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How to Connect PS3 Controller to PC

The PlayStation 3 (PS3) controller, also known as the DualShock 3, is a beloved gaming accessory known for its ergonomic design and responsive controls. Many gamers prefer using the DualShock 3 for its familiarity and the authentic PlayStation experience it provides. If you’re interested in using your PS3 controller on a Windows PC, particularly for PS3 emulators like PCSX2 and RPCS3 for that nostalgic feeling, this comprehensive guide will walk you through the process using the DsHidMini and BthPS3 drivers.

how to connect ps3 controller to pc using dshidmini

Why Use a PS3 Controller on a PC?

Using a PS3 controller on a PC can significantly enhance your gaming experience, especially when playing on PS3 emulators. The DualShock 3 controller offers several advantages:

  1. Familiarity: For those accustomed to PlayStation gaming, the DualShock 3 provides a seamless transition with familiar controls and layout.
  2. Ergonomics: The controller’s design is comfortable for extended gaming sessions, reducing hand fatigue.
  3. Pressure-Sensitive Buttons: Unique to the DualShock 3, these buttons add an extra layer of control, enhancing gameplay in certain titles.
  4. Authentic Experience: Using a PS3 controller on emulators like PCSX2 and RPCS3 makes the experience more realistic and nostalgic.

Obsolescence of SCP Toolkit

In the past, SCP Toolkit was widely used to connect PS3 controllers to Windows PCs. However, SCP Toolkit is now obsolete due to compatibility issues and lack of updates. Instead, the DsHidMini and BthPS3 drivers are recommended for a more reliable and updated solution.

Requirements

To connect and use a PS3 controller on a Windows PC, you’ll need the following:

  • A PlayStation 3 DualShock 3 controller
  • A mini-USB cable (commonly used for PS3 controllers)
  • Bluetooth adapter (for wireless connectivity, if desired)
  • DsHidMini and BthPS3 drivers

Step 1: Install DsHidMini and BthPS3 Drivers

Download DsHidMini and BthPS3

  1. DsHidMini: Visit the DsHidMini GitHub page to download the latest release.
  2. BthPS3: Visit the BthPS3 GitHub page to download the latest release.

Install DsHidMini

  1. Extract the downloaded DsHidMini package.
  2. Run the installer and follow the on-screen instructions.
  3. After installation, connect your DualShock 3 controller to your PC using the mini-USB cable.
  4. Open Device Manager and locate your controller under “Human Interface Devices” or “Universal Serial Bus controllers.”
  5. Right-click on the controller and select “Update driver.”
  6. Choose “Browse my computer for drivers” and navigate to the extracted DsHidMini folder.
  7. Complete the installation by following the prompts.
how to connect ps3 controller to pc using dshidmini

Install BthPS3

  1. Extract the downloaded BthPS3 package.
  2. Run the installer and follow the on-screen instructions.
  3. After installation, ensure your Bluetooth adapter is connected to your PC.
  4. Open the BthPS3 configuration tool and pair your DualShock 3 controller by pressing the PS button.

A few videos about various topics and progress reports over the development cycle of the project can be found below.

Step 2: Configuring the PS3 Controller on PC

Once the drivers are installed, you may need to configure your controller for specific games or applications.

Using the DualShock 3 with Steam

  1. Open Steam and go to “Settings.”
  2. Navigate to the “Controller” section and click on “General Controller Settings.”
  3. Ensure “PlayStation Configuration Support” is checked.
  4. Your DualShock 3 controller should appear in the list of detected controllers. You can customize button mappings and preferences as needed.

Using the DualShock 3 with Other Games

For non-Steam games, you can use software like DS4Windows, which now supports DsHidMini. DS4Windows will allow you to customize the controller’s settings and mappings for different games.

Step 3: Using Pressure-Sensitive Buttons in PCSX2 and RPCS3

One of the unique features of the DualShock 3 controller is its pressure-sensitive buttons. These buttons can enhance gameplay in certain emulators, such as PCSX2 and RPCS3.

Configuring Pressure-Sensitive Buttons in PCSX2

PCSX2, a PlayStation 2 emulator, can benefit from the DualShock 3’s pressure-sensitive buttons, especially in games that support analog input.

  1. Open PCSX2 and go to “Config” > “Controllers” > “Plugin Settings.”
  2. Select “LilyPad” as the controller plugin.
  3. In the LilyPad configuration window, click on the “Pad 1” tab.
  4. Click on each button and press the corresponding button on the DualShock 3 to map it.
  5. Ensure that “DirectInput” is selected, and enable pressure-sensitive button support.
  6. Save your settings and test the controller in-game.

Configuring Pressure-Sensitive Buttons in RPCS3

RPCS3, a PlayStation 3 emulator, also supports the DualShock 3’s pressure-sensitive buttons, which can enhance gameplay in compatible titles.

  1. Open RPCS3 and go to “Configuration” > “Pads.”
  2. Select “DualShock 3” as the controller type.
  3. Ensure that the “Enable” box is checked.
  4. Map the buttons by clicking on each one and pressing the corresponding button on the DualShock 3.
  5. Ensure that pressure-sensitive button support is enabled.
  6. Save your settings and test the controller in-game.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Despite following the above steps, you might encounter some issues. Here are common problems and their solutions:

Controller Not Detected

  • Check Connections: Ensure the mini-USB cable is properly connected to both the controller and the PC.
  • Reinstall Drivers: Sometimes, reinstalling the DsHidMini and BthPS3 drivers can resolve detection issues.
  • Device Manager: Open Device Manager and check if the controller appears under “Human Interface Devices” or “Universal Serial Bus controllers.” If not, try updating the driver again.

Bluetooth Pairing Issues

  • Bluetooth Adapter: Ensure your Bluetooth adapter is working correctly and supports the necessary Bluetooth version.
  • Re-pairing: Try unpairing and re-pairing the controller by pressing the PS button.
  • Configuration Tool: Use the BthPS3 configuration tool to manage paired devices and ensure the controller is connected.

Button Mapping Issues

  • Steam Configuration: If using Steam, ensure “PlayStation Configuration Support” is enabled.
  • Game Settings: Check individual game settings to ensure the controller is recognized and buttons are mapped correctly.
  • DS4Windows: For non-Steam games, use DS4Windows to customize button mappings.

Enhancing Your Gaming Experience

Using the DualShock 3 controller on a Windows PC, especially for PS3 emulators, can greatly enhance your gaming experience. Here are some tips to get the most out of your setup:

Customize Button Layouts

Different games might benefit from customized button layouts. Use DS4Windows or Steam’s configuration tool to map buttons in a way that feels most intuitive for you.

Use Vibration Feedback

The DualShock 3’s vibration feature can add an extra layer of immersion. Ensure vibration feedback is enabled in the game settings and supported by the drivers.

Explore Advanced Settings

Both DsHidMini and BthPS3 offer advanced settings for tweaking the controller’s performance. Explore these settings to optimize the controller’s response time and button sensitivity.

Conclusion

Connecting, pairing, and using a PlayStation 3 DualShock 3 controller on a Windows PC is now easier and more reliable with the DsHidMini and BthPS3 drivers. These drivers offer better compatibility and support, ensuring you can fully utilize your controller’s features, including its pressure-sensitive buttons, in various games and emulators. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll be able to enjoy a seamless gaming experience with your favorite PS3 controller on your PC.

Whether you’re reliving nostalgic moments in PS3 emulators like RPCS3 or enhancing your gameplay with pressure-sensitive buttons in PCSX2, the DualShock 3 controller remains a versatile and valuable tool for any gamer. With the right setup, you can enjoy a more authentic and immersive gaming experience on your Windows PC.