How to add Xperia™ device support for the DUALSHOCK™3 wireless controller in your Android™ game [video]

A wide range of Xperia™ devices support the DUALSHOCK 3 wireless controller, bringing a console-like experience to PlayStation® Mobile games. You can also deliver the same functionality to Android™ games.  Read on to learn how to optimise your games for the DUALSHOCK™3 wireless controller for Android games – you’ll also find guidelines and recommendations, along with the key code mappings for the supported devices.

Develop & optimise your game for the DUALSHOCK™3 wireless controller for Android games
The DUALSHOCK 3 wireless controller provides an intuitive game play experience with gaming buttons and controls. Inputs include:

  • Left and right joysticks.
  • Directional buttons.
  • Digital buttons: triangle, circle, cross, square, L1, R1, L2, R2, Start, Select.

By adding support for the DUALSHOCK™3 wireless controller in your Android game, you’re adding a number of benefits for the end user:

  • An input experience that is more familiar to gamers.
  • Freeing up viewing space by removing onscreen controls.
  • Allowing the games to be controlled wirelessly and be displayed and played on larger screens.

If you’ve already designed your game with generic controller support, such as for a virtual game pad, it’ll be easy to add support for the DUALSHOCK™ 3 wireless controller. You just need to:

  1. Design and convert your existing game interactions to map to the DUALSHOCK™3 wireless controller, keeping in mind the tips mentioned below, and using DUALSHOCK™3 wireless controller keycode mapping table as a reference.
  2. Implement your controller design (see keycode mapping table below) and fine-tune the controls to make sure that it “feels right”, to give users the best controller experience possible.
DUALSHOCK™3 wireless controller (top view).
DUALSHOCK™3 wireless controller (top view).

Tips when adding DUALSHOCK™ 3 wireless controller support
When incorporating DUALSHOCK™3 wireless controller support into your development, you need to follow and keep the following tips in mind:

Tips to keep in mind Notes
A game should be fully playable using only touch screen controls. Most devices only have a touch screen as an input controller.
Hardware buttons should be used consistently throughout a game. Users should be allowed to configure the control settings.
In any menu, except for the main menu, the CIRCLE button should take the user back to the previous menu. In the main menu, the CIRCLE button should prompt the user with the option to exit out of the game. In North America and Europe, the CIRCLE button is used as cancel. In Asia, the CIRCLE button is used as confirm.
In any menu, the X button should be used as the confirmation button. In North America and Europe, the X button is used as confirm. In Asia, the X button is used as cancel.
On screen buttons should not appear when the user is using the DUALSHOCK™3 wireless controller. There should be an option in the options menu to turn the on screen controls off or on.

Implementing the DUALSHOCK™3 wireless controller buttons and joysticks
The DUALSHOCK™3 wireless controller support can be implemented using standard Android APIs. You’ll also need to know the key code mappings when you’re adding support for the DUALSHOCK™ 3 wireless controller in your game. Any key press on the device is described by a sequence of key events. Each key event is generally accompanied by the keycode getKeyCode() and getScanCode().

Use the table below for the keycode and scancode mappings for Xperia™ devices.

Key code mappings for all Xperia™ devices that support the DUALSHOCK™3 wireless controller.

Button Keycode Scancode
Up KEYCODE_DPAD_UP 0x124
Down KEYCODE_DPAD_DOWN 0x126
Left KEYCODE_DPAD_LEFT 0x127
Right KEYCODE_DPAD_RIGHT 0x125
Circle: ○ button KEYCODE_DPAD_BUTTON_Y 0x12d
Cross: × button KEYCODE_DPAD_BUTTON_X 0x12e
Triangle: △ button KEYCODE_DPAD_BUTTON_B 0x12c
Square: □ button KEYCODE_DPAD_BUTTON_A 0x12f
L1 KEYCODE_DPAD_L1 0x12a
R1 KEYCODE_DPAD_R1 0x12b
L2 KEYCODE_DPAD_L2 0x0128
R2 KEYCODE_DPAD_R2 0x0129
L3 KEYCODE_DPAD_THUMBL 0x0121
R3 KEYCODE_DPAD_THUMBR 0x0122
SELECT KEYCODE_DPAD_BUTTON_SELECT 0x0120
START KEYCODE_DPAD_BUTTON_START 0x0123
PS KEYCODE_DPAD_BUTTON_1 0x2d0

The following code snippet shows how buttons are detected from a DUALSHOCK™3 wireless controller.

public boolean onKeyDown(int keyCode, KeyEvent event)
{
switch(keyCode)
{
case KeyEvent.KEYCODE_DPAD_BUTTON_X:
// CROSS button pressed
break;
case KeyEvent.KEYCODE_DPAD_BUTTON_Y:
// CIRCLE button pressed
break;
...
}
return super.onKeyDown(keyCode, event);
}

The left and right analog sticks on the DUALSHOCK™3 wireless controller returns keycodes (UP, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT for each direction) and can be used as joysticks. Each joystick has two axes (one for vertical and one for horizontal) and the range value can be obtained by calling the getMotionRange(int).  Please keep in mind joystick implementation usually takes more effort and iterations to make the control “feel right”.

For more information and references on the Android gamepad APIs, refer to the InputDevice and MotionRange topics on the Android Developer website.  You can also check out this Android and game controller video from the Android Developers for more tips on how to make your game controller compatible on Android.

How to setup the DUALSHOCK™ 3 wireless controller on your device
Currently, a number of Sony devices offer a setting that will allow you to connect a DUALSHOCK™3 wireless controller via Bluetooth™ to play games wirelessly, and the initial setup of the DUALSHOCK™3 wireless controller is quite easy.

The following Sony smartphones and tablets support the DUALSHOCK®3 wireless controller:

*DUALSHOCK®3 wireless controller can be used when the software is updated to Android 4.2.

DUALSHOCK setup

DUALSHOCK™3 wireless controller setup menu on an Xperia™ tablet.

In the settings menu of the supported devices, there is an option for “DUALSHOCK™3 wireless controller”. In addition to the DUALSHOCK™3 wireless controller and USB cable, the only other extra item you’ll need to setup your DUALSHOCK™3 wireless controller is a USB on the go adapter. Once the DUALSHOCK™3 wireless controller is connected, it can be used to navigate through menus to select, start and play games.

***

If you have any questions on how to add DUALSHOCK™3 wireless controller support in your game, feel free to leave us a comment below and we’ll get back to you with an answer as soon as we can!

PlayStation is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. SIXAXIS is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

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  1. By Mustafa El Bizanti

    #1

    hello … i dont know why but it doesnt work when i connect my ps3 controller ? can anyone please help ??

  2. By Hicham Badr

    #4

    Hi joe,
    Thanks for answering me i really appreciate, by the way i have the android 4.4.4 and the blutooth of my dualshock 3 is ok with the tablet but it doesn’t work only inside the game. Thank u

  3. By Hicham Badr

    #5

    should i have to root my tablet z ???
    answer me please

  4. By Hicham Badr

    #6

    my dualshock 3 is connected with wirless to my tablet xperia z SGP321 and i can manipulet the android tab but when I open a game my dualshock controller can’t controlle the game (i tried all the games) !!
    what can i do ???

    • By Joe Padre

      #7

      Hi Hicham,
      According to http://www.playstation.com/psm/certified.html, for Xperia Tablet Z, a defect was found with the Bluetooth connection when using certain models of DUALSHOCK(R)3 wireless controller with Android 4.3. For details, please contact Customer Support at Sony Mobile Communications.
      Best regards,
      Joe from Developer World

  5. By Daniel da Silva

    #8

    Não consigo conectar o meu xperia t2 no dualshock3 me ajuda por favor

  6. By Darsh Gad

    #9

    Hello, could the developers give us asolution for the problem of pairing adualshock3 controller with xperia Z2, the controller dosn’t work when i remove the cable

  7. By Raymund John Porras

    #10

    hello joe my z ultra c6833 android version 4.4.4. wont connect wirelessly on my ps3 dualshock controller i bought this morning..my z ultra is more than a month when i bought it.. but when i usb otg cable it works fine.. please help

  8. By Elisha Fevrier

    #12

    Can the dualshock 3 connect to the sony Xperia e

  9. By Ahmad Zafran

    #14

    Hello, Can I Connect the dualshock 3 controller to xperia L ?

  10. By Mr. Android L

    #15

    Can I connect dualshock 1 on Xperia Z1 compact

  11. By Tomas KT

    #16

    Can I Connect the dualshock 4 controller to xperia z1?

  12. By Gaboku Belmont

    #17

    I.have a.t2 ultra… I.do.can play With the OTG plug on it, but i.can’t bluetooth… Any sugestions?

  13. By Javier Ignacio Zúñiga Miranda

    #18

    Does the Xperia C3 (I realized it does support DualShock greatly without other third parties apps) support vibration? Everything works great yet I just realized there’s no vibration nor an option to test the functions of the PS3 pad

  14. By justine caparas

    #19

    i’m using dualschock3 controller gamepad bluetooth? from cdr-king….. how to use it my phone is xperia sp please help me

    • By Robynson Patinio

      #20

      use the OTG cable, can buy one from CD-r King then use a mini USB cable for your PS3 CD-R king controller , connect it from the otg to the phone and it will automatically connect and you can use it,, if it does not work, try pressing the PS3 button on the center..

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