Introduction: Vibration Triggers on PlayStation 3 Controller
Have you heard that new Xbox One has 4 vibration motors? 2 in the handles, as usual, and 2 built into the bumpers (triggers)? Like so, it can provide force feedback when you shoot somebody's head off in Call of Duty. Well then, those are just two small motors – why can't we have them inside our DualShock 3 and get that experience on PlayStation 3?
This is pretty simple operation so even if you've never done a controller mod before – don't be scared, it's super-easy.
Total cost: $3
Tools: screwdriver, soldering iron
Step 1: Get Motors!
Luckily for DualShock owners, triggers in DS3 are hollow and have A LOT of space inside. You can stick something like 10mm x 4mm inside. Twice, actually.
All we need to do is to buy some tiny vibration motors off ebay. They'd better to have adhesive side, but if not – just use superglue. Beware the maximum size: 10mm by 4mm. I've found some handy 10x2.7mm adhesive motors for as cheap as whooping 3$ for 5 motors. That's like 60 cents a piece!
We only need 2 of them though (means, you can do two controllers and have a spare motor).
Step 2: Attach Motors
Next, get your dualshock3 open. I won't be describing the process, but it is pretty straightforward. 5 screws, pull the cover, you're done. No need to detach the board!
Take the triggers off the controller. Be gentle since the white plastic that holds the trigger can snap pretty easily.
Once you've taken your triggers out, take them apart. That's right! Each trigger consists of two parts. Be careful not to crack the "ears" when you pull the middle plastic out.
When you pulled it apart you can attach your motors. But here's the catch: if you are going to solder them to different "big" motors later – they're going to vibrate at different speeds (left motor is quick and light, right is heavy and slow). It's totally okay: I've did it like that on my first attempt and it felt all right. But then I tried to attach little motors differently and then they started to feel more alike.
One way of inserting a motor: vertical. Just like it is in the picture. You put in a motor and attach it to the "floor" of the trigger, the concave part of it without "2" on the other side. In this way motor would be moving up and down (not literally, but applying force).
Other way of inserting a motor: horizontal. Attach a motor to the flat "wall" that has "2" on the outside. This way motor will go back and forth and would be placed right above the button mechanism.
Even if your motors have adhesive stickers I still would recommend to use glue. Thing is: during excessive head-shooting in Call of Duty motor can unstick and float inside the controller like a lost balloon, making rattling fart sounds all the way. Your teammates may assume that's you. So use glue, my friend.
Step 3: Assemble It All!
Put the trigger back together and put it on it's place. Don't forget the tiny spring!
Now, solder the motor in parallel with the "big" motor on each side. Or, if you'd like them to vibrate simultaneously, solder both small motors to light and fast "big" motor. It is going to work in either way.
Make sure no wires are sticking out when you close the shell. Once you close it – don't rush to screw the whole thing back together. Go test it first! Mine was a little noisy at first – that means you need more glue (or let it dry)!
So, how does this mod feel? I'd say, it's not something Sony should've put in DS3 from the beginning, but it is nice. It feels different, especially in shooters. And for such a simple thing to do (and $3!) – it is totally worth it.
Let me know how it goes in comments!