How to Recognize a PS3 Controller on a PC

By Jack Gerard

The Sony PlayStation 3 offers a high-definition gaming experience and also serves as a Blu-ray disc player. PS3 controllers use mini USB cables for charging purposes, and through these cables the controllers can also be hooked up to a PC for use as a PC controller. Though Windows will not be able to recognize a PS3 controller when it is first plugged in, the installation of PS3 controller drivers allows the controllers to be recognized and used on PCs.

Things You'll Need

  • PS3 controller mini USB charging cable
  • PC driver for PS3 controller

Step 1

Plug the mini USB charging cable into the PS3 controller, then plug the other end of the USB cable into a USB port on your computer. A message will pop up in the notification area of the Windows taskbar informing you that Windows has detected new hardware.

Step 2

Wait while Windows scans its driver files for a driver matching the new hardware. A message will alert you that no driver could be found for the hardware that was detected. Close the notification window.

Step 3

Run the driver installation program specific to your PS3 controller type (see Resources). If you aren't sure of your controller type, check the top of the controller; the word "SIXAXIS" or "DUALSHOCK 3" will be printed to specify which type of controller you have. When installation is complete, reboot the computer so the drivers will load properly.

Step 4

Press the "Playstation" button located in the center of the PS3 controller to activate it. The controller will attempt to connect to your PC, and the driver software you installed before rebooting will recognize the controller.

Step 5

Open the Start menu by pressing the "Windows" key on your keyboard or clicking the "Start" button on the Taskbar. Select the "Control Panel" option to open the Windows Control Panel, then navigate to the "Joysticks" option. Choose the PS3 controller from the detected controllers and set it up according to your preferences.