PlayStation 5 Access (with Cronus Zen + Titan Two Daisy Chain)

Labelled photo of set-up showing an Xbox Adaptive Controller and DualShock 4 controller connected to a PS5 console via a Titan Two adapter into a Cronus Max adapter.

*Update 25/01/24* – Unfortunately, the latest PS5 Update (24.01-08.60.00) stops the Cronus Zen device from functioning, so this set-up is not currently working. It will, however, still work if you have not yet carried out the (optional) update.

As a substitute method for using an alternative controller, the Besavior Controller’s Expansion Feature is currently working for one alternative controller (excluding an XAC): https://gameaccess.info/besavior-controller-expansion-feature-for-ps5/. The Besavior in combination with a Titan Two currently allows use two alternative controllers including an XAC: https://gameaccess.info/using-the-xbox-adaptive-controller-on-playstation-5-via-a-besavior/. We will update here if/when there has been a fix.

The PS5 Access Controller is also now available, if players are looking for alternative switch and joystick access, but this does not offer the option for alternative controller access (e.g. using an Xbox controller or DualSense 4 controller): https://gameaccess.info/playstation-5-access-controller-video-an-introductory-look/ 

Assistive Technology on the PS5

The Cronus Zen + Titan Two daisy chain is proving, from early testing, to be a reliable means of connecting a broad range of accessible gaming equipment to a PlayStation 5, including the Xbox Adaptive Controller (XAC). However, these are early days, and there is a risk that a PS5 update could break this accessibility solution.

In essence, in this particular set-up, the Cronus Zen satisfies PS5 security checks and the Titan Two brings all the accessibility powers. These include dual-controller use (see image above) and custom scripts (such as with the Game Control Mixer). It also allows for keyboard, mouse and gamepad events to be mixed in from a Windows PC (using Gtuner IV software and a USB link cable between the PC and Titan PROG port). That opens up the potential for eye gaze, head control, speech and more to be added to a controller set-up.

A controller, such as an alternate gamepad or XAC, could be plugged directly into the Zen without the Titan, but you would currently not get these features.  

The DualSense controller is only used for powering on the set-up, rumble motor feedback and passing authentication tests. Nothing else functions on it.

Once the initial work of the Cronus Zen, Titan Two and PS5 configuration is complete, using this kit from thereon is straightforward: Power on (via the PS5 or DualSense). Play. Power off fully (the Zen and Titan lights should all go out). 

At the time of writing (July 2023), this is the method needed to configure the equipment:

A. Set your PS5 to communicate via USB: On your PS5, go to Settings > Accessories > Controllers > Communication Method (and check you are set to “Use USB Cable”). 

B1. Update your Cronus Zen: Download ZenHigh5 from Cronus or this Dropbox mirror. Open cmupdatetool-cronuszen-2.1.0-beta.68.exe.

B2. Connect the rear of your ZEN to a PC. Hold down the Zen’s Reset Button [underneath]. The OLED screen will say Zen Bootloader. Follow the on-screen instructions to update the firmware to 2.1.0 beta.68. Close the tool when finished.

B3. Hard reset the Zen by holding down P1 & P2 (the blue buttons on top of Zen) and reconnecting the Zen’s rear USB port to your PC. After 4 seconds the LEDs will flash RED GREEN BLUE indicating a successful hard reset, erasing all memory slots and putting your Zen back to factory defaults. Release buttons.

B4. Open ZenStudio-1.3.1.Beta.46.exe and connect your Zen to the PC from the [side USB] PROG USB Port.

B5. You now need to reset all of Zen Studio’s settings back to default by selecting Tools > Reset Zen Studio.

B6. When Zen Studio restarts, go to the Device tab to make sure that both PS4 Specialty and PS Remote Play are DISABLED and be sure the output protocol is set to AUTO and nothing else.

B7. Connect the short cable to the back of the Cronus Zen (CONSOLE/PC USB port). Connect a PS5 DualSense controller to the (side) A1 USB Port, ready for connecting to your PS5 at the end.

C. Update your Titan Two: Using Gtuner IV software, and the Titan Two connected via the PROG port, make sure the Titan Two is set up to “USB Automatic” output, and “Recall loaded memory slot between power cycles” (see below).

 
GTuner IV screen for Titan Two, in the Device Configuration tab (highlighted at the bottom in blue). Highlighted in red at the top is the Output Protocol dropdown menu set to USB Automatic, and near the bottom, "Recall loaded memory slot between power cycles" highlighted in red.


Also, install this script to a free Device Memory slot. An easy way to do this is to click on the Device Configuration tab (see below), search ‘Online Resources’ with “adaptive zen”, then drag the DRAG DROP box to a free slot and click on it (e.g. “9”). This script is a set of instructions that blocks a bug where the XAC RT input triggers the touch-click. It will also force the necessary PS4 mode, without interfering with other scripts and slots.

GTuner IV Online Resources tab highlighted in blue. In the top search bar highlighted in blue, is the text, "adaptive XAC". Highlighted in red, is a Drag Drop box pointing down to SLOT 9 in the Device Memory Slots pane.

D: Close Gtuner and unplug the Titan Two from your PC if you don’t need it anymore. Use the short Titan Two USB cable to link the Titan Two OUTPUT port to the front left USB port of the Zen. Connect your gaming controller/s to the front of the Titan Two (known as the A and B ports). Next, plug the short cable at the back of the Cronus Zen into your PS5. Power on. Play!

Trouble shooting: If the set-up is misbehaving, try clicking the tiny button under the Cronus Zen, or unplugging all USB power from the set-up and starting again. Wait 10 seconds or so for the adapters to initialise.

If the light(s) on your alternative controller(s) plugged into the Titan Two is (are) not on, you may need to manually turn the controller(s) on. 

If Touchpad or Sixaxis controls are needed, using a DualShock 4 in the set-up or custom Titan scripts can open this up. 


Cons to this system:

Microphone and headphone access won’t work through the controllers, so a wireless solution is recommended (we tested successfully with a Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 Wireless PS5 headset, but other solutions exist).

The connected DualSense controller is only useful for powering on the set-up, rumble motor feedback and passing authentication tests. Nothing else functions.

Rumble feedback only works with the attached DualSense.

You need to purchase two adapters and Titan Twos are (at the time of writing) difficult to source at a reasonable price. Hopefully this will change. There’s also the Sony Access Controller on the way.

It takes a computer literate user with a PC to get this set-up.

Pros:

It works!! We have found it reliable, so far. You can add all the long-established powers of the Titan Two adapter. It’s easy to test your controls on a PS5 within the ‘Controller Demo’ part of the free game, Astro’s Playroom.

As a side note, other methods exist for connecting the likes of an XAC and co-pilot gamepad to a PS5. The Besavior and Titan Two method works reliably for us too, but it can be more expensive and has no Titan Two side access to the touchpad, nor Sixaxis (only via the Besavior controller). Also, the Remote Play approach is an option for some players, which requires a PS4 or PC and high-speed internet.

*Update 20.07.23 – a video showing how to create this set-up has been added here:

Please note, the the LED’s on the Titan Two, Cronus Zen and the Xbox Adaptive Controller will appear differently in-person to how they appear onscreen.
Show Transcript

Some of the people we work with are unable to use a DualSense controller that is required to play many PlayStation 5 games.

In this video, we will look at how to set up a Cronus Zen and a Titan Two to use alternative controllers like an Xbox Adaptive Controller (also known as an XAC) or DualShock 4 controller to play PlayStation 5 games on a PlayStation 5 console.

You can plug compatible controllers like an Xbox Adaptive Controller or DualShock 4 into the Cronus Zen directly, but using the Titan Two allows us to use two controllers simultaneously to play.

For instance, we may use a DualShock 4 controller as the main controller, but we use an XAC alongside it to use some accessibility switches. Or you may use joysticks and switches via the Xbox Adaptive Controller for most controls but have the DualShock 4 ready to use for any Touchpad or Sixaxis parts of games.

The PlayStation 5’s DualSense, whilst connected as part of the set-up to verify the Cronus Zen, cannot be used for controls.

Using the Titan Two also allows you to use Titan Two Scripts that may improve accessibility for you and also gives you the option to connect a PC to add certain controls, such as voice control.

We will go through setting up each of the pieces of equipment, then show how to connect them all to play.

Step 1. PlayStation 5 Console Settings

You will need to make sure your PlayStation 5 console is set so that controllers are used via a USB cable and not via Bluetooth.

To do this, in the PlayStation Home menu, navigate to ‘Settings’, select ‘Accessories’, go into ‘Controller’, then select ‘Communication Method’ and set it to ‘Use USB Cable’ instead of ‘Use Bluetooth’.

Step 2. Set Up the Cronus Zen

Download the software currently in beta from beta.cronusmax.com/ps5-beta and unzip the folder.

Open the ‘cm update tool’ file from the downloaded and unzipped folder to open the ‘Collective Minds Firmware Update Tool’ and connect the Cronus Zen to a PC using the Cronus’ rear USB port.

Hold down the Reset Button underneath the Cronus Zen. Its screen will say ‘Zen Bootloader’ and the device should then appear in the Update Tool. Follow the on-screen instructions to update the firmware. Close the tool when finished and unplug the Cronus Zen.

Hold the two blue buttons on top of the Cronus Zen and reconnect it to the PC again to hard reset it, again using the Cronus’ rear USB port.

After 4 seconds the LEDs will flash red, green, then blue, indicating a successful hard reset, erasing all memory slots and putting your Zen back to factory defaults.

Then unplug Cronus Zen from your PC.

Open Zen Studio from the downloaded and unzipped folder and connect your ZEN to the PC using its ‘PROG’ USB Port this time, which is on the side of the Cronus.

Go to ‘Tools’ then select ‘Reset Zen Studio’ to reset all of Zen Studio’s settings back to its defaults.

When Zen Studio restarts, go to the ‘Device’ tab and make sure that both ‘PS4 Specialty’ and ‘PS Remote Play’ are ‘DISABLED’. Also check the Output Protocol is set to ‘AUTO’ and nothing else.

Step 3. Set up the Titan

Download and install some Titan Two software called ‘Gtuner IV’ from the Titan Two’s consoletuner.com website.

 Once downloaded and installed, connect your Titan Two to a PC with its USB cable, using the PROG port on the back of the Titan Two. If you are prompted to update the Firmware, follow the on-screen instructions.

 Under Device Configuration, set the ‘Output Protocol’ to ‘USB Automatic’ and make sure ‘Recall loaded memory slot between power cycles’ is ticked, which will automatically load the profile we will put on next, instead of needing to manually select it using the buttons on the Titan Two device. Then select the tick box to ‘Power Off the device with the Console’. 

We need to install a script that blocks a bug that appears if using an XAC. It will also force the necessary ‘PS4 mode’. 

Click on the Device Configuration tab, and search ‘Online Resources’ with “adaptive zen”, then drag the DRAG DROP box to a free memory slot.

Then, finally, click on the number of the memory slot you saved the profile to.

These settings will automatically save to your Titan Two.

Close Gtuner and unplug the Titan Two from your PC.

  

Step 4. Setting up equipment for the first time 

Connect the short cable that comes with the Cronus Zen to its ‘CONSOLE/PC’ USB port which is on the back of it.

Then connect a PlayStation 5 DualSense controller, to the ‘A1’ USB Port on the side of the Cronus Zen.

Use the short Titan Two USB cable to link the Titan Two OUTPUT port to the front left USB port of the Cronus Zen.

Connect your gaming controllers to the front of the Titan Two. Next, plug the short cable connected to the back of the Cronus Zen into your PlayStation 5 console.

You can turn on the PlayStation 5 by pressing the button on the front of the console or by using the PS Home button on the connected DualSense PlayStation 5 controller.

If the light on one or both of your alternative controllers is not on, you may need to manually turn the controller on.

If one or more high-powered USB devices are connected to the XAC, the Titan Two may need extra power.

Here, we are connecting a Micro USB to USB-C cable from the USB PROG port on the Titan Two, into the USB-C slot on the front of the console to give it the extra power needed for using this particular set-up.

 

Step 5. Playing after initial set-up

Connect the cable from the back of the Cronus Zen to your PlayStation 5.

Turn on the PlayStation 5 from the front of the console or using the PS Home button on the DualSense controller.

If you are using an additional cable to give extra power to the Titan Two, connect this as well.

If the light on one or both of your alternative controllers is not on, you may need to manually turn the controller on.

Turn off the console in the usual way, in the PlayStation Home menu.

Unplug the Cronus Zen from the PlayStation 5.

If you are using an additional cable to give extra power to the Titan Two, unplug this as well.