mobile games are becoming more and more advanced all the time,so its not wonder that a lot of people are interested in pairing controllers with their devices since Connecting a PlayStation 3 controller to an Android device is a great way to enhance your mobile gaming experience.
Certain types of games are far better when played with an actual controller or joystick, FIFA and PES are good example. Another handy reason to use a video game controller is when a device has lost touch functionality, but still powers on.
For non-rooted devices, an OTG (On-The-Go) USB cable, which roughly costs $5-$10, is all you need to start using your PlayStation 3 controller with your Android device.
And for those of you with root access, the Sixaxis Controller app for Android will allow you to use your PS3 controller wirelessly with Bluetooth.
Method 1: Use Sixaxis Enabler (No Root Required)
Set up Difficulty level:Easy
Requirement: Compatible Android phone, USB On-The-Go (OTG) adapter, PS3 controller, mini-USB cable
Using the Sixaxis Enabler app to connect your PS3 controller to your Android device is certainly the easiest method. So why don’t more people promote it?
Its extremely limited compatibility, especially with older devices, makes this method only usable with certain phones. Since the app doesn’t require rooting your device, your phone or tablet must already have the correct firmware support for PS3 controllers. The brands which most commonly work with the app include Samsung Galaxy and Nexus phones. Some LG flagships are also compatible.
Like Sixaxis Controller,As far as we know Sixaxis Enabler is also a paid app. So if you’re one of the lucky people who has a device that works with the app, Here is what you need to do.
Step 1: Open Sixaxis Enabler
The first step for this method is extremely simple—buy the app, then download and open it. The app doesn’t require you to root your device or need any special permissions.
The app itself is also extremely simple, with a minimalistic user interface. This includes a screen with instructions and a troubleshooting page. At the top of the app, you can see its status. When it says Detecting Sixaxis, please attach controller, you should do just that.
Step 2: Allow the App to Pair
Once you’ve connected your controller and switched it on, you’ll receive a prompt asking whether you want to allow the app to access your device. Simply select OK and the app will begin syncing.
If your device is compatible, the status of the app will change to Sixaxis Enabled. You can then move the controller’s joysticks and press buttons to make sure that the app registers these movements. If it works properly, lines of input code will appear as you interact with the controller.
If your device is not compatible, rooting will not fix this unless you add a custom ROM that has the proper firmware updates. In our testing, an HTC One M7 worked with Sixaxis Controller while rooted, but was not compatible with Sixaxis Enabler.
However, we’ve confirmed compatibility with the Samsung Galaxy S8. We were also able to use the app with the Galaxy S10 and Huawei P20 Pro. Once your controller is paired to your device, you can simply open a game and begin using it.
METHOD 2 Use Sixaxis Controller (Root Required)
Set Up Difficulty level: Moderate
Requirement: Rooted phone, USB On-The-Go (OTG) adapter, PS3 controller, PC, and a mini-USB cable
Step 1: Check Compatibility
Since Sixaxis Controller is a paid app, it’s recommended that you use the free Sixaxis Compatibility Checker app first to make sure it will work on your phone. In the compatibility checker, you simply need to press Start to check whether your phone is compatible.
The app will also state whether your phone is rooted or not. If your phone is not rooted, it can’t perform the check and the Sixaxis Controller app will not work on your phone.
If you’ve rooted your phone, the app will do a compatibility check. You will know whether your phone is compatible if the app is able to provide your phone’s Bluetooth address. It also shows a dialog box that confirms compatibility.
Keep this Bluetooth address on hand (you will need it later) and proceed to the next step.
Step 2: Getting the Controller Ready
Besides rooting your phone, extra setup is required for your controller too. You need to make your PS3 controller compatible with the Sixaxis app by preparing it using a PC tool. The option suggested by the app’s developers is SixaxisPairTool.
Install this tool onto your PC and run it as an administrator. There is a Windows version, as well as a macOS and Linux controller pairing tool. We will cover the Windows tool.
The simple program provides you with a small dialog box stating the Bluetooth address of your controller’s master device. It also has a space that allows you to change the master device. Type your phone’s Bluetooth address (as provided by the compatibility checker) in this box and continue. The program will then install the correct drivers needed for your controller.
You may run into issues with this portion of the pairing process. Sometimes SixaxisPairTool does not run, with an error saying that libusb0.dll is missing.
One workaround for this is to go into the folder where you installed SixaxisPairTool and enter the x86 directory. Here, rename libusb0_x86.dll to ibusb0.dll. Then copy this file, along with libusb0.sys, to the same folder where SixaxisPairTool.exe resides.
You should also access the Device Manager (right-click the Start Button) and uninstall the device named HID compliant game controller under Human Interface Devices. If you can get the program to run, but can’t install the drivers, you can use SCP Toolkit as an alternative driver installer.
Next, move onto the mobile app portion of the pairing process.
Step 3: Pair Controller Through Sixaxis Controller App
You’ll be glad that this step is relatively easier then prior ones. Make sure the app has superuser permissions on your phone before you start.
At this point, it’s as easy as pressing the Start button in the Sixaxis Controller app. The app will then do a series of checks to make sure you have the correct drivers.
By pressing the Pair Controller button, you’ll be able to check that your phone’s Bluetooth address is now the controller’s master address. If you were unable to properly pair the controller with SixaxisPairTool, the Pair Controller function will do this for you—as long as you have the correct drivers installed.
When the dialog in the app says Client 1 connected, the connection is successful. You can check to make sure everything is working by pressing buttons and moving the sticks around—the app should respond by moving its selections according to your buttons.
Now, just start up a game that allows gamepad input and have fun!