Gaming on Android can be a whole spectrum of experiences from face melting awesomeness to shameful meh . Recent games releasing on Android have stepped up the controller support in a lot of their apps to encourage a more responsive and engaging experience. The problem then becomes finding a controller to connect. The Sixaxis controller made for the PS3 is a solid choice due to its solid build quality and high availability in retail stores. The primary drawbacks to using this controller are the cost, which is around $50, and connecting it isn’t always easy.
In attempting to use a SixAxis controller there are two approaches wired, or Bluetooth.
For a wired connection you’ll need a full sized USB port on your device. There are very few Android devices that have this but Asus Transformer Docks and the Toshiba Thrive come to mind. With this approach the process is simple; find a USB wire (the wire you charge the controller with) and connect it to the device and to the controller. Most honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich devices will recognize the controller immediately and you should be ready to go.
Wired controllers are an inconvenience though, so many people will want to attempt a Bluetooth connection. In this case you’ll need to meet some requirements before you proceed.
Once you’ve met all the prerequisites you’re ready to connect. Normally with a Bluetooth device you need to get the host and client devices to do a handshake so they connect and stay in synch. Due to the Bluetooth implementation on the Sixaxis controller we need to force the handshake using a PC and a driver (free) that was written by DancingPixelStudios, who also made the Android driver. Pick up the PC driver at this page where you can find instructions for Windows, Linux, and Mac. The tool itself is pretty simple.
Ok – you finally have all the pieces so lets roll through the steps.
The default settings work for many games, but stay tuned for an upcoming guide on how to configure the settings for some of those tricky games.