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How to use a PS3 controller on Windows 10

Game controllers may seem like ordinary peripherals that you can attach to a console and a PC alike but they’re not as simple as a keyboard and mouse. A keyboard and mouse will work with most computers, regardless of make and model. The same does not hold true for game controllers.

PS controller

PS3 Controller on Windows 10

PS controllers are popular if you own a PlayStation. Ideally, if you game on a Windows 10 PC, you should use an Xbox controller with it but you can also use a PlayStation controller. 

PlayStation controllers, much like Xbox controllers, tend to get hardware improvements over time. new models are released with the PS5 controller being the  newest at the moment. The PS3 is fairly old (introduced in 2006) and predates Windows 10. You need drivers to get the controller to work and you will need to use third-party drivers.

Install PS3 drivers

ScpToolkit is a third-party app that will install drives for unofficial/third-party PlayStation controllers on Windows 10 which is what the PS3 controller basically amounts to since no official drivers for it are available for Windows 10.

Set up PS3 controller for installation

  • If you have a wired PS3 controller, or you want to use it as a wired controller, connect the PS3 controller to your computer via the USB data cable.
  • If you want to use a wireless PS3 controller, connect its Bluetooth dongle to your system.

Install ScpToolkit

  1. Download ScpToolkit from SourceForge.
  2. Run the app.
  3. Accept the terms of use, and select where you want to install the app.
  4. Do not change the default presets of the app however, if you plan on using the controller via Bluetooth connection, make sure the ScpToolkit Bluetooth Pair Utility option is enabled.
  5. Click Install.

  1. When prompted, click the Run driver installer button.
  2. Choose the drivers you want to install. For a PS3 controller, you should check Install Dualshock 3 driver and for a Bluetooth connection, and click Next.
  3. Open the Choose controller dropdown and select your controller from the list.
  4. Click Next and allow the drivers to install.
  5. Once installation is complete, you can use the PS3 controller with supported games.

Disable Driver signature enforcement

ScpToolkit normally works fine as is but if driver installation fails, you may need to disable driver signature enforcement on Windows 10. 

  1. Open the Start Menu and click the power button.
  2. Hold down the Shift key and click Restart in the power menu.
  3. Go to Troubleshoot>Advanced options>Startup Settings.
  4. Select the Disable driver signature enforcement option and tap the F7 key to boot to the desktop.
  5. Try installing the driver again with the ScpToolkit.

PS3 controller and Steam

If you play games on Steam, the process is going to be much easier. Steam has native support for it. 

  1. Connect the controller to your system.
  2. Open Steam.
  3. Steam will automatically switch to Big picture mode and if it doesn’t, switch to it manually.
  4. Go to Controller Settings menu.
  5. Set up the PS3 controller.

Note: some enhanced features of the controller may not work but you will be able to game comfortably.

Conclusion

If you have a PS3 controller lying around, it’s worth investing a little time to get it working. If you’re looking to buy a new controller, and you plan on using it with a Windows 10 PC, it’s best to buy an Xbox controller. If you have your heart set on a PlayStation controller, get either the PS5 or the PS4 controller so that it is easier to set up.

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