Making PS3 Controller Work on OSX Yosemite

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Spent an hour grappling with this last night. Here’s how to get the PS3 controller working on Yosemite.

Pair the PS3 controller with your mac:

It seems Yosemite’s bluetooth device list is a little buggy and devices can show in the top bar bluetooth drop down but not in the system configuration bluetooth page for some devices. The PS3 controller is one of these devices.

After a while digging around the net I found some working instructions thanks to user DillingerEscapeHam on Reddit:

  • Plug PS3 controller into laptop
  • See Bluetooth device in status bar menu (though just a bt address, not named “Playstation Controller”)
  • Click to Connect device in status bar menu
  • Open System Preferences
  • No device listed
  • Unplug controller
  • Attempt to turn controller on without cable (no response, no flashing lights)
  • Controller was now listed correctly as Playstation controller in status bar menu and was listed as Connected
  • Disconnect controller via menu.
  • Unplug and start controller with PS button. It connects correctly.

After you get the controller paired you’ll need either a game that supports the controller or an app like Joystick Mapper (paid) or Enjoy2 (free) which allows binding of keyboard keys or mouse buttons/swipes to controller events. I recommend forking out the $6 for Joystick Mapper, as I’ve had issues with sensitivity on Enjoy2.

That should be all there is to it. I’m currently playing Hearthstone with a PS3 controller on Yosemite just fine!