Custom Controllers For PlayStation 3

[Matlo] worked out a way to use a PS/2 Keyboard and USB mouse with a PlayStation3. The hard work is handled by a Teensy board, which is becoming a popular choice with controller hacks. It interfaces with the keyboard and mouse, translates their input, and sends joystick button commands to the PS3. He is limited to mapping the inputs from a PS3 controller but that is still enough options to work beautifully with first person shooters, especially if you’re used to gaming on a PC instead of a console. If you want to give this one a try, head over to the google code page to download the source code.

22 thoughts on “Custom Controllers For PlayStation 3

  1. That’s pretty neat! Didn’t know the PS3 is less picky about the controllers. Sadly the xbox 360 seems quite protected using the controller authentication. So ugly how xbox users need to solder things to a controller’s board to bypass that check.

  2. @Gert, @anon:
    actually it does “just work”

    “In Snow Leopard, you don’t need to install any special drivers to use a Bluetooth SIXAXIS / Dualshock3 PlayStation 3 pad. Simply connect it with an USB cable, then hold the PS button down for a few seconds. You can then unplug the cable and voilà, the pad is paired (although the 4 red leds will always blink, it works). To turn it off and disconnect, hold the PS button again for a while.”

  3. I’m not familiar with the PS3 (XBox 360 ftw, tyvm) but I know I have a little box which plugs into a PS2(console not keyboard) port and accepts a PS/2 keyboard and mouse. This isn’t the exact model, but it’s similar:

    I used it with a buddy who also had one to dominate Socom CA online. A mouse will always give you much better accuracy and resolution for look movements than a console controller.

  4. There is a device called the XCM XFPS 4.0 Force which allows you to use keyboard and mouse control for PS3 games that require a controller. They are always working on the firmware as it is difficult to get the sensitivty settings proper for all games. This thing is fully adjustable for sensitivity, it would be cool to see how this hacked version compares to the one you can buy that has downloadable pre-optimized firmware. Maybe can get some information on how the xcm device works to improve the DIY version? I really want to get one, but ps3 fw 3.30 bricked my console for the time being.

  5. @M4CGYV3R

    There are three brand of mouse+keyboard ps3 controllers on the market: xfps, fragfx, fragnstein. They all cost about 60$ (but have -for now- some advantages: usb device support, wireless, …). Reviews may be found on youtube (some are not so conclusive).


    The thumbstick position to rotation speed relation may change with the game. I studied it for Farcry2 and CODMW2 (see on my blog). These games have a different behavior, so that I did a firmware for each one.

  6. Aaaaagh,

    come on console makers, let us use keyboards and mice already.

    You can just make it a game-con only game, and then choose to allow certain key/mouse servers.

    I refuse to play FPS with a controller, refuse refuse. It is stupid and a useless skill. (well at least until Terminator is controlled remotely via console game systems).

    But whatever, I will stick with my driving/adventure games. Anybody else play Katamari? That game is fun.

    Cool hack BTW, wish I could build one myself for the original Xbox, there are 3 commercial boxes, but all have faults, and not one has fully customizable ramps and inputs for strange games like 007 where the sticks axis are swapped between 2 sticks (look X and Y belong on the left stick numb-nut game designers, or at least the SAME stick!!)

  7. I didn’t noticed that solution, although I already went on the XIM website. There is nothing about that on the “About” page of the XIM, so that I thought XIM=for XBox. And the multiple conversions did probably scared me away. Don’t them introduce some latency?

  8. @Matio. (Sorry for the late reply.)

    Possibly, but the Yobo PS2 to PS3 adapter runs at and slightly over 60Hz, which is less than 17ms of lag. And because console games typically run between 30 and 60 frames per second, the delay shouldn’t be noticeable unless it stacks on to the delay of a slow television.

    I don’t know what the delay is for the Cross Battle Adapter, which is required for the XIM2, but it may be decent compared to the 35ms of XCM’s (the same company that markets the CBA) XFPS. The actual numbers have probably been posted in the PS3 section of the XIM360 community forums.

    If you only play on the PS3, the XIM1 is the least costly choice, while having performance that is likely indistinguishable from that of the XIM2. Even though the XIM2 has more extensive customization options, buying one ($190) and a Cross Battle Adapter ($50), is overly expensive if you are not also using the XIM2 on a Xbox 360. By comparison, the XIM1 option costs $40 or $50 to build yourself, and $80 to $90 to buy a pre-constructed model, coupled with a $10 adapter.

  9. The controller can play any game (it emulates all controls of a sixaxis except the PS3 button), but anyone wanting to customize the controls has to modify the sources and rebuild a new firmware.

    The firmwares (for at90usb162=bumble-b and at90usb1286=teensy++) available at are optimized for Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 2.

    You also may be interested into the software emulation version, which does not require specific hardware:

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