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The Best PS3 Controllers for Every Gamer

young boy holding a PS3 controller and smiling at the TV

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the longest PS3 gameplay marathon with a controller was 135 hours and 50 minutes, played by Okan Kaya from Australia in 2012 on Call of Duty: Black Ops II. You may not have put in five solid days of gaming, but you’ve probably racked up some respectable hours on your PS3—is it time for a new controller?

Your controller is your connection to the PS3 world. Whether you call yourself a hardcore, core, or casual gamer, skills can only do so much against worn-out hardware. Don’t let sticky buttons or a malfunctioning analog stick take you out of the game.

What to Consider When Choosing a PS3 Controller

Consider these things when looking for a PS3 controller for you:

  • First- or Third-Party: A first-party controller is one made by the same company that made the console; in this case, Sony. Using a first-party controller gives you the benefit of guaranteed compatibility, responsiveness, and durability—just be on the lookout for counterfeits. A third-party controller made by another manufacturer may offer more features and will probably be considerably less expensive.
  • Battery Type: Controllers may have an internal, rechargeable battery, or they may require replaceable AA batteries. Pay attention to the play time you can expect to receive from a charge. You may want to buy two controllers so that you’ll always have one charged and ready.
  • Wireless or Wired: A wireless connection to your game console gives you freedom, but if you can live without it, a wired controller can save you money. Wired controllers draw power from the system, offering the advantage of not using batteries, but be sure to think about the layout of your gaming space and whether the cord is long enough for comfort during play.
  • Customization: Some controllers allow you to make adjustments to the settings on joysticks or buttons, which can be useful if you want to improve your performance on particular games.
  • Design: A controller should have a comfortable grip and be easy to hold. Controllers that come in different colors or with graphics can help you keep track of which controller is yours, and they give you a  chance to show some style.

Best Overall: Sony Playstation Dualshock 3

wireless red PS3 controllerRated as one of the top ten controllers of all time by multiple gamers and websites, the Playstation Dualshock 3 is a great choice for a high-end game experience. The controller is equipped with hand-vibrating Dualshock response and Sixaxis technology that senses motion in all axes of the six degrees of freedom. It’s wireless so you can sit comfortably while you play, and comes directly from Sony, so you know it will work amazingly with your PS3.

Best Value: Chengdao PS3 Controller 2 Pack

two wireless galaxy-patterned PS3 controllers, one red and one black

This wireless controller closely resembles the Playstation Dualshock 3 in design but costs much less. It has two built-in shock motors and supports Sixaxis motion sensing. Its battery will give you up to eight hours of continuous play when fully charged, and it comes in two exciting prints in this two-pack.

Best Value

CHENGDAO Controller for PS3 2 Pack Wireless Controller for Playstaion 3 6-Axis with High-Performance Double Shock, Motion Control, USB Charging Cable (Skull + Galaxy)

The Chengdao wireless controller closely resembles the Playstation Dualshock 3 in design, but it costs much less.

Best Wireless Rechargeable: Bek Design Wireless

wireless purple PS3 controller with two spare joystick covers

This vibrating wireless controller is simple, responsive, and very affordable. It has a rechargeable battery that requires a USB cable. It also comes with two grip caps for the thumb joysticks that are comfortable and convenient.

Best Multi-Platform: ZD-V+ Wired Gaming Controller

wire black PS3 controller


A wired gamepad with USB connection, this controller can be used on PS3s, Windows-based laptops, Android devices, and the Steam platform. The high precision components give you a good game experience, and the ergonomic design feels comfortable in your hand.

Best Multi-Platform

ZD-V+ USB Wired Gaming Controller Gamepad For PC/Laptop Computer(Windows XP/7/8/10/11) & PS3 & Android & Steam - [Black]

This controller can be used on PS3s, Windows-based laptops, Android devices, and the Steam platform.

Lisa Walenceus Lisa Walenceus
Lisa Walenceus has 20 years of research and writing experience as an educator, news reporter, and freelancer. She writes to learn and digs deep to find how things work. Read Full Bio »
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