How to Fix It When Your PS3 Controller Wont Connect

Have you ever found yourself excited to jump back into your favorite game on the PlayStation 3, only to be met with the frustration of a controller that won’t connect? It’s a common issue that can dampen your gaming spirits, but fear not! This guide is designed to walk you through a series of troubleshooting steps to get your controller back in action. We believe that everyone should be able to enjoy their PS3 without technical hiccups, so we’ve simplified these solutions for even those with no technical background. Let’s ensure those gaming plans aren’t put on hold for much longer!

how to fix it when your ps3 controller wont connect

Reset Your PS3 Controller

Sometimes, the quickest fix to a controller that’s not syncing is a simple reset. This process can clear minor glitches by restoring the controller’s default settings.


  1. Locate the small reset button on the back of the controller near the L2 shoulder button.
  2. Use an unfolded paper clip or a similar small object to press the button inside the tiny hole. Hold it down for about 5 seconds.
  3. After resetting, attempt to reconnect the controller by pressing the PS button.

Resetting is a fast and non-invasive method that can effectively resolve connection issues. However, it’s not a guaranteed fix for more serious hardware problems that might be affecting your controller.

Check the USB Cable

The USB cable could be the culprit. Faulty cables can prevent your controller from charging and syncing.


  1. Try using a different USB cable that is compatible with your PS3 controller.
  2. Connect the controller to the console using the new cable and press the PS button.
  3. If the controller lights start blinking, it’s charging and should connect shortly.

Switching USB cables is a simple test that can rule out a common problem. It’s beneficial as it avoids unnecessary repairs or replacements if the issue is just the cable. However, if the cable isn’t the issue, the search for a solution continues.

Power Cycle Your PS3

Power cycling can resolve issues by clearing the console’s temporary configuration and reestablishing a fresh connection with the controller.


  1. Turn off your PS3 console and unplug it from the power source.
  2. Wait for a couple of minutes for any residual power to drain.
  3. Plug the console back in and turn it on using the power button.
  4. Try to connect your controller once more by pressing the PS button.

Power cycling is a universally beneficial troubleshooting step and has no downsides, aside from the few minutes of waiting. It often resolves temporary glitches within the console’s system.

Check for Interference

Wireless interference from other devices can disrupt your controller’s connection to the PS3.


  1. Turn off other wireless devices nearby to reduce interference.
  2. Move your PS3 away from large metal objects and other electronics.
  3. Attempt to reconnect your controller.

Reducing interference is a practical step since it promotes a stronger wireless connection. One downside is that it can be inconvenient to identify and switch off all potential sources of interference.

Update Your PS3’s Firmware

Outdated console firmware can lead to compatibility issues with controllers.


  1. Make sure your PS3 is connected to the internet.
  2. Navigate to ‘Settings,’ select ‘System Update,’ and choose ‘Update via Internet.’
  3. Install any available updates and try connecting your controller again.

Keeping your PS3 up-to-date is critical for optimal performance and resolving unforeseen bugs. The downside is that updates sometimes introduce new problems or may take a while to install.

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