How to Connect a PS3 Controller to Your Android Phone or Tablet

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How to Connect a PS3 Controller to Your Android Phone or Tablet

Mobile games are growing more sophisticated, so it’s no surprise that many people are interested in linking controllers with their devices. The PlayStation 3 (PS3) controller is a popular choice.

However, doing so is not a simple matter of plug-and-play. In truth, there is considerable preparation and labour required in making your matching fantasies come true.

Here are two methods for connecting your PS3 controller to your Android phone or tablet, along with compatibility restrictions and other needs.

Using a PS3 Controller With Your Android Phone

You could utilize a PS3 controller to link with your Android phone if you have one hanging around. However, since the PS3 controller is based on older technology, it has several restrictions.

While PS3 controllers include Bluetooth capabilities, they do not link to other electronics as effortlessly as modern controllers. Both the original Sixaxis and DualShock 3 PS3 controllers are designed to connect to either the PS3 or the PSP Go. Connecting to additional devices involves some setup and workarounds.

The DualShock 4 is only available with the PlayStation 4 system and offers a broader range of Bluetooth compatibility. This is why connecting your PS3 controller to your Android smartphone or tablet will need the usage of software and wires.

Method 1: Use Sixaxis Controller (Root Required)

Compatibility: Most Android smartphones, although HTC and Samsung have difficulties.

Difficulty level: Moderate

A rooted phone, a USB On-The-Go (OTG) adapter, a PS3 controller, a PC, and a mini-USB cable are required.

Sixaxis Controller is the software you use if you want to connect your PS3 controller to an Android smartphone. It has the most compatible devices when it comes to pairing applications.

The software, however, needs root access. Because rooting Android removes your device’s warranty, this may be a barrier for some users. If you’re not cautious, you might damage your phone or expose it to security concerns. Fortunately, there is a wide range of tools available to assist you with securely rooting.

If your smartphone has a locked bootloader (such as HTC devices), you will first need to unlock your bootloader before you can root your phone. After that, you may get started using Sixaxis Controller.

Download: Sixaxis Controller ($2.49) [No Longer Available]

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Step 1: Check Compatibility

Because Sixaxis Controller is a premium software, it is advised that you first utilize the free Sixaxis Compatibility Checker app to ensure that it will operate on your device. To see whether your phone is compatible, just hit the Start button on the compatibility test.

The program will also tell you whether or not your phone is rooted. If your phone is not rooted, the check will fail and the Sixaxis Controller app will not function.

If you’ve rooted your phone, the app will check for compatibility. If the app can offer your phone’s Bluetooth address, you’ll know if it’s compatible. It also displays a dialog box confirming compatibility.

Continue to the following step while keeping this Bluetooth address handy (you’ll need it later).

Step 2: Getting the Controller Ready

Aside from rooting your phone, further setup is necessary for your controller. You must prepare your PS3 controller for use with the Sixaxis app by utilizing a PC utility. SixaxisPairTool is the option recommended by the app’s creators.

Install and execute this utility as an administrator on your computer. There is a Windows version, as well as a controller pairing tool for macOS and Linux. The Windows tool will be covered.

The straightforward software displays a little dialog box with the Bluetooth address of your controller’s master device. It also features a section where you may modify the master device. Continue by entering your phone’s Bluetooth address (as supplied by the compatibility tester). The application will then install the necessary controller drivers.

You may encounter difficulties at this stage of the pairing procedure. SixaxisPairTool does not always run, with an error message stating that libusb0.dll is missing.

One solution is to go to the x86 directory in the location where SixaxisPairTool was installed. Rename libusb0 x86.dll to ibusb0.dll here. Then, transfer this file and libusb0.sys to the same location as SixaxisPairTool.exe.

You should also open the Device Manager (right-click the Start Button) and delete the HID compatible gaming controller device from the Human Interface Devices category. If you can get the application to start but not the drivers to install, you may use SCP Toolkit as an alternate driver installer.

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The pairing procedure will then proceed to the mobile app.

Step 3: Pair Controller Through Sixaxis Controller App

You’ll be relieved that this step is simpler than the previous ones. Before you begin, ensure that the app has superuser rights on your phone.

It’s as simple as tapping the Start button on the Sixaxis Controller app at this point. The software will next run a number of tests to ensure that you have the proper drivers.

You may verify that your phone’s Bluetooth address is now the controller’s master address by tapping the Pair Controller button. If you were unable to pair the controller correctly using SixaxisPairTool, the Pair Controller feature will do it for you—-as long as you have the relevant drivers loaded.

The connection is successful when the app’s dialog indicates Client 1 connected. You may test everything by pushing buttons and moving the sticks around—-the software should reply by shifting its options in accordance with your buttons.

Simply launch a game that supports gamepad input and have fun!

Method 2: Use Sixaxis Enabler (No Root Required)

Compatibility: Most Samsung Galaxy phones, as well as several other Android smartphones, particularly newer variants.

Difficulty level: Easy

What you’ll need: an Android phone that supports USB On-The-Go (OTG), a PS3 controller, and a mini-USB cord.

The Sixaxis Enabler software is the simplest way to connect your PS3 controller to your Android smartphone. So why aren’t there more people promoting it?

Because of its highly restricted compatibility, particularly with older handsets, this approach is only applicable to select phones. Because the software does not need rooting, your phone or tablet must already have PS3 controller firmware compatibility. Samsung Galaxy and Nexus phones are the most widely used with the app. Some LG flagships are also supported.

Sixaxis Enabler, like Sixaxis Controller, is a commercial app. So, what should you do if you’re one of the fortunate ones that owns a gadget that works with the app?

Download: Sixaxis Enabler ($2.49)

Step 1: Open Sixaxis Enabler

The first step with this process is really straightforward—-purchase the software, then download and launch it. The software does not need root access or any other specific permissions.

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The software itself is likewise quite basic, with a very simple user interface. This contains an instruction screen and a problem page. The app’s status is shown at the top of the screen. You should connect the controller when it reads “Detecting Sixaxis.”

Step 2: Allow the App to Pair

After connecting your controller and turning it on, you’ll be asked whether you want to enable the app to access your device. Simply tap OK, and the app will start synchronizing.

If your device is compatible, the app’s status will be changed to Sixaxis Enabled. You may then manipulate the joysticks and hit buttons on the controller to ensure that the app detects these actions. Lines of input code should display when you interact with the controller if everything is working correctly.

If your smartphone is incompatible, rooting will not help until you install a custom ROM with the necessary firmware upgrades. In our tests, a rooted HTC One M7 worked with Sixaxis Controller but not with Sixaxis Enabler.

However, compatibility with the Samsung Galaxy S8 has been verified. The app was also compatible with the Galaxy S10 and Huawei P20 Pro. After you’ve linked your controller with your device, you may start playing a game with it.

Other Ways to Pair a Controller to Android

Despite the growing popularity of utilizing controllers for Android apps, there are just a few methods to connect your PS3 controller to your phone. We’ve detailed the two primary techniques available to Android users, so maybe one of them will work for you.

Newer controllers, as well as specialized Android controllers, have arrived on the market. Check out our tutorial on attaching a controller to your Android smartphone or tablet for a simpler solution.

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