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How To Connect A PS3 Controller To Your Android Phone Or Tablet

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

Using a PS3 Controller With Your Android Phone

You might choose to pair a PS3 controller with your Android phone because you have a spare one lying around. But because the PS3 controller comes from an older generation of hardware, it has some limitations.

While PS3 controllers do have Bluetooth functionality, they don’t seamlessly connect to other hardware like newer controllers. Both the original Sixaxis and DualShock 3 versions of the PS3 controller are specifically meant to connect to either the PS3 or the PSP Go. Connecting to other devices takes some setup and requires workarounds.

The DualShock 4, which has a wider range of Bluetooth compatibility, is only available with the PlayStation 4 console. This is why you will need to use software and cables to connect your PS3 controller to your Android smartphone or tablet.

Use Sixaxis Controller 

What you need: Rooted phone, USB On-The-Go (OTG) adapter, PS3 controller, PC, and a mini-USB cable

Sixaxis Controller is the go-to app for those looking to pair their PS3 controller and Android mobile device. In terms of pairing apps, it has the widest range of compatible devices.

If your device has a locked bootloader (such as HTC devices), you will first need to go through the process of unlocking your bootloader before you can root your phone. Once you’ve done this, you can get started with Sixaxis Controller.

Step 1: Check Compatibility

Since Sixaxis Controller is a paid app, it’s recommended that you use the free Sixaxis Compatibility Checker app first to make sure it will work on your phone. In the compatibility checker, you simply need to press Start to check whether your phone is compatible.

The app will also state whether your phone is rooted or not. If your phone is not rooted, it can’t perform the check and the Sixaxis Controller app will not work on your phone.

If you’ve rooted your phone, the app will do a compatibility check. You will know whether your phone is compatible if the app is able to provide your phone’s Bluetooth address. It also shows a dialog box that confirms compatibility.

Step 2: Getting the Controller Ready

Besides rooting your phone, an extra setup is required for your controller too. You need to make your PS3 controller compatible with the Sixaxis app by preparing it using a PC tool. The option suggested by the app’s developers is SixaxisPairTool.

Install this tool onto your PC and run it as an administrator. There is a Windows version, as well as a macOS and Linux controller pairing tool. We will cover the Windows tool.

The simple program provides you with a small dialog box stating the Bluetooth address of your controller’s master device. It also has a space that allows you to change the master device. Type your phone’s Bluetooth address (as provided by the compatibility checker) in this box and continue. The program will then install the correct drivers needed for your controller.

You may run into issues with this portion of the pairing process. Sometimes SixaxisPairTool does not run, with an error saying that libusb0.dll is missing.

One workaround for this is to go into the folder where you installed SixaxisPairTool and enter the x86 directory. Here, rename libusb0_x86.dll to ibusb0.dll. Then copy this file, along with libusb0.sys, to the same folder where SixaxisPairTool.exe resides.

Next, move onto the mobile app portion of the pairing process.

Step 3: Pair Controller Through Sixaxis Controller App

You’ll be glad that this step is relatively easier than prior ones. Make sure the app has superuser permissions on your phone before you start.

At this point, it’s as easy as pressing the Start button in the Sixaxis Controller app. The app will then do a series of checks to make sure you have the correct drivers.

By pressing the Pair Controller button, you’ll be able to check that your phone’s Bluetooth address is now the controller’s master address. If you were unable to properly pair the controller with SixaxisPairTool, the Pair Controller function will do this for you as long as you have the correct drivers installed.

When the dialog in the app says Client 1 connected, the connection is successful. You can check to make sure everything is working by pressing buttons and moving the sticks around the app should respond by moving its selections according to your buttons.

Now, just start up a game that allows gamepad input and have fun!

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