Greatest PC Controller 2021: The Greatest Sport Pads for PC GamingJune 5, 2021
From poorly ported consoles video games to motion adventures and racing simulators, there are quite a lot of circumstances the place a gaming keyboard and gaming mouse aren’t essentially going to be the most effective enter choices. It is easy to swear by a keyboard and mouse the place twitchy response and pixel-perfect goal are involved, however there’s an enormous area the place totally different gaming controllers can have an edge whereas enjoying on a gaming PC.
In case you’re enjoying a combating recreation, you could get extra satisfaction out of the buttons on a controller, which you’ll frantically mash. In case you’re flying via house in an intense dogfight, holding a thumbstick right down to carry out a collection of loops and turns could be a lot simpler than hurriedly throwing your mouse round your desk in an try to maneuver easily. And, let’s not neglect that analog inputs have some benefits over the all-or-nothing, binary controls throughout mice and keyboards – simply attempt slowing accelerating in a racing recreation with a keyboard.
Past conventional gaming controllers, there’s additionally a bunch of specialised controllers, like joysticks and combat sticks, which are made to excel in particular forms of video games. We have rounded up the most effective controllers in quite a lot of classes, so when a recreation can profit extra from a controller, you may let your keyboard and mouse take a well-earned break.
In case you’re shopping within the UK, click on right here to search out out the place you may go to search out the most effective PC controllers.
TL;DR – These are the Greatest PC Controllers:
1. Xbox Core Controller
Greatest PC Controller
Microsoft wasn’t going to relaxation on its laurels with the Xbox One controller that already stood out as the most effective PC controller. With the brand new Xbox Collection X and Collection S got here the brand new Xbox Core Controller (learn our overview). The brand new controller truly leaves most of its predecessors designed unchanged. It is received the identical face buttons, similar analog sticks, similar battery port, and similar pairing button. There’s nonetheless chatpad port and a 3.5mm audio jack for headsets on the entrance fringe of the contoller.
Microsoft has up to date the texture, although, including extra texture to the grips and triggers. There’s additionally a brand new D-Pad that is extra akin to the concave model discovered on the Xbox Elite controller, and it is pretty tactile. Microsoft has additionally added a share button between the Menu and View buttons. And, since it is a machine that launched in 2020, there’s fortunately a contemporary USB-C port. Bluetooth connectivity additionally stays accessible on this mannequin.
2. PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller
Greatest Finances PC Controller
For a controller that does not stray too removed from the form and really feel of Microsoft’s personal Xbox controller, the PowerA Enhanced (learn our overview) wired controller is a robust choice that ditches wi-fi connectivity with a purpose to hit a low worth level. Since utilizing an Xbox One or Xbox Core controller wirelessly with a PC requires a particular adapter anyway (or Bluetooth), many people in all probability would go for a wired connection, and the PowerA Enhanced presents that up at about half the value (bonus: no batteries required).
The controller itself offers a good little bit of heft, aided alongside by two vibration motors. It is received all of the buttons you want on your video games. It even takes a web page out of the Xbox Elite Controller’s guide: On the underside of the PowerA Enhanced controller, you may discover two small buttons that may function shortcuts to face buttons. It will allow you to hold your thumbs firmly in place on the analog sticks whereas nonetheless having the ability to activate skills mapped to the ABXY controls.
3. Logitech F310
Greatest Extremely Low-cost PC Controller
In case you’re a religious keyboard and mouse gamer who solely imagines themselves very hardly ever utilizing a gamepad, the Logitech F310 is a good choice. It solely prices $15, but it surely contains the whole lot you want together with twin joysticks, bumpers and triggers, 4 normal face buttons, and even an eight directional D-Pad.
These quick, nubby grips do not make for nice ergonomics, however that should not matter if you happen to’re solely choosing up a controller for brief bursts to drive automobiles in video games like Grand Theft Auto V or Battlefield V.
4. Sony DualSense Controller
Greatest Bluetooth PC Controller
Sony’s DualShock 4 controller was nice, and with Bluetooth connectivity, you did not have to do a bunch of additional work to get it related to a PC wi-fi such as you did with the unique Xbox One controller. Now, the Sony DualSense Controller (learn our overview) delivers an improve. The brand new controller drastically modifications the aesthetics of the unique, however nonetheless has an identical management scheme or those that favor the symmetrical format for the analog sticks.
Assist for the DualSense controller on PC might also end up even higher than it did for the DualShock 4. There have already been strikes by Steam to help the controller, and it is potential the touchpad, superior haptics, and adaptive triggers may additionally obtain help on PC sooner or later. With extra PlayStation-exclusive video games ending up not so unique due to PC ports, full DualSense performance on PC may make for one of the best ways to play these video games on PC.
5. Xbox Elite Collection 2 Controller
Greatest Excessive-Finish PC Controller
In case you’re after an Xbox controller that does not maintain again, you then’ll need the Xbox Elite Collection 2 controller (learn our overview). This mannequin upgrades from the unique Elite controller by including wi-fi charging utilizing a docking base with pogo pins. The charger can match conveniently within the controller’s carrying case, the place it might even be plugged in.
The Xbox Elite Collection 2 controller additionally will get upgraded with help for Bluetooth connections, making it simpler than ever to pair together with your PC and even smartphones. It additionally has made the transfer away from Micro USB to incorporate a USB-C connection as an alternative. Past that, it nonetheless has swappable analog sticks, a number of D-Pads, and tunable triggers to ship a gaming expertise you may tailor to your individual wants.
6. Razer Wolverine V2
Greatest Wired PC Controller
If you would like critical efficiency on your PC gaming, the Razer Wolverine V2 (learn our overview) is the controller you may need to decide up. It has a premium design with rubber facet grips that can hold your arms firmly in place even within the fiercest fight. The controller is bigger than the brand new Xbox Core controller, giving it a particular place for bigger handed avid gamers as nicely. And, with a wired connection, it should guarantee minimal enter lag.
The Razer Wolverine V2 presents extremely succesful buttons, because it makes use of Razer’s “mecha-tactile” buttons, which actuate shortly and have a clicky really feel – not one of the mushiness of typical controllers. You’ll be able to remap the controls to your liking, and there are additional shoulder buttons to present you much more management. Razer additionally contains set off locks for any video games that require fast set off presses.
7. SteelSeries Stratus Duo
Able to Go Out of the Field
The SteelSeries Stratus Duo (learn our overview) may look like a controller made particularly for cellular and VR headsets, but it surely’s additionally a strong choice for gaming PCs. For $60 this wi-fi gamepad comes with its personal 2.4GHz dongle included and it even has a built-in battery that is rated for 20 hours of gameplay.
WIndows 10 additionally mechanically acknowledges the Stratus Duo as an Xbox controller, which suggests you need not remap any buttons. The one factor this controller lacks is rumble, however if you happen to do not thoughts the lacking haptic suggestions, the SteelSeries Stratus Duo is a good controller you need to use with quite a lot of different units.
8. 8Bitdo Professional 2
Greatest PC Controller for Retro Video games
Retro seems however fashionable performance make the 8BitDo Professional 2 (learn our overview) an superior choice for enjoying traditional video games on PC (and new video games as nicely). The face of the 8BitDo Professional 2 will provide you with the sense you’re enjoying on a traditional SNES controller, however you’ll have a much-improved expertise due to a contemporary ergonomic design, high quality buttons, and deal extra.
The 8BitDo Professional 2 controller helps a variety of platforms and might connect with your PC over Bluetooth for 20 hours of wi-fi play, or you may go together with a wired USB-C connection. You’ll discover normal Nintendo-style controls, however you may remap the buttons to match in-game controls. In the meantime, you’ll get PlayStation-style symmetrical analog sticks. The 8BitDo Professional 2 even helps movement controls. Then there’s the customization, which lets you do any crucial button remapping, swap stick conduct and axes, and even alter the set off actuation depth. Plus, there are two again paddles to allow you to hold your thumbs on the analog sticks.
9. Swap Professional Controller
Let’s a Go along with Nintendo’s Controller
The Swap Professional Controller (learn our overview) is without doubt one of the finest controllers ever made, and now you may deliver that greatness to the PC. Just like the DualShock 4, getting this controller to work the PC is simple with a wired connection, however going wi-fi requires a couple of hoops to leap via.
Excellent news is as soon as you have received it paired correctly over Bluetooth, Steam will mechanically acknowledge it as an Xbox One controller with all of the button mapping accomplished for you. Nevertheless, if you happen to’re enjoying video games exterior of Steam, you are going to want 8BitDo Wi-fi USB Adapter to make the Swap Professional Controller act like an Xbox One gamepad.
10. PowerA Spectra Enhanced
Greatest RGB Controller
PowerA could also be identified extra for its finances controllers, however that does not imply it’s best to write them off as low cost and low high quality. The PowerA Spectra Enhanced (learn our overview) has checked all the precise packing containers for a PC controller. That is an Xbox-style controller, however in some methods it is even higher than the unique Xbox One controller that it manages to price lower than.
It has a strong design with a soft-touch end and presents RBG lighting round nearly all the principle entrance buttons in addition to alongside the sting. There is not any fussing round with unnecessary software program both, because the LEDs may be managed with a button on the again. Higher nonetheless, the PowerA Spectra Enhanced presents a professional characteristic within the type of two mappable buttons on the underside that give your center fingers one thing to do past holding the controller. This offers the controller a bonus over the usual Xbox One controller whereas it is price undercuts the Xbox Elite controllers.
The Spectra Enhanced has a wired connection, which ensures you may get the bottom latency and by no means have to fret about whether or not the batteries are charged. The braided cable is prolonged, has a strong reference to the controller, and has an inline launch to be sure to do not unintentionally pull your laptop computer or laptop off your desk or media middle.
11. Hori Combating Stick Alpha
Greatest PC Combat Stick
In case you play quite a lot of arcade or combating video games, you have received case to select up a combat stick as an alternative of a regular controller. The short actuation of combat stick buttons and the exact management over a joystick can provide the benefit you want in your combating video games. And, for PC, the Hori Combating Stick Alpha is a standout choice. This combating stick ought to provide no fuss working together with your PC because it has all the identical buttons as an Xbox controller. With a Key Lock mode, it is also able to take to tournaments with out the fear of unintentionally getting disqualified.
With the Hori Combating Stick Alpha, you too can decrease the cables operating between you and your PC. You’ll be able to merely join a gaming headset with the combat stick, and you will even get controls to mute your mic and audio on the combat stick itself. Modders additionally get so much from this stick, because the case and faceplate are each simply opened to swap out elements or art work. In fact, if you happen to do not need to mod, you may benefit from the high-quality Hori Hayabusa joystick and buttons that come inventory.
12. Thrustmaster TS-PC Racer
Greatest PC Racing Wheel
PC is just about the place to expertise simulation racing video games. Not solely does this platform assist you to join a number of shows and ultrawide shows for the final word immersive expertise, however PC can also be the place for some very critical (and typically severely obscure) racing video games.
In fact, you are going to need a racing wheel to finish your sim racing setup and look no additional than the Thrustmaster TS-PC Racer. It seems and appears like an actual wheel connected to an precise race automobile, particularly when this peripheral’s 40-watt brushless motor activates. Power suggestions on this racing wheel as you may really feel the pull of each flip and the shock of each bump with as much as 6nm of torque.
The place to Get the Greatest PC Controller within the UK
It’s unsurprising that the Xbox controller tops the record right here, however you have truly received a few choices relying on whether or not your laptop computer or PC is Bluetooth enabled. In case you’ve received Bluetooth to make use of, you will not want the PC adapter USB, and might merely decide up an Xbox One controller, or even a PlayStation DualShock 4 to avoid the extra cost. But, if you want to consider all your options, here are the best PC controllers available in the UK. Don’t see the controllers below? Click here.
Enhanced Wired Controller
Best Budget PC Controller
F310 Gamepad (Blue)
Best Budget PC Controller
PlayStation 5 DualSense Wireless Controller
Best Bluetooth PC Controller
Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2
Best High-End PC Controller
Best PC Controller for FPS Games
Switch Pro Controller
Let’s a Go with Nintendo’s Controller
Why Would You Want a PC Controller
While playing PC games with a controller might seem like sacrilege against everything that is right in the church of keyboard and mouse, you shouldn’t care about what other people think about the way you play PC games.
After all, PC gaming is just as much about playing games that their best possible quality, experience games at ultrawide and super-wide aspect ratios unobtainable on the consoles, or just having the highest, silkiest frame rate possible.
How you get to play that experience is up to you, and if you’re like us, sometimes you rather just sit back with a controller than constantly lean over your desk’s keyboard and mouse. This can be especially true if you happen to be playing games on a big-screen gaming TV on your couch. While there are lapboards to bring the true PC gaming experience to your living room, controllers are great for keeping things casual and comfortable.
Kevin Lee is IGN’s Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam
Mark Knapp is a daily contributor to IGN and an irregular Tweeter on Twitter @Techn0Mark