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What does It mean when your PS3 controller blinks slowly?

If the lights on a PS3 controller begin to blink slowly, it invariably indicates that the device is in the process of recharging. However, slow blinking lights on a PS3 controller can sometimes mean that there is something wrong with the product. The good news is that there are ways of finding out what that problem might be and of rectifying the issue by following the simple steps outlined below.

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How to solve the mystery behind blinking lights on a PS3 controller

  1. Check first whether or not the PS3 controller is recharging. If the PS3 controller is attached to the PlayStation 3 console via a USB cable and the lights are blinking slowly, it is probably just recharging. Disconnect the USB and wait a few seconds. If the lights stop blinking, there’s nothing to worry about. The PS3 controller was simply in the middle of a recharge. If the lights continue to blink slowly, move on to step two.

  2. Use a toothpick or something similar to press the small reset button, located on the back of the controller. Wait at least a minute and give the controller a chance to finish the reset process. If the lights continue to blink slowly, move on to step three.

  3. Try syncing the PS3 controller with the PlayStation 3 console. Begin by turning off both devices. Once the power is off, connect the controller to the PlayStation 3 console using the USB cable and press the button located in the middle of the controller. This will turn the controller back on. Be sure to then switch the PlayStation 3 back on as the controller is powering up. This will automatically generate a sync between the console and the controller. If the lights stop blinking, the problem has been rectified. If the lights on the PS3 controller continue to blink slowly, the problem doesn’t lie with the syncing of the devices, so move on to step four.

  4. Try a simple reboot of the whole system by first powering down both the PS3 controller and the PlayStation 3 console. Once both devices have been properly switched off, first reboot the console by holding down the power button until the device makes three clear bleeping sounds. The PlayStation’s power button is located on the front of the device. Wait for the console to fully finish rebooting and then reconnect the PS3 controller to the console using the USB cable. If the lights on the controller are still blinking slowly, go back to step two and try pairing the devices one more time (now that the PlayStation 3 has been completely rebooted). If this second pairing attempt fails and the lights on the controller continue to blink slowly, continue to step five.

  5. Contact the manufacturer. It might be time to see about getting a replacement. The controller could either be defective or so old that it needs replacing.

  6. Tip

    1. Don’t forget to check whether or not there is a valid warranty linked to the PS3 controller in question. Depending on the age of the device, it might be possible to have the controller replaced for free by the manufacturers.

    2. Don’t overlook the possibility of a defective battery. Contact the manufacturers and find out if there is any way of checking whether or not it is the controller’s battery which needs replacing before attempting to replace the controller itself in any way.

    3. If the lights are blinking because the PS3 controller is charging, the blinking lights will transform into a solid single light once the device is fully charged.

    4. Bear in mind that the PS3 controller needs lots of time before it is fully recharged, so it is best to leave it charging overnight.


    When charging the PS3 controller overnight, ensure that your plug sockets are safe and that you are sending a safe number of volts into the device. Electrical fires can be very difficult to control once they begin. Be aware of any issues which might cause the controller to overheat.

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Things You'll Need

  • PlayStation 3
  • PS3 controller
  • USB cable

About the Author

Tracey Chandler

Tracey Chandler specializes in travel articles and features for female-interest publications online. She reviews Latin American cinema, creates press releases for an online marketing company and manages her own blog "The Jolly English Pirate." She holds a B.A. in performing arts at Middlesex University.

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