Figuring out how to use a PS3 controller on the PC is easy. Using a PS3 controller on the PC means you can save money on not having to buy a dedicated PC controller. While the PS3 controller will not work directly out of the box, it is possible to get it working with a few easy to use programs. Both wired and wireless versions of the PS3 controller will work on your PC, although the controller must be plugged into your PC through the USB charging device. Unfortunately, it will not work wireless.
To use a PS3 controller on your PC, you will need:
- Wired or wireless PS3 controller
- If using a wireless PS3, controller, you will need the USB charger as well.
- PS3 drivers for PC
- Xpadder or any other keypad program.
- Download and install the drivers. The PS3 controller needs its own drivers to work on a PC. Plugging the controller into the PC will not update them automatically, like many devices do. The PS3 controller drivers can be found at http://dl.qj.net/playstation-3/tools-and-utilities/sixaxis-driver-for-pc.html. Download the file and run the filter driver, which is the libusb.exe file. Move the ps3sixaxis_en.exe file onto your desktop for ease of use.
- Recognizing the controller. To get your computer to recognize the controller, plug it into the PC. From here, run the ps3sixaxis_en.exe file. You should see a bubble notification that devices are being installed. If this does not happen, press the HOME button on your PS3 controller once. The lights on top of the controller should light up and blink if it is detected.
- Programming the controller for games. Unfortunately, most programs wont recognize the PS3 controller even if the PS3 does. For this, you will need to download a program to register keyboard keys to the PS3 controller itself. The best program for this is Xpadder, which can be found at http://www.xpadder.com. The program is very easy to use; just go through the controller activation and assign keys to each button and directional pad on the PS3 controller. While this program is running, the button presses will correspond to what was pressed on the keyboard. Keep this in mind when configuring the controls in whatever game you are using the PS3 controller for.