The Nexus 7 is a plucky little tablet with a quad-core Tegra 3 heart, making it brilliant for games. But even with a 7" screen, touch controls just aren't the best way of playing. In this article, I'll be showing you how to put that PS3 controller to good use and get a true console gaming experience on the Nexus 7. Let's get right into it.
You Will Need
So, what is required to achieve Nexus 7 gaming nirvana? Well, it's quite simple, you'll just need these:
A Nexus 7 (duh)
A PS3 controller (or another USB gamepad)
A USB OTG cable
A mini USB to USB cable (comes with the PS3)
You should have all but item #3, which you may remember I covered in an article last week. A USB OTG cable, short for USB on-the-go and also known as a USB host cable, is available readily online and should cost you less than £10. As well as working with controllers, it should also allow you to connect USB keyboards and mice. With a rooted Nexus 7, you can achieve even more... but we'll cover that later!
So it's a fairly simple operation in truth. You'll need to connect your USB OTG cable to the micro USB port of your Nexus 7, then the other end into your PS3 charging cable. This cable has a mini USB on one end (which goes into the controller) and USB on the other, so connect it in the only way possible. Finally, plug the charging cable into the PS3 controller. With luck, your PS3 controller will turn on and be automagically detected by the Nexus 7.
Now you can use your gamepad in games that support it! Yay! A good place to start is Nvidia's TegraZone app, which will point you towards many a fine Tegra 3 optimised title. As well as the link itself, the TegraZone app will let you know which apps include joystick support. Just go to the games tab, then look for games with the 'Controller' checkmark.
One game you can't miss is Dead Trigger, a brilliant zombie shooter that works fantastically with the controller (even if it isn't listed in the TegraZone app as having controller support for some reason!). If you'd prefer a less violent option, then the new racing title Asphalt 7 works well with a controller.
Another good use for the gamepad is with emulators. Most contemporary emulators will support gamepads, as these will let you play classic titles the way they were meant to be played instead of with annoying touch screen controls.
If you're rooted, you open up a much broader swathe of possibilities for gaming with a controller. Download the Sixaxis Controller app, and you'll be able to do the unthinkable: go fully wireless! You'll need to pair the controller within the app using your USB OTG cable first, then you'll be able to glean the controller's Bluetooth ID and be able to connnect to it.
The Sixaxis Controller app also allows you to do more advanced tasks, like mapping buttons to emulate touches on the screen - this way, you can use controllers even with apps that weren't designed with controllers in mind. Take a screenshot of the game first (using the volume down and lock buttons simultaneously) then import it into the touch profile. Once the screenshot is in place, it's easy to double tap the screen and add your mappings in the right places.
That's all, folks
And that's about it - now you should know everything necessary for getting that console controller situation going on with your Nexus 7. If you've got any questions about the process let me know and I'll help out if I can. If you found the article useful, hit me up with some Kudos below as well! Thanks for readin' and have a good night!
William Judd is a writer-person with a love of video games and gadgets.