How to connect a PS3 controller to your PC

Can't stand keyboard gaming on PC? Here's how to use a PS3 controller instead

Five years into a new console generation, the PlayStation 3 is all but extinct. Gamers have few reasons to break out their PS3 (unless they need an oversized paperweight). Still, if you’ve got a game-worthy PC, those old DualShock 3 controllers can be put to good use. With a few minutes and a Mini USB cable — which currently costs less than $2 on Amazon — you can sync your PlayStation 3 Controller with your PC. If that interests you, we’ve thrown together the guide below, so you can ditch the mouse and keyboard for something a bit more traditional.

Step 1: Update Drivers and .NET Framework

  1. Connect your PlayStation 3 controller to your PC via USB, and Windows should begin installing an initial set of drivers.
  2. Check your currently installed drivers by opening Command Prompt and typing in “driverquery,” and hitting Enter.
  3. Make sure you’ve got the official Xbox 360 PC driver, .NET Framework 4.0, and Visual C++ (2010 or later should work). If you’re running Windows 10, the Xbox driver should install automatically, but you may need to download it manually if you’re running an older operating system.

Step 2: Download and Install SCP Driver Package

  1. Head to the official SCP Toolkit download thread and click the green link to download the latest stable release. If you’re using an older version of Windows, you will need a tool like 7-Zip to extract the files; Windows 10 has a native decompression tool.
  2. Extract and launch the executable file — “ScToolkit_Setup.exe” — as an administrator to install the software.
  3. Once installed, you’ll be prompted to open the program, which will actually install additional drivers (it sounds more complicated than it is). If you don’t see this prompt, search for “Scp” and select ScpToolkit Driver Installer.
  4. Go ahead and run the installer, and a new window will open. Be sure all the boxes are checked, including Force driver installation.
  5. From the Choose DualShock 3 drop-down menu, find and select your DualShock 3 controller. If you also plan to use either a DualShock 4 or a Bluetooth dongle to enable wireless play, select those as well.
  6. Click Install. All the necessary files will install and be automatically configured. Once complete, your DualShock 3 will now be plug-and-play, meaning you can plug it in at any time and it should work automatically.

Note: As of January 2018, ScpToolkit is no longer in active development. Future Windows updates could make it an ineffective solution. As of now, though, it’s still viable option.

scptoolkit-driver-screen720x

Something to keep in mind: Since you’re technically using the Xbox 360 drivers to interact with the PS3 controller, games will likely display an Xbox control scheme. So when a game wants you to “press X,” you’ll want to hit the Square button instead.

Step 3: Creating a Profile

At this point, your DualShock 3 is ready to go. However, if you’re so inclined, you can fine-tune your controller through various applications included with the ScpToolkit.

scptoolkit-setting-tab-screen-720x
  1. With the Profile manager, you can create custom button mappings that you can then swap between on the fly. You can also create mapping for your keyboard and mouse as well.
  2. The Settings Manager will even allow you to fine-tune your thumbstick sensitivity, rumble, controller latency, and LED display, among a lot of other advanced settings.

Troubleshooting for Windows 10

Windows 10 can be picky with controllers. Microsoft’s operating system is, unsurprisingly, designed to work with Xbox One accessories and the Xbox Live ecosystem: It isn’t naturally suited for a Sony device, especially an outdated one. While the ScpToolkit circumvents most of the issues users may face when using the DualShock 3 on their PC, there may be errors during the installation process. Thankfully, there is a workaround to enable driver installation, should the process not go smoothly. It may be wise, however, to back up important files before proceeding, even if the procedure isn’t necessarily dangerous. You will be changing Windows startup settings, after all.

  1. Begin by pressing the Start button, or the Windows key.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Click on Update and security.
  4. Select Recovery from the list on the left.
  5. Click Advanced restart.
  6. Now, wait. Your system will restart and boot in a mode that will allow you to alter your firmware and startup settings, thus allowing you to bypass the driver signature enforcement.
  7. Select Troubleshoot from the resulting list of options.
  8. Click Advanced settings, then Startup settings. This will initiate another restart.
  9. After your system boots again, you will have another set of options to choose from. Find Disable driver signature enforcement, then press the F7 Key to reboot your PC one last time.
  10. When your PC finishes rebooting, follow the procedures outlined above to reinstall and configure Scptoolkit.
Gaming

‘Kingdom Hearts III’ out in the wild, director asks for support to stop spoilers

Kingdom Hearts III has been leaked, with several copies of the game out in the wild. The game's director, Tetsuya Nomura, responded to the situation, calling for help from gamers to stop spoilers from spreading online.
Computing

Change your mouse cursor in Windows with these quick tips

The standard mouse cursor is boring, so change it! With this guide on how to change your mouse cursor in Windows, you can choose to use one of Microsoft's pre-installed cursors or download something a bit more extravagant.
Mobile

Need to record calls on an iPhone? Check out our handy guide

Are you wondering how to record calls on your iPhone? It isn't as easy as you might think, but we'll walk you through the process of doing so with Google Voice, and identify several other apps and external voice recorders that can help.
Deals

Here are the best laptop deals for December 2018

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some holiday shopping for a special someone, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.
Computing

Fix those internet dead zones by turning an old router into a Wi-Fi repeater

Is there a Wi-Fi dead zone in your home or office? A Wi-Fi repeater can help. Don't buy a new one, though. Here is how to extend Wi-Fi range with another router you have lying around.
Gaming

The DualShock 4 is one of the best controllers ever, and you can use it with a PC

Sony's new DualShock 4 controller has become a fan favorite, and some people want to use it with a PC. Here's how to connect your DualShock 4 and start using it, either with an official adapter, or unofficial software.
Gaming

The history of Battle Royale: From mod to worldwide phenomenon

Battle royale games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds’ and Fortnite have become the biggest trend in video games. The genre is also pushing the envelope in streaming and eSports in a way that might hint at the future of the industry.
Gaming

Project Stream testers get to keep a free copy of ‘Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’

Those who participated in Google's technical test of Project Stream won't be able to access the service to play Assassin's Creed Odyssey after January 15, but they'll get to keep the game on PC anyway.
Gaming

Newest ‘Destiny 2’ raid already completed by two-person team

The latest raid in Destiny 2: Forsaken is Scourge of the Past, and a two-person team has already managed to complete it. The task took 15 hours of trial-and-error effort before the duo managed to take down the final boss.
Gaming

The 25 best SNES games

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System might be the greatest game console ever made, but what are the best titles for the system? Here are our picks for the best SNES games, including A Link to the Past and Chrono Trigger.
Deals

Need a discounted Xbox bundle by Christmas? Walmart has you covered

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have both come and gone, but you can still save some cash on a new Xbox One bundle at Walmart. Both the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X are on sale now.
Gaming

With our Steam guide, you can give the gift of gaming this holiday season

The holidays may have passed, but it's always a good time to give the gift of gaming (especially when there's a Steam sale)! Here's our quick guide on how to give a Steam game as a gift.
Gaming

‘Fortnite’ update 7.10 brings a rotating selection of modes big and small

The latest update for Fortnite introduces 14 Days of Fortnite, an event that brings back large and small battle royale modes as well as brand new ones to enjoy during the holiday season.
Gaming

New Xbox consoles are reportedly code-named ‘Anaconda’ and ‘Lockhart’

Microsoft's next-generation Xbox plans reportedly consist of two separate consoles. One, called "Lockhart," is a more affordable machine, while "Anaconda" is designed with more horsepower.