How To Use A PS3 Controller On a PC

How To Use A PS3 Controller On a PC

If you have been holding onto your PS3 controller, it’s time to use it correctly! You can now use the PS3 controller on a PC in just a few steps. As much fun as it is to enjoy your favorite games on a computer, the joy and ease a joystick brings is on an entirely different level. 

Genres like fighting and racing work even better with a controller, and if you wish to avoid spending on a fight stick, we recommend you go through the foolproof methods of connecting your PS3 controllers to a PC!

How to Connect PS3 Controller to PC

With your DualShock 3 Controller and your computer, you will also need the following files and a mini-USB cable:

  1. ScpToolkit
  2. Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5 
  3. Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable Package 
  4. Microsoft Visual C++ 2013 Redistributable Package
  5. Microsoft DirectX End-User Runtime Web Installer

Now follow the steps we have stated below so you can quickly get to playing your favorite games:

  • Before beginning, ensure your controller is not paired with your PS3, or syncing will be an issue. 
  • Now plug in the DualShock 3 to your PCs using the mini-USB cable. If your computer does not have Bluetooth built-in support, then you can also plug in a wireless Bluetooth dongle. 
  • Now download and run the Scp Toolkit Setup; it will automatically download other files, so make sure to follow the prompts. 
  • After the Scp Toolkit is set up, choose the big green button right above the Run Driver Installer that will pop up on the window. 
  • When the following screen pops up, ensure the boxes next to the Install Bluetooth driver and DualShock 3 driver are checked. This will be in the case where a Bluetooth dongle is plugged-in into your PC. You can uncheck the Install Bluetooth driver option if a Bluetooth dongle is not plugged in. 
  • The next step is to uncheck Install DualShock 4 driver. 
  • Select the arrow beside the Choose DualShock 3 controllers to install, and then choose your Playstation 3 controller from the drop-down menu that pops up. 
  • If you are connecting a Bluetooth dongle, make sure to select the arrow which is beside the choose Bluetooth dongles to install.
  • You can then choose your Bluetooth device from the drop-down menu. 
  • After all the above-stated steps are followed, Select Install and exit when finished, 
  • The Scp Toolkit settings manager will then appear on your system tray. Make sure to select and then add another device to it. 

How to Use PS3 Controller With Your Computer

How to Use PS3 Controller With Your Computer

After completing the installation, your DualShock 3 Controller will start working with any game supporting gamepads. You can adjust settings for individual games, but while button mapping, remember that your PC will recognize your DualShock 3 controller as your Xbox controller. 

After you are done playing the game, make sure to turn off the DualShock by holding down the PS button on the center of your controller. 

How to Use a Wireless PS3 Controller With a PC Through Bluetooth

  1. You’ll need a PC with Bluetooth built-in or a Bluetooth dongle linked up to use your PS3 controller wirelessly. 
  2. Before playing wirelessly, the controller must be plugged in. 
  3. If the correct drivers are loaded, the controller might need to sync immediately with your PC over Bluetooth after being unplugged.

How to Connect a PS3 Controller to a Mac

How to Connect a PS3 Controller to a Mac

Connecting to a PC might be tricky, but connecting a DualShock 3 controller to a Mac is simple. Mac already has the necessary drivers in OS X Snow Leopard, but the wireless setup may require additional steps. If you have the latest macOS, then you can skip the 7 to 10 steps. 

  • Before you connect the DualShock 3 controller to your Mac, ensure it isn’t paired with your PC and the PS3 is unplugged from its power source. This will help you avoid any syncing conflicts. 
  • Now reset your PS3 controller by inserting a paperclip in the little hole under the L2 button on the back of the controller. 
  • From the Apple menu on your Mac, select System Preferences > Bluetooth and then turn the Bluetooth on your Mac on. 
  • Now connect the controller to your Mac with a USB cable and hold down the PS button on your controller for a few seconds. 
  • Keep holding until you see the red lights flashing on your DualShock 3. 
  • Unplug your controller from your Mac, and then click on the + icon in the System Preferences menu. 
  • Select the Bluetooth Setup Assistant; when prompted for an access code, enter 0000 and then select the Bluetooth Setup Assistant. 
  • Now close the assistant and select the Playstation 3 Controller in the Bluetooth list in your System Preferences.
  • Now select the gear icon and then choose to Add to Favorites, and then Update Services.
  • Disable your Mac’s Bluetooth now and wait for a few seconds. 
  • Now enable Bluetooth again and wait for another second; your controller will start working with games that support controllers and DualShock. 


  1. How to use a PS3 Controller on PC?

Start by plugging your DualShock 3 into your PC using a mini-USB cable. In case of no Bluetooth support, you can plug in extra support. Now download and run the ScpToolkit Set.exe. This downloads all the other files, and you can follow the prompts for a smooth connecting experience.  

  1. Can you use a PS3 controller on a PC with a USB cable?

Yes, you can; turn on your controller and then connect it to your PC. Now plug the narrow end of the controller’s USB charging cable into the controller and the large USB cable end into your computer’s USB port. Press the PS button to turn your controller on. 

  1. How to use a PS3 controller on a PC without ScpToolkit?

Your PC cannot use a controller or see it without anything to guide it; tools like Scptoolkit tell a computer how to read a controller and then use it.  There is no other way for a DualShock 3 to connect to a PC without the toolkit. 

Bottom Line

Now you know how to pair your PS3 controllers with your PC, we have mentioned details for both PC and Mac users for a smooth connection. The process may seem extensive initially, but after following all the steps, you can have a great time playing your favorite games. But do keep in mind that the DualShock 3 controller is only compatible with games that allow the usage of controllers, and with other games, you may have to stick to playing with your PC only. 

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Abdul Wahab is a Software Engineer by profession and a Tech geek by nature. Having been associated with the tech industry for the last five years, he has covered a wide range of Tech topics and produced well-researched and engaging content. You will mostly find him reviewing tech products and writing blog posts. Binge-watching tech reviews and endlessly reading tech blogs are his favorite hobbies.