PS3 – RetroPie Docs

recent versions of retropie (3.0+, 4.0+)

newer versions of retropie include the packages needed to set up a ps3 controller. connecting via usb is plug-and-play, literally just plug your controller into the pi while the emulation station is running and it should detect a gamepad to configure. connecting a ps3 controller via bluetooth requires the installation of a special ps3 controller located in the retropie settings.

Note: Installing multiple controller drivers may cause conflicting issues. If you have trouble pairing, please check if there are other drivers installed and try to remove them.

Reading: How to connect ps3 controller to raspberry pi

There are two controllers available:

  • sixaxis (since retropie 4.4.9): This is a helper service that configures the default kernel driver (hid-sony) and the bluez plugin (sixaxis). this is the recommended controller, but 3rd party support is not well tested.
  • ps3 controller: this controller is well tested and works with 3rd party controllers, but has the disadvantage of crippling the bluetooth stack, as well as require a different button mapping to be defined compared to the usb connection.

set up a ps3 controller to connect via bluetooth

Before booting the raspberry pi, make sure a compatible bluetooth adapter is connected (for the pi 3, the built-in bluetooth works perfectly from retropie 4.0+). If you have a Playstation 3 console nearby, make sure it is powered off, either unplugged or turned to the back, otherwise the PS3 controller might try to automatically pair with the console. While a separate powered USB hub is not required to set up a controller, be aware of its overall power consumption when connecting peripherals. if you’re overclocking, for example, it’ll be much safer to use a powered usb hub than to draw power from the pi itself.

after your pi boots up, you need to go into retropie setup. You can do it in two ways:

  • configuring your ps3 keyboard or controller as a usb gamepad in emulationstation (you must configure a gamepad before you can use emulationstation), navigating to the “retropie” icon on the home screen , and selecting it using whatever key you assigned “a” to on your gamepad.
  • by pressing f4 to exit emulationstation and running the retropie script from the terminal. Once you’re in the terminal, follow these instructions to run the retropie_setup.sh script.

using the retropie-setup GUI to configure the bluetooth connection of the ps3 controller (for sixaxis)

  1. Navigate to the “retropie” icon on the home screen and select it using whatever key you have assigned “a” to on your gamepad, and go to “retropie settings”.
  2. once inside the retropie configuration GUI, select [manage packages] > [driver].
  3. select the six-axis driver and then select [install from source].
    • if you have a third-party driver, you must also navigate to [settings/options] and select [enable third-party driver support]; The installation may take several minutes, so please be patient.

    Your controller should now work using the same mappings configured via usb.

    using retropie shell to configure ps3 controller bluetooth connection (for sixaxis)

    at the emulationstation splash screen, press f4 to exit emulationstation and run the retropie install script from the terminal. Once you’re in the terminal, follow these instructions to run the retropie_setup.sh script.

    While not required, it’s always a good idea to update the configure script by selecting

    after upgrading, run the retropie_setup.sh script again.

    now select manage packages > manage driver packages > six axes -> install from source. * if you also need third-party driver support, go to (manage packages > manage driver packages > sixaxis) -> settings/options -> enable third-party driver support (note that this may take several minutes to complete).

    To pair the controllers, use the bluetooth menu of retropie-setup, which can be accessed via settings/tools -> bluetooth. select register and connect to bluetooth device and follow the on-screen steps to pair your controller.

    using the retropie-setup GUI to configure the ps3 controller’s bluetooth connection (for the ps3 controller)

    1. Navigate to the “retropie” icon on the home screen and select it using whatever key you have assigned “a” to on your gamepad, and go to “retropie settings”.
    2. once inside the retropie configuration GUI, select [manage packages] > [driver].
    3. select ps3 controller driver (“ps3 driver”) and then select [install from source].
      • if you have a tpfoon ps3 driver, you need to go to [ settings /options] > [install/pair ps3 controller (clone support shanwan)]

      and now you have a working ps3 controller via bluetooth.

      Some ps3 controller clones (such as shanwan ps3 controllers) will not connect via bluetooth until physically connected and removed from a normal usb connection. If you’re having trouble pairing a controller, try connecting it via usb for several seconds, disconnecting it, and then pairing via bluetooth.

      using retropie shell to setup ps3 controller bluetooth connection (for ps3 controller)

      See also: How to Connect Canon Rebel T7 to Computer | Transfer Photos

      note: do not enable other bluetooth options as these will conflict with ps3 specific bluetooth settings (sixad)

      at the emulationstation splash screen, press f4 to exit emulationstation and run the retropie script from the terminal. Once you’re in the terminal, follow these instructions to run the retropie_setup.sh script.

      While not required, it’s always a good idea to update the configure script by selecting

      after upgrading, run the retropie_setup.sh script again.

      now select manage packages > manage driver packages > ps3 controller

      After it finishes compiling, the GUI will ask you to make sure your bluetooth dongle is connected. press enter and connect your ps3 controller.

      Once this is done, you can unplug the usb cable from the controller and press the playstation button to pair via bluetooth.

      After ps3 controller driver installation, the bluetooth connection of new controllers will be set up automatically if you connect them via usb.

      persistent bluetooth (ps3 controller only)

      In order for bluetooth pairing to persist between reboots, you must ensure that sixad is running during startup. exit emulationstation and edit rc.local.

      add sixad -start & before the line exit 0 and save (ctrl-x then y)

      manual input configuration (ps3 controller only)

      If the keys stop working in-game after switching to bluetooth or if you want to configure the inputs manually, you can do it the recommended way using the retroarch configuration UI (under settings > input) or by creating a map input manually:

      example configuration:

      for older versions of retropie

      to configure the ps3 controller we are going to follow this post

      (now funnily enough i couldn’t consistently pair with bluetooth but worked with usb but for those who manage to get it working with bluetooth let’s follow the step by step guide)

      See also: How to connect ps4 controller to pc windows 10

      first: in addition to having a bluetooth adapter :p we are going to install all the required dependencies

      now that it’s installed (and a reboot if you plugged in your dongle afterwards) run hciconfig to make sure you’re seeing your dongle, if not, a dependency couldn’t be installed or your dongle isn’t compatible with retropie sd (raspbian ) or said running operating system. you should see output with information like this:

      next we are going to pair using this tool, downloading and compiling is pretty quick and easy:

      however, sixpair must be run as root, so connect via usb and run sudo ./sixpair. if it succeeds, you should see:

      this is where the magic happens

      we are going to install a six axis manager, this is what will allow us to use the controller as an input via bluetooth and usb. (in my case i just got more than usb, you can vary!)

      The source code requires a patch to compile correctly from now on, so we’ll download and apply it

      it should now compile and install successfully

      now if we want to do it like this every time we need it on demand: we start the controller daemon like this:

      if we want it at boot time, we use this command:

      if you have any problem with the controller, you can debug it with sudo jstest /dev/input/js0

      input delays or problems connecting more than 2 players

      see here: connection problems and input delays, especially if you connect more than one bt device

      disconnect bluetooth driver

      To disconnect the controller, press and hold the ps3 button for 10 seconds.

      ghost inputs, driver sends keystrokes itself

      that’s a problem with the driver itself rather than retropie. the controller sends very short keystrokes (usually d-pad directions) that are often ignored by games, but can be noticed outside of them. even genuine new drivers may or may not suffer from this problem. the same problem has been observed in other brands like buffalo and wii. if analog input isn’t strictly necessary for you, you can try mapping one of the sticks as a d-pad and adjusting its deadzone if you still have ghost menu navigation.

      See also: Best selfie sticks for iPhone and how to use them

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