The most effective PC controller is a valuable piece of equipment for the PC gamer with different tastes. Merely put, there are loads of video games—from Shovel Knight to Forza Horizon—which are higher performed with a gamepad than a gaming mouse and gaming keyboard. The most effective PC controllers additionally offer you extra freedom to lean again from the desk and chill out into a calming gaming session.
It is also 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 easy management system when performed with the most effective PC controller.
Ultimately then, whereas the mouse and keyboard setup is nice for lots of issues, particularly shooters, there completely ought to be a spot for the most effective PC controller in your arsenal. That is why we have examined right this moment’s high console controllers and PC pads to seek out out which is worthy of your money.
Finest PC controller
Should you use the Microsoft Elite Sequence 2 controller for greater than ten minutes, you will perceive why we have now it on the primary spot. Every thing in regards to the Sequence 2 screams luxurious. The near-endless customization choices offer you an unparalleled degree of management (pun meant) over your gameplay. Having the ability to tweak all facets of the controller, like d-pads, shift paddles, and joystick stress, is an absolute godsend.
Essentially the most vital modifications within the Sequence 2 over the Sequence 1 (which we additionally beloved) embrace a neat little carrying case that doubles as a charging station for the controller’s new rechargeable battery with 40 hours of juice. Lastly, with undertaking Xcloud and Apple Arcade bringing some nice video games to cell units, you’ll be able to simply pair the Sequence 2 controller by way of Bluetooth.
Spending $160 for a controller is a troublesome promote for most individuals, that is close to 4 instances the worth of an Xbox One controller, however for those who’re a critical gamer who values efficiency and excessive ranges of customization, the Sequence 2 is a no brainer and value each penny.
Learn the total 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 price on this information. The newest model has extra similarities to the Xbox Sequence X|S controller, with notably extra vibrant lights. It is a fairly swanky controller these days, contemplating its funds worth.
The sting lighting offers the Spectra some persona, and the 3-way set off locks are nice for aggressive shooters, too. The Spectra would have scored larger, 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. Little question about that.
Learn the total PowerA Spectra Enhanced (non-Infinity) review.
The unique Xbox One Wi-fi Controller was a staple for PC gaming. With the Xbox Series S/X launch, we had been all curious to see how Xbox improved on an already killer gamepad.
This controller retains loads of what we beloved in regards to the unique. Maintaining it very comfy general design with texturized rubber grips makes you are feeling extraordinarily nice in your palms. Very like the unique, it boasts a vastly superior d-pad that you just will not dread utilizing in combating video games and platformers, taking cues from the Xbox One Elite Sequence controllers. You may need observed a brand new button within the middle of the controller; a much-requested Share button now permits you to seize screenshots and gameplay footage with out diving an excessive amount of into the menus.
We capitalize Wi-fi for a motive, not as a result of the phrase is a correct noun per sé, however as a result of the Xbox Wi-fi controller of late leverages Microsoft’s wi-fi protocol it calls “Xbox Wi-fi.” Although the identify may gain advantage from some inventive workshopping, you’ll be able to take solace in the truth that, after 2016, the Xbox Wi-fi controller graces us with a much-needed serving to of Bluetooth compatibility. And now it is virtually commonplace fare for console transplants deterred by the training curve mouse and keyboard gaming presents.
The PlayStation 5 DualSense has a “it’s a must to contact it to consider it” high quality due to its new haptic motors and “Adaptive” triggers, which may supply resistance underneath your finger. Firing a bow can truly really feel like firing a bow, for instance. The rumble can be simply the most effective and most nuanced we have ever felt in a controller. It truly is nearly 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 must be programmed to make the most of them. However Steam already provides full help for the controller, so it is a minimum of a breeze to plug in and use like some other pad. It is a hair much less comfy than the Xbox Sequence X controller, and never as easy to make use of in non-Steam video games, however for those who desire Sony’s analog stick structure or love gyro aiming, that is the one to get.
And possibly sometime we’ll see PC video games make the most of these new triggers and haptics, too.
Scuf would not fiddle with its controllers, providing among the greatest premium pads exterior of Sony and Microsoft. And the Intuition Professional is the best possible controller do you have to want to eschew the 2 massive bois of the console world.
There are extra customisation choices on supply with the Intuition Professional than with just about some other pad you would identify. Although that can undoubtedly impression the worth—with my very own decisions I managed to bump the price as much as simply shy of $250. However did create a gloriously pink pad with out the distraction of rumblepacks.
The robust factor is that each Sony and Microsoft’s controllers are simply so good, and in order for you one thing premium the Elite Sequence 2 completely ticks that field. The very fact the Intuition Professional makes that appear to be good worth makes it an actual robust promote. It’s, although, a implausible controller that feels nice within the hand and is as responsive as you would want for. It is simply painfully expensive.
Learn our full Scuf Instinct Pro review.
Razer’s Wolverine Final might very nicely be the most effective gamepad obtainable right this moment, save for one crucial disqualifying issue: it may possibly’t connect with a PC wirelessly. The Xbox-style gamepad provides most of the similar luxurious options because the Xbox One Elite Wi-fi Controller, like a swappable d-pad and customizable again paddles. It is also practically the identical worth, which begs the query: why not simply purchase a kind of as an alternative?
Nicely, it isn’t for everybody, however the Wolverine Final does have its fair proportion 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 is 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.
After all, 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. Nevertheless, relatively than integrating it into the prevailing Synapse 3 app for Home windows, Razer determined to develop an app particularly for Xbox One. So for those who do plan on utilizing this controller to your PC, keep in mind you will want a separate app to configure it.
Finest controller for PC FAQ
Can you employ a console controller on PC?
The brief reply is sure. The marginally longer reply is that you just may have to carry out a little bit fiddling the primary time you set it up—though after that it’s going to simply be a case of plugging it in.
Easy methods to arrange your controller on PC:
Is PC gaming higher with a controller?
This may seem to be 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 activities video games are the obvious, as anybody who has tried to play FIFA utilizing the unusual keyboard/mouse management scheme can attest to. However there are different titles, particularly these which had been primarily designed for consoles whose management schemes are so unwieldy away from a pad that enjoying them some other means is a ache.
You possibly can play Witcher 2 with out a controller, for instance, but it surely truly felt much better utilizing a pad on PC.
How can we take a look at controllers?
Ignore those that appear to assume each sport is greatest with a mouse and keyboard. Assassins Creed Valhalla just isn’t greatest performed with a keyboard. Road Fighter 5 just isn’t greatest performed with a keyboard. True, we play most video games with a mouse and keyboard, however for PC players with ranging tastes, a very good controller is a should.
Although I’ve completed some testing with first-person shooters, I’ve largely ignored the style. Whereas it might be obligatory for console players, we’re virtually all the time going to make use of WASD for any form of shooter. With that in thoughts, the video games I used primarily for testing are those talked about under:
Katana Zero: A sport that requires wonderful d-pad management and responsive face buttons.
Road Fighter V: I’ve put loads of hours into Road Fighter V with each controllers and struggle 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 shortly snap again to middle, delicate and resistant adequate to make slight steering changes, and comfortably contoured. Therefore, my thumbs aren’t bloody stumps on the finish of some hours.