The best PC controller is a valuable piece of package for the PC gamer with various tastes. Simply put, there are plenty of video games—from Shovel Knight to Forza Horizon—which might be higher performed with a gamepad than a gaming mouse and gaming keyboard. The best PC controllers additionally offer you extra freedom to lean again from the desk and chill out into a calming gaming session.
It’s additionally true that some video games find yourself with a monumentally complicated management system when mapped from console to PC if you find yourself utilizing a mouse and keyboard. And that is true even for video games held to be PC classics. The Witcher 3, for instance, truly has a much more simple management system when performed with the best PC controller.
In the top then, whereas the mouse and keyboard setup is nice for lots of issues, particularly shooters, there completely needs to be a spot for the best PC controller in your arsenal. That’s why we have examined at present’s prime console controllers and PC pads to search out out which is worthy of your money.
- Best PC controller
- Best controller for PC FAQ
Best PC controller
If you utilize the Microsoft Elite Series 2 controller for greater than ten minutes, you will perceive why we have now it on the primary spot. Everything in regards to the Series 2 screams luxurious. The near-endless customization choices offer you an unparalleled stage of management (pun meant) over your gameplay. Being capable of tweak all elements of the controller, like d-pads, shift paddles, and joystick stress, is an absolute godsend.
The most important modifications within the Series 2 over the Series 1 (which we additionally beloved) embody a neat little carrying case that doubles as a charging station for the controller’s new rechargeable battery with 40 hours of juice. Finally, with mission Xcloud and Apple Arcade bringing some nice video games to cell gadgets, you possibly can simply pair the Series 2 controller by way of Bluetooth.
Spending $160 for a controller is a tricky promote for most individuals, that is close to 4 instances the worth of an Xbox One controller, however for those who’re a severe gamer who values efficiency and excessive ranges of customization, the Series 2 is a no brainer and price each penny.
Read the complete Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 review.
PowerA’s Spectra Infinity Enhanced wired controller is a step up over the Spectra Enhanced we used to charge on this information. The newest model has extra similarities to the Xbox Series X|S controller, with notably extra vivid lights. It’s a fairly swanky controller these days, contemplating its funds worth.
The edge lighting provides the Spectra some character, and the 3-way set off locks are nice for aggressive shooters, too. The Spectra would have scored increased, however the lack of any wi-fi connectivity is an enormous let down within the days of untethered gaming.
A worthy sacrifice for a less expensive worth, although. No doubt about that.
Read the complete PowerA Spectra Enhanced (non-Infinity) review.
The unique Xbox One Wireless Controller was a staple for PC gaming. With the Xbox Series S/X launch, we have been all curious to see how Xbox improved on an already killer gamepad.
This controller retains plenty of what we beloved in regards to the unique. Keeping it very comfy total design with texturized rubber grips makes you’re feeling extraordinarily nice in your palms. Much like the unique, it boasts a vastly superior d-pad that you just will not dread utilizing in preventing video games and platformers, taking cues from the Xbox One Elite Series controllers. You may need seen a brand new button within the heart of the controller; a much-requested Share button now helps you to seize screenshots and gameplay footage with out diving an excessive amount of into the menus.
We capitalize Wireless for a cause, not as a result of the phrase is a correct noun per sé, however as a result of the Xbox Wireless controller of late leverages Microsoft’s wi-fi protocol it calls “Xbox Wireless.” Though the title may gain advantage from some inventive workshopping, you possibly can take solace in the truth that, after 2016, the Xbox Wireless controller graces us with a much-needed serving to of Bluetooth compatibility. And now it is virtually normal fare for console transplants deterred by the training curve mouse and keyboard gaming presents.
The PlayStation 5 DualSense has a “you have to touch it to believe it” high quality due to its new haptic motors and “Adaptive” triggers, which may supply resistance below your finger. Firing a bow can truly really feel like firing a bow, for instance. The rumble can also be simply the best and most nuanced we have ever felt in a controller. It actually is pretty much as good as individuals say.
The unhealthy information: the DualSense’s most superior options do not work in PC video games but, since video games will should be programmed to reap the benefits of them. But Steam already affords full assist for the controller, so it is at the least a breeze to plug in and use like another pad. It’s a hair much less comfy than the Xbox Series X controller, and never as easy to make use of in non-Steam video games, however for those who favor Sony’s analog stick format or love gyro aiming, that is the one to get.
And possibly sometime we’ll see PC video games reap the benefits of these new triggers and haptics, too.
Scuf would not fiddle with its controllers, providing a number of the best premium pads outdoors of Sony and Microsoft. And the Instinct Pro is absolutely the best controller must you want to eschew the 2 huge bois of the console world.
There are extra customisation choices on supply with the Instinct Pro than with just about another pad you possibly can title. Though that may undoubtedly impression the worth—with my very own decisions I managed to bump the associated fee as much as simply shy of $250. But did create a gloriously pink pad with out the distraction of rumblepacks.
The powerful factor is that each Sony and Microsoft’s controllers are simply so good, and if you need one thing premium the Elite Series 2 completely ticks that field. The truth the Instinct Pro makes that seem like good worth makes it an actual powerful promote. It is, although, a incredible controller that feels nice within the hand and is as responsive as you possibly can want for. It’s simply painfully dear.
Read our full Scuf Instinct Pro review.
Razer’s Wolverine Ultimate might very nicely be the best gamepad obtainable at present, save for one essential disqualifying issue: it may possibly’t connect with a PC wirelessly. The Xbox-style gamepad affords lots of the similar luxurious options because the Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller, like a swappable d-pad and customizable again paddles. It’s additionally practically the identical worth, which begs the query: why not simply purchase a kind of as a substitute?
Well, it isn’t for everybody, however the Wolverine Ultimate does have its justifiable share of distinctive, downright engaging options. For starters, the face buttons—those labeled A, B, X, and Y—click on like mouse buttons. This seemingly minuscule element makes a world of distinction. It’s like utilizing nothing however membrane keyboards your complete life after which making a transfer to mechanical switches. So whereas the enclosed 10-foot braided micro USB cable takes some getting used to, tactile button presses are a worthy trade-off.
Of course, no Razer product can be full with out a wholesome dose of Chroma, the three-headed inexperienced snake firm’s signature model of RGB lighting. However, quite than integrating it into the prevailing Synapse 3 app for Windows, Razer determined to develop an app particularly for Xbox One. So for those who do plan on utilizing this controller in your PC, keep in mind you will want a separate app to configure it.
Best controller for PC FAQ
Can you utilize a console controller on PC?
The quick reply is sure. The barely longer reply is that you just may have to carry out just a little fiddling the primary time you set it up—though after that it’ll simply be a case of plugging it in.
How to arrange your controller on PC:
Is PC gaming higher with a controller?
This may look like an completely offensive query to ask within the annals of PC Gamer, but it surely stays true that sure PC video games are much better performed with a controller than with the traditional keyboard and mouse combo.
Sports video games are the obvious, as anybody who has tried to play FIFA utilizing the unusual keyboard/mouse management scheme can attest to. But there are different titles, particularly these which have been primarily designed for consoles whose management schemes are so unwieldy away from a pad that taking part in them another manner is a ache.
You might play Witcher 2 with out a controller, for instance, but it surely truly felt much better utilizing a pad on PC.
How will we check controllers?
Ignore those that appear to assume each sport is best with a mouse and keyboard. Assassins Creed Valhalla is just not best performed with a keyboard. Street Fighter 5 is just not best performed with a keyboard. True, we play most video games with a mouse and keyboard, however for PC avid gamers with ranging tastes, a superb controller is a should.
Though I’ve finished some testing with first-person shooters, I’ve largely ignored the style. While it could be mandatory for console avid gamers, we’re virtually all the time going to make use of WASD for any sort of shooter. With that in thoughts, the video games I used primarily for testing are those talked about beneath:
Katana Zero: A sport that requires glorious d-pad management and responsive face buttons.
Street Fighter V: I’ve put plenty of hours into Street Fighter V with each controllers and battle sticks, so I understand how it must really feel. If I am unable to crush an AI opponent as Ken, one thing is not proper.
Forza Motorsport: I selected Forza primarily to check the analog sticks, which in keeping with my preferences, want three qualities: springy sufficient to rapidly snap again to heart, delicate and resistant ample to make slight steering changes, and comfortably contoured. Hence, my thumbs aren’t bloody stumps on the finish of some hours.