How To Charge Your PS3 Controller

charge PS3 controller
charge PS3 controller

Your PlayStation 3 controller, otherwise known as the DualShock 3, may feel very similar to the previous PlayStation controller models, but there are a few differences you’ll want to keep in mind. This is particularly true with charging the controller.

Released in most major markets in November of 2006, the PlayStation 3 had lofty ambitions. Fair enough, as the previous 2 consoles from Sony had dominated the market and changed the industry forever.  While the PS3 ultimately failed to sell as many units as its predecessors, it nonetheless moved a very impressive 87.4 million systems. Grand Theft Auto IV, Arkham City, LittleBigPlanet, and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves were just a few of the heavyweight titles released for the system in its lifespan.

But what about taking care of the console? There’s not much to it, including the matter of how to charge your PS3 controller. Let’s break down everything you need to keep in mind, as well as any questions you might have.


PlayStation 3 Controller Charging Guide

The PS3 controller runs on a lithium-ion battery that’s built into the controller itself. When the controller is fully charged, it should give you approximately 20 hours of gameplay. It almost goes without saying that when you’re not using the controller, you should have it on charge by using a Mini USB cable, which is defined by a USB 2.0 Mini-B 5-pin for one and a USB 2.0 Type A on the other.

Here’s what they look like:

Mini USB cable
Mini USB cable

A mini USB cable should come with your controller/console but can also be easily found on places like Amazon for cheap.

Let’s cover the basic steps of how to charge your PS3 controller with these steps:

  • Start by pressing the power button to switch on your console.
  • With your USB cable in hand, plug the smaller end into your PS3 controller, before plugging the other USB plug on the other end of the cable into your system.
  • Holding down the power button on your controller, wait for a red light to show up on the system.
  • At this point, you should see a light blinking on the controller. This means the controller is now charging.
  • Charging the controller will take approximately one hour. When the controller is fully charged, it will stop flashing, and turn either a solid red or solid white.
  • Some PS3 controllers do not have a solid color when fully charged. The blinking light simply stops.

With any luck, these steps should help you to charge your DualShock 3 via your PS3.


Other Ways To Charge Your PS3 Controller

If for some reason you don’t have your PlayStation 3, you’re not out of luck. Your mini USB cable will charge the controller without issue. You can charge the controller with a Windows or Mac PC. There are also docking stations, wall outlets, and other ways to charge your PS3 controller easily. Keep in mind however that if you have one of the earliest models of the PlayStation 3, the controller will only charge with Sony products.

Here’s a quick overview of alternative ways to charge your PS3 controller, as long as you have a mini USB cable to ahnd:

  • Wall Outlets: After you plug the outlet into the wall and one end of the cable into the charger itself, plug the other end into the controller. The same blinking light should appear, letting you know the controller is charging. A USB port can be useful to this end, even giving you the chance to charge several controllers (or whatever) simultaneously.
  • AC Adapter: Featuring two cables and the adapter itself, this is a simple way to charge a PS3 controller but remember that older models may not work with such a device. One cable is then plugged into the adapter and wall. The other cord is responsible for connecting your adapter to your controller. Everything is charged with a wall outlet.
  • Docking Station: Both wired and wireless PS3 controller docking stations are available. Regardless of the option you choose, these docking stations are extremely easy to use. Simply insert your controller into your dock, ensuring that the ports for charging are lined up properly.
  • Your PC: Regardless of the specific computer you own, it really should just come down to plugging one end of the mini USB cable into the computer. The other end will then go into your controller. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.

That covers the basics of charging your PS3 controller. As you can see, there are several straightforward options available to you.


When Is A Blinking Controller A Bad Thing?

As we mentioned before, a blinking controller while plugged into a charging source is a normal occurrence. When the controller has finished charging, it will either turn a solid color of white or red, or it will stop blinking altogether.

But if the light starts blinking as soon as the PlayStation 3 is switched on, something might be the matter. The connection shared between the controller and the console might be lost or fading. The PS3 itself may be having difficulty in recognizing that there’s a controller in the first place. Hook it up to the system as you normally would, wait a few moments, and then unplug it.

If you’re experiencing four red blinking lights while attempting a charge, have the connection reset. The controller or battery may need replacement at this point.


Why Is My PS3 Controller Not Charging?

If the controller is not keeping a charge as it should, refusing to fully charge, or isn’t charging at all, there are a few potential culprits. After you’ve waited at least an hour for the controller to fully charge, remove the battery, wait for a few minutes, and then put the batteries back in. You can also reset the controller using the small button on the back of the controller. First turn off the PS3, making sure the mini USB cable is plugged into both the console and the controller.

If the controller isn’t charging at all, the charging cable might be damaged. Replace the cable and check again.

You may also simply need to replace the battery or the controller itself. It’s a good thing then that the PlayStation 3 remains as popular as it does and you should be able to secure either of these items easily enough.

READ NEXT: 4 Best PS2 Wireless Controllers

Some of the coverage you find on Cultured Vultures contains affiliate links, which provide us with small commissions based on purchases made from visiting our site.