If you want to optimize your gaming experience, you have to have a good controller. Read on for the top ten best PC gaming controllers.
While even game developers recognize that mouse and keyboard outperform gaming controllers, that isn’t true for every genre. Third-person racing and action games benefit from the use of a gaming controller, as well as platformers, among others. A keyboard cannot compete with the varying degrees of speed and control that analog sticks offer.
Of course, if you’re a fan of flying simulation games, a joystick is your best option.
But there are so many gaming controllers to choose from. How do you know which to choose? The wrong controller might make your favorite games more difficult to play — if they even sync properly with your computer.
No matter what type of features you’re looking for, our list of the best PC gaming controllers is sure to have them.
The Best PC Gaming Controllers
Here’s our pick of the top ten gaming controllers in 2019:
- Microsoft Xbox One Controller
Xbox controllers have always been a favorite for PC gamers. Just like the very popular 360 controllers, the Xbox One version is plug-and-play. This means there’s no setup required.
Many game developers create games with Microsoft’s control scheme in mind, so most of your favorite games will feature intuitive controls and get you into the game without the need to set them yourself.
- Sony Dualshock 4
There’s no denying that Sony’s Dualshock controllers are innately comfortable. Since they share many of the same features, the choice between a Dualshock or Xbox controller has always been one of personal preference.
The Dualshock 4 has been upgraded with a touchpad, though it’s unlikely you’ll find a use for this with your PC games. That said, Steam offers complete DS4 support, which means you can remap the touchpad — and everything else — to suit your fancy.
- Valve Steam Controller
The steam controller was the red-headed stepchild of the gaming controller family even before its release. It’s not the most comfortable controller, mainly due to its stubby and massive grips.
But what it lacks in comfort, it makes up for in customization. Since it offers trackpads, this controller can be used with any PC game, even those that don’t offer controller support.
- 8BitDo SN30 Pro
If your steam library consists of retro-like classics such as MegaMan or Cuphead, this is the gaming controller for you. It’s essentially a modern remake of the old SNES controllers, even down to its choice of color.
It also offers some modern amenities, such as analog sticks, if you really want a retro-themed controller to play newer titles.
- Logitech F310
The F310 is Logitech’s take on the PlayStation controller. In fact, it offers most of the same features as the DualShock 4, and even brings some of its own to the table. The most interesting addition is the ability to remap the controller with a program that comes along with the device.
But while it has more customization than the Dualshock 4, the build quality isn’t fantastic. It’s also wired by design and doesn’t have any form of vibration feedback.
All that said, it’s cheaper than Sony’s Dualshock 4 by a wide margin, which places it as a versatile budget controller.
- Logitech F710
If the F310 being wired is a dealbreaker for you, then consider the F710. It’s the wireless version of the F310 but with a tighter build quality and vibration features.
While still cheaper than the Dualshock 4, which it mimics, its design can certainly cramp fingers. It’s a petite device, best for gamers whose hands are on the smaller side.
- Razer Wolverine Ultimate
When it comes to aesthetic and design, the Razer Wolverine Ultimate is the uncontested champ. It’s Razer’s gorgeous, sleek take on the Xbox One control layout.
All the gaming controller basics are here. There are a few mappable buttons and convenient features, such as the ability to change microphone and game volume.
Although pretty and versatile, it’s also one of the most expensive controllers on our list. By far.
- SteelSeries Stratus XL
SteelSeries is mostly known for their headsets and mice, but don’t overlook their controller peripherals. This wireless controller has a fantastic battery life and absurd build quality, considering its low price point.
While it lacks remappable buttons, the device does feature clickable joysticks, which is something many third-party controllers fail to include.
For a no-fuss gaming controller at a decent price, the Stratus XL is a no-brainer.
- Microsoft Xbox One Elite
This gaming controller looks like it should be featured in an art museum. With a high-quality build and style, it almost feels wrong to put your hands on it.
It has all the bells and whistles of the normal Xbox One controller but is weightier and sturdier. Most consider the Xbox One Elite to be the best controller on the market — so long as you don’t mind its $150 price tag.
- Nintendo Switch Pro
The Nintendo Switch Pro was created for the Switch, but it has full Steam functionality. Its Xbox layout is comfortable and smooth, with a pair of thumbsticks which are extremely stout, considering its medium price range.
However, for some reason, Nintendo decided that analog thumbsticks weren’t necessary. Look elsewhere if you’re getting a gaming controller to enjoy analog functionality.
Which Controller Did You Choose?
The best PC gaming controllers all have one thing in common: they’re reliable. No matter which controller you think is right for you, their easy setup and build quality means you’ll spend less time dealing with controller issues and can spend more time with your favorite games.
But controllers are just one PC peripheral. Scroll through our electronics blog to find more of the best gaming gadgets on the market.