The DUALSHOCK 3 controller for the PlayStation 3 (PS3) is the newest game pad from Sony for the PS3 console. It has two joysticks and 14 buttons, and its feel and weight works well for gamers, especially after the much lighter DUALSHOCK 2. The controller also has a rumble feature, supported by most new games. If you experience problems with your controller's vibration, you can check and reset a few functions to narrow the possible causes and attempt to get your controller back to working properly.
Ensure that the PS3 controller's other functions work properly. You should be able to use the buttons and joysticks on the controller; otherwise you need to pair it again to the PS3 by pressing the PS button on the front. The controller may need to be recharged, which you can do by plugging it into the PS3 with its provided USB cable.
Check to see whether the controller does have the vibrating feature. The "DUALSHOCK 3" controller has the vibration feature, so you should look for "DUALSHOCK 3" on the front of the controller near the USB connector port. Earlier controllers do not vibrate.
Check to see whether the game you're playing supports vibration. Compatible games have the "DUALSHOCK 3" name and logo on the back of the case.
Turn on the vibration function in the XMB menu, if necessary. This option is in "Settings," then "Accessory Settings," then "Controller Vibration Function."
Enable vibration in the game you're playing. This is usually listed in the "Options" or "Settings" section of the main menu. Refer to your specific game's manual for details.
Reset the controller. The reset button on the controller is in a small hole near the L2 button. If you look at the back of the controller, you should see it just a little right of center. Insert a paperclip or other small object to press the button. After this, you must pair the controller to the PS3 again by pressing the PS button.
Reset your PS3. You can turn it off using the in-game menu under "Users" then "Turn Off System" or by pressing the power button on the PS3 for two seconds.
Pair the controller with another PS3 and see whether vibration works then. If the vibration still does not work, the problem is with the controller, and you may need to replace it. If it does work, the problem is with your PS3, and you may need Sony to service your PS3 and repair it.
A lover of technology in all forms, Matt Skaggs began writing professionally in 2010, specializing in Windows computers and Android devices. His writing has appeared on many websites providing a plethora of technology information and tutorials. In 2008 Skaggs graduated from Bob Jones University with a Bachelor of Arts in humanities.