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How to Use a PS3 Controller on Mame

MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator) is a PC program that emulates arcade games. The MAME program is set up to use the keyboard for an input device, and maps the arcade buttons to the keyboard. For games that only need a button or two, the keyboard works well. More complex games such as Street Fighter or Tekken require added precision than a keyboard can't offer. Use a PS3 controller on the MAME application for accurate game play.

Switch off the PS3 on the back of the console. When the controller synchronizes with your PS3, it will not work on your PC.

Plug your PS3 controller into a free USB port on your computer. The miniUSB charging cable that came with your PS3 controller is the cord to use. Plug the larger end into an open USB port on your PC and the smaller end into the top of the controller.

Download the PS3 controller drivers (see Resources).

Right click on the downloaded file and unzip it. Use Winamp or WinAce to extract the file (see Resources). The folder labeled “11670_Sixaxis_PS3_Win32_Driver_For_PC” will appear. Three files are in the directory.

Double click the file named “libusb-win32-filter-bin-”. Click the “Next” button on the “Setup” window. Read the license agreement and click the “I Accept the Agreement” circle. Press the “Next” tab twice. If you wish to install the program into a different folder, select the folder by pressing the “Browse” button. Click the “Next” tab again.

Select the “Install” button. Allow the program to install. A window, “TestLibUsb,” will pop up.

Scroll down the “TestLibUsb” window. If the PS3 controller installs properly, it will show as “PlayStation(R)3 Controller” on this menu.

Open MAME. Begin a game and press the tab key on the keyboard in the game. A menu will show on top.

Highlight the “Input (General)” option and press the enter key on your keyboard. A list will show.

Highlight “Player 1 Controls” and press the enter button on the keyboard. Set the keys on the controller. Highlight the button you would like to assign to the PS3 controller and press the desired button on the controller.


If the PS3 controller does not show up on the “TestLibUsb” window, copy the “ps3sixaxis_en” file to your “System32” folder in the “Windows” directory. Run the “TestLibUsb” manually by double clicking on the file. The PS3 controller will then show on the list.

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