The best PC controllers in 2022

The best PC controllers in 2022



(Image credit: Microsoft)

The best PC controllers open a new fashion of gaming that doesn’t revolve effectually your trusty mouse and keyboard setup. At that place’southward no arguing about the prowess and performance of a skilful mouse and keyboard when it comes to MMOs, strategy games and shooters. All the same, a great controller can bring something of its ain to the table beyond many other dissimilar genres.

Boot up Steam in Big Picture show way and enjoy analog acceleration in Clay 5, experience the rumble of each blow in Mortal Kombat 11, have full command of every dogfight in Elite Unsafe, and get fully immersed as you pull the trigger on your contracts in
Hitman 3. While there’southward always going to exist a debate on what the best fashion to play a game is, at that place’s no arguing that the right controller tin, at the very least, give you a new way to experience information technology.

If you lot’re ready to switch up your game and endeavor something new, we’ve fatigued upwardly our list of the all-time first and third-party PC controllers currently available. Nevertheless, if you’re nevertheless non sold on the thought, in that location are e’er our selections for the
best gaming mouse
and
all-time gaming keyboards
to await through.

What are the best PC controllers?

The best PC controller, in our opinion, isn’t likely to shock nearly people. The Xbox Wireless Controller has been ahead of the pack for years, and it remains one of the nigh impressive gamepads on the market to this day. Microsoft’due south latest revision also includes USB-C back up, textured grips, and a much improved D-pad, a long-awaited improvement that volition no uncertainty put joy in the hearts of fighting game fans the globe over. Beyond the board, the Xbox Wireless Controller scores high marks for operation, condolement and build quality. In that location’s a reason this controller tops so many similar lists, and it’s well deserved each time.

Are you lot a fan of emulating the classics, or getting stuck into the latest retro-inspired indies? If so, the 8BitDo SN30 Pro is the ideal companion for your nostalgia-laden playthroughs. The SN30 Pro recreates the look and experience of the classic SNES controller while adding all of the modern gamepad elements you lot’re used to as well. 8BitDo’s controller features an impressively rated D-pad, responsive face buttons, shoulder and trigger buttons, and 2 analog thumbsticks. It’s a groovy blend of retro blueprint meeting modern tech, making for a fantastic all-round controller.

There are bucketloads of quality joystick and HOTAS (mitt on throttle and stick) compatible games currently available, significant now is the best fourth dimension to invest in i of these cockpit controllers. While it’south truthful that some HOTAS peripherals can reach prices of upwardly to $800, not every joystick requires a banking company loan to afford. The Thrustmaster T-Flying HOTAS X is a budget buy in many regards with its sub-$100 price tag, simply by no means does it lack in operation. Bask an immersive cockpit feel with Thrustmaster’s 5-axis, 12-push flight stick as you lot live out your ace pilot fantasies. (Aviators and jumpsuits sold separately.)

Best overall PC controller

(Prototype credit: Xbox)

ane. Xbox Wireless Controller

Best overall PC controller

Reasons to purchase


+

Native compatibility



+

Bluetooth wireless



+

Improved D-pad



+

Comfy and sturdy

Reasons to avoid


Requires batteries

The Xbox Wireless Controller has an impressive legacy and thanks to a series of successful revisions, it has become a mainstay in PC controller shortlists for the all-time part of a decade. Never needing to reinvent the wheel, Microsoft has finely honed and polished its first-party peripheral to a point where placing annihilation else in a higher place it on this list would only seem petty.

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The latest iteration includes Bluetooth Low Energy support, which reduces overall power consumption, alongside a long sought-after overhaul to the controller’due south D-pad. The latter of which brings the gamepad more than in line with Microsoft’southward premium Elite Controller, improving both performance and accessibility. There’s as well no more Micro-USB port, with Microsoft opting to supersede it with a much faster USB-C connection.

These new features stacked atop the Xbox Wireless Controller’s tactile switches, responsive impulse triggers, sturdy build quality, comfortable form, and ergonomic layout to round off i of gaming’s finest peripherals.

All-time joystick PC controller

(Image credit: Thrustmaster)

2. T-Flight HOTAS X

Best joystick PC controller

Reasons to buy


+

Detachable throttle control



+

12 programmable buttons



+

Plug & Play



+

Groovy ergonomics

Thrustmaster is well-known for creating some of gaming’s almost impressive joysticks and racing wheels. The T-Flight HOTAS X is i of those joysticks, and it’s an absolute blast when paired with the right games. Luckily, we’re living through something of a minor joystick renaissance thanks to a bevy of compatible titles such as Elite Dangerous, Star Citizen, War Thunder, Star Wars: Squadrons and
Microsoft Flying Simulator.

Having games similar these available makes the decision to option up a specialized joystick somewhat easier as the toll can be hard to justify if you simply take a single game in mind. Thankfully, Thrustmaster’s T-Flight HOTAS Ten is much more of a budget buy with its $72 price tag. Don’t let that toll fool you though, at that place’s plenty of quality packed into this flight stick.

The v-axis joystick is an ergonomic dream, with every button perfectly placed for piece of cake access. The throttle command is equally well-crafted, offering a great amount of comfort and easy admission to controls. It’s also detachable, allowing for various setups and seating arrangements. In that location are 12 buttons in total, with each one capable of being reprogrammed to suit your needs, which is more than enough to cover the vast majority of mainstream games. If you fancy yourself a regular Acme Gun, this HOTAS controller is sure to accept your jiff away.

Best retro PC controller

(Paradigm credit: 8bitdo)

three. 8BitDo SN30 Pro

All-time retro PC controller

Reasons to buy


+

Cool nostalgic design



+

Impressive D-pad



+

Rumble and motion controls



+

USB-C charging

Reasons to avert


Uncomfortable for larger easily

There’south a ton of means to play classic older games on PC. Even if yous’re not a fan of the oldies, every year sees a host of game releases that lean heavily on retro aesthetics and mechanics. So, why not pair them with a retro-themed controller? 8BitDo manufactures a range of retro-inspired controllers that might announced gimmicky, merely they are actually some of the best third-party gamepads available. 8BitDo’s SN30 Pro gamepad is no exception.

The SN30 Pro owes much of its design to the classic SNES controllers of yesteryear, mimicking its style, layout, and shape. However, 8BitDo goes a few steps further, adding a slew of mod controller elements to maximize the gamepad’s potential. In addition to the highly-rated D-pad and responsive face buttons, the SN30 Pro offers two analog thumbsticks, rumble and motion controls, bumpers, triggers, an internal rechargeable battery, USB-C charging, turbo functions, dwelling house and screenshot buttons, and Bluetooth wireless.

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It may not be historically accurate to the SNES gamepad on which it’s based, simply these additions do a lot to ensure y’all won’t have to sideline the controller the second you get tired of playing Shovel Knight. The retro gimmick is an addition to a corking underlying device and not a hindrance that limits what’s on offering.

Best premium PC controller

(Image credit: Xbox)

4. Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Serial 2

All-time premium PC controller

Reasons to buy


+

Impressive battery life



+

Internal battery



+

Great customization and accessibility

Reasons to avoid


Some hardware hangups



Expensive

Microsoft’south premium peripheral is a seriously impressive kit that offers unparalleled accessibility and customization. Building upon the foundations laid out by the Xbox Wireless Controller, the Aristocracy Wireless Controller seeks to improve and advance every bit many aspects of the original as possible.

It features long-awaited quality of life improvements, like USB-C support and an impressive twoscore-hour rechargeable internal bombardment. Some advances are all near in-game performance, like the shorter pilus trigger locks, improved D-pad, deadzone amendments, and adjustable thumbstick tensions. The controller as well farther improves accessibility with the addition of the four optional paddle switches and remappable inputs. All-in-all, the Elite Wireless Controller features over xxx improvements spread across almost all aspects of the original pattern.

The Xbox Aristocracy Wireless Controller Series two is a fantastic case of a visitor aiming high, and getting near everything correct. Since launching, some buyers have complained well-nigh several concerning mechanical hiccups occurring with their device. While this percentage is relatively small, information technology was enough to force Microsoft to extend their 90-twenty-four hour period warranty to comprehend a yr from purchase. It’s a flaw that tin can’t entirely exist ignored, especially when you’re expected to place $179.99 downwards when picking one up. While the chance of you encountering these issues may be minor, knowing they be does take the polish off of Microsoft’s impressive premium controller.

Best feature-ready PC controller

(Image credit: Sony)

v. PlayStation DualSense Wireless Controller

All-time characteristic-ready PC controller

Reasons to purchase


+

Adaptive triggers



+

Haptic rumble



+

Comfortable and sturdy

Reasons to avoid


Limited support for features



Pricey

Sony’s DualShock 4 was such a blend of grade and function that it seemed well-nigh a given that there would be a DualShock 5 to launch alongside the new PlayStation. Instead, Sony took the complete opposite route and left the DualShock brand behind entirely. A assuming decision, just has it paid off? When it comes to the new PlayStation DualSense controller, it would seem so.

Immersion is front and heart with Sony’s new controller, with a host of features to make games feel like they’re taking identify in your easily. Traditional rumble motors are gone, replaced past dual actuators that evangelize incredible haptic feedback. And all-new adaptive triggers simulate resistance, making yous feel physically connected to your in-game actions. The DualSense is a mini-revolution, changing up the way you tin experience countless titles. However, in that location is a downside when it comes to using it on PCs.

Annoyingly, most of the features that make Sony’s new DualSense controller then good aren’t supported on PC at present. While the controller itself is fully supported, PC titles only aren’t programmed with this level of controller feedback in mind. However, with more than and more former PlayStation exclusives sneaking their way onto PC recently, I’d take a chance a gauge that game-changing features like adaptive triggers and haptic feedback will find far greater support over the coming years.

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Best arcade PC controller

(Image credit: Mayflash)

6. Mayflash F500 Elite

All-time arcade PC controller

Reasons to buy


+

Premium Sanwa components



+

Sturdy build quality



+

Turbo function



+

Moddable

Reasons to avoid


Expensive

In a genre where
literally
every frame counts, yous need to arm yourself with the best equipment possible. When it comes to fighting games, what you lot need is the Mayflash F500 Elite. Flush with premium Sanwa components, the F500 Elite boasts ultra-fast responsiveness and incredible precision. With ample wrist space, you can unleash your potential in comfort, and thanks to some weighty top and bottom plates, the F500 Elite feels as sturdy in your lap every bit information technology would on a tabletop.

Mayflash’s arcade stick is for the fighting game enthusiast, allowing for both peak performance and heavy customization through modding. Tailor the F500 Elite to your fashion by switching out components and faceplates with ease. Mayflash’s controller is already bully, but y’all accept all the freedom to brand information technology personal.

When any device sounds this good, there’s almost always a catch. When it comes to the Mayflash F500 Elite, that catch is its lofty $144.99 price. If you’re serious about fighting games, you’ll already be enlightened how that cost is a reflection of Sanwa’southward quality components housed inside, and you’ll probably know that similarly outfitted arcade sticks can often cost considerably more than. While expensive, the F500 Aristocracy makes every dollar count when it comes to hit a balance betwixt cost and performance.

Best cloud gaming PC controller

(Image credit: Amazon)

7. Amazon Luna Controller

All-time cloud gaming PC controller

Reasons to purchase


+

Familiar layout



+

Comfy class

Reasons to avoid


Pricey



Requires batteries



Lacks its own identity

If you want to get the nigh from Amazon’s Luna controller, yous’re probably going to want to stick to its intended purpose as a device to interact with the Amazon Luna deject gaming platform. However, if the Amazon and Alexa integrations are something you can manage without, there’southward nothing stopping you lot from using Amazon’s peripheral outside of its service altogether. Simply downloading the appropriate drivers will let you lot connect the Luna to your PC via Bluetooth v.0, at which point the Luna controller is much like any other Bluetooth peripheral.

However, when I say much like any other peripheral, it’s actually very much like ii in particular. The Luna controller owes a lot of its blueprint and layout to both the Xbox Wireless and Switch Pro controllers. In plow, the Luna controller gets to enjoy some of the best things about each, including tactile bumpers, responsive triggers, rubberized grips, rumble feedback, and sturdy thumbsticks. The main drawback is that it also inherits some of their lesser aspects, most prominently is the Xbox Wireless Controller’south dependency on batteries.

It’due south a petty on the expensive side, and in one case you lot take Amazon’s Luna cloud gaming platform out of the picture, the controller loses about every ounce of identity. But it all the same features first-class build quality and decent in-game performance. Regardless of how much identity it does or doesn’t take, performance is paramount.


Source: https://www.laptopmag.com/best-picks/pc-controllers