex fixes, you still may have to repeat them in the future when attempting to play a different game or after turning your PS5 console back on.

How to rebuild PS5 database to fix buggy PS VR2 Sense controllers

If all else fails, there's one last extreme measure to try before contacting Sony:

  1. Delete both Sense controllers in the Bluetooth Accessories menu.
  2. Turn off your PS5, then press and hold the power button when starting it back up.
  3. Connect a DualSense controller via USB, turn it on, then select Clear Cache from the on-screen menu.
  4. Turn the PS5 off again once it's started back up, then turn it on while holding the power button once more and reconnect the DualSense controller again.
  5. Choose Rebuild Database from the menu this time.
  6. Reset both Sense controllers by inserting a small pin into the hole next to the L2 and R2 buttons.
  7. At this point it's recommended to plug both Sense controllers into the PS5 with separate USB cables (one connected to the port in front, the other to the port in back), then turn them both on at the same time with their respective PS buttons.

This final solution is definitely much more involved than any of the other methods and may be best left alone if you aren't comfortable with the idea of rebuilding your PS5's database. That said, users are claiming on Reddit that it seems to fix the issue entirely, so you shouldn't have to worry about your controllers not functioning in-game if you do decide to go through with it.