How to Get a PS3 Controller to Work With a Sega Emulator

By Eric Pederson ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • PS3 controller
  • Micro USB to USB cord
  • Motion in Joy software and driver
Using the PlayStation 3 controller on your PC can help bring those classic Genesis titles to life once again.

The Sega Genesis was popular in the 1990s, but has since become rather outdated. Those who still want to play the old Genesis games generally have to do so with the help of PC emulators. The old keyboard and mouse setup doesn't really replicate the feel of a true gaming controller; but, thanks to a bit of ingenuity and modding, you can use the PS3 controller in order to get a more authentic gaming experience with these classic titles right on your PC.

Determine What Software You Need

Press the Start button (the Windows-logo button on the lower-left-hand portion of your computer screen) and right-click "Computer."

Select "Properties" from the drop-down menu. A new window opens showing all of your computer's specifications.

Look for the System Type category and take note of whether your system is a 64-bit or a 32-bit operating system. You will need this information later when deciding which file to download.

Download Motion in Joy

Navigate to the Motion in Joy downloads page and select the download that matches your particular system. (See Resources)

Click on the "Site 1" button just to the right of the file you need in order to initiate the download.

Choose a location on your computer where you want to save the file. Click "OK."

Install Motion in Joy and PS3 Controller Drivers

Locate the Motion in Joy file that you downloaded, right-click the file, and select "Unzip." Choose a location on your computer to unzip the files to, and press "OK."

Open the folder where you unzipped all the Motion in Joy files. Double-click on the Install.exe file to activate the installation. Follow the setup steps on the screen. By default, the program installs all the necessary files into the correct locations, so there is no need to make any changes.

Plug the PS3 controller into the computer using the micro USB to USB cord. The micro USB side of the cord needs to be plugged into the top of the PS3 controller and the USB section can be plugged into any available USB slots on your PC. If you have not done this before, you will have to wait a few moments as the system installs the necessary drivers.

Press the "Start" button again, select "All Programs" and locate "Motion in Joy." Look for an option in that category that reads "Install USB Driver." Right-click this option and choose "Run as Administrator" in order to begin installing the driver.

Restart your computer at this point only if you are running a 64-bit system. If you are running a 32-bit system, skip this step. Upon restart, immediately begin pressing the "F8" button to bring up the BIOS menu. Select "Disable Driver Signature Enforcement." Press "Enter" to finish rebooting the computer.

Enabling the PS3 Controller

Press the "Start" button, select "All Programs," click "Motion in Joy" and select "DS3 Tool." This tool is the main interface for assigning input commands to the PS3 controller.

Make sure the PS3 controller is attached to the computer via the micro USB to USB cord. Press the PS button in the center of the controller.

Select the "PlayStation 3" option and click "Vibration Testing" to verify that the controller is responding to the program.

Leave the DS3 Tool running while playing any Genesis games.

Assigning the Buttons to the Genesis Emulator

Open whichever Sega Genesis emulator you have installed and select the "Input" option from the menu at the top.

Select "Motion in Joy Gamepad" from the drop-down menu of available controllers.

Select "Configure Buttons" or "Configure Input" to bring up a screen with a list of Genesis buttons that need to be given commands.

Click the blank space next to each Genesis command and press whichever button you would like to assign it to on the PS3 controller. Do this for all of the available commands.

Press "Save" before exiting this screen and playing a game.

About the Author

Eric Pederson has been professionally writing stories, poetry and technology review articles since 2008. He won two national young authors awards and has been published in the online poetry magazine The Sketchbook. He received his Bachelor of Science in secondary English education from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.