how to connect ps3 controller to steam deck

how to connect ps3 controller to steam deck

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An Easy Guide to Pairing Your PlayStation Controller

Have you ever wanted to use your favorite How to connect ps3 controller to Steam deck but weren’t sure how? Well, look no further, because in this guide I’ll walk you through the simple steps to connect your DualShock 3 wireless controller and start gaming on the go.

What You’ll Need

To pair a connected ps3 controller to a Steam deck, you’ll need:

  • A DualShock 3 wireless controller
  • A Steam Deck
  • A micro USB cable

Optionally, you may also want to purchase an inexpensive Bluetooth adapter if your Steam Deck doesn’t have built-in Bluetooth support. More on that later.

connect ps3 controller to Steam deck

The first step is to prepare your DualShock 3 controller for pairing.

1. Make sure the controller is fully charged. A low battery can cause connection issues. Charging it overnight is a good idea.

2. Press and hold the PS and Share buttons simultaneously for 3 seconds. This will put the controller into pairing mode, indicated by the flashing light.

3. Connect the controller to your Steam Deck using a micro USB cable. This provides the initial connection for setup.

Pairing via Bluetooth (If Needed)

If your Steam Deck has built-in Bluetooth, you can skip to the next section to complete the pairing. But if not, you’ll need to use a USB Bluetooth adapter:

1. Plug the Bluetooth adapter into your Steam Deck’s USB port.

2. Open the Bluetooth settings from the Quick Settings menu.

3. Select the adapter from the list of available devices.

4. Put your controller into pairing mode by pressing the PS and Share buttons again.

5. Select the controller from the list of nearby devices to pair.

That’s it! Your Bluetooth adapter is now configured and you can unplug the USB cable.

Configure and connect your ps3 controller to Steam deck

Now you’ll set up the controller settings in Steam:

1. Open Steam then go to Settings > Controller.

2. Click “General Controller Settings” then “PS3 Configuration Support”.

3. Select “Enable” to allow PS3/DualShock 3 configuration.

4. Click “Add new configuration” and select “PlayStation Controller”.

5. Test the buttons and make any custom mappings.

6. Click “OK” to save.

Your PS3 controller is now configured and ready to use in games on your Steam Deck!

Troubleshooting Connection Issues

If the initial pairing didn’t work smoothly, here are some tips to troubleshoot common problems:

Restart everything – Power cycle your Steam Deck, controller, and Bluetooth adapter to refresh connections.

Update firmware – Check for OS and controller firmware updates which may fix bugs.

Use a cable temporarily – Connect via USB first to establish communication before going wireless.

Change Bluetooth channel – Interference can occur, try changing the 2.4GHz channel if an option.

Reset pairing – Hold PS+Share for 10s to reset then repair from the beginning.

Test with other devices – Rule out any issues specific to your Steam Deck by pairing elsewhere.

If problems persist, refer to the Steam Deck support site for additional help. But these basics should solve most wireless woes.

In Summary, connect ps3 controller to the steam deck

With just a few simple steps, you can add your favorite PS3 controller to your Steam Deck’s controller collection and take your favorite games on the go. As you can see, it’s really not that difficult at all and opens up a whole new world of portable gaming flexibility. Now get out there and start playing!


Q: Can I use a PS4/5 controller instead?

A: Yes, absolutely! The pairing process is basically the same just use a DualShock 4/5 instead. Steam also supports the official PS configuration profiles.

Q: Will there be any input lag?

A: In testing, the lag is negligible for most games played wirelessly. You may want to try both and see which feels best for faster-paced titles.

Q: Is the battery life good?

A: The battery life will depend on the controller, but expect the same 3-5 hours as when used on a PS3/4. The Steam Deck also charges the controller when plugged in via USB.

Q: What games work well?

A: Many games that originally supported PlayStation controllers will work flawlessly. Action, platformers, racing, and fighting games all tend to translate well to the DualShock.

Q: Will it work while the Deck is docked?

A: Yes, absolutely. The Bluetooth connection will continue whether the Deck is docked or handheld. Just make sure to keep the controller charged!

Last Updated on 22 August 2023 by Ray Imran

Ray imran

Controller Review, founded by Ray Imran, is a premier online platform delivering comprehensive insights and unbiased reviews of gaming controllers and peripherals. Established in 2023, it has grown into a trusted resource, guiding gamers and tech enthusiasts with rigorous testing and up-to-date information about the latest gaming innovations.

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