PC gaming controllers

13 Best Controllers For PC 2023 – Ultimate Gaming Equipment

Are you passionate about PC games but tired of using a mouse and keyboard? Here are the Best Controllers For Pc and joypads to buy right now, divided by technical characteristics and budget. Some video games are more enjoyable or even specifically designed for use with a gamepad controller.

Games on the market are in fact designed to run on consoles, with controls made specifically for controller buttons, which is why PC gamers often prefer to rely on joypads to enhance their gaming experience.

The standards on which all best game controllers are based at the moment are based on the pads of the Microsoft consoles, with Xbox-style controllers, i.e. with asymmetrical analogs, and Sony, with DualShock-style controllers with parallel and symmetrical analog sticks you can also use Steering Wheels for the heavy gaming purpose.

To choose the Best Controllers For Pc for your needs, it is good to know where you want to use it; not all PC models are also compatible with other platforms, so if you also own other game consoles, it may be useful to focus on models with the greatest possible compatibility. Another feature to consider is the ability to play over a cable or wireless connection. If you intend to compete online, it is recommended that you opt for a wired controller with a USB connection to decrease command latency and allow for better performance during matches and tournaments.

The wireless controller can have a minimum of latency which however does not affect offline games. Some joypad models allow you to play in both modes. Now let’s see what are the Best Controllers For PC to buy based on their features and value for money.

1. Microsoft Xbox Elite

Microsoft Xbox Elite

The Best Controllers For Pc is Microsoft’s Xbox Elite, it offers over 30 game modes to choose from thanks to the sensitivity adjustment of the tension sticks and the presence of interchangeable components.

The gamepad controller can save up to 3 custom profiles in addition to the default profile, and you can switch between them by simply pressing the Profile button. All these features and keys, however, result in a weight of 345 grams, which for some may be a bit heavy.

It is characterized by a rubberized surface that improves the grip, from which it is possible to access numerous keys located at the bottom of the controller.

The autonomy of this wireless controller ensures up to 40 hours of gameplay; The joypad can be charged inside and outside the case via the included USB C cable and charging bay. It can also be used via a USB cable.

Pros
  • Interchangeable components
  • Customizable
  • Wireless use or via USB C cable
Cons
  • Price
  • Weight

 

2. Razer Wolverine

Razer Wolverine

The Razer Wolverine is Best Next-Gen Controller for professional racing, features an Xbox-style asymmetrical analog lever design, and features 4 removable customizable multifunction buttons.

The Razer Wolverine has been designed to be used during competitions and is therefore equipped with a USB connection to reduce input lag and the Hair Trigger mode that allows you to lock the triggers to change the sensitivity and be able to respond quickly even in the middle of battles. more frenetic.

From an aesthetic point of view, the Razer Wolverine allows you to customize the lighting systematizer Chroma to set lighting effects that will activate during the game, for an even more immersive experience.

The software also allows you to adjust the sensitivity of the analog levers and also the dead zone, customizing the experience according to the force that is put in pushing the lever before the command is registered by the controller itself.

The build quality of this game controller is very high, and the keys are characterized by a sound similar to that obtained by the mouse, which however is not unpleasant during the game.

Pros
  • Hair Trigger Mode
  • Razer Chroma lighting
  • Build quality
Cons
  • No wireless mode

 

3. Valve Software Wireless Steam Controller

Valve Software Wireless Steam Controller

The Steam Controller is one of the Best First Party Controllers for PC, featuring two trackpads positioned at the top of the controller, which work in a similar way to those of a notebook, making the gaming experience unique compared to other models.

The left trackpad has the D-pad function, while the right trackpad is used as a mouse, for turning the game camera or for aiming. However, it takes some time before you can adjust to these trackpads, especially if you intend to play first-person shooters.

Being a single controller, it is necessary to use it for several game sessions before being able to master it, but once you become familiar with the device, you will find yourself in front of a controller with 16 physical keys and up to 14 freely programmable virtual keys.

Equipped with a wireless connection, the joypad can also be used via USB to decrease latency and improve performance in online games.

Pros
  • All keys are programmable
  • Configurable touch trackpads
  • Big but light
Cons
  • Trackpads have to be adapted
  • Need to open games via Steam for it to work
  • No vibration

 

4. SteelSeries Stratus Duo

SteelSeries Stratus Duo

The SteelSeries Stratus Duo supports both wireless connection, to connect it to the PC, and Bluetooth connection that allows it to connect to Android devices or VR headsets, for maximum versatility. It is one of the Best Value Controllers and offers a reception range of 12 meters via WiFi.

This is a wireless type PC controller, and cannot be used via the USB cable, which is only used for charging. The lithium battery guarantees an autonomy of up to 20 hours and you can use it while recharging thanks to the cable length of 1.8 meters.

The SteelSeries Stratus Duo controller also supports more than 5000 games on Steam and allows you to take advantage of the Big Picture mode of Steam together with the assistance of Steam Link.

The ergonomic design allows an intuitive use, also thanks to the standard dimensions that allow you to easily reach all the buttons on the controller; magnetic triggers have a longer life than traditional triggers and guarantee reliable performance throughout the time of use.

Pros
  • Wireless and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Ergonomic design
  • Autonomy 20 hours
Cons
  • Wireless only

 

5. NVIDIA Shield Controller

NVIDIA Shield Controller

The NVIDIA Shield Controller is the Best Pro Controller for precision gaming: equipped with dual vibration feedback, an earphone jack to not disturb others and completely immerse yourself in the game, its main feature, however, lies in the support for voice search.

It is in fact possible to operate a game with Google voice commands or to manage the other smart devices in the house. The particular design, formed by different polygons, makes it aesthetically unique, also thanks to the addition of improvements in the sensation to the touch.

Equipped with WiFi and Bluetooth support, it has a battery that allows it autonomy of up to 50 hours of play. It can also be used with the cable.

Among the input commands, we find two analog joysticks arranged symmetrically, a D-pad, the left and right analog triggers, the left and right bumper buttons, the ABXY buttons, a switch for volume control, the voice search button NVIDIA and the Start button for hands-free voice control, Android’s Back and Home buttons.

Pros
  • Voice search support
  • Port for earphones
  • Compatible with Android Smart TV
Cons
  • Very close “pause” and “select” keys

 

6. Microsoft Xbox One Controller

Microsoft Xbox One Controller

In the ranking of the Best Fighting Controller, the Xbox One controller cannot be missing, is characterized by an elegant white design, and supports Bluetooth technology to connect the PC or tablet with Windows 10.

There is a 3.5 mm jack output to connect any headset and immerse yourself even more in the game. The non-slip rubber handle, with a diamond texture, guarantees a firm grip even in the most agitated game actions.

The stick rods, directional crosses, and levers are made of stainless steel, to last longer. Friction is reduced thanks to the reinforced rings around each stick, ensuring smooth action without wearing the sticks.

The triggers and the dorsal buttons are made in such a way that ensures a quick response, while the sticks and the improved D-pad offer greater precision. The analogs are placed asymmetrically.

Pros
  • Excellent value for money
  • Non-slip handle
  • With a 3.5mm audio jack port
Cons
  • It has no extra buttons

 

7. 8Bitdo SN30 Pro

8Bitdo SN30 Pro

Here is the Best PC Controller for FPSs with a design that takes inspiration from Super Nintendo controllers. The 8Bitdo SN30 Pro, therefore, stands out for its retro design, ideal for nostalgics who also want a modern controller, compatible not only with Windows but also with Mac OS, Nintendo Switch, Android devices, and Raspberry Pi.

The peculiarity, however, lies not only in the design but also in the six-axis somatosensory technology that allows you to improve performance in games where you need to aim, thanks to the three-axis gyroscope and the three-axis accelerator sensor.

The buttons are customizable and they can be combined to create macros or sequences that usually need to be activated via a long key combination, and it is also possible to set the stick & trigger sensitivity and the vibration level.

The left and right grips feature built-in asymmetrical vibration motors that automatically adapt to the game scene, allowing for complete immersion in the game, especially in racing, fighting, and role-playing games.

The 8Bitdo SN30 Pro controller can be used both wired and wirelessly, supported by a rechargeable 1000mAh Li-ion battery that provides up to 20 hours of play with 4 hours of charging.

The battery is removable, and can be swapped out for AA batteries in case you want to continue playing but don’t have a power outlet to recharge the controller.

Pros
  • Customizable buttons
  • Vibration control
  • Compatibility with Windows, Mac OS, Nintendo Switch, Android, and Raspberry PI
Cons
  • Small size compared to other controllers
  • Long initial synchronization process

 

8. Logitech F710

Logitech F710

The Logitech F710 Best VR Controllers features a traditional layout with symmetrically arranged analog sticks and a total of 10 keys, all wrapped up in a vintage design reminiscent of classic Sony controllers.

The directional keypad allows you to quickly change direction without lag, and it is possible to customize the gamepad through the Profiler software, to reproduce mouse and keyboard inputs.

It can be used wirelessly thanks to the 2.4 GHz receiver to be inserted into the USB port of your PC or an Android smart TV. It is also possible to connect the controller to the steam games library, to play comfortably even on the sofa, alternating between TV and PC.

The Logitech F710 controller is powered by two AA batteries, and it’s good to always have a couple of batteries on hand as it lacks an indicator that lets you know how much charge is left.

Controller vibration has been improved over previous models, allowing you to feel every crash and explosion in games that support vibration feedback.

Pros
  • Compatible with Android TV and Steam
  • Wireless mode
  • Improved Vibration
Cons
  • A bit plasticky to the eye
  • Powered by AA batteries only
  • Lack of battery indicator

 

9. Retro-Bit Sega MD 8-B

Retro-Bit Sega MD 8-B

The Retro-Bit Sega MD 8-B is a Best Simulation PC Controller that features a bean shape and atypical button placement. In fact, on the right, in addition to the classic A, B, X, Y keys, there are also the Z and C keys, which correspond respectively to the ZL and ZR keys.

The design recalls the original Sega controller, allowing old players to appreciate the return of the 6 buttons on the right side. Unlike the original model, the two L and R buttons on the front are also present on the Retro-Bit Sega MD 8-B controller.

The gamepad is compatible with Sega Mega Drive, Sega Mega Drive Mini, PS3, Windows, Mac OS, Android, Raspberry Pi, Nintendo Switch, and Steam. Support 2.4GHz wireless technology.

The controller is equipped with clear instructions that specify the functions of each button of the gamepad, also meeting novice gamers who will be able to become familiar with the device.

Pros
  • Compatible with many platforms
  • 2.4GHz wireless mode
  • With instructions for key functions
Cons
  • It may be difficult to grip
  • Atypical button layout
  • Not compatible with Sega Genesis Mini, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV

 

10. GameSir T4 pro

GameSir T4 pro

The GameSir T4 pro is an inexpensive Best Retro PC Controller, with a design that recalls the Xbox style, with the asymmetrical analog levers, while the other keys (the directional pad and the A, B, X, Y keys, the 2 front trigger buttons, the start, return, home and turbo buttons) are in the standard position.

The body is semi-transparent and backlit by LEDs positioned inside that make the controller more aesthetically modern. Eventually, it is possible to decrease or increase the lighting effect or turn off the LEDs completely.

Supported by the GameSir MCU Chip, the gamepad guarantees quick responses and higher performance. Equipped with an asymmetrical motor, it is possible to choose between 5-speed levels for greater immersion in the game.

It works via a USB Type-C cable approximately 1.70m long, allowing ample freedom of movement while gaming, without risking tugging on the cable. The handle has rubber sides, for a firm grip even during the most agitated actions.

Pros
  • Aesthetically appealing design
  • GameSir MCU chip
  • Asymmetrical motor
Cons
  • Analog accuracy can be improved

 

Buying Guide – Things to Consider Before Purchase

Razer Wolverine V2 Chroma

Physical Configuration

There are many different types of controllers for PC on the market, so it is important to consider the physical configuration before making a purchase. The most popular type of controller is the gamepad, which can be used for a variety of genres.

If you are looking for a more precise control system, then a joystick or flight stick may be a better option. However, these can be more expensive and may not be compatible with all games.

Size and Shape

Before you purchase a controller for your PC, it is important to consider the size and shape of the device. The two most common sizes for PC controllers are full-size and mini.

Full-size controllers are typically larger than mini controllers, making them more comfortable to hold for long periods of time. Mini controllers, on the other hand, are smaller in size and often come with fewer buttons, which can be more convenient for some games.

When it comes to shapes, there are three main types of PC controllers: rectangular, cylinder, and ergonomic. Rectangular controllers are the most basic type and often the cheapest as well.

Cylinder controllers are slightly more expensive but offer a more comfortable grip for long gaming sessions. Ergonomic controllers are the most expensive but provide the best grip and comfort for extended gaming.

SteelSeries Stratus Duo Controller

Compatibility

There are a few things more frustrating than buying a new game controller only to find out that it’s not compatible with your PC. Before you make your next purchase, take a moment to consider the compatibility of the controllers you’re looking at.

Most controllers these days use either a USB connection or Bluetooth. If you’re not sure which one you need, check the specifications of your PC or consult your manual. Once you know which type of connection you need, narrow down your options by checking for compatible controllers.

If you’re planning on using your controller for competitive gaming, make sure to look for one that offers low latency and fast response times. You’ll also want to consider the ergonomics of the controller and how it feels in your hand. Some controllers are specifically designed for certain types of games, so keep that in mind when making your choice.

Button Layout

There are two main types of button layouts for controllers: symmetrical and asymmetrical. Symmetrical layouts have the same button arrangement on both the left and right sides of the controller, while asymmetrical layouts have different arrangements on the left and right sides.

Some people prefer symmetrical layouts because they find them more comfortable or easier to use. Others prefer asymmetrical layouts because they think they offer a more natural grip or allow for more ergonomic button placement. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which type of layout you prefer.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a controller with a particular button layout. For example, some games are designed specifically for one type of layout or the other. If you’re planning on playing a lot of those types of games, then it might be worth getting a controller that matches the game’s requirements.

Similarly, some genres of games tend to favor one type of layout over the other. For instance, first-person shooters often require quick access to buttons on the right side of the controller, so an asymmetrical layout might be preferable for those types of games. On the other hand, puzzle games or strategy games might be better suited for a symmetrical layout.

Again, it ultimately comes down to personal preference, so try out different types of controllers and see which one feels best for you. With so many great options available on the market today, you’re sure to find the perfect controller.

NVIDIA Shield TV Android Game Pad Controller

Wired VS Wireless

When it comes to choosing controllers for PC, there are a few things you need to consider. One of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make is whether you want wired or wireless controllers. Both have their own pros and cons that you’ll need to weigh before making a decision.

Wired controllers are usually cheaper than their wireless counterparts and don’t require batteries. They also tend to have shorter lag times, which is important if you’re playing fast-paced games. On the downside, wired controllers can be a bit cumbersome and restrictive. You’ll need to stay close to your computer, and if your controller has a long cable, it can be easy to trip over.

Wireless controllers are more expensive than wired ones, but they offer a lot more freedom of movement. You don’t have to worry about being tethered to your computer, and you can play from anywhere in the room.

The biggest downside of wireless controllers is that they require batteries, which means you’ll need to keep an eye on your power levels and recharge them regularly. Additionally, wireless controllers can sometimes experience lag, although this has gotten better with newer models.

Game Compatibility

One of the most important factors to consider when purchasing controllers for PC gaming is compatibility. Not all controllers are compatible with all games, so it’s important to do your research before making a purchase.

If you’re unsure about whether or not a controller is compatible with a particular game, you can check the game’s system requirements. For example, if you’re looking to buy a controller for “Fortnite,” you can find the system requirements on the Epic Games website.

gaming controllers

FAQs

1. How to use an Xbox controller on a PC?

Assuming you have an Xbox controller and a PC with an internet connection, you can follow these steps to use your Xbox controller on your PC:

  1. Download the latest version of the Xbox controller driver from Microsoft’s website.
  2. Connect your Xbox controller to your PC using a USB cable or the Wireless Adapter for Windows.
  3. Open the downloaded file and follow the instructions to install the driver on your PC.
  4. Once the driver is installed, your Xbox controller should work with any game that supports controllers on Windows 10.

2. How to use a PlayStation controller on a PC

If you’re a PC gamer who also happens to own a PlayStation 4, you might be wondering if you can use your PS4 controller on your PC. The good news is that you can!

  1. Download the latest version of DS4Windows from ds4windows.com.
  2. Extract the contents of the zip file to a location of your choice.
  3. Run DS4Windows.exe and click ‘Install the DS4 Driver’.
  4. Connect your PS4 controller to your PC using a USB cable or Bluetooth (if supported).
  5. Click ‘Enable’ in the DS4Windows main window. Your PS4 controller should now be working with your PC!

3. Are controllers better for PC gaming?

pc controller

There are pros and cons to using a controller for PC gaming. While a controller can offer more precision than a keyboard and mouse, it can be harder to use for some games. Ultimately, it depends on your preferences as a gamer. Here are some things to consider when deciding whether or not to use a controller for PC gaming:

  • Precision: A controller can offer more precise control over your character’s movements than a keyboard and mouse. This can be helpful for games that require quick reflexes or tight platforming.
  • Comfort: Some gamers find it more comfortable to play with a controller than with a keyboard and mouse. If you have hand pain or carpal tunnel, a controller may be a better option for you.
  • Ease of Use: Controllers are typically easier to use than keyboards and mice, making them ideal for casual gamers or those new to PC gaming.
  • Game Compatibility: Not all games are compatible with controllers. Some games are designed specifically for keyboard and mouse controls, so you may need to use those if you want to play those types of games.

4. Can all PC games be played with a controller?

There are a lot of PC games out there and not all of them can be played with a controller. Games that are more action-based or have complex controls may not work well with a controller. That said, there are still plenty of great PC games that can be played with a controller. If you’re looking for some recommendations, check out this list of the best PC games to play with a controller.

Final Words

No matter what kind of gaming you’re into, there’s a controller out there that will suit your needs. With a little bit of research, you can find the perfect match for both your PC and your gaming style.

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