Setting up PS3 controllers on Retropie (Gasia/ Shanwan clones)

[update]

Meanwhile I have validated these instructions on a different machine, testing it on a desktop PC running openSuSE 42.2.  Everything worked as expected and I was able to remap the keys of my PS3 controller with QJoyPad in order to ‘translate’ the PS3 input to keyboard commands.

The instructions above also worked on Raspbian/Pi2 with an updated version of Retropie (3.7 -> 3.8, as well as 3.8 -> 4.1 ). Many users reported problems with the internal Pi3 bluetooth device. It appears to be fixed on Raspbian, but other distributions may still fail. In any case you have to make sure that your system is up-to-date (sudo apt-get update && apt-get upgrade).

In case that you follow the discussion thread on the RetroPie forum, you probably have read, that there are some issues with other brands of PS3 controllers. The instructions above do not work for SZMY-POWER PS3 clones. However, these controllers seem to work with the sixaxis-sixad daemon.

[Troubleshooting]

I receive a lot of messages from users, telling me that the instructions above do not work and their PS3 controllers do not pair. As I’ve been in touch with many users (see discussion below), most problems are related to previous pairing attempts using the RetroPie configuration script.

Therefore, I strongly recommend to start from scratch, i.e. to work on a freshly installed Raspbian image. Follow the guide above to install blueZ, then install Retropie using the RetroPie setup script. However, do not use the setup script to pair your PS3 controller! Retropie makes use of the sixaxis-sixad daemon. Be aware that sixad and blueZ cannot not run at the same time!

Please include console output of the step you got stuck with, otherwise troubleshooting will be difficult.

[Debugging]

For debugging you should collect as much information as possible about your controller. Run ‘hcidump -x’ and press the PS3 button on your controller. With a Shanwan controller, I can see the following output (when pairing was successful):

HCI sniffer - Bluetooth packet analyzer ver 5.41
device: hci0 snap_len: 1500 filter: 0xffffffff
> HCI Event: Connect Request (0x04) plen 10
 bdaddr 01:B6:52:85:63:25 class 0x000540 type ACL
> HCI Event: Command Status (0x0f) plen 4
 Accept Connection Request (0x01|0x0009) status 0x00 ncmd 1
> HCI Event: Connect Complete (0x03) plen 11
 status 0x00 handle 11 bdaddr 01:B6:52:85:63:25 type ACL encrypt 0x00
> HCI Event: Command Status (0x0f) plen 4
 Read Remote Supported Features (0x01|0x001b) status 0x00 ncmd 1
> HCI Event: Read Remote Supported Features (0x0b) plen 11
 status 0x00 handle 11
 Features: 0xff 0xff 0x8d 0x7a 0x98 0x1f 0x78 0x83
> HCI Event: Command Status (0x0f) plen 4
 Read Remote Extended Features (0x01|0x001c) status 0x00 ncmd 1
> HCI Event: Read Remote Extended Features (0x23) plen 13
 status 0x00 handle 11 page 1 max 1
 Features: 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00
> HCI Event: Command Status (0x0f) plen 4
 Remote Name Request (0x01|0x0019) status 0x00 ncmd 1
> HCI Event: Remote Name Req Complete (0x07) plen 255
 status 0x00 bdaddr 01:B6:52:85:63:25 name 'PLAYSTATION(R)3Conteroller-PANHAI'

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Andreas

Hello everyone. Thank you for that great work. I have a little problem with detecting my PS3 Controller. When i try to get informations about my Controller, dmesg shows nothing about my controller. I use “dmes | grep input” command, but only my keyboard will displayed. What i am doing wrong?

Matt

Hi luetzel, I have a new problem for another image I’m trying to fix. At step 5, I downloaded and extracted QtSixA but: pi@retropie:/QtSixA-1.5.1 $ patch -p1 < compilation_sid.patch patching file sixad/shared.h pi@retropie:/QtSixA-1.5.1 $ sudo make make -C qtsixa make[1]: Entering directory '/QtSixA-1.5.1/qtsixa' pyuic4 -o ./gui/ui_qtsixa_mainw.py ./gui/ui/qtsixa_mainw.ui make[1]: pyuic4: Command not found Makefile:7: recipe for target 'build' failed make[1]: *** [build] Error 127 make[1]: Leaving directory '/QtSixA-1.5.1/qtsixa' Makefile:6: recipe for target 'build' failed make: *** [build] Error 2 pi@retropie:/QtSixA-1.5.1 $ make make -C qtsixa make[1]: Entering directory '/QtSixA-1.5.1/qtsixa' pyuic4 -o ./gui/ui_qtsixa_mainw.py ./gui/ui/qtsixa_mainw.ui make[1]: pyuic4: Command not found Makefile:7: recipe for… Read more »

Matt

I have problems with step 4 pi@retropie: /bluez $ make -j3 Make: *** No targets specified and no makefile found. stop

Dan

Hi Luetzel, I am trying to connect a shanwan ps3 gamepad to my old laptop running Ubuntu 16.04. The gamepad seems to be stuck in some reconnection loop. All LEDs blink continuously but never settle on a number. This is the hcidump after disconnecting: https://pastebin.com/a6WmTX5E The log repeats itself as the gamepad keeps trying to connect and disconnect. Sixpair works fine and correctly shows the device: https://pastebin.com/88em69qy The same gamepad connects to a rPi3 running retropie so the controller should be working fine. Any ideas what is going on?

Julian

How can I do that? In case that it shows version 5.23, reboot the system and check it again. If it still shows the wrong version, you must change your –prefix=/usr ./configure option to the installation path of your distribution’s bluez package.

ferenczb

Hi Luetzel! Thanks for all the time you are spending with this. I have similar problem with a SHANWAN controller as some of the other commenters before: the controller connects, but it simple won’t pair. From bluetoothctl: [NEW] Controller A0:2C:36:6F:24:16 raspberrypi [default] [NEW] Device 05:37:96:52:63:25 PLAYSTATION(R)3 Controller [bluetooth]# info 05:37:96:52:63:25 Device 05:37:96:52:63:25 Name: PLAYSTATION(R)3Conteroller-PANHAI Alias: PLAYSTATION(R)3Conteroller-PANHAI Class: 0x000540 Icon: input-keyboard Paired: no Trusted: yes Blocked: no Connected: no LegacyPairing: no [CHG] Device 05:37:96:52:63:25 Connected: yes [PLAYSTATION(R)3Conteroller-PANHAI]# pair 05:37:96:52:63:25 Attempting to pair with 05:37:96:52:63:25 Failed to pair: org.bluez.Error.AuthenticationFailed [CHG] Device 05:37:96:52:63:25 Connected: no Sixpair: pi@raspberrypi:~/QtSixA-1.5.1/utils/bins $ sudo ./sixpair Current Bluetooth master:… Read more »

Nicholas Womack

Hello, I get to step 4, I just cloned your Already patched version, and first line works but make -j3 doesn’t work nor does sudo make install. I also get this when doing service status pi@raspberrypi:~ $ sudo service bluetooth status ● bluetooth.service – Bluetooth service Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/bluetooth.service; enabled) Active: failed (Result: exit-code) since Sat 2017-02-18 11:32:46 MST; 38min ago Docs: man:bluetoothd(8) Process: 1362 ExecStart=/usr/lib/bluetooth/bluetoothd (code=exited, status=203/EXEC) Main PID: 1362 (code=exited, status=203/EXEC) Feb 18 11:32:46 raspberrypi systemd[1]: Starting Bluetooth service… Feb 18 11:32:46 raspberrypi systemd[1]: bluetooth.service: main process exited, …EC Feb 18 11:32:46 raspberrypi systemd[1]: Failed to start Bluetooth… Read more »

slav

Hello, So I tried everything in your guide on my rp3 with retropie 4.1. , Had all sort of issues mentioned in here along the way witch I managed to sort out thanks to your advice. I did all of that on a fresh install, and my Gasia Controller still doesn’t pair. When I do “hcidump -x” I get this: > HCI Event: Connect Request (0x04) plen 10 bdaddr 00:26:5C:10:1D:B6 class 0x000540 type ACL > HCI Event: Command Status (0x0f) plen 4 Accept Connection Request (0x01|0x0009) status 0x00 ncmd 1 > HCI Event: Connect Complete (0x03) plen 11 status 0x08… Read more »

jojoly

It seems to be connected but the device just keep blinking and I get no input. Any tips ? Here is the log : kernel: input: Gasia Co.,Ltd PS(R) Gamepad as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.0/usb2/2-2/2-2:1.0/0003:054C:0268.0028/input/input44 kernel: sony 0003:054C:0268.0028: input,hiddev0,hidraw3: USB HID v1.11 Joystick [Gasia Co.,Ltd PS(R) Gamepad] on usb-0000:00:1d.0-2/input0 bluetoothd[821]: sixaxis: compatible device connected: PLAYSTATION(R)3 Controller (054C:0268) bluetoothd[821]: sixaxis: setting up new device kernel: usb 2-2: USB disconnect, device number 13 kernel: input: PLAYSTATION(R)3 Controller as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.1/usb3/3-2/3-2:1.0/bluetooth/hci0/hci0:69/0005:054C:0268.0029/input/input45 kernel: sony 0005:054C:0268.0029: input,hidraw3: BLUETOOTH HID v0.00 Joystick [PLAYSTATION(R)3 Controller] on 00:1a:7d:da:71:04 bluetoothd[821]: sixaxis: compatible device connected: PLAYSTATION(R)3 Controller (054C:0268)