Sometimes you want to use a controller on your PC. Maybe you’re not playing a competitive shooter so there’s no need for a mouse. Having something like a controller will give players the ability to sit back and enjoy the game without being right up to the monitor as well. So in this list, we’re going to highlight some of the best PC game controllers that might be worth picking up. We’re not ranking these in any particular order as these controllers can range quite dramatically in price along with features. Whether you want the most top-of-the-line controller available or something that can hold you over for some basic gaming, there should be something for just about everyone on this list.
#10 Evil Controllers
Starting this list out we have Evil Controllers. This is actually an online store that offers custom controllers either done by themselves or controllers that you can personally create. Consumers start out with picking a base controller so anything from the standard Xbox One, DualShock 4, Xbox Series X, to a DualSense is available. From there you’ll choose the faceplate design, if you want shift buttons/paddles, custom analog thumbsticks, additional modifiers, button colors, customized trigger options, and even the ability to customize the logo. Of course, this can get pretty costly so you’re looking at over $200 for all the bells and whistles.
#9 Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2
Microsoft introduced the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller series back in 2015. It was essentially a means to bring out a controller that was aimed at the elite gamer. Players that enjoyed the game and want the absolute best performance out of their controller which was done with a few different means. Players had additional paddle buttons, they could change out the analog stick tops, and trigger locks to allow for easier trigger presses. With that said, the grips were pretty bad on the original controller which prompted a revision for this controller. Players are now able to get the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2. Grips are generally not a problem here anymore and it came with everything mentioned above. However, there was also the added ability to adjust the tension with the analog sticks. It includes a built-in battery that players can recharge within the case that’s included with this controller purchase. Unfortunately, this is not a cheap controller as it’s going to cost you near $200. If you’re a casual gamer and don’t need the finer tunings available with this controller then you can save yourself quite a bit of money with some of the alternatives below.
#8 Xbox 360 / Xbox One Controllers
Speaking of Xbox, Microsoft has made the Xbox 360 and Xbox One controllers pretty much a standard for PC gaming. Chances are you might already have an Xbox 360 controller or an Xbox One controller laying around the house. If you have a wired Xbox 360 controller then you can easily connect it into a USB port on your PC and are typically ready to go. Meanwhile, wireless controllers on both will generally need a USB dongle that will connect multiple controllers to the computer. If you’re after a new controller I would suggest looking into the standard current Xbox controllers available today. If you have Bluetooth support on your PC then you can connect your Xbox controller without the dongle. Everything should work seamlessly on the PC once connected and you’ve started a game. With that said, these wireless controllers typically will require AA batteries which can be a pro or a con depending on how you view things.
#7 Sony DualSense Controller
Sony just launched their PlayStation 5 console into the market and that came with a brand new controller launch. Instead of the DualShock 4, more players will be using the new DualSense. Now, this is a big change up on the PlayStation 5 as you’re given more bells and whistles such as trigger resistance along with greater haptic feedback experiences. Unfortunately, that’s not something you can get much use out of on PC. Still, being a new controller means that it’s readily available and it might be a controller you’ll be able to use not only on your PC but the PlayStation 5 if you happen to pick one up. All in all, it’s just like the DualShock 4 with some slight changes in terms of the design. If you have a PC that supports Bluetooth then you can use the controller wireless otherwise you’ll need to use a USB-C to USB-A if you’re looking to connect the controller with a wire. With Steam being the biggest digital marketplace for PC gamers, there are options to configure your controller so you shouldn’t have much of an issue being able to play your games with a DualSense controller. However, most games generally use Microsoft’s Xbox controller prompts when displayed.
#6 Logitech F310
One of the gamepads you’ll hear get recommended around online is the Logitech F310. It’s a pretty inexpensive controller with it normally costing players about $25, although, at the time of writing this description, the game controller could be purchased for as little as $15 through Amazon. Coming in at that price you’ll get a solid controller but it’s not anything that will blow you away. It’s a USB wired controller with an Xbox style controller face buttons but shaped to resemble the PlayStation 4. It’s a plug-and-play design so while the controller may not feel premium, it should get the job done without breaking the bank. Included with this controller is software that can be downloaded from the Logitech website which will give players the ability to customize and make profiles for certain games but this is also something that you can get away with through something like Steam’s official controller configuration software. Can you get better controllers with a more premium feel? Absolutely. However, if you’re purely after a cheap PC game controller to get you by then the Logitech F310 should suffice.
#5 8BitDo SN30 Pro+
If you’re into retro gaming then 8BitDo might be a company you’re familiar with. This is a company that delivers hardware-based around themed retro game controllers that can work with some platforms, but more importantly PC. They are especially great for those of you wanting an old-school retro controller with a few extra modern touches. One of those controllers that earn a recommendation is the 8BitDo SN30 Pro+. This is a controller that looks quite a bit like the controller used for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System mixed in with the design similar to the PlayStation’s DualShock 4 as it does come with more comfortable grips and analog sticks. Players can connect this wireless through Bluetooth or there is the wired option which doubles as a means to charge your internal battery. Interestingly enough, the battery compartment allows players to remove the rechargeable battery if you rather use AA batteries. That’s a nice little feature alone if your battery dies out randomly while your gaming, you can swap out to normal AA batteries. It’s a solid controller not only for modern games because it has all the buttons and configurations to enjoy the latest titles but also if you’re into gaming with emulators.
#4 Xbox Adaptive Controller
A controller well worth bringing up is the Xbox Adaptive Controller which came out in 2018. This is a controller made and designed specifically for those with disabilities. The base controller is large enough to provide menu buttons along with a large directional pad and large domed buttons. From there, consumers can add additional button triggers from the different 3.5mm jacks which will correspond to different buttons for the controller. There are a total of nineteen slots available so configurations can be made to suit your needs. It’s been a solid controller that can be used for the PC, but it’s also not hardware locked which is a big plus.
#3 SteelSeries Stratus Duo
SteelSeries Stratus Duo is a controller released to be something you can use for PC gaming. It’s shaped a bit like the Xbox controllers but the analog sticks are aligned much like the PlayStation controllers. Likewise, the connection process is pretty accessible as you’re given a dongle to connect the controller wireless or you can connect the controller through Bluetooth. Meanwhile, if you rather have a wired connection then that’s also readily available with USB. This controller has all your standard buttons you would expect from a modern controller and it comes with a rechargeable battery. The SteelSeries Stratus Duo is also something made to be used for other devices as well such as the Android line of smartphones. Here’s the big con you might have with this game controller. There’s no haptic feedback available so if that’s a deal-breaker and you’re after something specifically for PC gaming then this might be something to avoid. However, if you think gaming on your android device may be of interest as well then this controller might be worth the $60.
#2 Razer Wolverine V2
Razer has been around for ages and they deliver some solid products. One of the game controller lineups they did was the Wolverine which right now they have the Wolverine V2. It’s a wired controller made for the Xbox Series X but of course, it’s available to connect to your PC as well. This controller has everything you would expect from the standard Xbox controller, but like the Elite series, there are some nice little extra features. For instance, there are hair triggers that can give players an edge with reducing the travel of your triggers before they are registered. Likewise, there are additional buttons next to the trigger buttons. Unfortunately, those buttons are not directly on the back of the controller which would have made some inputs a bit easier to manage. However, unlike the Xbox Elite controller lineup, this is a bit cheaper at about $100.
#1 PowerA Enhanced Xbox Controller
PowerA has been around since 2010 and they offer different hardware gaming accessories. However, you might be more familiar with them for their line of controllers. The company has delivered several different controllers for console platforms both for this list we’re going to stick with the PowerA Enhanced Xbox controller. It’s a wired controller that mimics the Xbox line of controllers and there’s quite a variety of different color schemes available. If you go online right now or head to a local retailer near you then chances are you’ll find these readily available whether it’s a designed controller or just a solid controller color. There’s also the added benefit of back buttons for the latest PowerA Enhanced Xbox models which can be programmed, somewhat similar to the likes of the Elite controller. Likewise, the wire is detachable so if you’re not using the controller and would like to see the wire put up without getting it frayed or twisted up then that’s a nice benefit. If by chance the cord no longer works then it’s an easy replacement without having to replace your entire controller. There is also vibration here which is a plus as well, but the biggest highlight in my opinion when it comes to these controllers is the price. These controllers are typically found anywhere from $20 to $30 so it’s not very costly and very accessible both online and in retailers.