My PS3 controller won't work

Written by sasha maggio Google
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My PS3 controller won't work
Video games can become a source of frustration when the controller won't work. (joy of video games image by Lisa Turay from

Troubleshooting the PlayStation 3 (PS3) Bluetooth controllers can be frustrating when the cause of the problem isn't clear. Sometimes, it is as simple as resetting the controller or console. Other times, it involves a weak charge if the controller was not plugged in properly when the user thought it was charging. Another possibility is a faulty device, which is more likely with imitation controllers that are not made by Sony, or the approved Logitech controllers.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Start the PlayStation 3 game console and allow it to start up. If the controller does not sync automatically, try pressing the PS button in the centre of the controller, between the left and right analogues. The PS3 is able to pair up to seven controllers at one time. Each time the system is turned on, the number "1" will be lit up on the controller if only one controller is paired. If two controllers are paired, then one controller will have the number "1" lit up, the other will have "2" lit up. For numbers five through seven, two numbers will be lit up and the numbers added together will represent that controller's designated pair number.

  2. 2

    Try resetting the PlayStation 3 game console if the controller still will not pair properly or work. This is done turning off the system through the menu screen, then switching the system off with the button on the back of the game console. Give it a few seconds before turning it back on, and try again to pair the controllers.

  3. 3

    Using the tip of an unfolded paper clip, or other very fine tip, press the reset button on the back of the PlayStation 3 controller to reset the controller. This reset button is inside a tiny hole on the back or underside of the controller, to the right of the mini-USB port's position. Once this button has been pressed and the controller reset, try again to pair it with the PS3 console.

  4. 4

    Charge the controllers completely to ensure that the issues are not a battery or power problem. Ensure the mini-USB is plugged in properly and the light indicates that the controller is charging. Check on it several times while charging to ensure the USB has not become loose and the controller continues to charge to full power. Then try the above steps again. If this still does not work, it is best to contact Sony, or the store where the controller was purchased. The device could simply be faulty, or it has gone bad and needs replacing.

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