How to Connect a PS3 Controller to Steam on PC Easily

It's pretty easy to connect your PS3 controller to Steam on your PC. But first, you'll have to enable the PlayStation controller input in the Steam settings!

Updated on Nov 29, 2023
Fact checked by Dean Nastevski |
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How to Connect a PS3 Controller to Steam on PC Easily

How to Connect PS3 Controller With Steam Input

Although you can connect your PS3 controller to Steam directly, in today's day and age there isn't a lot of support for it. Some players have reported that the analog face assons and gyro controls don't work properly! 

But if you don't mind that lot of support, then don't worry. Here's how to connect a PS3 controller by enabling the Steam input:

  1. Open Steam and enter Big Picture Mode by clicking the monitor on the top right corner
  2. Click on the Steam Menu at the bottom left corner and select "Settings"
  3. On the right select the "Controller" tab
  4. Turn on the "Enable Steam Input for Playstation controllers" option
  5. Connect your PS3 controller by using a Mini USB cable or a Bluetooth dongle
  6. In the Steam controller settings, new options should appear at the top

Steam How to Connect and Enable PS3 Controller Input

This is basically the same thing as when you try to connect a PS4 controller to Steam which has better support. If the above one doesn't work by any chance, you can also try to turn on the "Enable Steam Input for generic controllers". 

How to Connect PS3 Controller To PC With ScpToolkit

Because of the less support of Steam for PS3 controllers, you can also download the drivers with another app called ScpToolkit. When I personally tried connecting a PS3 controller using this method, errors appeared due to having Steam's controller input enabled or other similar apps! So make sure you properly disable and uninstall those sorts of similar apps and options before doing this.

The process will make your PS3 controller behave like an Xbox controller. But it works great when it comes to playing the best Steam games, or even other games outside Steam as well.

With this method, the PS3 controller can also be connected wirelessly as a Bluetooth device. For this, you'll need to get an extra Bluetooth dongle that's going to be used only for the PS3 controller. However, for the installation process, you'll still need the Mini USB cable. Knowing that, next up you can see how to connect a PS3 controller to a PC with ScpToolkit.


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Download and Install the ScpToolkit App

First thing first you'll have to get the ScpToolkit app by pressing the "ScpToolkit_Setup.exe" file which should instantly start downloading it. Once it's downloaded, open it and go through the setup process.

When I tried downloading the ScpToolkit, at the beginning I got an error trying to download the prerequisites. This step can be skipped completely by clicking the "Finish" asson, and you shouldn't get a problem later on. But if you do, know you can always run the installer again to check the needed prerequisites and files, or even repair the installation! 


How to Download ScpToolkit For PS3 Controller Drives

After you successfully install the ScpToolkit app, the new app files can be found in the location you chose for downloading the app. I personally left the default location which is "C:\Program Files\Nefarius Software Solutions\ScpToolkit", if that helps in locating the files!


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Plug in Your PS3 Controller to Your PC

Now you'll have to take the Mini USB cable and connect one end of it to your PS3 controller and the other to your PC. Personally, I once had issues arise while trying to set this up due to a bad cable, so be positive the cable absolutely works.

Make sure to get the Bluetooth dongle plugged into your PC as well if you've got one! Even though you'll have to enable Bluetooth for this, know that you absolutely must connect the PS3 controller with a cable!


PS3 Controller and Bluetooth Dongle Connect to PC

Turn on the PS3 controller while doing this. If it causes you any errors all along the way, know that you can always try resetting your PlayStation controller!


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Open the ScpToolkit Driver Installer

From the apps you downloaded, you'll want to open and run "ScpDriverInstaller" from the ScpToolkit apps. This will launch a new window to configure the drivers for the PS3 controller. In here, make sure you turn on and check "Install Bluetooth Driver" and "Install Dualshock 3 Driver". 

On the right side, click the arrow next to "Choose Bluetooth dongles to install". Here find and check the option with your Bluetooth Dongle's name.

Underneath click the arrow next to "Choose Dualshock 3 controllers to install". Like before, find the PlayStation 3 controller here and check it. With this set, just click on "Install" in the top right corner!


ScpToolkit PS3 Controller and Bluetooth Dongle Driver Install

This process to download and install the Bluetooth driver alongside the PS3 may take a while. After they're done, you should be ready to go and play Steam games! But I'd recommend you test to see whether the controller works first.  


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Test the PS3 Controller With the ScpToolkit App

Whenever I forget to test whether something works or not, I always get hit with some kind of error! That's why now you'll want to open the "ScpMonitor" app from the ones we downloaded before. This will launch a window where you'll be able to see whether the PS3 controller is registered or not.

Here you can see if the controller is registered as a game pad. When you plug off the cable, it should get registered as a Bluetooth controller as well. Connecting another PS3 controller wirelessly can be done by first using a cable, and then plugging it off which should make your PC register it. But you need to have the Bluetooth dongle connected to your PC at all times!


ScpToolkit Test and Check PS3 Controller

And that was it for how to connect a PS3 controller to Steam on your PC. There are other ways you can do it, although using a third-party app like ScpToolkit will provide you with great results. With that app and those drivers installed, you'll be able to play games from even the best Steam alternatives!

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