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I normally charge the PS3 controller by connecting it to the PS3 while its idling, but I guess it's much easier to charge it through my PCs USB port.

Would this work?

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up vote 24 down vote accepted

Yes, you can charge it from any USB port.

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Strange, I just tried it and the lights didn't start blinking. Does it have to be turned on? – Ivo Flipse Nov 2 '10 at 12:59
It shouldn't. I did some quick Google searches as well and everything I found confirmed that it should charge on any USB port, and that you should see the lights blinking. – bwarner Nov 2 '10 at 13:05
Then it must be my extension cables, I'll try plugging it in directly later – Ivo Flipse Nov 2 '10 at 13:11
You should try different usb plugs from your computer. They do NOT all deliver the same amount of amperes so some are "more powerful" than others. Usually the one directly on the motherboard (on the back of the desktop) are more powerful – Eric Nov 2 '10 at 20:37
I'd be hard pressed to say it works from any USB port. I have never managed to charge it using a wall plug charger (like iPhone chargers) for example. – Isak Savo Jun 19 '12 at 6:38

The PS3 controllers were designed before USB charging was standardised (DCP), so they need to do some simple negotiation with the host they're connected to before they'll charge.

All the made for ps3 chargers have a simple chip in them which tells the controller it can charge up.

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With respect to charging the controller with a PC: If the controller does not start charging when plugged in to your PC (for me, light was on/solid), open Device Manager, find the game controller listed under Human Interface Devices, disable the controller using the right-click context menu, unplug the controller, plug the controller back in, and the controller should start charging (light(s) on/blinking). I just verified this procedure works on Windows 8.1

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Welcome to arqade, nice answer! I edited out your signature as everyone can see your name clearly. – ardaozkal Jan 9 at 1:00
Thanks, this worked just fine for me. – Htbaa Jul 18 at 8:45

Yes the PS3 controller can be charged from a USB port on a computer, and there are also specialised controller charging stations available. It appears that generic AC-to-USB adapters won't work, possibly because the controller requires device drivers on the host or some kind of "handshake" in order to charge.


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I doubt it. There are many charge stations available which charge PS3 controllers. I doubt those stations run some some of drivers. – JohnoBoy Feb 1 '12 at 22:23
@JohnoBoy Given that you have to buy tailor-made "PS3 Charging Stations" I think it's quite likely that they have something inside them which performs a handshake with the controller. Perhaps "driver" is the wrong word, I don't know the details of how it works. I do know that when you plug one into a PC it doesn't start charging until the PC "loads" the device, so there's something happening there. And I also know that you can't charge it from a generic USB charging station. – jwaddell Feb 1 '12 at 22:34
I think it's probably voltage issue. Reading a bit on the USB WikiPedia page, I came across the issue of voltage supplied without "device negotiation", it seems this voltage is limited to 100ma, after negotiation (recognizing a device is on the other side), that voltage is 500ma. I checked my iPhone AC adapter, it supplies 150ma and doesn't charge PS3 controllers. Sony's own USB ac adapter (discontinued) states output is 1500 and can charge up to two devices at once. So its seems PS3 controllers need more than 150ma to start charging, perhaps 500ma minimum. – JohnoBoy Feb 1 '12 at 23:06
My iPhone AC adapter has an output of 1A (the input is 150mA) and it doesn't charge a PS3 controller. So I don't think the behavior is just controlled by a minimum voltage. – jwaddell Feb 1 '12 at 23:16
@JohnoBoy: Amps are a measure of amperage (current), not voltage (which is measured in volts). The amperage listed on a power-supply lists only the maximum amps that power-supply can safely output - so just because the AC-adapter says "1500mA" doesn't mean it actually draws anywhere near that. The wiki article you're quoting is about a new type of USB port introduced in 2007, which (as far as I can tell) has nothing to do with this discussion. – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Feb 2 '12 at 0:22

Yes. As long as your charger can successfully negotiate with the object is it charging from, it will work. The chances depend on a lot of things.

Experience: I have tried this successfully with my laptop.

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Can also be a bad cable. That was my problem I had to get a new cable online. After I did it worked like a charm.

And yes they are right you'll have to connect to a host to charge the controller. A simple usb wall plug won't do it.

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