The PS3 controller has had many lovers and haters over the years. Some love it due to its flexibility and six-axis functions while others shun it due to its almost unchanged shape since the era of the original PlayStation or because they believe it is hard to hold and use – but the fact remains that it is one of the best controllers available in the market. Naturally, many people want to be able to use their PS3 controller with PC games to get the advantages of the PS3 controller. As luck would have it, there is a software called MotioninJoy to do just that.
Use a PS3 controller on PC
MotioninJoy uses a custom driver format and a specific software to emulate the PS3 controller drivers on the PC. It also has some advanced functions like the ability to pair the PS3 controller with a Bluetooth dongle for wireless use and create custom profiles for the controller, making it the best choice of software to connect any PS3 controller with a PC compared to other tools out there, and best of all, MotioninJoy is free!
Things you will need to connect a PS3 controller with PC
- A PS3 controller.
- MotioninJoy software, available here
- A PC that meets the minimum requirements for MotioninJoy and administrator privileges to the system
- A USB cable or a Bluetooth dongle to connect the PS3 controller to PC
- Intermediate to high level skills on the PC.
Use a PS3 controller on PC – Getting Started
After you have downloaded the latest MotioninJoy drivers that correspond with your system – the 32-bit version for 32-bit (x86) systems and the 64-bit version for 64-bit (x64) systems. If you’re not sure what type of system you have, check out Control Panel > System, and see “System type” to find out. Also, make sure that your system meets the requirements for the drivers.
To start the installation process, extract the setup file out of the zip and execute it. If you want to specify where to install it, the first step will give you the option to do that, but using the default settings is recommended.
Users of 64-bit machines will need to restart and follow the instructions available here to disable driver enforcement or use a workaround to install the drivers. 32-bit users don’t need to worry about disabling driver signature enforcement.
Connect your PS3 controller with PC via USB mode
Connect your PS3 controller to PC using the USB cord that came with it and Windows will proceed to install its own drivers. After that is done with, your PS3 controller will be recognized in the Game Controllers or Devices and Printers sections in the Control Panel, however it will not recognize any buttons or axis movements.
Now, start up the software named DS3 Tool that the MotioninJoy setup installed. Also. make sure that your Bluetooth adapter has its drivers already installed and is fully working if you want to use your PS3 controller wirelessly, and all other Bluetooth adapters will need to be unplugged until after the installation is complete. Open DS3 Tool and then enter the Driver Manager screen.
Click the Load driver button and after a few seconds, the log below the Load button will show the results of the driver installation.
When the last green line states, “SUCCESS: Installation completed with code 0x0.. Error code:0” or if you see a driver version in the About page of the DS3 Tool, then the drivers have installed correctly, but be aware that you will have to repeat this step if you want to use a PS3 controller on a different USB port.
In the Profiles section on the main page of DS3 Tool, enable the “PlayStation 3” option to enable the PS3 controller and six-axis functions. Next, click on the Game Controller Panel button, then click Properties in the dialog box that comes up and your PS3 controller should now be in working order!
Now click on the Settings tab in the controller properties and calibrate the controller to make the analog sticks and six-axis more responsive.
Connect your PS3 controller with PC via Bluetooth
Now if you want to use a PS3 controller on PC wirelessly, the software provides you an option to pair your Bluetooth device with the PS3 controller. The MotioninJoy drivers will override the normal drivers of the Bluetooth adapter, which will make it so that only the PS3 controller can connect to it.
To get started, connect the PS3 controller to PC using USB and open the DS3 Tool. Click the pairing tab or the BluetoothPair button, then click the Pair Now button. If the “Have Paired to:00.00.00.00.00.00” MAC address changes to your Bluetooth adapter’s address, the controller is now paired. If this did not work, you are probably not using a supported Bluetooth adapter or will need to follow the instructions and install the software and drivers again.
After this, unplug the USB cord and you should feel a short rumble on the controller and one of the LEDs on the controller will turn on and remain solid. So, now whenever you want to connect your controller, just press the PS button – the LEDs will start flashing, and after a few seconds, you will feel a short rumble followed by a solidly lit single LED. To disconnect, hold the PS button until the LEDs are turned off.
Check out the compatibility list for the popular games that work with the PS3 controller on your PC, but in my experience almost all software and games work perfectly with the drivers. Also check out the FAQ on the software’s wiki to answer some of your unanswered questions. Be wary that there are many clones of the PS3 controller out there and the software’s wiki has a section on how to identify and deal with them.
Now you can play PC games using the PS3 controller on your PC!
Have you experienced the PS3 controller with PC games? What do you think of MotioninJoy? If you know of any alternative apps that can connect a PS3 controller to PC, please let us know in the comments.