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How to use a PS3 Controller on PC – Safe and easy steps

Get that dusty old PS3 controller playing nicely with your PC

Updated: Apr 19, 2023 11:59 am
How to use a PS3 Controller on PC – Safe and easy steps

Let’s answer the question – how to use a PS3 controller on PC? Well, if you’ve been holding onto your PlayStation 3 controller, and it’s still in working order, why not make use of it? You can use the PS3 controller on PC without too much hassle.

Playing with an ‘older’ controller shouldn’t be difficult, even as new tech moves on – so we’re going to show you exactly how to use a PS3 controller on PC. Many people still have a strong preference for some of these older controllers, so it’s always worth operating systems like Windows to provide adequate backwards compatibility.

READ NOW: Can you use a controller on Hogwarts Legacy on PC?

keyboard and mouse may be the preferred input device for PC gaming, but there are others who are more comfortable with a console controller. Anyways, some genres, like racing and fighting, work better with a console controller (unless you are willing to fork over money for a special setup, like a steering wheel or fightstick).

No matter why you want to use a PS3 controller, we’ve got you covered.

In our guide to using a PS3 controller on the PC there are essentially, 2 ways to do this (the model of PS3 you own is not important):

  • Connecting Your PS3 Controller on a PC via the SCP Driver Package
  • Connecting Your PS3 Controller on a PC via SCP Toolkit

Note: If you’re looking for instructions on connecting your PS4 controller to your PC, then check this out.

Also Note: you might have heard about MotioninJoy in the past, but it’s no longer a good option due to ads (and possible viruses). More about that below.

Prerequisites to using PS3 controller on PC

What You Need:

  • Original DualShock 3 controller
  • Mini-USB cable (aka default PS3 charging cable)
  • Bluetooth dongle if you wish to connect wirelessly (optional)

Before anything else, make sure your PS3 is disconnected because if you press the PS button, it will connect with and turn on the PS3, thus not letting you connect it to your PC.

Then, connect your PS3 controller to your PC via the mini-USB cable to install the initial set of PS3 controller drivers. When the initial installation is complete, download the following (these are necessary for the SCP software to work):

Note: Most of you may already have these installed but it’s worth checking to avoid problems in the long run, especially if you aren’t sure if you have these in the first place. The installation process will tell you if you already have them installed so you can just opt-out from the installation process if needed.

Connect your PS3 controller to PC via SCP Driver Package



Get the drivers

Visit the PCSX2 thread here and download the latest and updated version of the SCP DS Driver. The folder will be in a 7-zip format so make sure you download and install a file archiver utility for Windows software like WinRAR if you don’t have one yet.




Extract the downloaded latest version and latest updated zipped folders.




Open the unzipped latest update folder, navigate your way to ScpServer\bin, and copy all the files in there.



Paste and replace

Open the unzipped latest version folder, navigate your way to ScpServer\bin, and paste all the files you just copied in there. Replace files in the destination folder if you are prompted with a warning.



Delete original files

Now that we’re set up, you can go ahead and delete the original, zipped folders: latest update and latest version folders. You can also delete the unzipped version of the latest update folder. From here out all we will be using is the latest version folder.



Open ScpServer

Open the ScpServer inside the latest version folder and copy the bin folder.



Rename folder

Navigate your way to C:\Program Files, create a folder and name it Scarlet.Crush Productions (since they made the software anyway), and paste the bin folder inside.



Gain Admin rights

Click Continue when prompted for Administrator rights.



Run as Admin

Open the pasted bin folder, right-click on ScpDriver application and run it as Administrator.



Configure and install

Make sure that the boxes beside Bluetooth Driver (for Bluetooth configuration) and Configure Service are checked before clicking on the Install button. If you want to run your PS3 controller on a PC running Windows 7 or older, then check the Force Install button. This will install drivers that are already pre-installed in Windows 8 and 10.



Detect your controller

Click on Exit when the installation is completed and open the ScpMonitor application. Your controller should be detected by default since you have it connected right from the start. You can also use your PS3 controller on Steam games as long as the game supports console controllers. This might require you to play in Steam’s “Big Picture Mode”.

Unplug and plug your controller back in if the controller isn’t detected. If it shows “Charging” instead of “Reserved”, then the controller is detected and working. Restart your PC if your controller still isn’t detected. If the Host Address shows Disconnected on the SCP DS3 Monitor software after following the steps above, this means the Bluetooth isn’t supported.

Using Bluetooth with SCP Driver Package

To connect your PS3 controller on PC (Windows 7, Windows 10, or Windows 11) wirelessly via Bluetooth, you need a Bluetooth dongle. You will also need to enable Bluetooth:



Find your folder

Open the Zadig folder inside the C:\Program Files\Scarlet.Crush Productions\bin folder and open the Zadig application.



Load preset device

Click on Device > Load Preset Device and open or double-click on Bluetooth.cfg.



Locate your dongle

Click on Options > List All Devices and locate your USB dongle from the drop-down menu. Open your Bluetooth and Other Devices settings and click on Device and printers under the Related Settings section (located at the right) to identify the USB dongle you want to connect your PS3 controller to.



Replace driver

Click on Replace Driver after choosing the USB dongle you want to use as your dedicated PS3 Bluetooth dongle from the drop-down menu.

IMPORTANT: It is recommended that you get a dedicated USB dongle for your PS3 controller because replacing the Bluetooth dongle’s driver will reconfigure it to only work with your PS3 controller and nothing else. You can technically re-download the original drivers, but going back and forth between drivers would be a huge pain and humans hate inconvenience.



Locate host address

Check that the SCP Monitor has detected a Host Address. If it is registering your controller, then it will look somewhat like ours below; otherwise, nothing.



Calibrate and connect

Unplug your controller from the cable and it should connect your PS3 controller to your Windows PC via Bluetooth.

NOTE: Sometimes it won’t detect on your first try so just plug it back in and unplug it again and this should detect the controller after a few seconds. You can tell if it’s working if Pad 1 is showing BTH instead of USB as shown in the image below, otherwise, you can head over to the Calibrating and Ensuring It’s Connected section below to manually check if it’s connected.

Connecting your PS3 controller to PC via SCP Toolkit



Download files

Download the ScpToolkit by clicking on the green Download button over here.



Open files

Open and install the ScpToolkit_Setup application you just downloaded.



Run toolkit

Click on the Run Driver Installer button after the installation.



Download drivers

Here you will download the drivers you will be using. 4a: First, you will need to choose the drivers for your specific controller, so “Install DualShock 3 driver” for the PS3 controller and the “Install DualShock 4 driver” for a PS4 controller. 4b (Bluetooth): If you’re wanting to play wirelessly via Bluetooth, then check Install Bluetooth driver and then choose the Bluetooth device you want to use as your PS3/DualShock 3 PC dedicated dongle from the drop-down menu (again, assuming you want to use your PS3 controller via Bluetooth).

IMPORTANT: It is recommended that you get a dedicated USB dongle for your PS3 controller because replacing the Bluetooth dongle’s driver will reconfigure it to only work with your PS3 controller and nothing else. You can technically re-download the original drivers, but going back and forth between drivers would be a huge pain and humans hate inconvenience.




Click on Install after confirming the devices you will be using. Keep in mind that pop-ups and audio cues may show up after the installation.



Confirm changes

Open the SCP Monitor to confirm the changes after the installation. If this looks similar to the image below, then this means you’re good to go and you should be able to use your DualShock 3 controller wired or wireless.

Calibrating and ensuring your PS3 controller is connected



View Game Controller Settings

For Windows 10: To see whether it’s really working, open your Bluetooth and Other Devices settings again and click on Device and printers under the Related Settings section.

For Windows 7: Open the control panel from the Start menu, then open Device and printers. You’ll notice that your PS3 controller is replaced with an Xbox 360 controller for Windows— that’s fine since the drivers we downloaded earlier are effectively tricking Windows into seeing the PS3 controller as an Xbox 360 controller. Right-click on it, click on Game Controller Settings, and click on Properties. If the buttons you press reflect real-time on the Properties Window, everything’s good to go.

If this reflects the buttons you press on the controller, congratulations! You can now use your PS3 controller to play games that natively support console controllers!

What about MotioninJoy?

You may have also heard about MotioninJoy, a 3rd party software that lets you connect your PS3 controller to your PC. While this was a go-to method in the past, the interface has since changed and is now loaded with spam (and possibly viruses, too!). Even the download page redirects you to ads. Because of this, we highly recommend you avoid MotioninJoy at all costs and stick with the 2 methods mentioned.

Final word

Whether or not you prefer using a console controller for gaming is totally subjective. And obviously, you’re not alone. There are a lot of competitive gamers out there who play better on a console controller than a traditional keyboard + mouse. Either way, I hope this tutorial showed you exactly how to use a PS3 controller on a PC. And if it didn’t, then don’t be afraid to let us know in the comments. Things like this can get confusing, especially if you’re generally not used to implementing these sorts of hacks yourself. And– as seen with MotioninJoy– services are constantly changing. Ask any questions and we will try to help!

24 thoughts on “How to use a PS3 Controller on PC – Safe and easy steps”

  1. definitely Taco Bell

    What should I do if it doesn’t let me download the latest update but it does let me download the latest version

  2. Leandro Saraiva

    It appears everything is functional with my controller, even the tests are working but my game, PES19, isn’t. Any thoughts? I used to play in this same pc with a ps3 controller…

  3. Cara Vergel De Dios

    what kind of bluetooth device you need to work with ps3? Also since i dont have bluetooth device should I uncheck that option and just install ps3 controller will it work wired when I play?

    • You’ll be able to use the USB cable for sure.

  4. Ilyes

    Mine shows me USB instead of BTH ..and when unplug it shows me reserved.i did install bluetooth driver and all .pls help

    • Jake

      Hi Ilyes,
      I had exactly the same thing. But it turned out that my PS3 controller had switched on my actual PS3 Console in the other room and was communicating to that. As soon as I switched the Console off and tried again (making sure I hadn’t accidently pressed the PS button on the Controller again!) everything worked fine and the SCP Monitor showed “Bluetooth 00000xxx Full” again!

      Best wishes, Jake

  5. Tom

    Thanks a lot. Second time you’ve helped me play my games on Steam on my laptop. Appreciate it!

  6. Dan

    Absolutely didn’t work at all. Keeps showing disconnected and all four lights on my PS3 controller flash for a while and then go out. This didn’t work at all. Going back to the age old method of WORKING Motioninjoy, with or without the spam. Gotta use what actually works. The people who created this have absolutely no idea what they are doing.

  7. Tio

    Mine is window 7 and it doesn’t show me any option when i right click

    • Alexxthealexx

      Go to search in setting and type ‘controller’ then click setup game controller.

  8. Cyril


  9. Alexander

    Wow it actually works

  10. Daniel

    Thank you very much.

  11. Ryann Stoltenberg

    Good article. I am going through a few of these issues as well..|

  12. Kyle

    you are the best! I was using the keyboard all this time and i had no idea what to do for analogs. method 1 worked perfect with my DS3. Thanks so much!!

  13. kosi

    hi,i followed every step mentioned above.but the monitor is still showing disconnected

  14. jkrevolt

    Many thanks for your great tutorial. After some earlier failures, I finally managed to connect my ps3 controller with your detailed instructions. Yippee!!!

  15. omri moran

    i’ve tried the first and third methods and each time i look in the scp monitor it shows “host address : disconnected”
    also i’m unsure of how to check if i have the programs you listed at the top as necessary

  16. Dovydas Staras

    Pless ned help. I instald everything everything worked, but later when i waned to use the controler again it not workek. I reisntald a tusen times but it never works is there a whay to fix it.

  17. Derrick

    This is the best site ever
    My cousin said a ps3 pad can never work on a laptop buy you helped me prove him wrong

    • Patil

      Can a @play PS3 controller work on laptop with the same steps?
      Or is this only limited to the dual shock3 sony controllers?

      • V

        i used this method for a 3rd party controller works fine

  18. benjah

    thanks it worked but can it work offline

  19. Ultima

    Greetings, I recently connected my new PS3 controller to PC. It works, my only quarrel is that the controller seems to come with deadzones on the thumbsticks and R2/L2 buttons.

    These deadzones are very extreme and I don’t know how to change them. On the SCP settings it tells me that the thumbsticks are at 0 for their deadzones, but they aren’t at all.
    If you have any information regarding this it would be greatly appreciated.

Comments are closed.

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