How to Connect a PS3 Controller to a PC

The PS4 has taken center stage, leaving the PS3 and its controllers behind. However, there’s no need to abandon your trusty PS3 console just yet. If you’re a PC gamer, you can still make good use of your PS3 controllers. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of connecting your PS3 controller to a PC.

Part 1: Updating Windows drivers and .NET Framework

Step 1: To begin, check your currently installed drivers by launching the Command Prompt. Once open, type “driverquery” and press Enter.

Step 2: Scan the list to ensure that you have the following components installed:

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5
  • Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable Package
  • Microsoft Visual C++ 2013 Runtime
  • DirectX Runtime
  • Xbox 360 Controller driver (for Windows 7 and older versions only)

Windows 10 Install PS3 controller

Step 3: Connect your PlayStation 3 controller to your PC using a Mini USB cable. Most cables have a USB-A connector on the PC side, but you can find cables with USB-C connectors on Amazon. It’s worth noting that the Mini USB is older and larger compared to the more common Micro USB connector used for the PS4 controller, mobile devices, and more. Windows will start installing the initial drivers once you connect the cable.

Part 2: Downloading and installing ScpToolkit and drivers

Step 1: Visit the official ScpToolkit download thread and click the green link to download the latest stable release. You’ll find the installer, “ScpToolkit_Setup.exe,” and the source code packed in archives. If you’re interested in tinkering with the code, use tools like 7-Zip to extract the files.

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Step 2: Locate and launch the downloaded installer as an administrator.

Install ScpToolkit

Step 3: After installation, ScpToolkit will prompt you to run a separate driver installer. If you don’t see this prompt, search for “Scp” and select “ScpToolkit Driver Installer.” On Windows 10, it may be located at the top of the Start Menu under “Recently Added.”

ScpToolkit Driver Installer

Step 4: With the ScpToolkit Driver Installer running, ensure that all the boxes are checked, including “Force Driver Installation.”

Step 5: Click the arrow next to “Choose DualShock 3 Controllers to Install” and select your DualShock 3 controller from the drop-down menu. If you plan to use a DualShock 4 or a Bluetooth dongle for wireless play, select those options as well.

Step 6: Click “Install” when you’re ready. The necessary files will install and automatically configure. Don’t worry if you see multiple pop-up windows on your screen; that’s normal. Once you see the message “DualShock 3 USB Driver Installed,” you’re good to go.

ScpTools Install PS3 Drivers

Step 7: Click the “Exit” button to complete the installation.

Congratulations! Your DualShock 3 controller is now plug-and-play. You can connect it at any time, and it should work automatically. Keep in mind that since you’re technically using the Xbox 360 drivers to interact with the PS3 controller, games may display an Xbox control scheme. For example, when a game prompts you to “press X,” you’ll need to press the Square button instead.

Note: ScpToolkit is no longer actively developed as of January 2018. Future Windows updates may render it ineffective. However, for now, it remains a viable option.

Part 3: Creating a profile and adjusting settings

If you’re interested, you can fine-tune your PS3 controller using various applications included with ScpToolkit.

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ScpToolkit Profile Manager

Step 1: By default, the “unstable” ScpToolkit Profile Manager isn’t installed. To get this feature, run the installer again, select the tool, and “modify” your current installation. You’ll then find a desktop shortcut and ScpToolkit Profile Manager in the ScpToolkit folder on the Start Menu.

Once you’ve completed this step successfully, you can personalize button mappings and easily switch them as needed. You can also map keyboard and mouse commands.

ScpToolkit Global Configuration

Step 2: Double-click the ScpToolkit Settings Manager shortcut on your desktop or access it from the ScpToolkit folder in the Start Menu. In the Settings Manager, you can adjust thumbstick sensitivity, rumble, controller latency, LED display, and various other advanced options.

Troubleshooting for Windows 10

When troubleshooting in Windows 10, you may encounter several barriers, especially when connecting specific controllers to your PC. While Microsoft operating systems generally support Xbox accessories and Xbox Live environments, connecting older Sony hardware to modern technology is more complex.

Keep in mind that despite ScpToolkit’s ability to prevent most problems, you may still face obstacles during the installation process. Alternatively, you can allow driver installations. We highly recommend regularly backing up your data regardless of the approach you take. This way, you’ll have a copy of your data readily available for restoration if needed.

Step 1: Select “Start” or press the Windows key.

Step 2: Click on the “gear” symbol in the left side of the Start Menu to open the Settings app.

Step 3: Choose “Update and Security.”

Windows 10 Settings Update and Security

Step 4: On the left-hand side, select “Recovery” from the list.

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Step 5: Click “Restart Now” under “Advanced Startup.”

Windows 10 Recovery Advanced Startup

Step 6: Your system will restart and enter a mode that allows you to modify your firmware and startup settings, enabling you to bypass driver signature enforcement.

Step 7: A menu of options will appear. Click “Troubleshoot.”

Windows 10 Choose an Option

Step 8: Select “Advanced Options.”

Windows 10 Troubleshoot

Step 9: Choose “Startup Settings.” Your system will restart again.

Windows 10 Advanced Options

Step 10: After the final restart, you’ll see another menu of choices. Locate “Disable Driver Signature Enforcement” and press the F7 key to restart your PC.

Step 11: Once your system restarts, follow the instructions above to reinstall and configure ScpToolkit.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • You can now update your PS5 controller on PC. Here’s how.
  • Sony reverses plans to close PS3 and PS Vita digital storefronts following fan feedback.
  • The best PS1 emulators for Android and PC.
  • How to connect a game controller to your iPhone or iPad.
  • How to change your PSN name.

OnSpec Electronic, Inc.

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