When my DualShock 3 controller gets low on battery, I usually just switch over to using the USB cable. After a few minutes of doing this, the controller will suddenly become unresponsive until the PS-button is pressed.

  • Is the controller still talking over Bluetooth despite being connected by cable?
  • Is the (brand new) controller not charging fast enough to sustain continuous play?
  • Is it that the switchover from Bluetooth to USB is delayed, and requires some extra input from my side?
    • If that is the case, what do I need to do? Can I check somewhere which interface the controller is currently using?

2 Answers 2


My understanding is that the controller always uses bluetooth and only uses the USB connection for charging and pairing. If you have two PS3s, you'll find that plugging the controller into one with the USB key and pressing PS will pair to the one it is connected to. (Assuming it is on.)

If your controller doesn't charge when connected, there is probably something wrong with the controller's battery.

I have a number of controllers, and two PS3s, and all charge just fine while playing games. I often plug in during a session when I get the low battery warning, turn off the PS3 when done an hour later and have the controller fully charged when I next turn the device on. (It doesn't charge when the PS3 is off, unfortunately.)

Also, when I plug a controller into a connected USB, it immediately does the all lights blinking thing, and pressing PS sets it as a working controller in a second or two.

  • This seems to match up with my experiments as well, thanks.
    – Zaz
    May 27, 2013 at 7:40

I believe the issue is that when you connect a controller via Bluetooth, that's how the controller thinks it is going to be used all the time; It doesn't know when you'll plug in a cable.

It is normal that you have to press the PS button to connect the controller to the system.

  • Ok, I'll test this. I'll just have to wait for the controller to run out of battery first. ^^
    – Zaz
    Mar 25, 2013 at 19:47

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