How to connect PS4 joystick to PS3

You have been assaulted by nostalgia and the desire to replay the PlayStation 3 with one of your favorite games. Unfortunately, however, it’s been a long time since you last used the console and, now, you can’t find the related controllers anymore (by the way, you don’t even remember if they still worked fine or not). You have therefore thought of making up for this lack by connecting the controller of your PS4 to the PS3, but you do not know if this is feasible and how.

That’s the way it is, right? Well, if you’ve had this idea I have great news for you: as unexpected as this feature is, it is possible to connect the PS4 pad to the PS3! You got it right: if you have a DualShock 4, you can connect it to your PS3 either wired or wirelessly. Sure, you won’t be able to take advantage of the touchpad or other advanced features typical of PS4, but you will be able to replay your PS3 without buying new controllers.

That said, if you need a hand in understanding how to connect the PS4 joystick to the PS3 , I’m here to explain how to proceed in a few simple steps. So what are you waiting for to get back into the game with the old glories of the legendary PlayStation 3? You will see, everything you need is most likely already at your disposal. All you have to do is take a few minutes of free time and follow my instructions. I wish you good reading and, above all, have fun!


  • Preliminary information
  • How to connect the PS4 controller to the PS3
    • Connection via USB
    • Wireless connection
  • In case of doubts or problems

Preliminary information

I will start immediately by giving you some information that I consider fundamental to complete the operation of connecting the PS4 pad to the PS3. First of all, it will seem strange, but it is possible to connect the controller of a newer console (the PS4) to an older one (the PS3), but not vice versa, at least following the official connection methods.

The DualShock 4 is in fact compatible via USB cable with PS3, practically since the release of the PlayStation 4. To proceed in this sense, therefore, all you need is a DualShock 4 and its USB charging cable .

I guess you already have the cable in question with you, but just in case you don’t, you need to know that it’s a common microUSB cable (same as many smartphones use). If you need one, you can find it in electronics stores and even online, on stores like Amazon. Same goes for the DualShock 4.


Micro USB Cable [1M – 2Pieces] Rampow Data Transfer and Charging Ra …

See offer on Amazon


PlayStation 4 – Dualshock 4 Wireless Controller V2, Black

See offer on Amazon


PlayStation 4: DualShock 4, Blue (Midnight blue) – Special Edition

See offer on Amazon


PlayStation 4 – Dualshock 4 Wireless Controller V2, Red (Magma Red)

See offer on Amazon


In addition, I inform you that once you have updated your PS3 to the latest version of the operating system available, it becomes perfectly compatible with the connection via Bluetooth of the PS4 pad. Exactly, as I’ll explain later in this guide , you can use the DualShock 4 wirelessly to your PS3.

In this regard, in the dedicated chapter I will explain how to update the console, but if more generally your PlayStation 3 no longer seems in great shape – perhaps because it does not have enough free space or freezes from time to time -, I suggest you proceed with a reset , before any other update operation.

Finally, remember that there is a remote possibility that games are not fully compatible with the DualShock 4, and some features, such as vibration, motion sensors and the use of the PlayStation button, are not available on PS3.

In addition to this, I would like to point out that the diagonal pressure of the front directional keys is not recognized and, as already mentioned above, obviously not even the use of the touchpad is available on PS3.

How to connect the PS4 controller to the PS3

After the necessary premises, everything is ready to start the actual procedure and learn how to connect the PS4 controller to the PS3 . All you have to do is continue with this reading and choose between the two linking methods available.

Connection via USB

I’ll start by talking about the simplest and most direct method, connecting the DualShock 4 controller via USB to the PS3.

First of all, make sure you are using the pad’s charging cable by plugging it into one of the USB sockets on your PS3.

The USB inputs of the PlayStation 3 are located in the lower front part, they may vary in number (depending on the model of the console in use) but their function is the same.

With the pad connected, proceed to turn on the console, using the appropriate button, and once in the main menu, you can immediately start using the PS4 controller.

What did I tell you, nothing simpler! In fact, you don’t even have to press the PlayStation button for the controller to be recognized.

At this point, just start playing at the game of your choice and enjoy it all with your PS4 controller

Wireless connection

If the cable solution is out of the question for you, perhaps because the distance from the console is too much or it bothers you to have a cable constantly “between your feet”, you can proceed to wirelessly connect the PS4 pad to the PS3.

Again, start by connecting the PS4 controller via USB, as I have already explained to you before . After this first step, it’s time to update the PlayStation 3 to firmware version 4.60 (or later).

You may already have the required update installed, but it’s always worth checking. From the main console screen, then move to the Settings menu (on the left), choose the System Update item and then confirm the Update via Internet option by pressing the X button on the pad.

If your PS3 is not yet updated, you will be prompted to continue with the software update to the latest version available: then follow the on-screen instructions and wait for the download and installation deadline.

If, on the other hand, the console is up to date and you are told that the latest version of the system software is already installed, go ahead.

How do you say? Haven’t connected your PS3 to the internet yet? Don’t worry, the procedure is simple: always from the Settings menu , go down to the Network Settings menu and then choose Internet connection settings , then follow the on-screen instructions to configure everything.

Between PS3 and PS4 there is hardly any difference on how to set up the connection, so I invite you to consult my guide on how to go on the Internet with PS4 .

Well, with your console updated to the latest available firmware version it’s time to wirelessly connect the PS4 pad. Once again, you have to act from the Settings menu , then choose Accessories and confirm the Manage Bluetooth devices item . Continue, therefore, by clicking on the Yes button and then on Start Scan .

Now move to the DualShock 4, disconnect it from the USB cable and activate its pairing mode by simultaneously pressing the Share and PlayStation buttons . This step allows the PS3 to detect the PS4 pad and synchronize it.

You can understand if you have done well from two aspects: the front light of the PS4 controller starts flashing quickly in blue and the word Wireless controller appears on the screen .

Now reconnect the PS4 pad to the PS3 via USB, confirm the Wireless controller item and wait for pairing. During this wait it may be necessary to repeat the step to disconnect the controller, press the Share + PlayStation buttons and wait for the on-screen confirmation of successful synchronization with the writing Registration complete .

Compliments! Now I just have to wish you a lot of fun. In fact, the controller is now usable normally wirelessly. To synchronize other pads, go back to the Manage Bluetooth devices menu and press the Register new device button and then repeat the procedure just ended.

Of course, to get back to using the pad with the PS4, you’ll have to pair it again: for all the details of the case, read my guide on how to connect the PS4 controller .

In case of doubts or problems

If, despite following my suggestions, the PS4 controller is giving you some synchronization problems with the PS3, let me give you some “tips” on how to fix it.

First of all, I suggest you reset the PS4 controller as indicated in my guide dedicated to the topic and repeat the entire pairing procedure on the PS3. If that doesn’t help, my suggestion is to contact Sony support directly and ask about the possible cause of your problem.

To ask for help from the assistance, connected to the dedicated page and, in the box located under the heading Type the problem or question … , type the terms “synchronize PS4 pads” and then click on the first result: PS4 Controller (DS4) and others .

From this page you can read support advice on the subject or contact support directly . Or again, if you believe that the pad is malfunctioning, you can request a replacement of the device (if under warranty), by selecting the color of the same from the drop-down menu and entering its serial number (found on the back). Alternatively, you can continue without serial number .

Alternatively, if your controller is still within the 48 month warranty period, go to the retailer you purchased it from with valid proof of purchase and request free support from them.


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

Leave a Comment