Tips & Tutorials

How to Connect PS3 DualShock 3 Controller to Android Phone or Tablet

PS3 Controller and Nexus S (Android)

There have been a couple of methods previously on connecting a PlayStation 3 (PS3) controller (Sixaxis or DualShock 3) with an Android phone or tablet to play games, but they have been very difficult and usually don’t work for most of the devices. Well, there is finally an app for this job that will let you connect your PS3 controller to your Android phone.

In the last Honeycomb 3.1 update, Google introduced several new features which also included connecting USB devices to Android tablets i.e Xbox 360 controller can be used to play games on Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. You can now play regular Android games and even operate your entire phone using your PS3 controller (Sixaxis or DualShock 3), thanks to Sixaxis Controller app.

High-end smartphones with HDMI output can make the best use of this tutorial. You can connect your PS3 controller with a PlayStation emulator on Android and play games on a big TV screen. Handheld consoles to the next level?

PlayStation 3 controller

How to Connect PS3 Sixaxis and DualShock 3 Controller to Android Phone

Before we start with the actual tutorial, there are a few things you need to know and keep in mind. Please read below.


  • Due to the non-standard protocol that the PS3 controllers use to communicate with the host, this application requires ‘root’ access.
  • You should be able to purchase apps from Android Market in your country/region.
  • This tutorial uses a paid app from the Android Market which costs $1.76. You will have to purchase it!
  • First download the “Sixaxis Compatibility Checker” app and perform the tutorial to make sure your phone is compatible before purchasing the full app.
  • An Android phone, a PS3 controller (Sixaxis or DualShock 3), mini-USB cable and a PC running Windows.

Need To Know:

  • Many HTC devices and newer Samsung phones are incompatible, due to the required bluetooth protocol not being implemented on these devices. A custom ROM such as CyanogenMod support those protocols.
  • This tutorial was performed and tested by myself on my Google Nexus S. It is running on stock ROM (with root access).


Now, let’s begin with the tutorial. Follow the steps carefully given below.

1. Download Sixaxis Controller from the Android Market. [Market Link]

Sixaxis Controller Android app

2. Now download and install SixaxisPairTool. It is a PC utility that will be used to pair the PS3 controller with your phone.

Alternatively, you can also use ‘MotionInJoy’ for Windows or use a utility called ‘sixpair’ for Linux.

3. Connect the PS3 controller to your PC with its mini-USB cable, and switch on the power with the PS button.

4. Start the SixaxisPairTool program in your PC. It will install the required drivers for the PS3 controller.

5. Turn on bluetooth on your Android phone.

6. Go to the Sixaxis Controller app in your phone and tap on the ‘Start’ button for bluetooth server to initiate.

Sixaxis Controller Android start

If you get an “Error: Missing required protocol” message, your device is not supported.

7. Now go to “Settings > Language & keyboard” in your phone and check “Sixaxis Controller” box.

Sixaxis Controller Android Enable in Settings

8. If the connection is established in Sixaxis Controller app, you should now pair your controller with your Android phone.

9. Your phone’s bluetooth address is shown at the bottom of the main Sixaxis Controller app window and will look something like 1A:3C:13:00:21:C2 – Enter this number in the “Change Master:” text box in the Sixaxis Pair Tool program in your PC and click ‘Update’.

Sixaxis Pair Tool

This process only needs to be done the first time a controller is used on a different device, so if you only use the controller on one phone, you will only need to do it once.

10. Your “Current Master” and “Change Master” values should be the same now. This means your PS3 controller and phone are paired!

11. On your phone, in the Sixaxis Controller app, tab the “Change Input Method” button and select “Sixaxis Controller”.

Sixaxis Controller Android input method

12. Unplug the PS3 controller from the mini-USB cable and the blinking red lights on the controller should stop now. Now press the PS button on the controller to switch it on.

PS3 Controller Lights

13. A single red light will stay on now and on your phone in the Sixaxis Controller app, you will see “Client connected: 1”.

Sixaxis Controller Connected

14. That’s it! The PS3 controller is now connected and works with your Android device!

PS3 Controller Red Stable Light

15. To change button functions or map different keys, go to ‘Preferences’ of the Sixaxis Controller app on your phone.

Sixaxis Controller Map Keys

You can watch the video below to see Sixaxis Controller in action with a PS3 Controller on an Android device.

If you have any queries related to the tutorial above, please let us know in the comments below and we’ll help you out with your Android phone.

About the author

Haris Nadeem

He lives on everything Android; has countless devices, apps and games to play with everyday. Currently serving as the Chief Editor at Team Android.