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
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

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

public boolean onKeyDown(int keyCode, KeyEvent event)
// CROSS button pressed
// CIRCLE button pressed
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™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 Pramod Zunjar


    tell me with dualshock 3 connectivity for xperia z ultra can we play any games or just gameloft and EA games???

  2. By Serkan Ozturk


    Hello, could the developers give us access to the right analog ? I mean the digital pad, the left analog et the right analog respond as one, so we have not an dualshock 3 but an playstation 1 controller. So I ask to you to dissociate the D-pad and the analogs if it’s possible, and I know it’s possible. Sorry for my english. BTW I have an Xperia Z2. Thank you.

  3. By Mateusz Pawlak


    Hello, for first i want sorry for my english, next thing i want to know is that possible to connect 2 ps3 pads? I mean that its normaly work if i connect second pad when first is still active, but both controllers are on first slot( this light on number 1 at controller) and my question is that can we seperate them? to one have light on 1 and second on 2?

  4. By Yusuf Yıkar


    Hi joe,
    My xperia z2 cable Controller Playing, but Wireless Connection is NOT connection is cut off please help me… want Wireless

  5. By Trevor Freeman


    I have a” z ultra” . Where is the menu for setting up buttons? Is it in each game that works or is it in my phone somewhere? Any info would be great. Thank you

  6. By Francesco Mohamed


    Can I use the dual shock 3 with my xperia z1 compact???

  7. By Martin Panchev


    Hello. I have sony experia z2 android 4.4.2 and i can’t connect my dualshock 3 wireless. When dualshock is connected via usb it is flashing slowly,and my phone says it is connected wireless and i can remove the cable but as soonest i remove the usb it starts flashing rapidly. Tried to connect it via Bluetooth but it asks for code, either 0000 or 1234 work, what can i do?

  8. By Santiago dobarro


    Hola, tengo un xperia m y se me actualizó a la 4.3 puedo usar el dualshock 3???

  9. By Sukhendu Bhowmick


    Hi Joe
    I have Xperia Z (c6602) android 4.4.4 i try OTG cable my Z can recognize via USB cable but cannot connect via bluetooth. Please Help

    • By Joe Padre


      Hi Sukhendu,
      For C6602, the DUALSHOCK®3 wireless controller can be used when the software is Android 4.2.
      Best regards,
      Joe from Developer World

      • By Sukhendu Bhowmick


        Hi Joe Padre,
        My Xperia Z (c6602) android 4.4.4, can be possible previous version 4.2.2.

  10. By Sukhendu Bhowmick


    Hi Joe
    I have Xperia Z (c6602) android 4.4.4 i try OTG cable my Z can recognize via USB cable but cannot connect via bluetooth.

  11. By francis Guinto


    Hi joe padre i have a xperia z ultra and im planning to buy dualshock 3 or ps4 controller, i also have the latest os 4.4.4 kitkat will i able to conect the device wirelessly? Ive seen the issue you have listed and the issue comes only for 4.3 version, im also playing modern combat 4, ashpalt 8, kritika, the gate, will they be supported? Thanks

  12. By Syamsul anuar jaafar


    I got the latest android 4.4.4 built number 14.4.A.0.108 for my Xperia Z1. i have try to connect to my Dualshock PS3 (CECHZC2U). my Z1 can recognize via USB cable but cannot connect via bluetooth.

  13. By Abdulshakur Abubakar


    help i have xperia v android 4.3,how can i ps3 controller

  14. By Gino Tayag


    Joe padre,
    Update us please regarding on wireless connection problem of dualshock and xperia phones. Mine is z1.

    • By Joe Padre


      Hi Gino,
      If you have Xperia Z1 C6902/C6903/C6906, a defect was found with the Bluetooth connection when using certain models of DUALSHOCK(R)3 wireless controller with Android 4.3. We don’t have any details of when PlayStation will fix this issue.
      Best regards,
      Joe from Developer World

  15. By Αντώνης Τσαγκάρης


    I’ve a Xperia Z1 and I can connect the controller without any issues , the thing is i can’t get the right analog stick to work while playing modern compat 4

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