How to connect a PlayStation 3 controller to a Sony Xperia Z2 (or any compatible Xperia smartphone)

How to connect a PlayStation 3 controller to a Sony Xperia Z2 (or any compatible Xperia smartphone)

Using Sony's wireless controller for the PlayStation 3 with Android devices isn't a totally new trick. Apps enabling an Android gadget to pair with a Dualshock 3 gamepad have been around for years. These apps require root access, however, which renders them useless for a huge fraction of Android smartphone and tablet owners. Yet did you know that the Sony Xperia Z2, and a handful of other Xperia devices, for that matter, come with built-in, no-root-required PlayStation 3 controller support out of the box? Well, now you do, and once you're done reading this post, you'll know how to pair one to an Xperia device.

A USB on-the-go cable

A USB on-the-go cable

Before you reach for your PlayStation 3 controller, there's one thing we have to point out – you need a USB On-The-Go cable in order to pair the controller with an Xperia Z2 smartphone. This is a cable with a Micro USB connector on one end and a full-size, female USB port on the other. It is often used for connecting USB storage devices to Android phones and tablets, by the way. Worry not – these aren't expensive. OTG cables cost about a dollar online, in case you need to buy one. 

Note: The cable is mandatory only for pairing the controller with an Xperia smartphone. Once that has been taken care of, you can disconnect the two and continue using the controller over Bluetooth.

With that out of the way, let's get to work! Now would be a good time to grab your Mini USB cable – the one that is used for charging the PS3 controller – as you'll need it in a bit. Got it? Good. Open the Settings menu on your Sony Xperia Z2 and choose "Xperia Connectivity". One of the options there says "Dualshock 3 wireless controller" – tap it. If this is your first time opening this menu, you'll be greeted by a tutorial screen. Otherwise, choose "How to connect a controller". You may now connect the Mini USB and USB OTG cables together and use them to connect the controller with the Xperia Z2. The wizard will automatically take you to step 2, if the connection between the phone and the accessory has been established. Choosing "Next" will enable the phone's Bluetooth and allow the controller to communicate with it over the air. That's pretty much it! Hit "Finish" to exit and disconnect the cable. 

Note: Look at step 7 in the slide show in case you're having troubles reconnecting the controller to your PS3 console.

Now you can use the PS3 controller to navigate your Xperia's UI and, of course, to play some games. Not all Android games are controller-compatible, however. We can confirm that these work: Dead Trigger, Raiden Legacy, Radiant, AirAttack HD, and Zombie Gunship. Other titles have been confirmed to work as well, including GTA3: Vice City, Sonic the Hedgehog 4 episode II, Switch Galaxy, and Max Payne. Enjoy! Basically, if an Android game is said to have controller support, chances are it should play along nicely with your Dualshock 3 controller. 

How to connect a PlayStation 3 controller to a Sony Xperia Z2 (or any compatible Xperia smartphone)

Related phones

Xperia Z2
  • Display 5.2" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 20.7 MP / 2.2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Quad-core, 2300 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3200 mAh(19h 3G talk time)

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23 Comments

1. Xenaz

Posts: 144; Member since: Apr 28, 2013

Can it be used on any old/non Xperia smartphone?

6. buccob

Posts: 2944; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

not without root...

2. RuiBacelar

Posts: 153; Member since: Feb 25, 2014

With a charging dock they make a really good gaming set, trust me!

3. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

11. Sauce unregistered

Dual Shock 4 has open bluetooth. No need for wires. Just buy that.

15. vincelongman

Posts: 5579; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

+ Limelight or Kainy Then you can stream full PC games from your PC to you Android tablet http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2505510www.kainy.com/

8. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

Agee, Sony accessories looks really good.

4. av911

Posts: 206; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

Try Sixaxis Controller.

7. sum182

Posts: 229; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

Sixaxis Requires Root, but its by far the best alternative if you don't own an Xperia.

9. youssef44

Posts: 547; Member since: Apr 29, 2014

i like xperia phone because have this feature

10. androtaku

Posts: 246; Member since: Dec 12, 2013

i tried with logitech gamepad and it worked without root

12. Sauce unregistered

Simple solution: Just buy a Dual Shock 4. Best controller to date. The feel, design, durability, and quality are great, not to mention the BT capability. No need for apps, wires, etc like the DS3. Also, I prefer DS4 over any Xbox controller or silly third party smartphone gamer controller.

13. CamaroSS

Posts: 173; Member since: Jul 24, 2012

Really wanted to see an Xperia Play 2 instead of this messy business - probably won't happen soon :(.

14. Fluxman

Posts: 51; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

This is pretty old feature and has been around for awhile. My Xperia Tablet S from 2 years ago can do this.

16. BattleBrat

Posts: 1476; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

The xperia tablet S can do this?!?

17. wedhos

Posts: 12; Member since: Jun 10, 2013

Thank you for the tips, with this I can take better advantage of the PS3 controller

18. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

I need to look into this more. Would make playing emulators on my phone alot better...but who has time to carry around a controller....lol This + HDMI out is a dream tho....

19. RandomUsername

Posts: 808; Member since: Oct 29, 2013

I use a wired Xbox 360 controller on my Xperia :D

20. sabkepitaji

Posts: 9; Member since: Dec 11, 2013

Any chance it will work with Moto G? What abt xbox 360 ?

21. NicoBrun

Posts: 4; Member since: Mar 14, 2013

It worked for me on Xperia S (and Z, Z1 Compact) without root.

22. simonbuk

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 16, 2014

Hi How do you charge the controller without a ps3 please ? Thanks

23. Deandecano

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 01, 2017

Can i use black fire controller. Not a sony controllers. Because my black fire controller i dont know how to connect im my xperia m2 via bluetooth? Can you help me.. Thanks

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