Can a Controller Get a Virus

It does not matter how good your antivirus is; you are always at risk of picking up a virus. These viruses can devastate your PC, rooted phone, and even your entire home network. Viruses are funny things. You might not even know that your machine has one until it is done what was intended for. Now, when it comes to gaming controllers, can they get a virus?

A controller can not get a virus via console. Consoles are closed ecosystems. In order to release any software, including games, media, and other apps, the software gets vetted. A controller on a PC that has some sort of memory can technically get a virus, but it is highly unlikely.

Look, I am just going to be straightforward and honest with you; if your controller is acting up, it is probably damaged. If it isn’t damaged, maybe you aren’t playing right. Even if it could, the chances of your controller getting a virus are very slim. For everything you need to know about how viruses affect gaming, keep reading.

What is a computer virus

Someone who knows how to write code can write a piece of code to change the way a system works. Think of it as malicious code. Let us take a quick look at an example of a basic virus.

Say somebody wants to stop you from opening a certain program, they can simply write a piece of code that blocks that software if you were to get more technical and have more severe viruses.

Think about what someone can do if they are really good at coding and decide to attack your system files. They could render your computer useless until you have to do a factory reset and lose all your data.

Another type of virus is one that can read what keys you are using. With that data, people can determine your banking login details, passwords, and emails. This virus can lie undetected, and every time you connect to the internet, it can send your data to its creator without you knowing.

How do viruses get into your system

There are thousands of ways that a virus can inject itself into your system. The code is so small that it can be attached to any file.

  • Viruses can be downloaded from torrent sites. They imbed themselves in the folders of those files, and once the file is opened, they can infect your system. Without an up-to-date antivirus, there is a good chance you won’t know about the virus until it is too late.
  • The Virus can lay dormant until you run the file that it is connected to. Once the virus executes, if it is written by someone smart enough, it can travel through your network. Through your network, it can infect any machine that connects to the network.
  • Viruses can also be carried on external storage. This means that your friend might unknowingly infect your PC with a virus. As stated above, simply connecting your PC to a friend’s network can cause you to catch a virus.

Should all of this concern you? I would say it is always good to have a well-respected antivirus. Because they update regularly, they can catch malware on your PC before it does too much damage.

Can consoles get viruses

If you want to get super technical, you can say yes. Sony or Microsoft could, by mistake, not vet a developer properly. That developer could sneak a virus into their game, but Sony and Microsoft would catch it before it spreads too far. If you manage to hack the PS4 and put Linus on it, you could also get a virus.

If I am honest, I don’t see a developer going through the trouble of being allowed to sell their game on consoles and then ruining it with a virus and facing possible jail time. You should also never jailbreak your Console. You will lose most functionality, and I think it is actually illegal.

Can a controller get a virus through consoles

Even if a virus was able to bypass the vetting and then the console, a virus has nowhere to store itself on the controller. The only way that I can think of this being possible is if the controller had some sort of storage used for presets.

We can be honest though. There is almost a 0% chance of this happening so it should not even bother you.

Does PS4 need antivirus

Sony has its own methods of preventing viruses from their Playstations. The PlayStation ecosystem is a closed system. Getting a virus on there will require some serious skills, but even with those skills, you would need to bypass the vetting process.

Can games carry viruses

On a PC, games can definitely carry a virus. If you buy or pirate bootleg games, there is a high chance that they have a virus.

Buying games from a proper store like steam, Epic games store, Microsoft store, etc, is perfectly safe. As is the case with consoles, these stores vet the games they publish. Buying an original physical copy of a game will not have a virus.

The best way to make sure you don’t get a virus is to not pirate games and to not buy from shady places.

Can a controller get a virus from a PC

Same as with the console, the only way I see this happening is if the controller has storage. Even then, it is very unlikely.

One way that a virus could attack your controller is through the drivers. A virus can manipulate the controller drivers to make it act differently to how it is supposed to. This can affect your button inputs, let’s say you press up, the virus will tell the drivers you are pressing down. Stuff like that.

The first thing you should do is reset your drivers and then find where the virus is stored. A good antivirus should help with this. The worst-case scenario would be that you need to reset your machine but this will be unlikely.

If your controller is affected, it could be possible that the virus attacks all your peripherals, it could be a keylogger so it is best for you to resolve it immediately.

What are the symptoms of a virus

It could be a number of things. Is your machine crashing a lot? Do you have random programs opening and closing? If you do have random programs doing that, it could be the virus executing a command.

Some viruses make your machine run much slower, sometimes making your machine feel sluggish. If this happened to your machine overnight, it is possible that a virus is attacking system files. Same if your machine is constantly crashing.


You really should not worry about a virus affecting your controller. The chances of it happening on a console are almost nothing. The only reason I say “almost” is because I do not like giving definitive statements. I am very tempted to give one in this case, though.

For PC, while it is still unlikely, you want to make sure you have a good antivirus. Even if it isn’t for your controller, it is good to have one. A good antivirus is actually needed if you do online banking and other personal stuff like online shopping on your machine. You can never be too safe when it comes to your finances and personal information.

Whatever you game on, remember to have fun. If you are on a PC, remember to have fun and use an antivirus.

David Sacks

I have worked in the IT industry since 2011 and have been an avid gamer my whole life. My first consoles were the sega genesis and the Nintendo SNES. I play both console and PC games, I love both. I decided to become combine my passion for gaming with my passion for writing.

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