The 10 Best Game Controllers For PC

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This wiki has been updated 19 times since it was first published in December of 2018. While many PC enthusiasts prefer to use a keyboard and mouse for most games, there are some fantastic titles that are much more suited to using a handheld controller. Sports, racing, and certain first-person shooters mesh very well with a gamepad, and there are plenty of options to choose from. No matter your hand size or skill set, one of these selections will allow you to play on. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Xbox Core

2. Sony DualSense

3. Razer Wolverine Ultimate

Editor's Notes

October 15, 2020:

It's no secret that the best controllers come from the companies who design high-quality gaming consoles, so it's no surprise that the Xbox Core, Sony DualSense, and Xbox Elite Series 2 are all very good options for most games. Believe it or not, though, it's only been in recent years that Microsoft and Sony's flagship controllers have provided a streamlined experience with Windows 10

Meanwhile, there are essentially countless aftermarket options out there, and with so many no-name brands to choose from, it's important to get the right one, lest it ends up breaking after just a few weeks of use. To that end, the Razer Wolverine Ultimate and PowerA Spectra come closest to OEM models in terms of build quality and dependability, although the Razer does represent a significant investment that most users won't want to make. That's not a huge problem, though, as the 8Bitdo SN30 Pro+, which offers full Bluetooth compatibility, and GameSir T4 are very close in terms of quality, and cost the same as or less than the ones from the bigtime manufacturers.

A couple slightly unconventional models are worth considering, as well. The 8BitDo SF30 is similar to the original SNES controller, but its joysticks and dual triggers bring it into the current era. The Valve Steam, on the other hand, looks decidedly modern, sporting a pair of touch-sensitive panels that are easily configured for various fun titles.

December 22, 2018:

It makes sense that the PS4 and Xbox One's OEM controllers are near the front of the pack, because console makers have far more experience with these devices than PC manufacturers do. The only issue with the otherwise excellent DualShock 4 is that you'll need to install a small 3rd-party application for Windows to recognize it properly. It's worth it, though. Keep an eye on the Astro, because it eyes to introduce a new level of high-end to the category. The Steam controller is a favorite, even among seasoned gamers, and it's surprising how good it is as a replacement for a keyboard/mouse combo. The GameSir is a good, cheap replacement, and the Mad Catz is a good one if you find yourself playing NBA 2K or Madden NFL on the road. If you're a lefty (and willing to shell out some dough), a modular option like the Razer will let you get your stick in the right place, finally. In fact, the Wolverine Ultimate was developed just for PC use, and it's an incredibly fine piece of equipment.

Special Honors

Xbox Adaptive Controller Everyone should get the opportunity to play video games, and Microsoft has done a good job including those with limited mobility with this large-scale, customizable option. It's compatible with a wide variety of additional peripherals, so no matter what special needs a gamer has, this is a very good place to start.

Scuf Custom Controllers Few third-party releases have the build quality and reputation of those from Scuf. They offer such a wide variety of designs and configurations to choose from, that it's almost certain there's one that will look just right for you. Meanwhile, their hardware and construction are good enough for pro gamers as well as those who play casually.

4. Xbox Elite Series 2

5. 8Bitdo SN30 Pro+

6. PowerA Spectra

7. Valve Steam

8. GameSir T4

9. 8BitDo SF30

10. Logitech F310

Christopher Thomas
Last updated by Christopher Thomas

Building PCs, remodeling, and cooking since he was young, quasi-renowned trumpeter Christopher Thomas traveled the USA performing at and organizing shows from an early age. His work experiences led him to open a catering company, eventually becoming a sous chef in several fine LA restaurants. He enjoys all sorts of barely necessary gadgets, specialty computing, cutting-edge video games, and modern social policy. He has given talks on debunking pseudoscience, the Dunning-Kruger effect, culinary technique, and traveling. After two decades of product and market research, Chris has a keen sense of what people want to know and how to explain it clearly. He delights in parsing complex subjects for anyone who will listen -- because teaching is the best way to ensure that you understand things yourself.

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