Controller support is limited on Windows PCs. While the latest generation of console controllers will work out of the box with Windows, even last-generation gamepads like the PlayStation 3’s DualShock 3 require custom drivers.
A previous version of this article detailed the use of MotioninJoy to use your Sony PS3 controller as a joystick on your Windows PC. Unfortunately, MotioninJoy was a proprietary piece of software that turned into malware over the years. Luckily, you don’t have to infect your computer, as there is an open-source alternative in ScpToolkit. Don’t use MotioninJoy.
How to Install ScpToolkit
ScpToolkit has to modify some system drivers to make the controller work, so it’s not the safest install process. Proceed with caution, follow our instructions, and don’t click anything you don’t understand.
Download the latest release of ScpToolkit from the project’s Github page, open up the setup program, and agree to the Terms and Conditions—if you read them, of course. You’ll be shown a dialog with a list of install options:
You probably don’t need the Gamepad Analyzer and Debug Info Collector, but you should install everything else.
The installation process will take a few minutes. You should take this time to find your PS3 controller and plug it in with a USB cable. After the utility is done installing the toolkit, it will ask you to run the driver installer. Click “Run,” and will show you list which should now include your controller.
Click the “Initialize All Connected Devices” button (don’t skip through with next button), let it install, and then click “Next.” This will configure the controller to be recognized as a PS3 controller, and install some drivers.
The next screen is for Bluetooth support, which you may not want because it requires a dedicated Bluetooth dongle to be “sacrificed.” Rightly so, there’s a huge “WARNING” label on this screen, because installing it to a wireless mouse dongle on accident will cause you to have a very bad time.
If you really want wireless support, you’ll need to plug in the sacrificial dongle, make sure it’s the ONLY device in the list, and then click “Initialize All Connected Devices.”
Otherwise, feel free to hit “Next” and skip this process.
The next step is installing a virtual Xbox 360 Controller driver, which will trick Windows into thinking your PS3 controller is an Xbox 360 controller. This will make it work for more games.
To install the driver, click “Install virtual Xbox 360 Controller driver” and click “Next.”
After that, ScpToolkit will want to install a Windows Service to handle communication with the controller.
Click “Install Windows Service” and click “Next.” You’re now done, and you should be able to use your PS3 controller in any game that supports Xbox 360 controllers. That’s practically every game that supports a controller, so go nuts. You can also remap the controller’s buttons to make it work in other games.