I want to charge my PS3 controllers (SIXAXIS) without having the PS3 running (because most of the time when it's running, I'm actually using the controllers). Since the device charges over standard USB (mini USB) I thought it was going to work with any off the shelf USB wall plugs.

But I've tried with:

  • Apple charges (iPhone - several different generations, iPad)
  • Satnav/GPS charger
  • Digital camera charger
  • Random third-party generic USB charger

But none of them were able to charge the controller (at least the lights never flashed on the controller).

I have noticed there are (expensive) third party PS3 controller charger stations available, so it has to work somehow.

Why can't the normal wall plug chargers, that are able to charge way more advanced hardware than the PS3 controller, charge them?

I'm aware of this question (Can you charge the PS3 over regular USB) but it asks about PC USB charging. I want wall-plug charging.

  • 3
    The PS3 controller won't charge when connected to any "dumb" usb outlet (where only the outer two pins are present), it need the middle two (data) pins. This doesn't mean you need a charger that can talk to a USB HID like the controller, any kind of termination of the contacts will do. This is all from memory, so I'm not submitting it as an answer.
    – Tzarium
    Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 7:28
  • 2
    Found some vague verification here , I'm unable to verify myself but at least someone else came to the same conclusion. To check which kind of charger you have, you can consult this guide to USB pins, most charger lack the middle two pins (2 and 3) completly
    – Tzarium
    Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 7:36
  • Really? $20 is expensive? I don't know if it actually uses induction charging (I'm inclined to think it doesn't), but it does work.
    – MBraedley
    Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 10:29
  • I'm not so worried about price. Its just that I have something like 10 wall plug chargers for USB at home already and it seemed silly to be able to purchase if it isn't needed.
    – Isak Savo
    Commented Jun 20, 2012 at 10:53
  • Thanks to everybody who answered on this. I ended up buying a dual charger thing from Amazon that I plug into a wall socket and which then holds two ps3 controls and charges them perfectly.
    – Isak Savo
    Commented Aug 24, 2012 at 10:30

3 Answers 3


The Sony DUALSHOCK 3 controller requires a USB handshake with the AC adapter before accepting any connection. If your wall-plug charger contains the circuitry required to negotiate the handshake, then it should work provided it can supply the minimum amount of current.

So in other words, you need a charger built specifically for the PS3 controllers, or else be able to negotiate a handshake with a PS3 controller.

  • This is what I feared. I'm gonna run some test according to Hunger's answer. I'll report back here when I've completed them
    – Isak Savo
    Commented Jun 20, 2012 at 10:51
  • 2
    Stupid, and completely unnecessary
    – Melllvar
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 8:46

The SIXAXIS gets its power through a USB mini-B connector.

  • A Motorola Charger would work, as it also uses the mini-B connector.

**My friends have tried charging their PS3 Controller in all sorts of ways; the light never came on but the controller was still being charged. Maybe you could just leave it connected to your Apple/Satnav/GPS/Camera charger for a while and see if anything happens.

  • Ok, I'll do some test back home to see if it's charging or not
    – Isak Savo
    Commented Jun 20, 2012 at 10:50
  • 5
    I tried this at home now using my iPhone 4 charger together the official usb-cable that came with the playstation. It didn't charge :(
    – Isak Savo
    Commented Jun 21, 2012 at 4:59

Try plugging your remote into your laptop, or desktop if you have one. The remote will not come on when plugged in but, if you leave it there for about 10 minutes, it should be ready to go.

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