Can PS1 Controllers Work On PS2?

With PlayStation, Sony introduced a revolutionary way to enjoy games that were now in full 3D and featured huge FMV cutscenes for a more cinematic experience. To navigate through this exciting new world gamers used the brand-new controller that had a D-pad with 4 face buttons (X, square, triangle, circle). It even had triggers for your middle fingers, something that every prior controller had lacked.

But can PS1 controllers work on PS2? Yes, they will work on PS2 because both PS1 and PS2 controllers share the same port and basic control layout. Because PS2 uses a PS1 CPU as its I/O chip, it can perfectly read inputs from a PS1 controller and can even read PS1 memory cards.

If you connect your PS1 controller to a PS2, make sure you’re not using it for a game that requires the DualShock. If the game doesn’t need analog sticks, you can play it just fine with a PS1 controller. Another thing to remember is that the PS1 controller doesn’t have pressure-sensitive buttons, while the DualShock does.

PS1 Controller vs PS2 Controller

If you open up both controllers you’ll see that they share much of the same basic circuitry with two exceptions. Firstly, the DualShock has two analog sticks and rumble motors. Secondly, it has pressure-sensitive buttons that are used by a small group of games such as Gran Turismo.

What this means is that you can control the throttle and brake in Gran Turismo using just the X and square button rather than the right analog stick. This feature didn’t stick around for too long because it had more downsides than upsides. For example, people often found themselves slowing down in racing games just because they slightly lifted off on the X button.

These days, the only pressure-sensitive parts of a controller are the triggers (L2 and R2). PlayStation 1’s controller had none of these fancy features, it didn’t have a rumble motor or analog sticks. Yet, games were designed around these limitations until the upgrade controller with analog sticks arrived in 1997.

You don’t have to do anything special to make a PS1 controller work on PS2. Just plug it in like a DualShock and insert your PS1 disc into the tray. PS2 can also read PS1 memory cards (these will only work with PS1 games, not with PS2 games).

Is A PS2 Controller Compatible With A PS1?

Here’s the fun part- not only does a PS1 controller work flawlessly on PS2, but a PS2 controller will also work flawlessly on PS1. Because the controllers are so similar in how they process and send inputs, you can use them on either console. Just keep in mind the fact that many PS2 games require analog sticks so you can’t play them with a PS1 controller.

What Controllers Work On A PS2?

In addition to PS1 and DualShock controllers, PS2 can also support a small group of third-party controllers. The Logitech Wireless Action Controller is officially licensed and built quite well. You can also purchase modern 3rd party controllers for your PS2, such as this one from Blue Lake Performance.

Do PS1 Controllers Work On PS3?

The DualShock 3 works perfectly for playing PS1 games on PS3, but you can’t use the original PS1 controllers. PS3 has USB ports rather than the old controller ports, which are used primarily for charging the wireless DualShock 3. If you want, you can purchase an adapter that makes PS1/ PS2 controllers work on PS3.

Which PS2 Model Plays PS1 Games?

All of them, because PS2’s I/O chip is just a PS1 CPU. Normally this works as a controller for the front ports, DVD drive, rear expansion slot, etc. But if a PS1 disc is detected, this I/O chip switches into backward compatibility mode.

Did PS1 Have Joysticks?

Not originally, but it got upgraded controllers in 1997 called Dual Analog. Eventually, this developed into the DualShock which would be used on PlayStation 2.

Because Sony hadn’t quite figured out a durable enough rumble system, they removed rumble from the European and American releases of the Dual Analog controller. Thankfully, this feature was put back into DualShock for PS2.


I hope this article helped you understand more about the backward compatibility of PS2 with PS1 controllers. You can connect a PS1 controller to a PS2 as long as the game doesn’t require a DualShock. Some games even use the pressure-sensitive buttons of DualShock 2 and won’t work with a regular DualShock.

For those who aren’t aware, the DualShock is an improved version of the Dual Analog controller that was originally released in 1997 for PS1. It added rumble, and the DualShock 2 is a DualShock with pressure-sensitive face buttons. Because it uses the same protocol as a PS1 controller, a PS2 controller can be connected to the PS1.

If you found this article useful, you may want to save this pin below to your Gaming board.


As long as I can remember myself I always enjoyed video games. I had amazing moments playing them and that's why I became a game developer, to create amazing experiences for the players. Read More About Me

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts