How to Connect PS3 Controller to PC

Many gamers would like to know how to connect a PS3 controller to a PC. PS3 or PlayStation 3 is one of the best consoles in the world. If you’re going to see the answer to this general question, you are in the right place. I shall share all the ins and outs of the PS3 controller with you in this article.

This post explains how to connect a PS3, DualShock 3 controller with a PC, with or without a Bluetooth dongle. So, you will play games on Steam without a mouse and keyboard. A keyboard and mouse might be the preferred input device for PC gaming, but others are easier with a console controller. Anyways, some genres– like racing and fighting– perform better with a console controller. Here is the best system to get your PS3 controller performing on PC, using an open-source tool called ScpToolkit.

How to Connect a PS3 Controller to PC?

You should know that the controller of PlayStation 3 is additionally referred to as DualShock 3 or DS3. Interestingly, there are two ways to attach your PlayStation 3 controller to your console. Yes, you can join the DS3 controller with your PS3 console via a cable or even without one. It features Bluetooth connectivity by default.

What you need:

To join a PS3 controller to a PC, you need some hardware tools and a few software. Just scroll down to see those.


Most laptops come with built-in Bluetooth connectivity. However, if your PC doesn’t have Bluetooth, you can use a Bluetooth dongle with your PC.

Grab your controller, the PC you would like to connect it to, a mini-USB cable, and we’ll walk you through the method.

  • Dualshock 3 controller
  • Mini-USB cable
  • Optional: Bluetooth dongle if you wish to connect wirelessly.

Most laptops come with built-in Bluetooth connectivity. However, if your PC doesn’t have Bluetooth, you can use a Bluetooth dongle with your PC.

Before anything, confirm your PS3 is disconnected because if you press the PS button, it’ll connect with and switch on the PS3, thus not letting you connect it to your PC. Then, attach your PS3 controller to your PC via the mini-USB cable to install the initial set of PS3 controller drivers. Once the initial installation is complete, download the below (these are necessary for the SCP software to work):



Download and install ScpToolkit and drivers:

Step 1:  At first, you have to download the software from the website and install the above four Microsoft packages. If you are on a Windows 7 PC, you’ll also get to install the Xbox 360 controller driver. On Windows 8 and 10, it’s already built-in.

Step 2: Attach your Dualshock 3 to your PC with a mini-USB cable. Now we will start making it work.

Bluetooth installation note: if you would like to use the controller wirelessly, confirm you have a Bluetooth dongle plugged in or motherboard’s Bluetooth enabled. ScpToolkit notes you would like a Bluetooth 2.0 or higher dongle supporting Enhanced Data Rate (EDR).

Step 3: Go to the website – ScpToolkit download thread or and click the green link to download the newest stable release. You will see the installer — ScpToolkit_Setup.exe — plus the source code packed in archives.

Step 4: Locate and launch the downloaded installer as an administrator.

Step 5: Once installed, ScpToolkit prompts you to run a separate driver installer. If you do not see this prompt, search for “Scp” and select ScpToolkit Driver Installer. On Windows 10, it will reside at the top of the Start Menu under Recently Added.

Step 6: With the ScpToolkit Driver Installer running, be sure all the boxes are checked, including Force Driver Installation.

Step 7: Click the boxed arrow next to the Choose DualShock 3 Controllers to Install option. On the resulting drop-down menu, find and choose your DualShock 3 controller. If you furthermore think to use either a DualShock 4 or a Bluetooth dongle to enable wireless play, select those as well.

Step 8: When you are ready, click Install. All the required files install and automatically configure. Don’t panic as you see many pop-up windows on your screen — that’s normal. When you see the Dualshock 3 USB Driver Installed message, you’re good to go.

Step 9: Click the Exit button once the installation completes.

The DualShock 3 is now plug-and-play, meaning you can attach it at any time, and it should work automatically. You have to keep in mind: Since you are technically using the Xbox 360 drivers to interact with the PS3 controller, games will perhaps display an Xbox control scheme. Once a game wants you to “press X,” you will want to hit the Square button instead.

Step 10. Now that it’s installed, you will see ScpToolkit as an icon in your system tray. See in your Start Menu for ScpToolkit Settings Manager. Here you can change some settings such as disabling rumble, adjusting analog stick dead zones, and more. Most of those settings you ought to be able to leave alone.

ScpToolkit begins with Windows by default and also plays some sound effects that you may find obnoxious. Click the Sound settings tab and untick “Enable notification sounds” to disable them.

PCSX2 emulator note: The PCSX2 settings tab permits you to patch the emulator’s LilyPad controller plugin to support the pressure-sensitive buttons. If you think to use your PS3 controller with the emulator, click Browse to navigate the PCSX2 installation folder; after that, click Enable to install the patch.

How to Use PS3 Controller With Your Computer

Once you installed the software correctly, the DualShock 3 should automatically work with the Steam client, and any modern PC game that permits gamepads—should recognize it without a hitch. You may adjust the control settings for individual games, but the computer will recognize the PS3 controller as an Xbox controller, so you should keep that in mind when changing the button mapping. When you finish playing, put off the DualShock by holding down the PS button on the controller’s center. ScpToolkit will undoubtedly be running for the DualShock 3 controller to perform on your PC. Unfortunately, it won’t register as a PlayStation controller to the few games with native DualShock 4 support, so that you will not get the correct Square/Cross/Triangle/Circle button icons by default. Some games allow you manually choose your button icons, though. Look for that in-game settings.

How to Use Wireless PS3 Controller With PC

To use the PS3 controller wirelessly, you will need a PC with built-in Bluetooth compatibility or a Bluetooth dongle plugged in. You need to attach the controller before you play wirelessly. It will automatically sync with the PC via Bluetooth if the correct drivers are installed after unplugging the controller.

If you’ve got issues with Bluetooth, it might be that your dongle is not supported. You may furthermore find help in ScpToolkit’s Github discussions. Bluetooth is often finicky, and you run into any problem that could be due to hardware, or drivers, or your particular version of Windows.


How to Connect PS3 Controller to Mac

Usage a DualShock 3 controller with a Mac is far simpler than connecting it to a PC because the required drivers are already present in OS X Snow Leopard and later. But fixing wireless connectivity requires some extra steps.

If you’ve got the newest macOS version, you can skip steps 7-10 below because the process has become more streamlined.

Step 1: If the DualShock 3 controller is paired with a PS3, first unplug the PS3 from its power source; otherwise, it may cause syncing conflicts.

Step 2: Reset the PS3 controller inserting a paperclip into the small hole under the L2 button on the rear of the DualShock 3.

Step 3: From the Apple menu on your Mac, select System Preferences > Bluetooth and turn Bluetooth on. Keep doing.

Step 4: Connect the controller to your Mac with a USB cable.

Level 5: Hold down the PS button on the controller for 1-3 seconds until you watch the red lights above the DualShock 3 flashing.

Step 6: Unplug the controller from your Mac.

Level 7: Click the + icon in the System Preferences menu, then select Bluetooth Setup Assistant.

Step 8: When prompted for an access code, enter 0000 and select Accept.

Level 9: Close the assistant and select PLAYSTATION3 Controller in the Bluetooth list in your System Preferences.

Step 10: Select the gear icon and choose Add To Favorites and Update Services.

Level 11: Disable your Mac’s Bluetooth and wait a second.

Step 12: Enable Bluetooth again and wait another few seconds. Your DualShock 3 should work now with games that support controllers.

What About MotioninJoy?

You might have also heard about MotioninJoy, third-party software that allows you to connect your PS3 controller to your PC. Even the download page redirects you to ads. Due to this, we highly recommend you avoid MotioninJoy at all costs and persist with the two methods mentioned. If you still want to use MotioninJoy, do the below simple steps.

1) Go to the MotionInJoy website, download the newest version. Then Install the program, along with any Window drivers.

2) Start the MotionInJoy program. Plugin both PS3 controllers now. You should see the “Driver Manager” tab. Select 2 at the top with the drop-down.

3) At this point, click the two checkboxes on the left-hand side, and click the “Load driver” button.

4) Now, attend the “Profiles” tab. At the top for “Connected game controller(s),” go ahead and choose each controller, and at the bottom, select the “DX-Default” Playstation 3 profile. If the controller has a motor, you can test the vibration at the bottom.

5) If you click the “Game Controller Panel,” you’ll see your PS3 controllers, and each of the buttons is working. Now let the MotionInJoy run in the background and play your controller-supported game.

Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQs):

  1. How do I pair a PS3 controller?

Ans: Here’s how to sync a PS3 controller to a PlayStation 3 console:

  1. Turn on your PlayStation 3.
  2. Connecta mini USB cable to your controller.
  3. Connectthe other side of the cable to your PS3.
  4. Push the PlayStation button in the middle of the controllerto turn it on.
  5. Wait for the lights on the controllerto stop flashing.
  6. When the lights have stopped flashing, remove the mini USB cable from the controller. The PS3 controller is now ready to use.


  1. Does the PS3 controller work on PS4?

Ans: Using a PS3 controller on a PS4 console is not officially supported by the PS4, and so the PS3 controller will not work. It is because some PS4 games require features that aren’t present on the Dualshock 3 controller.


  1. Can you play a PS3 game on a laptop?

Ans: You can “run” PS3 discs on your laptop if your laptop comes with a Blu-Ray reader; otherwise, you can buy an external Blu-Ray reader. But if you meant “play,” then yes, you can play. There are emulators like RPCS3, and ESX-PS3, which are free to download.


Ending Speech:

There are many competitive gamers out there who play better on a console controller than a traditional keyboard + mouse. Either way, I hope this article showed you exactly how to connect a PS3 controller to a PC. This post has tried to show you how to connect your PS3 controller with or without a USB cable. In the process, I have explained more than a few methods.

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