How to Activate a Sony PlayStation Wireless Controller

by Daniel Hatter

Before you can use your PlayStation 3 (PS3) wireless controller, you must activate (or pair) it with your specific console. This process must be done every time you use it with a different PS3, but if you only use it with your specific PS3 the procedure only has to be done once. To complete the initial activation process, you need the USB cord the controller came with. You will also use this cord to charge the controller when the battery gets low.

Turn on your PlayStation 3 console and wait for the power indicator on the front to light up bright green. Bright green indicates that the console is fully booted and ready for use.

Insert the mini-USB end of the controller's USB cord into the mini-USB port on the front of your wireless controller. Insert the other end into one of the USB ports on the front of your PS3.

Wait for the four port indicator lights to begin flashing on your controller. They will stop flashing after a moment and either one or two of the lights will stay lit -- one if four or less controllers are currently connected and two if five or more controllers are connected.

Disconnect the USB cord from the controller and PS3 (if the controller is already charged) or leave it plugged in if the battery is low. You can still use the controller when it is plugged in and charging.


  • The PlayStation 3 console supports the use of up to seven controllers (any combination of wireless and wired) at the same time.

Items you will need

  • PS3 wireless controller USB cord

Photo Credits

  • francisco hernandez/Demand Media