Why Does My PS3 Controller Reload by Itself?

Why Does My PS3 Controller Reload by Itself? thumbnail
The PlayStation Move controller may reset and require calibration in some instances.

The PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system supports a wide array of game and input devices, including the DualShock 3 controller and PlayStation Move motion-sensing controller, which typically rely on wireless communication with the system and may reload intermittently at some times. This rarely happens during play, however, and random reloading may indicate a number of different problems.

  1. Low Batteries

    • PS3 controllers rely on internal batteries powered through the USB port on a computer or gaming console. These batteries discharge normally during play, and low batteries provide poor signal strength that may cause the controller to reload intermittently. Charging the batteries to full after each play session and switching controllers when one begins to run low on power will help alleviate this problem.

    Signal Interference

    • The DualShock 3 and similar controllers transmit wireless signals to the PS3 in wireless mode. These signals may experience interference from nearby devices. This interference may cause the system to believe that you no longer need the controller or have powered down the accessory. Devices such as microwaves, vacuums and other home appliances may cause interference with the controller’s signal. Avoid use of these devices when employing wireless controllers.

    Incorrect Calibration

    • The PlayStation Move controller and PlayStation Eye camera require very sensitive calibration setup that may cause a reload if environmental signals change. This includes bright lights in a previously darkened room, direct light and sunlight on the Eye, different players with largely different body types switching in and out of play, or any similar changes that go beyond what you calibrated at the start of the game or software use. Some games allow recalibration between levels to help alleviate this problem, while others may require returning to controller setup whenever players in a game change or the background environment changes.

    Other Potential Causes

    • Damaged USB cables or ports during wired play and incompatible third-party accessories are other possible causes. PS3 controllers offer a wired mode that allows you to play on the system while charging your controller. The use of damaged USB cables or ports on the unit prevents constant transmission of signals. Replacing faulty cables or sending the unit in for repair on the port should solve the problem. Rapidly switching between wired and wireless play can also cause similar problems. Many third-party controllers, especially those designed for multiple gaming systems, may reload for any number of reasons. These include incompatible signals, controller settings or a lack of official PS3 support for the third-party accessory. Manufacturers attempt to meet the specifications set by Sony for peripherals, but some unlicensed controllers may result in regular controller resets and reloading.

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  • Photo Credit Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images News/Getty Images

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