Technology is constantly improving and adding new features. This is both great and terrible for the consumer. Sure, people get faster, more advanced pieces of hardware, but this also means that old accessories often do not work with newer products and vice-versa. Many big tech companies would even say it’s bad business to allow older accessories to work with new hardware. However, it’s not too uncommon to allow newer accessories to work with old hardware.
Can I Connect my DualShock 4 to my PlayStation 3?
You can connect a DualShock PS4 controller to a PS3 and use it to navigate menus, browse the web, run Netflix, and much more. However, not all games are compatible with the DualShock 4. Grand Theft Auto V, for example, won’t detect that a controller is connected when a PS4 controller is used with a PS3.
It’s also possible, although much more difficult, to connect the PlayStation 4’s DualShock 4 controller wirelessly to a PlayStation 3.
There are some requirements, and it can be quite a tedious process, but it is possible.
How do you Connect a PS4 Controller to a PS3
Connecting an official Sony Dualshock controller to a PlayStation 3 is as simple as connecting it with a wire.
This will provide you with full functionality for a majority of the PlayStation 3’s expansive library of games. However, it’s also possible to wirelessly connect the controller. Below are the instructions for the easiest approach to wirelessly connecting a Playstation 4 controller to your PlayStation 3.
Wirelessly Connecting a PS4 Controller To Your PS3
You’ll still need a physical micro USB cable to connect a DualShock 4 controller to a PlayStation 3 for wireless use, but once set up is complete, you can disconnect the cable and play wirelessly. First, connect the controller to the console and power on both devices.
Next, open the settings menu and go to “Accessory Settings.” Select “Manage Bluetooth Devices” and click “Register New Device.” Click on the “Start Scanning” option and immediately disconnect the DualShock 4 from the PlayStation 3.
Hold down the “PS” button near the controller’s built-in speaker and the “Share” button at the same time. When the light bar on the controller begins to flash, simply plug the controller back up.
“Wireless Controller” will appear on the screen. Click on it and disconnect the controller one final time.
Now you can use your DualShock 4 controller wirelessly with the PlayStation 3. The entire process takes some trial and error and can become quite tedious when required every time you switch the controller from PlayStation 4 to PlayStation 3.
You may notice that some games work and some do not. Unfortunately, not all games are compatible with the PlayStation 4 controller for a number of reasons, and fewer are compatible with generic controllers.
Burnout Paradise, Ni No Kuni, Grand Theft Auto V, Gran Turismo 6, Dead Space Extraction, and Fallout 3 are just a few of the games that don’t work.
Some of the games fail to detect a controller entirely, and gamers have reported that some, such as Fallout 3, do not detect certain PS button presses or joystick moves. The touchpad on your controller will almost never work.
There is no workaround for these issues. Some games simply require a PlayStation 3 controller to work. Another problem you might notice is that the vibration isn’t working. Again, there is no workaround for this issue; vibration is just disabled on the PS4 controller.
It’s just a sacrifice you’ll have to make if you want to play with your DualShock 4. The headphone port and speaker on the DualShock 4 will not work when paired with a PlayStation 3 either.
This is because the PlayStation 3 simply detects a third-party controller is being used with the console.
It doesn’t recognize the controller you’re using as an official Sony product, so it doesn’t have the same features that a DualShock 4 would have on a PlayStation 4.
Why won’t my PS4 Controller Connect to my PS3
The DualShock 4 wouldn’t work with the PlayStation 3 upon release. The PlayStation 3 requires a software update to add support for the PlayStation 4’s controller.
Update 4.60 made it possible to pair your PlayStation 3 and DualShock 4 together. Try connecting your PlayStation 3 to the internet and download and update your system if you are having problems pairing.
You could also try manually resetting the DualShock 4 if your PlayStation 3 is up to date. There is a tiny pin-sized hole right beside the left trigger on the underside of the controller.
Simply use a small object to press the button that sits at the bottom of the hole and try again. Another common problem is that the DualShock 4 is currently paired to another device. The DualShock 4 can be used with a PC and mobile phone too.
Check with any other devices, including a PlayStation 4, and ensure the controller isn’t already paired with another device.
As long as system software version 4.60 is on the PlayStation 3, you shouldn’t have any problem using your Playstation controller.
Even if you are having trouble getting the controller to pair wirelessly, you can always use the wired connection. Some people report issues getting wireless connectivity to happen even when their system is fully updated.
The DualShock 4 is quite the jump up from the older PlayStation 3 controller. Playing with a wired connection is still better than playing with the DualShock 3 for many people.
Once you experience the high-quality feel of the PlayStation 4 controller, it’s difficult to go back to the cheap-feeling DualShock 3.
Why Should I Use A PS4 Controller With A PS3?
Though a PS3 controller has many useful gaming features, a PS4 controller can be much more effective due to its touchpad and vibration capabilities.
When I use the PlayStation 4 controller to its fullest potential, I’ll often have a much more entertaining gaming experience.
In some cases, the robust controls and streamlined nature of the PS4 controller also give me a competitive advantage.
Even if you prefer the PS3 controller, it’s good to know how to connect a PS4 controller in case your PS3 controller is suddenly lost or broken.
I’ll sometimes misplace my PS3 controller or forget it at a friend’s house, so it’s good to know I can always use a PS4 controller as a backup.
Instead of wasting time to go get my PlayStation 3 controller, I’d rather just use a PlayStation 4 controller that is right within my grasp.
Which Games Work and Don’t Work with the DualShock 4?
Many popular PlayStation 3 games work perfectly with the PlayStation 4’s controller. All of the PS3-era Assassin’s Creed games, with the exception of Assassin’s Creed 1, work with the DualShock 4.
You’ll also have no problems playing any of the Arkham game series.
All three Bioshock games are also compatible. All PlayStation 1 and 2 games re-released for the PlayStation 4 work as well.
Some of the non-working games have already been listed above; however, some games just simply act strange when paired with the DualShock 4.
Driving segments are impossible in LA Noire. Only the analog sticks work with Saints Row IV.
The Jak and Daxter Collection only recognizes the start button and analog sticks. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Remaster Trilogy doesn’t work because vibration doesn’t work on the DualShock 4 and is required for lockpicking segments.
Can I Use Other Non-PS3 Controllers To Play PS3 Games?
If you prefer playing with a controller other than the PS4 controller, there may be other methods you can use to play with other controllers.
Using Sony’s PS Plus (PlayStation Plus) subscription service may allow you to play PS3 games through your computer, which means you may be able to use a non-PS3 controller connected to your computer.
Since you can connect gaming controllers other than the PS3 controller to a computer, you should be able to play PS3 games on your computer with a non-PS3 controller.
You are not just limited to other PlayStation controllers since a keyboard, mouse, and other input devices can be connected to your computer.
Using a controller other than an official PlayStation controller might be able to save you a significant amount of money.
I often buy game controllers from third-party manufacturers that offer lower-priced controllers that are just as effective as a PlayStation controller.
I find that some games can be played more intuitively with third-party controllers or input devices, so I can often gain a competitive advantage by using one of those devices instead of a PS3 or other PlayStation controller.
Follow these instructions to play PS3 games on a computer through PS Plus:
- Download and install the PS Plus PC application on your computer.
- Sign in or create a new account.
- Connect a PlayStation-compatible controller or input device to your computer.
- Sign up for a PS Plus membership plan or access your existing plan.
- Choose a PlayStation 3 game to play.
Is A PS3 Controller Worth Fixing Or Replacing?
Official PlayStation 3 game controllers can be expensive to fix or replace, so I’d recommend using a PlayStation 4 or alternate controller if you already have one.
Since a PS4 has a touchpad and other advanced features, it can be a more efficient controller than a PS3 controller for PS3 games.
If you want to save money when buying a replacement controller, I’d suggest using one of the many non-official PlayStation controllers available today.
I’ve purchased several non-official controllers online through marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay.
Major electronics and general retail stores like Best Buy and Walmart may also sell a good-quality non-official PlayStation controller.
To make sure you can get your money back if the replacement game controller doesn’t work with your PlayStation 3, you should carefully read all relevant return and exchange policies associated with your game controller purchase.
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