The effectiveness of equivalent force control (EFC) method has been experimentally validated through hybrid tests with simple specimens. In this paper, the EFC method is applied for the MDOF pseudo-dynamic substructure tests in which a three-storey frame-supported reinforced concrete masonry shear wall with full scale is chosen as physical substructure. The effects of equivalent force controller parameters on the response performance are studied. Analytical expressions for the controller parameter ranges are derived to avoid response overshooting or oscillation and are verified by numerical simulation. The controller parameters are determined based on analytical and numerical studies and used in the actual full-scale pseudo-dynamic test. The test results show good tracking performance of EFC, which indicates a successful test. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.