When it comes to PC gaming, it is possible to get by with a simple mouse pad setup. However, for serious PC gamers, it is likely that they will want something comfortable and easier to use, and that's where the PC controller comes in. Like most things, when you want something, you want the best, which is why we have compiled a top ten list of the best PC controllers to help you find the right one.
There is debate back and forth on the best PC controllers, especially considering some have a more ergonomic design and some are designed for a specific type of gaming, such as flight simulation. Similarly, it may be more important for you to have a flashier design. No matter what you are wanting in a controller, we've covered all the bases in our roundup of the best PC controllers.
What Is A PC Controller?
A PC controller is a type of gamepad that is used for console games as well as games that are played on the computer. They connect via cords or wireless connection.
What Does A PC Controller Do?
A PC controller connects to a computer either with a cord or a newer design that will connect wirelessly. They allow the gamer to have easier access to commands, making them faster and often more adept at the PC game they are playing.
How Does A PC Controller Work?
A PC controller hooks up to to a gaming computer or laptop through wires or Bluetooth connection and transfers gaming commands from a mouse pad or keyboard to an easier-to-use and often more comfortable gamepad.
Where Can You Buy A PC Controller?
PC controllers can be found in the electronics section at your local department store, a local gaming store, whether chains like Game Stop or privately owned shops and from different online retail stores such as Amazon.com.
How We Reviewed
When reviewing the best PC controllers, we took into consideration the best features, the pros and cons, the price, and the warranty. All the PC controllers on our list can be found on Amazon where you can find the color and addition options available for purchase.
We wanted to make sure to include all options when it comes to the best PC controllers whether a gamer is looking for a top-notch joystick, a more comfortable gaming experience, a standout design, or a high tech gamepad with all the latest bells and whistles.
Overall Price Range of the Best PC Controllers
When looking at the price range of PC controllers, you'll find that while you can buy a cheaper controller and still get a good value. What you might not find is the additional features, a wider variety of colors or patterns, and the complete functionality that you would get with a higher priced PC controller.
What We Reviewed
Microsoft XBOX One Wireless
- Compatible with Xbox One X, Xbox One S, Xbox One, Windows 10
- Includes Bluetooth technology for gaming on Windows 10 PCs and tablets
- Stay on target with textured grip
- Get up to twice the wireless range compared to previous Xbox One controllers (tested using the Xbox One S console)
- Experience the enhanced comfort and feel of the new Xbox wireless controller
The Microsoft XBOX One Wireless gamepad is top of the line for PC compatibility and ergonomic design, making it one of the best PC controllers for gamers who want the ease of use with their PC and comfort for cramped hands. The palm grips are curved and textured, perfect for sweaty palms and fast-moving thumbs.
This PC controller also comes with a built-in headphone jack, and new Bluetooth wireless support, only requiring a standard Bluetooth adapter, rather than clunky additions. These updates to the solid design of the XBOX controllers make it a top contender on our list of best PC controllers. The Microsoft XBOX One wireless controller would be the best PC controller for a gamer looking for a solid and simple design that focuses on the usage quality rather than the flashier designs.
The Microsoft XBOX One Wireless controller can be found on Amazon, depending on the condition and the color or pattern chosen.
The Microsoft XBOX One Wireless controller has a limited warranty under Microsoft.
Sony Dualshock 4
- Precision controller enhanced to offer players absolute control for all games on PlayStation 4
- Improved feel, shape, and sensitivity of dual analog sticks and trigger buttons
- New multi-touch and clickable touch pad on the face of the Dual Shock 4 Wireless Controller opens up worlds of new gameplay possibilities for both newcomers and veteran gamers
- Dual Shock 4 Wireless Controller features a built-in speaker and stereo headset jack, putting several new audio options in the player's hands
The Sony Dualshock comes with a comfortable design and textured grips for gamers that spend a lot of time using their gamepad. It has some of the best analog sticks and may be the best PC controller for a flight simulation game.
This PC controller also comes with updates to include a full configuration with Steam, making it a great choice for those who know exactly which games they will be playing. Some people dislike that the Sony Dualshock 4 doesn't come with better compatibles to other gaming systems and there has been some debate about the trigger buttons on these gamepads, but overall, this is a solid PC controller.
The Sony Dualshock 4 controller can be found on Amazon, depending on the condition and color that is chosen.
The Sony Dualshock 4 has a limited hardware warranty and liability through the PlayStation manufacturer.
Nintendo Switch Pro
- Import Game - Japanese Version
- Compatible with US systems (region free)
- Japanese language (other languages may be included)
- Manual and packaging in Japanese language
A newer option for PC controllers, the Nintendo Switch Pro is a sturdy and comfortable gamepad that is designed specifically for the Nintendo Switch gaming console. This makes it more difficult to connect to other gaming systems but is perfect for specific games with its own Steam profile.
While it is missing the analog triggers necessary for most racing games, the Nintendo Switch Pro controller has the popular XBOX layout and a forty hour battery life, making it a great option for gamers spending a lot of time gaming with Steam.
The Nintendo Switch Pro controller can be found on Amazon, depending on the condition and color edition chosen.
The Nintendo Switch Pro controller has a limited one-year warranty through the Nintendo manufacturer.
Microsoft XBOX One Elite Wireless
- Xbox Elite Wireless Controller is the World’s Most Advanced Controller
- Get pro level precision, an arsenal of swappable components, Hair trigger locks, and limitless customization with an easy to use app
- Achieve greater control with interchangeable paddles and rubberized diamond grip
- This product includes: An Xbox Elite Wireless Controller, a carrying case, a set of 4 paddles, a set of 6 thumbsticks, a set of 2 D pads: faceted and standard, a USB cable, AA batteries and a quick set up guide and product manual
- Compatible with Xbox One and Xbox One S. Compatible with Windows 10 via USB or the Xbox Wireless Adapter sold separately
The Microsoft XBOX One Elite wireless controller is a high-end option for serious gamers who don't mind spending a large chunk of change on their PC controller. With many customizable options, swappable parts, and a hair-trigger d-pad, The XBOX One Elite is the best PC controller for the professional gamers who want all the bells and whistles that money can buy.
While there are not many color options and no rechargeable battery option, the XBOX One Elite controller makes up for it in its sturdy and well-loved design and the additional features that can customize the PC controller to each player's style of gaming.
The Microsoft XBOX One Elite wireless controller can be found on Amazon, depending on the condition.
The Microsoft XBOX One Elite wireless controller has a limited warranty provided through the Microsoft manufacturer.
- The Razer Raiju Tournament Edition is the first Bluetooth and wired controller to have a mobile configuration app, enabling control from remapping multi-function buttons to adjusting sensitivity clutch options. Switch between 3 connectivity modes: PS4, USB and PC without manual re-pairing for optimal efficiency.
- Mecha-Tactile Action Buttons provide a soft cushioned touch with crisp tactile feedback. The Raiju Tournament Edition also delivers total control with 4 remappable multi-function buttons and Hair Trigger Mode for quick-firing action. Enjoy ultimate control at your fingertips as you master next-level techniques.
- Esay app control.Remap multi-function buttons and triggers, adjust sensitivity clutch options or fine-tune the intensity of rumble motors to complete your in-game experience—all with easy mobile app control.
- Bluetooth&wired connection.The Raiju Tournament Edition is our first controller to feature both Bluetooth and wired connection. Enjoy total freedom gaming wirelessly whether at home or at your best mates’, and simply switch to wired gameplay during a tournament for that extra assurance. The choice is yours.
- One year warranty
For the gamers looking to pay a pretty penny for the flash of a custom design, the Scuf Impact may be the best PC controller for them. With numerous designs and patterns to choose from, the Scuf Impact provides the widest variety for those looking to openly display a bit of their personality while they play.
Similar in layout and capabilities as the Sony DualShock 4, the Scuf impact has extra paddle accessories to customize the gaming experience and connects wirelessly through either a Microsoft dongle or Bluetooth.
The Scuf Impact controller can be found on Amazon, depending on the color and pattern options chosen.
The Scuf Impact controller is covered with a limited warranty through the Scuf Gaming manufacturer.
- Logitech Gamepad F310 USB Controller for PC General Features: Navy black color USB interface
- XInput DirectInput switch for Windows PCs Comfort grip design
- Supports Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, or 7 Home button Sports mode 5.8-foot attached cable
- Gamepad Buttons: Start Back A,B, X, Y 8-way directional pad (D-pad)
- Two (2) clickable analog thumbsticks
For a gamer that is looking for a gamepad that is functional and versatile, the Logitech F310 may be the best PC controller. The Logitech F310 has the familiar and easy-to-use PlayStation layout and comes out of the packaging ready to use with most modern PC games.
It has the lowest price out of our lineup, and because of that, it does not have the design quality that can be found in the XBOX One and PlayStation DualShock controllers. But the Logitech F310 is a good alternative for the beginner PC gamer on a budget.
The Logitech F310 controller can be found on Amazon, depending on the condition and the design.
The Logitech F310 controller is covered under a limited 30-day warranty through Amazon.com.
8BitDo SN30 Pro
- Wireless Bluetooth, Rumble vibration, Motion controls, USB-C
- Rumble vibration, Motion controls, USB-C
- Wireless Bluetooth and direct USB connectable with built in lithium ion battery
- D-Input and X-Input functionality
- Compatibility Windows 7 and above bluetooth 4.0, Android 4.0 and above, macOS 10.7 and above, Steam Windows 7 and above macOS 10.9 and above, Switch 1.0.0 and above, Raspberry Pi Bluetooth 2.0 and above 2B, 2B+, 3B, Zero
Old school gamer enthusiasts will love the look of the 8BitDo SN30 Pro controller and its classic look. It is one of the cheaper options on our list but does not lose functionality.
The 8BitDo SN30 Pro controller can be found on Amazon, depending on the edition and the platform chosen.
The 8BitDo SN30 Pro controller has a manufacturers warranty.
Razor Wolverine Tournament Edition Chroma
- Rapid-Fire Switch for Instant Actuation: Activiating Hair Trigger mode via a physical switch greatly reduces travel distance for the ultimate competitive edge
- 4 Remappable Multi Function Buttons: Comes with an additional 2 multi-function bumpers and 2 multi-function triggers
- Compatibility: Wireless only—native wireless connection support with Xbox One (no receiver required); PC compatible via Microsoft wireless adapter (not included)
- Optimized Ergonomics - Stay comfortable during hours of gaming
For gamers looking for a wired controller that competes with the ever-popular Microsoft XBOX One controller will find what they want with the Razor Wolverine Tournament Chroma controller.
While nothing allows this PC controller to stand apart from the competition, some gamers may find the price a high one to pay for a wired controller.
The Razor Wolverine Tournament Chroma controller can be found on Amazon, depending on the condition purchased.
The Razor Wolverine Tournament Chroma controller has a limited warranty through the Razor manufacturer.
Easy SMX Wireless
- 🎮【Wide Compatibility】EasySMX Wireless game Controller Supports PC (Windows XP/7/8/8.1/10), PS3, Android, Vista, TV box and Android (version 4.0 or above, the device must fully support OTG function)
- 🎮【2.4G Wireless Transmission】2.4G Wireless Transmission Technology ensures a stable connection without any delay, and offers a range up to 10 meters (32.8 feet), making it possible to enjoy playing from the far side of the room
- 🎮【Dual Vibration Feedback】 Asymmetric vibrating motor brings you various vibration levels, for example for in game headshots, explosions, and collisions, to feel as if you were right there in the battlefield
- 🎮【Ergonomics Design】 The gamepad’s shape fits your hands naturally. The handgrips are made of textured rubber that increases friction, and prevent hand sweat. Comfortable even for extended gaming session
- 🎮【Battery Powered】The controller is powered by 2 pieces of 1800 mAh AA batteries, which enable the gamepad to function up to 20 hours. The battery is NOT included in the package.Customers may met problem due to use the item incorrectly, pls contact seller in advance if any questions before returning.
Another top choice for the beginner gamers, the Easy SMX wireless controller may be the best PC controller. With connectivity and capabilities similar to its pricier counterparts, it only lacks the bells and whistles, which does not affect the performance.
The Easy SMX Wireless controller can be found on Amazon depending on the condition purchased.
The Easy SMX wireless controller has a warranty that can be found by contacting the manufacturer.
Deviating from the typical gamepad design of the controllers listed previously, the Thrustmaster Warthog is the best PC controller for the experienced gamer who isn't afraid to pay a high price for a top line joystick controller. This controller is perfect for the flight or space simulation PC games, although it may not be the best option for a novice player.
The Thrustmaster Warthog controller can be found on Amazon depending on the condition purchased.
The Thrustmaster Warthog controller is covered under a limited warranty through the manufacturer.
When a gamer is looking to take their PC gaming to the next level with a controller, they should consider what is most important to them. Beginner players will enjoy the functionality of the cheaper controller options while the experienced players will want a controller with more features and customizable options. There are also gamers who enjoy the flashier designs. Once the decision has been made on the top features to look for, using this list will guide you in the right direction to finding the best PC controller for each individual.
Featured image via Pixabay
Last update on 2021-03-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API