It’s the quintessential PC vs. console gaming argument: the use of mouse & keyboard vs. gamepads popularly used with gaming consoles. Because I started out gaming on the SEGA MegaDrive, before getting PlayStations 1, 2 and currently 3 (PS3), and I’m a big fan of the latter. Sure, gamepads don’t offer the same precision as a mouse & keyboard, especially in first-person shooters and real-time strategy games, but I find them easier to use in most situations. So how does a PS3 DualShock Controller fare for playing your favorite titles on the PC? Let’s set it up and find out for ourselves.
Yes. I play my FPSes with a gamepad.
Being a big fan of game controllers, just as soon as I bought a laptop with a discrete, gaming-capable graphics card, I started looking around for a solution that would allow me to easily connect my PS3 DualShock 3 controller to it. After some research, I discovered MotioninJoy’s DS3Tool that comes with USB drivers for Windows to recognize your controller so you can use it to play games that support gamepads. So, let’s move on to the process of setting it up on your PC.
Go ahead and download the tool from the official website link (provided below), and install it like any other Windows application.
Once the tool has been installed, just connect your DS3 controller to your PC using the microUSB cable that came with your PS3. Windows will automatically install drivers for it, but you’ll still need to do a bit more configuration for the PC to start recognizing input from the device.
Now launch DS3Tool and click on the ‘Driver Manager’ tab. You will see a list of connected devices under ‘Hardware Location’ and ‘Hardware ID’. Just enable the checkbox next to your controller’s entry, and click ‘Load driver’.
You should see a warning from Windows, stating that it wasn’t able to verify the publisher of DS3Tool, but you go ahead and click on “Install this driver software anyway”. DS3Tool should now state that it has successfully completed installing the required drivers. We are getting closer to the real deal now.
Click on the ‘Profiles’ tab. You should see DualShock 3 controller in the Connected game controller(s) dropdown. Select ‘Xbox 360 Controller Emulator’ under ‘Select one mode:’ and finally, click the pink ‘Enable’ button at the end to get your controller working. To verify, click ‘Vibration Testing’ to see if Windows has properly detected your controller. Your controller should now vibrate, indicating it has been fully configured to work with the PC.
Although I haven’t ever felt the need to do this, but in case you come across inaccurate input, you can calibrate your controller by clicking ‘Game Controller Panel’ in DS3Tool. Next, just select the ‘MotioninJoy Virtual Game Controller’ and click ‘Properties’ button. You calibrate the controller and test all the buttons from here.
MotioninJoy’s DS3 Tool is available for free and works on both 32 and 64 bit variants of Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8. You can get it from the link below.