Gaming on Android devices has come a long way in the past several months, but it can be quite difficult to adapt to touch-screen-only gaming. During intense games, I tend to be pretty heavy-handed, which makes me a bit nervous when the my controller is also the screen, so I would love to have a way to enjoy games on my phone or tablet without destroying the display. Fortunately, Dancing Pixel Studios created an app that allows you to use a Playstation3 six axis controller over Bluetooth. Read on to find out more.

This app is for rooted users only.

Before we get into the details of this app, there are some caveats to be aware of. Below is an insert take directly from Dancing Pixel's website:

Important - Due to the non-standard protocol that the controllers use to communicate with the host, this application requires root access. Additionally, it is incompatible with most HTC devices and some newer Samsung devices. This is due to the required bluetooth protocol not being implemented on these devices. We are actively looking into a work around, but currently the only solution is to install a custom firmware, such as Cyanogenmod, that supports the required protocols.

Fortunately, there is an easy way to ensure your device's compatibility: grab Sixaxis Compatibility Checker from the Android Market. Once you know whether or not your device is compatible, here are the full instructions:

  • Download and install the application from the Android Market. It is highly recommended that you first download the 'Sixaxis Compatibility Checker' app to make sure your phone is compatible before purchasing the full application.
  • Tap the 'start' button and wait for bluetooth to initiate. If you get an 'Error: Missing required protocol' message, your device is not supported.
  • If not already done, you must manually pair the controller with your phone. This can be done using 'SixaxisPairTool', or with 'MotionInJoy' or the linux utility 'sixpair'. Your phones bluetooth address should be shown at the bottom of the main application window and will look something like 1A:3C:13:00:21:C2; you need to enter this number into the 'SixaxisPairTool' as shown. This process only needs to be done the first time a controller is used on a different device, so if you only use the controller on one phone, you will only need to do it once.
  • Once paired, unplug the USB cable and press the power button on the controller. If successful, the lights on the controller will stop blinking and a single light will remain on.
  • If you are running the compatibility checker, and pressing buttons on the controller results in button presses showing up in the app, congratulations, you can now download the full app.
  • Tap the 'Change Input Method' button and select 'Sixaxis Controller'. You should now be able to use the controller in any games or applications that support key bindings, such as many emulators.
  • Subsequent controllers can be added at any time by pressing their power buttons.
  • You can change the fallback input method and key mappings in the applications settings.

Here is a video of SixAxis Controller in action:


And another one:

The app is $1.73 in the Android Market, and you can grab it by hitting the widget below. If you decide to give this a go, let us know your results!

[via +Matthew Christ]

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Rami

    Not supported on Samsung DROID CHARGE


  • Kyle

    I call BS on this I don't see them playing a game. I see them playing demo games that the arcade played. Either that or else they are making PRECISELY the same moves as the demo games from the arcade. I know this because I spent a lot of time staring at the demo screen of Street Fighter as a kid and memorized it.

    I see an android phone playing demo games and them "pretending" to mash buttons to make it look like they're playing.

    I could be wrong, but I don't think I am.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      I don't own a PS3, but I'd love for someone to confirm. So far there are 6 positive ratings and no negatives in the Market, so I'm hoping this is true.

    • Achilles

      I can't get the PS3 controller to pair through USB using the Sixaxis Pairing Tool listed on their website. Without that pairing, I can't even see if my phone, which is capatible, will even work with the program. You may be right.

      • Achilles

        Developer is great! They updated and now I can confirm that this really works! I have a Droid X and the controller paired right up! I'm playing Contra, Super Mario and it's great!!!

    • http://stevemv.com Steve

      Looks like someone was made a fool.

    • James

      Confirmed working on SGS2 after dancing pixel studios updated their app. i was happily playing shadowgun lastnight and there was no lag, no issues. Just perfect game play :). I BS you not!

  • Amish Crusader

    I have an HTC phone, so I don't think this will work for me - but who cares if you think they are pretending? They give you a DEMO APP to make sure that the lights light up, free of charge! This verifies it works, or has the possibility of working for your phone.

    If it doesn't work, android market gives you 15 minutes to get a refund... for the $1.76 they charged for the paid app. DUN DUN DUUUN.

  • lilhugo

    Hmm...it maybe BS, but who knows. Gotta give a shot to find out right? =]

    I tried the compatibility app and when I hit start it says "Driver Started..." I've been waiting for 10 minutes =(
    I'm trying this on my Sensation 4g. Anyone else have any luck/differences?

    • modplan

      As stated, it does not work on HTC devices without cyanogenMod

      • http://bit.ly/velazcod velazco

        It probably won't work on any device that's not based on AOSP because of the Bluetooth Stack. When HTC and Samsung put their skin on top they also change a whole bunch of lower layers like the Bluetooth Stack.

  • Abhishek

    The compatibility checker says Required protocol missing on my DHD running ARHD 5.2.3 :(

    Guess its time to have some CM love on my phone! :)


  • lilhugo

    I know it said it wouldn't work on HTC devices, but it said "incompatible with MOST htc..." so I figured I'd give it a shot. No harm in trying.
    Ah cool, thanks for the info. I didn't know that about HTC sense.

  • eleazar

    Holy crap, I want to go home and try this right now...

    I verified that the compatibility app says my Thunderbolt is compatible (running CM7, slayher's 1.4 release). I just don't have my ps3 controller with me to try the rest.

  • kable

    No HTC or Samsung? What the hell is left? Motorolla crap? Who doesnt buy HTC these days?

    • http://simproduction.com Andrew

      Most new phones are motorola now. It really isn't the developer's fault that htc and samsung messes around with important protocols. At least he gave a good workaround to install cyanogenmod (and really who doesn't use this?)

  • nmapLocalhost

    Confirmed working with ViewSonic GTablet, using SNESOID and PSX4Droid!

  • Brandon

    Effen sweet.... Very slick

  • Achilles

    Sixaxis Pairing Tool Does Not Work! I am using Windows 7 and keep getting an error message: Error Driver Could Not Be Installed! I have researched this on XDA-developers, emailed developer, tried motioninjoy, and have not made any progress! Someone, please help!

    • Achilles

      They updated the app and it now works great! I'm playing right now, Metal Slug, Super Street Fighter 2! This is so awesome! Droid X!

  • http://gplus.to/rnpatton Nathan

    I'm having the EXACT same probelm :( using an XP laptop as well as a Win7 laptop. I'm about to boot into ubuntu and give sixpair a shot.

  • http://gplus.to/rnpatton Nathan

    To everyone having problems with the SixPairTool Error: grab a blank cd and burn a copy of ubuntu if you don't have one already, boot into it:

    1. open up terminal and type in

    sudo apt-get install libusb-dev libusb-0.1-4

    2. now plug in your sixaxis/ds3 and download sixpair here: http://goo.gl/nrD6K

    3. navigate to the location of the file using the cd command. (Since I just ran off the ubuntu disc, I had to place the file in the ubuntu folder) This would have been

    cd /home/ubuntu

    4. next, compile sixpair by typing

    gcc -o sixpair sixpair.c -lusb

    5. Now for the final part! Type:

    sudo ./sixpair And:Type:The:Mac:Adress:Here

    6. Disconnect your controller and pair!

    • achilles

      How can we get the ps3 controller to connect through PC, with windows 7, to make this work? The directions seem to be for linux. This is really complicated and really sucks? How can an app be made, but not have a way to actually connect despite having the required devices!

      • Achilles

        This app works! The developer is awesome, the app is awesome! I'm playing all the "oid" emulators and this is really cool! Confirmed Working!!

      • DC

        Learn to read the article and not just comments. The article gives you a link to the website that shows you how the program/process works. I actually just connected my PS3 directly to my tablet for a minute or so, then unplugged the tablet, then turned on the tablet's bluetooth, opened up a game and OnLive and tested the controller and it worked (without Six Axis capability (without SixAxis app)). The guy you replied to clearly stated that his instructions are for Ubuntu and not Windows.

  • tB

    I have a stock LG G2x running 2.2.2, rooted with all bloatware removed, obviously in this video its the LG O2x that they're using, but is it really that different that I'm getting the incompatibility issue on my device?

  • http://www.dancingpixelstudios.com dancingpixelstudios

    Hi all, just a quick note that I'm aware of the issues with SixaxisPairTool and should have a fix within the next couple of hours.

    In the meantime, you can use MotionInJoy to do the pairing, but note that you must enter your phones address in reversed blocks. I.e. If your phones address is 1a:2b:3c:4d:5e:6f, then you must type it into MotionInJoy as 6f:5e:4d:3c:2b:1a.

  • levi

    Got it working beautifully. Gbaoid, n64oid, and Fpse all working. For the *oids you need to turn on "use input methods". Used sixaxispair on windows 7 32 bit and it worked great.

  • HighTechTerror

    For those having trouble with the SixAxis Pairing Tool, download the older version. Worked perfectly for me running W7 x64.

    AND i am running an HTC Incredible BTW...

  • Sam

    Which games are supported?

  • Chillz

    a tip for the people having the driver error. run the program in windows xp compatible mode. worked for me

  • http://isradroid.wordpress.com susuFOX

    Too bad that the app doesn't work on HTC devices :/

  • http://rootandroid.net Root Android

    I have cyanogenmod. So no worries in trying!

  • Sari

    Nyone knows if it works on the transformer

    • Cameron Summerson

      The second video shows it working on the Transformer...

  • http://iphoness.info/ iphoness

    Probably the only way I would get to relive Die Hard Trilogy, so I might as well give it a try, but not on a phone. I need a tablet. I hear you guys are giving one away? :)

  • sean

    I've read that it won't work on my HTC Sensation 4G cuz of the Bluetooth stack, but if u run CM7 it fixes this problem. Is CM7 avaliable for HTC Sensation and where can I get it? DO I have to be rooted and how do I do this? I really want to get the sixaxis app working on my phone! Please help!

  • GraveUypo

    meh it says it works on the motorola defy, but for some reason my gamepad won't pair with my phone even after i put the correct address on the gamepad using that pc software.didn't pair with my milestone 1 either.

    compatibility test said they're both compatible. both using cm7. not sure what's wrong. im gonna test with some other gamepads later, mine ain't exactly original branded...

    • RooskyEagle

      Does anybody have samsung exhibit 2? and did anybody got it to work? or do i need to download CM? Please let me know

  • DC

    It works on TF101 with ICS 4.0.3 (rooted)

  • Hallstatt

    this in wonderful, now.. what games can i play?

  • Jeepinxj1040

    Will it work on zte warp.

  • Emanuel Millan Chico

    The thing is that the app
    on my phone doesnt show the bluetooth adress

  • Tagforce

    did not work on Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 LTE SM-T705

    • Agumon

      same with me
      anyone knows how to solved this problem?
      mine, when enable the sixaxis controller the bluetooth wont turn on thus wont connet to the ps3 controller..
      help needed here..