How to Use a Playstation Controller

Usable with both PlayStation 1 and PlayStation 2 consoles, the original PlayStation controller remains a popular, vital accessory. Even as new consoles are readily available on the market, the PS2 and its accompanying original PlayStation controller remains the most widely purchased and used gaming system, according to MSNBC News. Unfortunately, some users new to the PS1 or PS2 craze may be unfamiliar with the controller’s connectivity and interface. Luckily, using a PlayStation control isn’t very difficult if you follow the right steps.

Consult the back of the PlayStation game’s case to see if the game requires an “analog” controller. PlayStation controllers come in two varieties: standard and analog. The analog controllers feature two joysticks and a built-in “rumble pack,” whereas the standard controllers are smaller and do not have any joysticks. Analog controllers will work with any PlayStation game, but standard controllers are not compatible with all games. If your game requires an analog controller, you must purchase this upgrade before you can play using a controller.

Plug the PlayStation controller’s cable into the front of the PlayStation 1 or PlayStation 2 console. You must plug the controller into the “Player 1” spot for it to work correctly. You can only use the “Player 2” slot if there is already a controller in the first port. The “Player 1” slot is the leftmost controller port, and it is labeled with the number “1.”

Turn on the PlayStation console. The system will automatically detect the new controller, making it ready for use.

Press the “Analog” button in the center of the console if the game you are playing requires an analog controller. You will see a small light turn on when you push this button, indicating that the joystick feature is engaged.

Consult your game’s guide or an in-game help menu to learn the appropriate buttons for game play. Every PlayStation game requires the user to push different buttons during game play. To properly use your controller, you need to know which buttons the game utilizes. When learning the controller buttons, there is certain terminology you need to know: the arrow-keys are often referred to as the controller’s “D-Pad;” the buttons on the right-hand side are referred to according to the square, circle, triangle, and “X” symbols on the buttons; lastly, the “trigger” buttons on the top left side are called “L1” and “L2,” while the top right-hand side’s triggers are “R1” and “R2.”


  • In some rare occasions, PlayStation games make reference to an obscure “L3” or “R3” button. These are not actually independent buttons on the controller, but rather these terms describe the action of pressing down on an analog controller’s joysticks as if the joysticks were themselves “buttons.” “L3” is the term for pressing down on the left joystick and the right joystick is represented as the “R3” button.