How to Set Up a New PS3 Controller

Updated July 20, 2017

The Sony PlayStation 3 has two controllers: the Sixaxis and the Dualshock 3. The Sixaxis follows the same design of previous PlayStation controllers but adds motion control function. The Dualshock 3 is similar to the Sixaxis but adds a vibration function. Whichever you have, follow these steps to set up your new controller.

Plug in the controller to the PS3 via the USB cable.

Turn on the PS3.

Wait as the controller syncs automatically. It will be given a player number from 1 to 7, indicated by a red light on the back of the controller.

If the sync does not occur automatically, press the PS button on the controller and the pairing will occur.


Once the controller is paired with the PS3, you can unplug the USB cable and use the controller wirelessly.


When a controller is paired with a new console, any previous pairings will be erased and will need to be replaced.

Things You'll Need

  • USB cable
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About the Author

Nick Miles has been writing since 2006, with articles appearing on the sci-fi and horror website FanCrush Networks. Miles holds a Bachelor of Arts in film and electronic arts from California State University, Long Beach.