How To Use a PS3 Controller on PC

How to Use a PS3 Controller in Windows 8 (and others) in Local Mode

How to use a PS3 Controller with Windows 8

If you are considering upgrading, but are wondering whether  you can use your Playstation 3 controller in Windows 8, we have the answer for you: Yes! It isn’t a simple plug-and-play solution, but by following these steps, you will be able to use your PS3 controller in Windows 8 (and all other versions of Windows prior) easily.

These drivers work in local mode, so you do not need an internet connection to use them anymore.

Before we begin, you will need to download two files:

1) MotionJoy drivers v6.0003 64 bit (32 bit)

2) Local Driver Files

The drivers were originally intended to be ad-supported, but quite often the site goes down, denying users access to their controller! The drivers we discuss will work without needing to be online, as you’re about to see. There are newer ones out there, but they are quite buggy, and do not support local mode.

1) Plug in your PS3 controller

The first step is obvious, and the way Windows 8 reacts might lead you to believe that it is simply a matter of plugging the controller in. After all, the PS3 controller shows up with the proper name in the device manager:

What happens when you plug a PS3 controller into Windows 8

As you can see, the PS3 controller shows up in Windows 8 as “PLAYSTATION 3 Controller” with a Status of “OK”. However, the controller is completely unresponsive. That’s why we need to install these custom drivers.

2) Install the MotioninJoy v6 Program

The next step is to install the MotioninJoy program that is in the first archive you downloaded. This doesn’t install drivers, but rather the app that allows you to manage your PS3 controller and drivers. Don’t run it yet!

2a) (optional) Block with Firewall

Although their site is often down, you may want to block the program from accessing the internet completely. Since we are using it in local mode, you won’t need it to have internet access anyway. To do this, start “Windows Firewall with Advanced Security”, go to “Outbound Rules” and create a new Outbound Rule.


Follow the steps, the defaults should be fine. The key is that you want to block ALL outgoing traffic. This will ensure that the program doesn’t reach out to the internet, since we don’t need it to.

3) Extract the Local Files to the Install Location

Before running the program you just installed, you must first extract the local files that are in the second archive. Extract them to the main install directory (default %Program Files%MotioninJoyds3). If extracted properly, it should look like this:

Extract the PS3 Windows drivers to the MotioninJoy DIR

NOTE: Depending on your Windows 8 configuration, you may not be able to directly extract the files into the program DIR. If you get an error, drag and drop the folder from your archive program instead, or extract it first, then copy it over. If you see this Windows 8 Destination Folder Access Denied Error box pop up, click Continue:

Windows 8 Destination Folder Access Denied Error

4) Run MotioninJoy v6

Next, you can run MotioninJoy. If you blocked it with the firewall, the first screen will simply be blank. If not, it may show an “Error 500” you first start it if their site is down or if you are offline. Otherwise, it may recommend an update, which I would not recommend doing as you will lose local mode functionality (and the newer v7 drivers are less stable than these ones) Either way, we prefer to use them in local mode, without ads, so go to the “Local” section, selected from the top menu:

PS3 Windows 8 Program - Local Mode

5) Install the Windows PS3 Controller Drivers

Next you need to install the Windows drivers for the PS3 controller. Select “Install” in the second menu bar. This is what the Install screen looks like before the drivers are installed:

PS3 Windows Driver Install - Before

Select the controller, then click “Load Driver”. The program will then install signed 64 bit drivers for you. It will look like this if it ran correctly:

PS3 Windows Driver Install - After

Also, the name of the controller gets changed in the device manager:


At this point, the controller is responsive, and works perfectly as a standard gamepad. However, there is one more step you might need to take in order to have your PS3 controller play in as many Windows games as possible.

6) Enable XBOX 360 Mode

To allow your PS3 controller to work in Windows games that only look for XBOX 360 drivers, you need to enable XBOX 360 mode. This option is found in the main MotioninJoy screen, in Local mode:

PS3 Controller in Windows must use XBOX 360 mode

And you’re done! You can test the vibration settings and other things. If you want to remove the driver, simply use the rollback function under “Install”. This will remove the drivers completely.


How to Use a Playstation 3 Controller in 64 bit Windows 7 and Vista

Update! October 2012: MotionJoy’s servers are down again, and are giving a 500 error. There is a new local file you can use to get it to work. Simply extract THIS FILE into  your program files/motionjoy/ds3 folder, and local mode will work once again.

Update! November 2, 2010: The latest version of the PS3 USB driver is digitally signed! That means you no longer have to disable signature enforcement, or anything like that. I have rewritten the instructions below (because it’s still not as simple as you’d think).

One of our more popular blog posts this year has been the guide on how to use a PS3 controller in Windows Vista. Many thousands of people found that guide to be helpful, but unfortunately 64-bit users were left in the dark. Furthermore, the driver only offered basic functionality, and many of the PS3 controller’s features were missing. This includes Bluetooth connectivity, SixAxis motion detection, and even the rumble feature of DualShock 3.

Today, there is a solution for all these problems, thanks to the folks at MotionInJoy, based in ShenZhen China, just across the border from me. They have created a driver that works on all versions of Windows, including XP, Vista, and even Windows 7. There are versions for 32-bit x86 and 64-bit x64. Their English is a little choppy, so figuring out the exact method of installing the drivers may be confusing for some. Here’s an illustrated guide on how to install Windows drivers for your Playstation 3 controller:

Download the drivers

You can download the latest version, 6.0003 from our servers here: 64-bit version, 32-bit version.

Plug in your PS3 Controller via USB

If you haven’t done this before, you will see that some basic Windows drivers are installed. This might lead you to believe that the controller will work right away, but unfortunately it won’t. You still need to complete this step before proceeding however.


Install the MotioninJoy Driver

Just run the .exe contained within the zip file, and the driver will be installed to your Program Files directory by default. From there, it will ask if you would like to create shortcuts, then offer to run the DS3 Tool.

During the installation,  you will receive this dialog box:

Obviously, you will want to “trust” it to use the driver.

Run the DS3 Tool

Unfortunately, the USB driver is no longer included in the package. This means that you will be unable to load the full driver without an internet connection. There is the ability to load the DS3 Tool locally, which we’ll get to later.

To load the USB driver,  you will need to be connected to the internet, and then run the DS3 Tool. You will be presented with the “Driver Manager” page:

(you can ignore step 3 in the software, apparently they have yet to update that part of it).

From there, simply click “Load”. The installation will take place, resulting in some new hardware added to the device manager:

At this point, the center light on your controller should not be blinking. This is a good indication that it is working. Tour controller will now be working, albeit in a limited manner (only the digital buttons and crosspad will work, with no rumble or analog controls).

Enable DualShock and Analog Controls

To run your controller to its full potential, you need to load an advanced script from within the driver software. Here is the most important part:

You need to exit out of the program after the first time, and start it again. If you do not do this, it will not detect your controller properly. It took me a while to figure this bug out 😉

Once you restart the DS3 Tool program, you will be brought to a page that looks like this:

Your controller should be listed under “Connected game controller(s):” If it isn’t, go back to the Driver Manager, and try loading the driver again. From here, simply select the Analog Gamepad 2 mode, and click “Enable”. You will immediately have full analog functionality, which can be verified in the Game Controller control panel:

MotionInJoy Local Mode (Offline Mode)

As mentioned above, there is supposed to be a local mode, for those who can’t constantly be connected to the internet. This is done by extracting this archive file into your /MotioninJoy/DS3/ directory. After that,  you can start up the DS3 Tool, and select “Local” in the top toolbar. Unfortunately, this will only allow for basic digital controls – no analog or dualshock at all. I guess this is to keep people coming back to the tool to display ads while they enable more functionality.

Update! October 2012: MotionJoy’s servers are down again, and are giving a 500 error. There is a new local file you can use to get it to work. Simply extract THIS FILE into  your program files/motionjoy/ds3 folder, and local mode will work once again.

Enable XBOX 360 Mode

For some reason, most developers have abandoned support for standard controllers, in favor of proprietary XBOX 360 drivers. If your controller works in the control panel but is not discovered by the games you play, this is almost certainly because you didn’t enable XBOX 360 mode.

To get your PS3 controller to work in most modern games, you will need to enable this. As far as I know, there are no disadvantages in doing so.


Bluetooth support is still in its infancy – they need to overwrite your Bluetooth drivers, and therefore you will only be able to connect the PS3 controller to it. Also, not very many Bluetooth dongles are supported – I wanted to test it out with the integrated controller on the Intel DP55KG motherboard, but it did not work.

If you do have a compatible device, you still need to follow the directions above anyway. After that, you will go to the Bluetooth pairing page, and follow the directions there. It should be pretty straight forward, as long as you are aware of the caveats going in.

That’s about it! You can even enable XBOX 360 controller mode, for the games that natively support that controller (some games, such as Braid, will only support the XBOX 360 gamepad).

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