Even though the keyboard and mouse are preferred by many MOBA and first-person shooter fans, the best PC game controllers can improve titles such as Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice or Mortal Kombat 11. We tested some of the most popular PC gamepads to help find the right fit for you.
Microsoft’s Xbox Wireless Controller is our top pick for best PC controller, due to its ergonomic design, outstanding build quality, and compatibility with almost every PC game.
There are many other options. The Xbox One Elite Controller Series 2 is a comfortable, sturdy, and customizable design. Retro gamers will love the 8BitDo SN30.
Astro’s $199 C40TR controller is an excellent alternative to the Xbox Elite controller. It offers a greater degree of customization and a more solid build quality. Due to its Steam integration, and increasing number of compatible games, Sony’s DualShock 4 PC controller is becoming a solid option.
Which are the best PC gaming controllers?
There are many options for the best PC game controllers, from cheap wired accessories to high-end wireless models that have all the bells and whistles. We recommend the standard Xbox One controller for most people. It is a good compromise. They are usually around $50 each and can be paired with a computer in no time. The Bluetooth feature is available on newer models, while older models require an adapter. You can turn them on and pair them with most games. They can be used on any PC just like they can on an Xbox One. This means that most gamers will be familiar with their operation.
Logitech F310 controllers are comfortable and easy to use, even if you don’t need wireless functionality. They usually cost $25 or less. The wired controller offers all the functionality and buttons you would expect from modern peripherals, but at a lower price. It’s made by a major manufacturer so you can be sure it will last for many years. Other cheap controllers may give up after a year.
The Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 will suit those with a lot to spend. The wireless controller is extremely comfortable and features a sensitive D-pad, an optional paddle in the back that can replace the shoulder buttons, and a variety analog sticks to allow you to choose the most comfortable one for your playstyle.
You can also find other options, such as different prices and feature sets, in the following article.
These are the best PC game controllers available today
1. Microsoft Xbox One Controller
The ultimate PC controller
Instant compatibility with all PC games
Solid construction quality
Older models lack Bluetooth support
Microsoft’s Xbox One controller improves on the Xbox 360 pad’s build quality and ergonomics, making it the most versatile controller for all types of games.
The D-pad controller has been redesigned from its disc-style design to be more consistent with the 360s. It now features a traditional four-way cross style that allows for greater accuracy.
The buttons on the shoulder are just as easy to press as they can be to be placed on your hands. To prevent accidental inputs, the sticks have a smooth and rasped top.
The Xbox One Controller doesn’t have fancy features and instead focuses on being the most well-built, comfortable gaming device for all types of games. The device is compatible with almost all modern PC games that support plug-and-play. The Xbox One Wireless Controller’s latest version features textured rear grips and Bluetooth support. This promises greater range and wireless support for Windows PCs (opens new tab), without the need to use a dongle.
2. Logitech F310
Familiar, easy-to-use design
Compatible with all modern PC games
Quality build at a low price
Logitech has been offering PC users an extensive range of quality accessories for a long time. The F310 is no exception.
The button layout of the F310’s D-pad is identical to that on a PlayStation controller. It features symmetrical, bottom aligned control sticks. Although the F310’s Dpad is often overlooked on other controllers it features a responsive design which makes it easy to play platformers like Shovel Knight, Final Fantasy XIV’s simple menu surfing, and button combinations.
Logitech hopes to make the F310 your only PC gamepad by including support for as many as possible. You can install the controller right out of the box and it will work with any modern PC title. However, there are other packs that allow you to use the F310 with other games. You can use a physical switch to change the mode of an older PC title, such as DirectInput.
3. Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller Series 2
Premium, satisfying design
There are tons of customization options
Three profiles onboard supported
USB-C Support and Charging Case
Grips on the front can be slippery
The Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller is already the best high-end PC gamingpad. Now, the Series 2 brings it up to par. Microsoft’s latest controller is more ergonomic and offers better trigger locking options to speed up firing. It also has improved swappable parts and software customization.
You can remap each button on the controller and adjust the trigger and stick sensitivities. The Xbox Accessories app is extremely robust and allows you to store up to three profiles so you are always prepared for your favorite games. Finally, the Elite Series 2 has a rechargeable battery. Finally! It can also charge up in the included carry case. This controller is for you if Fortnite, Gears and Forza are important to you.
4. Astro C40 TR
Premium, satisfying design
There are tons of customization options
Both wired and wirelessly compatible
Not ideal for smaller hands
D-pad slightly stiff
The Astro C40 TR PC controller is a premium and feature-rich alternative to Microsoft’s Elite Wireless Controller. The C40 TR is a high-end controller that features fully remappable buttons, trigger/stick sensitivities and hair-triggers to enable faster fire and swappable parts. Astro headsets are well-known, but the C40 TR shows that Astro can also make peripherals.
The C40’s versatility doesn’t end there. You can change the layout of the stick and dpad, making it possible to choose between parallel sticks for PS4 or Xbox. Although the C40 is not cheap, it’s a heavy-duty option and one of most expensive high-end options. It’s a great choice for people who are willing to spend a lot for tons of customization tools.
5. Sony DualShock 4
You can customize the touchbar, lightbar, and gyroscope.
Full steam customization
Not as natively supported by Xbox One controller
DualShock 4’s grip and layout are better than ever. The triggers and sticks are especially well-designed, compared to their PS3 counterparts. The familiar design is enhanced by a front-facing touchpad that offers many interesting options. DualShock 4 is compatible with Final Fantasy XIV and Shovel Knight, while more modern games include native support for Sony’s controller.
The DualShock 4 has been fully supported by Steam (opens new tab). You can adjust the light bar, touchpad and enjoy the robust remapping options and sensitivity options on Valve’s Steam Controller. The DualShock 4’s gyroscope can be tapped into, which allows you to aim your gun in a shooter using motion controls. However, in order to use DualShock 4 on PS4 Remote Play on a computer, possibly for the best split-screen PS4 games you will need to either connect it via USB cable or one of Sony’s older, difficult-to-find wireless adapters.
6. 8BitDo Pro SN30
Well-built, nostalgic design
Many functions for the price
Gets uncomfortable after long stretches
It is not ideal for modern intense games
8Bitdo’s SN30 Pro is a great way to play old-school action and platformers in your Steam library.
This gamepad faithfully reproduces the design of the original Super Nintendo controllers. It also features additional functions such as rear triggers and dual analog sticks to allow it to work with modern games.
The SN30 Pro’s tight d-pad, clicky buttons and precise clicks make it an excellent companion for games like Sonic Mania and Cuphead. While the thumbsticks feel fantastic, the ergonomics of this controller are not ideal for intense online shooting at a competitive level.
The SN30 Pro (and the SF30 Pro, which is Super Famicom-inspired) are still a versatile retro pad at a great price. It will also work with your Switch and Android devices, as well as any Raspberry Pi that you have rigged up in order to emulate the SNES Classic.
The $50 SN30 Pro+ will give you the same old-school feel as the SN30 Pro but with better triggers, grips, and tons of customization options.
How to select the best PC gaming controller
When you are looking for the best PC game controllers, it is important to think about what type of configuration you would like. An Xbox One controller or DualShock 4 controller will give you a controller that feels and looks exactly like a console controller. Logitech F310 will work for you if you prefer something more traditional but still want to feel and look the same.
The Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 and the Astro C40 TR are the best options if you’re looking for something more premium. Although these controllers look similar to standard console controllers they can be customized to a great extent. However, these options can be more expensive than standard controllers, which cost between $100 and $150.
Also, price is a factor. Wireless controllers tend to be more expensive than wired ones.
How to test PC controllers
Every controller that we test is run through the most recent PC games across a range of genres. We test at least one shooting game, one fighting game, and one action/adventure/driving game to get a better idea of how the gamepad performs under different scenarios. We consider battery life when testing wireless controllers. Additionally, all controllers that have swappable parts and multiple modes are tested. All controllers that we review are used as our primary gamepad in both our labs, and at home for several days.
While the main review criteria is how well a controller performs in-game, other factors such as comfort, price, and versatility also play a role. We like controllers that are compatible with multiple platforms and games. Anything that works with both a console and a computer gets our special approval.
Race wheels, fight sticks and more
You want something more niche? dedicated racing cars are for driving-game enthusiasts who want total immersion. For the ultimate driving experience, some wheels, such as Thrustmasters Ferrari 458 ($89), include pedals and stickshifts. Others, such as Logitech’s GT920 Driving Force ($399) are more than just a wheel.
If you are a fighting-game enthusiast looking for a more authentic method to play Tekken7 or Marvel vs. Capcom : Infinite, then fight sticks might be the right choice. They have the same joysticks as an arcade cabinet and feature extra-large buttons. To find the perfect fit for you, check out our roundup top fight sticks for PC and Xbox One.