PS3XPAD HEN Review: Unlocking DS4 v2 Controller Connectivity on Super Slim PS3

The PS3 has a special place in PlayStation gaming, especially among enthusiasts who love to tinker with their gaming experience. For those who own a PS3 Super Slim and have been exploring the world of PS3XPAD HEN (Homebrew Enabler), there’s exciting news on the horizon. Thanks to the ingenious work of our fellow gamers from Russia, you can now connect a DS4 v2 controller to your PS3 via a Bluetooth dongle. In this comprehensive review, we’ll walk you through the steps to achieve this feat with the help of PS3XPAD HEN.

Introduction PS3XPAD HEN

The PlayStation 3, although older in the gaming timeline, still holds its charm. And with the introduction of Homebrew Enabler (HEN) custom firmware, the PS3 community has breathed new life into their beloved consoles. One significant advancement in this realm is connecting a DS4 v2 controller wirelessly via a Bluetooth dongle, even on the Super Slim PS3 model.

Getting Started: Adding PS3XPAD to Your Arsenal

Getting Started: Adding PS3XPAD to Your Arsenal

Step 1: Downloading and Installing PS3XPAD

The first step on this exciting journey is to acquire the PS3XPAD plugin and add it to your PS3’s plugins folder. You can find a signed archive of PS3XPAD conveniently available online. Simply copy the contents of the downloaded archive’s plugins folder and paste them into ‘/dev_hdd0/’ on your PS3’s internal drive.

Step 2: Configuring boot_plugins.txt

It’s time to ensure the plugin gets loaded when your HEN is enabled. If you don’t already have a ‘boot_plugins.txt’ file in ‘/dev_hdd0/’, create one. Inside this file, add the following line (without quotes): “/dev_hdd0/plugins/ps3xpad/xpad_vsh.sprx”.

Configuring PS3XPAD

Navigating the PS3XPAD Folder

Navigating the PS3XPAD Folder

With the plugin in place, navigate to the ‘ps3xpad’ folder in the ‘plugins’ folder. The path should be ‘/dev_hdd0/plugins/ps3xpad/’.

The following files can be found in this folder:

  • background.png
  • font.png
  • xpad_devices.txt
  • xpad_game.sprx
  • xpad_remap.txt
  • xpad_settings.txt
  • xpad_vsh.sprx

Customizing xpad_devices.txt

Customizing xpad_devices.txt

Open ‘xpad_devices.txt’ with a text editor of your choice. Remove any existing content and replace it with your hardware ID (hwid) and product ID (pid) for your DS4 controller and Bluetooth dongle. This step is crucial, ensuring that the plugin recognizes the devices correctly. Keep in mind that the hwid and pid for your devices might differ, so make sure to verify them using ‘lsusb’ on Linux or Device Manager on Windows.

Tweaking xpad_settings.txt

Now, open ‘xpad_settings.txt’ and ensure that all settings are configured to ‘0,’ except for ‘RESPONSE_TIME,’ which should be set to ‘5.’ This setting optimization ensures a smoother gaming experience.

Bringing It All Together

ps3xpad hen review

Connecting Your DS4 Controller and Bluetooth Dongle

It’s showtime! Plug your DS4 controller into one USB port and your Bluetooth dongle into another on your PS3. As you boot up your PS3, you may receive a notification from PS3XPAD stating “Unknown USB Device.” Don’t worry; we’ll address this shortly.

Activating HEN

Load HEN on your PS3. Once loaded successfully, you should see a prompt indicating that XPAD is loaded in VSH mode. If you don’t see this prompt, backtrack through the steps to ensure you haven’t missed anything. Additionally, check if your controller is still functioning. If not, press the PS Button while the controller is connected via USB. The light should turn dark blue, indicating that the controller is operational.

Accessing PS3XPAD GUI

To customize your DS4 controller’s connectivity further, open the PS3XPAD GUI by pressing SELECT + START + SQUARE simultaneously. Navigate to Bluetooth settings and click on “Set DS4 internal BT address.” It’s worth noting that some users have reported minor issues, including crashes, during this process. However, a second attempt often resolves these issues, and everything works as intended.

The Experience

Now that your DS4 v2 controller is successfully connected to your PS3 using HEN and PS3XPAD let’s delve into the gaming experience. While the setup process might seem intricate, it opens up a world of possibilities, allowing you to enjoy your favorite PS3 titles with a modern and responsive controller.

Known Issues

As with any custom modifications, there are some known bugs and limitations to be aware of. Games like Red Dead Redemption (RDR) and Grand Theft Auto V (GTA5) may not function correctly with this setup. However, these issues seem to be exceptions, as most other games should work seamlessly. Features such as the PS button and six-axis functionality remain intact, providing an overall enhanced gaming experience on your aging but beloved PS3.


In conclusion, the PS3XPAD HEN solution breathes new life into your Super Slim PS3 by enabling the wireless use of DS4 v2 controllers. With some technical know-how and patience, you can transform your gaming experience and enjoy the best of both worlds: the nostalgia of your PS3 games and the modernity of the DS4 controller. While there may be a few hiccups along the way, the rewards of this endeavor are undoubtedly worth it for dedicated PS3 enthusiasts. So, if you’re ready to embark on this exciting journey, don’t hesitate to follow the steps outlined in this guide and unlock a new level of gaming joy on your trusty PS3. Happy gaming!

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