Best PC Controllers for 2018
The keyboard and mouse will always be the first “weapons” that will be used to play games on a computer. However, with more and more console games being offered on PC platform, some games are better suited to be played with a controller. Many gamers now prefer playing a computer game with a gamepad, as it allows them much more possibilities that enhance the overall gameplay experience.
Also, the fact that third party manufacturers are now offering top class controllers has also helped gamers. The controllers nowadays include improved paddles, thumbsticks of varying shapes and sizes, better directional pads and superior controller grip – all of which improves the gaming experience.
However, picking the right controller can be a difficult choice, as it is a highly personal object. It all depends on the kind of games you play, your gaming style, the size of your hands and even the operating system you’re using. We’ve reviewed some of the best controllers chosen for their control and comfort they offer, as well as their compatibility with PC.
Table of Contents
- Best PC Controllers for 2018
- 1. DualShock 4 Wireless PC Controller
- 2. Xbox One Elite Wireless PC Controller
- 3. Microsoft Xbox 360 Wired Controller for Windows
- 4. Steam Controller for Computers
- 5. Microsoft Xbox 360 Wired Controller
- 6. Razer Wildcat – eSports Customizable Premium Controller
- 7. ZD-V+ Vibration-Feedback USB Wired Gamepad Gaming Controller
- 8. Thrustmaster GPX Controller
- 9. Logitech Gamepad F710
- 10. SteelSeries Stratus XL, Bluetooth Wireless Gaming Controller
- 11. Logitech Gamepad F310
- Buyers Guide Questions
- What is a PC controller?
- How do you choose the best PC gaming controller?
- Figuring out what type of PC you have
- Kinds of PC controllers
- Features of gaming PC controllers
- How do you use a controller on your PC?
- Are all PC gaming controllers Windows compatible?
- What are the best PC controllers?
- What are drivers and which are the best drivers for Windows?
- Which one to go for?
Best PC Controllers for 2018
1. DualShock 4 Wireless PC Controller
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The DualShock 4 Wireless PC Controller comes with an improved feel, shape, and sensitivity of dual analog sticks and trigger sticks; and can be a good choice if you’re looking to purchase a controller. The precision controller has been strengthened in order to provide full control to the users for all games on PlayStation 4. The face of DualShock 4 offers the facility of multi-touch and clickable touch pad along with the new wireless controller that opens up several possibilities to hardcore gamers. This controller provides several audio options to the gamer with the features of a built-in speaker and stereo headset. The DualShock 4 Wireless PC Controller acts as your personalised connection with the new era of gaming.
The DualShock 4 is an improved version of the original model and provides a major change in the design as well as functions. The light bar has been enhanced and shines over the TouchPad, the analog and triggers and bumpers have a matte finish that makes gaming seamless. The DualShock 4 works on reducing lagging and latency to the best possible degree to bring about an incredible gaming experience. The battery lasts longer, thus, giving you long hours of gaming. The thumb sticks are definitely more rugged which help provide a better grip on the controller and facilitate faster actions. It has classic features that make it easy to hit the ground running. The controller has a touch screen present at the centre of the controller which makes it a very quick process to log in, etc. The triggers are very robust and remain in good condition even after months of rigorous usage.
This model supports USB mode instead of wireless mode, and therefore the signal goes through USB, reducing the lag time. The controller works well on steam especially with games like Geometry Dash, Roblox, etc. if you get an application called DS4windows.exe. This controller gets connected through Bluetooth to most devices and increases its connectivity. The newest addition to the controller is the TrackPad that acts as a button itself. The analog sticks are smooth and responsive. The DualShock 4 Controller is definitely much more compact than its predecessor and is much lighter which makes it easier to use the controller.
The controller has an Octa-core, x86 AMD “Jaguar” CPU and Radeon GPU capable of 1.84 teraflops of computing power. A combination of GDDR5 RAM and x65 architecture ensures third party support. It has 10 times the processing power of PS3. The controller also offers new share/options buttons replacing the traditional start/select buttons. The share button allows gamers to record and upload videos on the internet along with screenshots. This button can be easily disabled at certain points in order to stop publishing spoilers. The biggest change comes in the form of live-broadcasting gameplay and uploading saved clips. The user interface is also a massive improvement as compared to PS3 XMB and proves to be rather easy to use. In order for this controller to be compatible with the PC, there are drivers available that can be downloaded.
The touchpad is a clickable 2 point touchpad with 1920 x 900 resolutions which allows you to zoom, pinch, swipe and scroll. Most regular headphones with a built-in microphone are compatible with the controller and are usually used for the purpose of listening to in-game audio and chat.
Why We Like It
- Fantastic design
- Clickable Touchpad for a great gaming experience
- Best triggers
- Good grip for better control
- Several customization options
This controller is a great deal and has come a long way in terms of design development. It is available at a rather affordable price at several e-commerce websites.
2. Xbox One Elite Wireless PC Controller
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The Xbox One Elite Wireless PC Controller is another great product that has become gamers’ favourite choice. It comes with a carrying case, set of four paddles, 6 thumbsticks, set of 2D pads, USB cable, AA batteries and a manual. This product offers swap thumbsticks and D-pads for game-changing accuracy and speed. The Xbox One Elite Wireless PC Controller also provides hair trigger locks that allow you to fire much faster. The unique interchangeable paddles and rubberized diamond grip help gamers achieve greater control. The controller also allows easy customization with an app on the Xbox One Console and gives amazing precision.
The PC Controller boasts of a fantastic build and super finished quality. It has made noticeable changes in the D-pad, analog sticks and paddle buttons. The analog sticks move smoothly in order to give the ultimate gaming experience. It offers three interchangeable pairs of sticks - the shipping pair and standard are essentially similar to the stock controller. The stick sensitivity can also be adjusted through Microsoft’s software. However, it only works with Windows 10. The rear paddles provide excellent grip making it easier to perform faster actions. There is a definite improvement on its D-pad that allows you to swap between the faceted D-pad and standard cross style. This increases flexibility during gaming. The satellite style D-pad makes shooting fireballs an easier task.
The Hair Trigger Locks is useful for shooters where you don’t require it to move too much and need it to know when you want to shoot. It limits travel of each trigger. Practically means that the player will be able to aim and load quickly in FPS games. The Elite Controller comes with a bag to store all the extra pieces as a result of plenty of sticks to choose from. It is best suited for pro-gamers who are ready to spend some extra money to get a few extra features. It also includes an audio jack making it give the perfect gaming experience. Microsoft has also included 3 joysticks- the traditional concave ones, tall sticks and some style ones. These sticks can be mixed in a combination if the player wishes to do so.
The Xbox option allows you to remap all buttons on the PC controller. One particular change in this controller is the increased weight which may not be desirable to some for the reason that it makes movements slow and lethargic. It includes a 3.5mm headphone jack next to the legacy connection.The Xbox One app makes sure that the customization options do not stop with the hardware. It helps you rebind functionality of each and every button, trigger, and bumper. The controller can store two button mapping configurations at once. The app also provides some pre-made options for certain games like Halo 5. The controller is also highly durable. To make the controller compatible with the PC, there are several drivers which will do so and can be downloaded with great ease. The levers make a great difference in games like Forza 6 where they act like paddle shifters and a clutch for manual transmissions. The battery life is durable and satisfactory. You can also jump right into a game with the help of customising button maps by using community created configurations that can be downloaded easily.
Why We Like It
- Feels great in hand and has great grip throughout
- Several customization options available
- Mature design
- Bumper buttons are usable
Despite being expensive, the mature design and easy customization make it a deal that is difficult to resist for all pro-gamers.
3. Microsoft Xbox 360 Wired Controller for Windows
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The Microsoft Xbox 360 Wired Controller facilitates comfortable play through an ergonomic and compact structure. It allows you to feel the live action through vibration feedback that gives you a captivating experience. It offers precise thumb sticks, two pressure point triggers and an 8-way directional pad to help you stay in control. The Microsoft Xbox 360 Wired Controller is one of the best controllers for PC. The controller can be used with both Xbox as well as PC and is completely plug and play.
The controller has a good in-line cable that is 9 feet long that make it really comfortable to use. The controller has a breakaway component that keeps the console from falling if someone trips over the wire. It supports all games and automatically sets key bindings. The controller comes with the Microsoft Accessories CD. The controller has only three USB connections out of which one is at the back of the console. The basic design is borrowed from Controller S, and the spots where the analog sticks and triggers, the control pad and face pads are the same as the Controller S. The start and back buttons are now in the centre, showing the new guide button that gives you access to your gamer card anytime. The awkwardly placed black and white buttons have now been removed from this model making it a much easy process. These buttons have been replaced by the left and right bumpers that have nearly made it the best game controller for PC. These little modifications have brought about a revolutionary change that makes them perfect for 360 games and provides the ultimate gaming experience. The new layout for the backward-compatible Xbox1 titles may be preferred as the bumpers are located in better spots.
The 360 controller is a revolutionary step towards improving controllers for PC. The hand prongs are subtly contoured and very comfortable. The plastic is textured in an obtrusive but attractive way, and the weight is distributed in a rather comfortable manner around the entire body of the controller. The design of the PC controller boasts of grey and coloured buttons which make it all the more attractive. The controller is also quite easy to master. The controller works straight out of the box without any CD on Windows Vista. The on-screen button instructions change to show icons of buttons, and everything is mapped perfectly. This deep integration goes beyond what a standard controller provides. The controller offers two PC advantages: mods and performance.
The Xbox 360 Wired Controller streamlines the connection with a bottom mount for the adapter. This minimises the issue of snagged wires. The actual functionality of the logo button of the controller adds to the appeal. Microsoft seems to have spent tonnes of money designing the perfect controller and has made a striking comeback after the sad withdrawal of its previous model. This model is best suited for those who do not wish to charge their controllers time and again or are tired of switching batteries. Xbox controllers have drivers that can be downloaded to make it compatible with the PC.
Why We Like It
- Nine ft long wire for easier access
- Quite affordable
- Solid performance, sturdy design
The Microsoft Xbox 360 Wired Controller is the most affordable controller on the market with an amazing gamepad for PC. So those of you who like not having to recharge their controllers can buy this amazing product without much ado!
4. Steam Controller for Computers
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The Steam Controller provides a new level of precise control for your favourite games and allows you to play all your stream games on your TV. The product features dual trackpads, HD haptic feedback, dual stage triggers, back grip buttons and completely customizable control schemes. The dual trackpads allow 1:1 absolute position input through virtual controls like the trackball, adaptive centre joystick or steering wheel. All buttons on the controller have been placed in such a position that it is according to the frequency of use, required precision, and ergonomic effort.
The PC Controller comes in a clean and neatly packed box. It comes with two AA batteries, a Bluetooth USB connector for wireless pairing and an extender that allows you to move near your PC. The PC Controller can be used as a wireless or wired controller. It can be fully configured down to how each button and trigger acts and feels (haptic feedback). Each input can be set up in such a way to get a texture through haptic feedback. The Steam Controller has really snappy triggers which make gaming much more enjoyable. The Steam Controller is completely made of plastic except for the single thumb stick that is made of rubber. The dual touchpads make the PC Controller unique which emulates using a mouse. At some instances, it acts as a trackpad to control a cursor. However, it fails at replicating the speed and precision of a mouse. The Steam Controller allows you to decide what each button and axis do base on a game to game basis. Any control made can be shared with the Steam community.
The Steam Controller attempts to bridge the gap between PC and console gaming. The hand grips on the controller make it a lot bulkier. The buttons are a lot smaller as compared to the Xbox One controller. This probably has been done to fit in the large touchpads. The Steam Controller provides stable analog sticks that give you the required stiffness in moving. The controller has two touchpads; one sits where traditionally a D-Pad must be located while the replaces the secondary analog stick. The bumpers and analog sticks are ideally positioned where it is easy to reach them. A unique feature of this controller are the two additional paddles beneath the controller. Steam’s Big Picture mode that makes your PC all about gaming. It has its own browser and youtube app. It is best suited for streaming on TV. Before playing a game, you need to browse a number of configuration settings via Steam and find the one you are comfortable with. The controller gives the feel of a specialist device. The defining quality of video games is interactivity.
The controller uses a Linux based OS System.
Why We Like It
- Innovative touchpads enable gamepad control experiences
- Customisable software allows great gaming experience
- Community profiles for easy controller configuration
With top class touchpads that offer a great gaming experience, this controller can be an excellent choice for your gaming requirements.
5. Microsoft Xbox 360 Wired Controller
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With the retail price being only slightly less than its wireless counterpart, the Microsoft Xbox 360 wired controller is a simple and effective device that is rapidly gaining popularity. The nine feet long cable which connects the controller to the console is provided with a breakaway provision that prevents the console from falling in case of anyone tripping on it. This chord is also thin and flexible, and that gives you the sensation of playing with wireless. Not only that, in comparison to the wireless controller, the wired one is slightly lighter and less bulky because of the absence of battery at its back. While engrossed in a bloody battle against the men of Mars, you often need to react instantly. This Xbox 360 Controller is able to deliver its blows within the immediate response time.
The black and white buttons which were placed in the older versions have been successfully removed to increase the aesthetics. The start and back buttons have now been moved to the centre to make it easily accessible. The centre Xbox logo button which used to be useless is now used to power on the device and the controller if the console is off. This is also set with a ring of light, each of whose quarter being used to denote the players from 1 to 4, which is cool. This centre button is also used as the tradition button so that we can change from the game to communication features in the Xbox live. The headset input with its 2.5mm jack is the standard for most cell phone headsets which makes it profitable, as Xbox headset in itself becomes unnecessary. The combination of audio and text input device achieved through the Universal Asynchronous Receiver Transmitter (UART) and Universal Audio Port which is advantageous to the players.
The Xbox Headset has inbuilt volume and mute buttons that make it easier to control the sounds. The connection to the headset is streamlined to the adapter at the bottom mount, thus reducing the complications of snagging wire to the self. This Xbox controller has official drivers available on the Microsoft website and has no need for troubleshooting as almost all PC games support these devices. This allows for a seamless gaming experience. Although some buttons might be squeaky in the beginning, they become sturdier gradually after use. The thumb sticks are provided with indentations that prevent slipping when you need to assassinate a ninja quickly. The buttons are identifiable and fitted with pressure springs that make it a pleasure to press them while gaming.
The Xbox 360 controller is automatically detected by the PC games when plugged in. Thus they do not require any extra setup. The controller also has a compact, ergonomic shape which is most comfortable to play with for hours, on the PC or Xbox 360. The vibration feedback is a new setup that gives you a most unforgettable gaming experience.
Why We Like It
- Comfortable and practical to use
- Offered at a reasonable price
- Light weight and less bulky
- Compatible with any Windows system and other gaming consoles with drivers
Overall this compact yet sturdy Xbox controller provides the right amount of flexibility, control, quality with adjustable vibration feedback and a thrilling and comfortable experience.
6. Razer Wildcat – eSports Customizable Premium Controller
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Razer wildcat is one of the three top pro controllers available. It is an elite level controller and can be used with Xbox One or PC. It feels comfortable and alert, and the hyper-responsive buttons are remarkable.
Made for tournament play, this is the ultimate gaming controller. It packs four additional Multi-Function Buttons over the ordinary controller layout for unmatched customizability. The optimised weight has the lightest load on your hands, and the optional palm grips add to the magic. The reinforced wired connection is the highlight and is designed for long gaming sessions. The new Razer Wildcat gives you an advantage over your competition in training as well as in the actual critical tournament moments.
The customization is really the draw for this controller. It has dedicated button layout profiles for each of your games. You can tweak your audio settings on the go. The Razer Wildcat for Xbox One gives you full control.
Having an edge above the rest, the Razer Wildcat has four additional, multi-functional intuitive buttons. There are two bumpers at the shoulders and two removable triggers on the underside. Placed ideally where your fingertips can easily access these, these Multi-Function Buttons can be appropriately used to remap any and all of the other controls found on the controller. These have the ability to freestyle the configuration of your controller. You are at a clear advantage to decide how you have to win the competition!
Even during the most intense moments, this controller gives gamers the most comfortable gaming experience. The Razer Wildcat is based on the weight category as the standard Xbox One controller and features a refined shape for optimum efficiency and comfort which is perfected by the placement of the Multi-Function Buttons. With the ABXY buttons, this controller is perfect for staying on top of your game during extended training sessions and critical tournament moments.
The built in quick control panel gives easy access to a plethora of functions, right from toggling between profiles, to adjusting chat volume as well as muting game. Thus, the gamer never needs to take his hands off the controller during a match. Thus, the controller is a messiah during the in-game action.
The controller has high carbon steel analogue stick necks, removable aircraft grade aluminium triggers, and optional palm grips. Razer Wildcat gives you a greater edge over the competition with unparalleled durability regardless of how extreme your playing style is.
Why We Like It
- Sturdy, mechanical buttons to counter extreme playstyles
- Highly sensitive to give the most comfortable gaming experience and in-game action
- Built-in audio controls
- Rubber add-on for thumbsticks adds extra grip and comfort
- Useful, intuitive extra buttons
If the somewhat sticky grip is not an issue for you, this Razer Wildcat has truly top class features that will enhance your gaming experience to a great extent.
7. ZD-V+ Vibration-Feedback USB Wired Gamepad Gaming Controller
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ZD is back with a new and improved gaming controller for personal gaming computers, Android and the PS 3. The ZD V+ is a sturdy and efficient gaming controller for both hardcore and beginner gamers and functions well even under the harshest of stress.
Sold at a ridiculously low price, the ZD V+ gives the gamer the feel of a much more expensive mainstream controller, with smooth controls and parts. Its analogs are secure and comfortable to use, so a gamer can play their games for longer without feeling uncomfortable. It has plastic grip holders, which will never get worn out and sit coolly and comfortably in the gamer’s hand. Its buttons are made secure against getting stuck, and are responsive and work well for quick reaction games such as first person shooters. With plug and play for PlayStation 3 consoles, it is easy to set up and install, and so a gamer can start playing soon after they get the product from the market.
Aesthetically pleasing, the ZD V+ looks very similar to its big brand counterparts in Sony and Microsoft X-Box, with plastic that looks more expensive than it is, and a sturdy, attractive design. It is average sized, with dimensions of 5.4 x 7.6 x 2.8 inches (13.7 x 19.3 x 7.1 cm). It weighs 216 g (12 ounces), rather heavy and sturdy for a gaming controller. For personal computer (PC) games supporting the Xinput method, there is a vibration feedback function present in this controller which allows the controller to convey certain information through tactile vibration to the user if the game the user is playing supports that kind of vibration feedback. However, this vibration feedback function is not present and compatible with PS 3 consoles and Androids.
Another feature for PC gamers supporting the Xinput method is the controller’s JD SWITCH function, which exchanges the functions of the D-Pad and the Left Stick. It can support USB 2.0 and USB 3.0, and has a multi-mode option wherein it supports Xinput, DirectInput and Android depending on which kind of gaming setup the user has. It works with emulators, after setting up the buttons, and it is compatible with PC Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10, though the games much support either Xinput or DirectInput modes. Some games may also need the buttons set up before beginning the game.
This controller is compatible with Android, if it is a version 4.0 or above. The Android device must also support the OTG function, and again, for the game to be played using the device, it must support Android, and some buttons may need to be set up before starting the game. PlayStation 3 is compatible with this device using the plug and play function, thereby making it easy to setup and play for the PS 3 console. It is just as responsive as a regular PS 3 controller, though it is as large as an X Box controller, thus making it the ideal size for gamers.
The device comes with a 1.5 m (4.9 feet) USB cable which attaches it to the gaming computer. This length is perfect for personal gaming computers, though it may be a little short for console gaming and gaming from smart TVs.
Why We Like It
- Great quality hardware
- Sturdy build
- Incredibly low price
- Attractive design
If you are tired of the mainstream brands overcharging you for mediocre products, you must try the ZD V+, which offers excellent quality at a very low price.
8. Thrustmaster GPX Controller
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Your game controllers are a vital component of your gaming experience. They are the interface between you and the game and to show off your skills in your favourite game, you need to have an amazing game controller. The company ThrustMaster brings you a fantastic controller for PC, the Thrustmaster GPX Controller. This controller has an official license for providing you with the best gaming experience ever. The Thrustmaster GPX Controller has been licensed for Xbox 360 which means that the performance of this amazing controller has been verified by the makers of your Xbox. It is even compatible with your PCs. It has everything to provide you with the comfort and reliability for you to have an awesome gameplay.
The gamepad has an unbeatable design that provides you with the ease of accessing the buttons and the comfort for an amazing gaming experience. With a form factor of 6.7 x 3 x 7.9 inches and weighing only 12.8 ounces, the Thrustmaster GPX Controller is made to suit your hands comfortably for a tremendous display of your skills. Due to the non-slip grip surface at the entire bottom of the PC gamepad; you will never miss a shot because your hand slipped over the controller. The controller features a contoured design that provides comfort for optimal handling. This ergonomic design will always be a plus point for you in your favourite games.
With tonnes of features, the Thrustmaster GPX Controller always keeps your gaming experience at the top priority. The controller features two vibration motors instead of one that runs at different frequencies to provide you with a different signal for separate information. The low-frequency buzzer is placed on the left of the controller, and the high-frequency buzzer is there at the right hand side. This feature helps you differentiate between the vibrations for separate incidents which means you have a precise real-time in game assistance.
The mini sticks on the Thrustmaster GPX controller are tremendously precise because of the genuine rubber used to make them which provides a non-slip grip to your hands while you are playing your games. This lets you have an ultimate gaming experience. The optimised precision on this PC gamepad is two times more than the standard gamepads available in the market. There’s even an Xbox guide button to provide to instant access to the tray. The button is just the same as on Xbox and has the same 4 LED structure to indicate the number of players connected to your game. It also lets you switch between the game that is active to the Xbox menus. Also, the two progressive triggers have been optimised to guarantee an ultra-precise control. Due to the optimised resistance pressure, the gamer gets a long range of travel for an amazing control over the game. The cross-shaped D-pad and the long stroke triggers make this controller a high-performance controller available in the market. The refined ergonomics of this device make it one of the best PC gamepads available in the market.
Why We Like It
- Contoured design to provide comfortable handling for optimum performance
- Two vibration motors with different frequencies that let you feel distinct feedbacks for distinct information signals
- Genuine rubber used the sticks for a perfect grip
- Xbox guide button to perform various tasks at one click
So if you are a hardcore gamer and want an amazing gaming controller to display your skills even more efficiently in your favourite game, then the Thrustmaster GPX Controller is one of the best controllers for PC and Xbox available in the market.
9. Logitech Gamepad F710
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A game controller for your PC or Xbox is the interface you use to display your skills in your favourite game. A person who has full control over his gamepad performs exceptionally well in the game. This is why our game controllers are expected to be easy to use and should provide a perfect grip to our hands for having an amazing gameplay. Logitech, the Swiss global provider of personal computer and mobile accessories, has launched the Logitech Gamepad F710 that takes care of all your needs. The F710 is compatible with your windows XP, windows Vista, windows 7 and also Windows 8. The drivers and the guide required to use the Logitech F710 come along with the controller to keep you away from the trouble of looking up for them over the Internet.
In the world of wireless controllers, the Logitech Gamepad F710 also succeeds to keep you away from the cable mess. It provides a 2.4 GHz wireless connection which is sufficient enough for your command to reach your device in the blink of an eye. Such a fast connection lets you have a fast and responsive gaming experience. You just need to plug in the Nano-receiver into a USB port and enjoy the blazing fast connection with no dropouts or delays whatsoever.
The PC gamepad by Logitech has a console like a layout which a gamer would definitely be familiar with. Because of this, the controller gets into a person’s hands just like gloves from the day you start using it. With the contoured rubber grips, you are guaranteed smooth long gameplay sessions. It makes use of an exclusive 4- Switch D-pad. The problem with the standard d-pads is that they use a single pivot which can result in an imprecise control, but in the F710, the D-pad glides over four individual switches which help to have a more tactile response.
The Logitech F710 has dual vibration feedback motors which mean that you will have a more amazing response when you crash or hit or when something explodes. This leads to a more realistic and immersive gameplay. That level of vibration response takes your whole gaming experience to a new level.
The Logitech F710 controller is a very adaptive controller and is very easy to setup and use in your everyday life. It has the flexibility that you won’t expect from a standard PC gamepad. You can customise the standard commands to suit yourself and play your game comfortably. The controls and the buttons on the gamepad are programmable using the revolutionary software by Logitech called profiler. Using this software you can even mimic keyboard and mouse commands if you want. This makes it one of the best PC controllers available in the market.
The F710 even works with your TV. Being reprogrammable, it can act as a remote to help you surf the web or stream or play some media. Or you can just use it for playing games on your TV. Also, it has an extensive game support that lets you play all kinds of games be it classics or hits of the time. Considering the XInput/DirectInput features, which are the two most common input standards, the Logitech F710 is very easy to setup and use.
Why We Like It
- Blazing fast 2.4 GHz wireless connectivity
- Programmable buttons with the help of Logitech’s Profiler software
- Comfortable grip and easy to setup and use
With the Logitech’s F710 PC gamepad, you’ll never fall short of features and continue to enjoy an unbeatable gameplay without any delays or interference. The multi-featured Logitech F710 is one of the best wireless controllers for PC.
10. SteelSeries Stratus XL, Bluetooth Wireless Gaming Controller
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With the ongoing gaming spree spreading like wildfire in the present times, the launch of the PlaystationDualshock 4 gaming controller is a true bliss for all gamers. Marked by its sturdy construction and compact design, this controller does take care of the gamers comforts. With the previous versions lacking appropriate structure and configuration, the Dualshock 4 is the best controller Sony has ever made. The DS4 may not seem as strong and durable as the Xbox controller, but it is indeed quite a durable machine.
With the Dualshock 3 controllers lacking appropriate spacing between sticks and triggers which could not be handled well by people having slightly bigger hands for long, the Dualshock 4 comes as a huge relief to cater to all such issues. It has sticks that are sufficiently apart with slightly concave pits so as to hold the tips of our thumbs well in place. They are somewhat larger than the Xbox ones and have more resistance and sturdiness, but they firmly return to their original configuration on being released. These also enable a longer and comfortable experience of the controller.
It's triggers on being pressed fully, reach their threshold and come to a definite halt with a click as opposed to the Xbox's 360 version or other such competitors. This doesn't really affect the gaming logistics, but it surely gives a more haptic sensation.
Its bumpers are clear and firm in their usage which again serves as a postulate to beat the Xbox's 360 in the same aspect. They are much smaller and move up and down with crisp movements.
DS4 possesses buttons which even after being pressed for long, return to their original position perfectly. Plus their shape puts very little pressure on the fingers. It is only after extended usage that we can hear a slight creaking sound, though they still feel bouncy and unaltered. Another feature is the front facing light which glows blue in color for the primary connected player and changes accordingly as per the synchronisation with the console. This acts as a dashboard status indicator.
With a glossy look and a semi-matte finish, it is a piece of visually pleasing hardware. It is more of a grown up machine than some gaudy looking software controller. Plus it is compact enough to slip into your house without being highlighted. An added advantage is that The DS4 can charge controllers over USB while in standby mode as opposed to the Dualshock 3 version. Such a necessity met! It has also launched a gyroscopic and accelerometer-based motion control which is a huge improvement from the Dualshock 3 version.
Why We Like It
- Compact design
- Triggers and buttons are well suited for comfortable gaming
- Gyroscopic and Accelerometer based motion control
- Can charge controllers over USB while in standby mode
- User-friendly hardware enabling a comfortable gaming experience
All in all, the Dualshock 4 is an all-rounder in its field. It has all the features needed in order to be ranked the best gaming controller till date. It comes with all the customization we want and is a fantastic wireless controller which is sure to win over the hearts of all gaming enthusiasts!
11. Logitech Gamepad F310
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One of the gaming world’s most reliable brands, Logitech, has come out with a new advanced gaming controller for all gamers, hardcore and beginner. The Logitech Gamepad F310 is a clean, sturdy and attractive PC controller for gamers of all genres. With a simple plug and play USB connection for PC gamers, this PC controller is easy to install and set up using the Xinput and DirectInput functions, though they may need software and drivers installed in order to start off. A clean, console-like format in a personal computer game controller, it gives the PC gamer the control and style of a console without the additional costs.
It is easy to customise. Simply download the Logitech Profiler software, available for free online, and you can quickly adapt the gamepad to play with an unsupported title or change standard commands according to the gamer are desire. The gamepad’s buttons are even designed to mimic mouse and keyboard noises and are fully and easily programmable. Pairing the controller to Big Picture allows you to connect the Logitech gamepad with your TV. So if you are used to using a gaming TV for your gaming or internet surfing purposes, this controller will work just fine with the setup.
It has a four switch D-Pad which has been made more responsive than regular PC controllers. This D-Pad has four different individual switches, unlike other D-Pads which have only one pivot point. Thus, the controls are more solid and workable, making swift gaming responses easier to fulfil, with high-intensity gaming being much more enjoyable to play with this gamepad’s quick reaction time. It has an attractive design, with a smooth console-like build and rubber grips that allow for a better hold and no slipping while playing a particularly engaging game. It is made more comfortable for holding and will suit gamers who play for hours at a time.
It is compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10, making it a PC exclusive gaming controller. Its compatibility with software is made by downloading drivers from the Logitech main page and thus can be made compatible with several other operating systems as well. It has a USB connection cord of a reasonable length at 1.8 m (6 feet) long and is lightweight and effortless to use. It is compatible with games from Steam and can play games downloaded from the internet as well.
The cost of the gaming control is incredibly cheap when compared to its quality. It works with games that require console gaming as well as traditional personal computer games, making it a jack of all trades. For gamers who like variety and try to achieve mastery in all fields, this gaming controller is a blessing. To optimise the gaming experience, there is a mode button on the PC controller which switches the controls from the normal flight mode to the more robust and alert sports mode and vice versa. It can be flipped according to the kind of game you are playing.
The joysticks have small dead zones, or areas where they stop working, but they compensate for this by going to one hundred percent easily and being smooth and easy to work around. Its analog triggers slide easily from zero to one hundred and rest back at zero. It is easy to use, reliable and durable and can be configured easily, making it a great buy for PC gamers. It can last a long time, two years, without failing.
Why We Like It
- Sturdy, durable and long lasting
- Attractive design reminiscent of a console game controller
- Affordable and has great quality for a low price
- Response timing makes it great for intense or combative games
For professional level quality for a ridiculously cheap pricing, the Logitech is a must have for all former console gamers looking to enter the PC gaming world.
Buyers Guide Questions
What is a PC controller?
A PC controller is the device that controls and regulates the transfer of data between the personal computer and a device that is not connected to the computer. So any output or input device, such as the monitor, keyboard, ergonomic mouse, printer, SSD disk drives and so on all require controllers that allow the interchanging of data between them.
Generally, as most of these devices come along with the computer itself when you purchase it, the controllers for the general parts of the computer have already been installed. However, in order to add a device, one would have to install a controller for the device on an expansion board.
PC controllers are designed to communicate with the computer’s expansion bus. However, as there are three types of personal computer expansion buses, the AT bus, the PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) and the SCSI (Small Computer System Interface). Therefore, when an additional controller is bought, the user must check if it matches and is compatible with the expansion bus of the personal computer.
Gaming PC controllers are generally in reference to handheld controllers that avid gamers use to play games on their PCs. These gaming controllers resemble console gaming controllers and are usually used by PC gamers for certain games that demand the use of a controller, or for the added ease of using the controller instead of a regular keyboard and mouse format.
Console gaming controllers can generally be adapted for the PC format by downloading a drive from the internet, which helps change the input format of the controller to Xinput or DirectInput, depending on the requirement. However, it is best to check with the manufacturer if the feature is available for that particular product.
Several companies cater to the needs of the PC gamer in terms of gaming controllers, and several console game controllers have been adapted to the personal computer format. These controllers help play the game more efficiently and with greater ease, as it is easy to hold and press the buttons of. Unlike a keyboard, which is made to type, the PC gaming controller is made only to play games, which allows it to be better adapted to the comfort and efficiency of the gamer.
How do you choose the best PC gaming controller?
In order to pick the perfect PC gaming controller for your computer, there are several factors to look into, namely:
- The type of PC you have
- The operating system of said PC
- The kind of games to be played using the controller
- The kind of PC controllers which match these characteristics
Figuring out what type of PC you have
There are mainly three kinds of PC’s, Microsoft Windows computers, Apple Macs, and computers that use the operating system Linux. The differences between these three kinds of computer systems are stark, and they may only use operating systems that come from their particular family of operating systems.
For Windows, to find out which operating system you have, go to the Start menu, right-click on My Computer and select Properties. The window that opens will display all the prominent information about the system, such as the name of the operating system, whether it is Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7 or even Windows XP. It also displays the processing type and speed of the computer, as well as its memory capability.
For the Apple Mac, just click on the Apple button on the home screen bar, and then select the option named ‘About This Mac’. All the information required to be known about the Mac in question such as the operating system, processing type and speed as well as the memory capability will be displayed.
All of this information will be integral to the choosing of the ideal gaming controller as well as appropriate games to be played on this personal computer.
Kinds of PC controllers
There are several kinds of PC controllers in the market, of different types and for gamers of different preferences and needs, such as:
- Joystick Controller
- Flight Stick Controller
- Steering Wheel Controller
- Console Game Controller
- Joystick Controller
These controllers are generally outdated at this point, but they can still be used for particular games for their sturdy design and easy controls. It consists of a gaming stick attached to a base and contains several buttons to push at the base in order to widen the gaming options this controller brings with it. While they are not extremely versatile, they make up for it with stability, efficiency and affordability.
Flight Stick Controller
These controllers are generally used to play flight simulator games. It has a large and sturdy base, with a single stick attached to it used to control most of its functions. It also has buttons and has generally been revamped in order to suit most modern games. They can also have programmable features and push buttons that help increase their versatility and capability to support and operate efficiently during games,
Steering Wheel Controller
Steering Wheel Controllers are used to simulate racing and driving games in a realistic manner. It may come with foot pedals for acceleration. These controllers are used exclusively for driving and racing games and cannot be used conventionally for normal gaming.
Console Game Controller
These game controllers are used by PC gamers to play games generally reserved for consoles. They are flat and fit easily into the hand, and thus PC gamers may also use them for normal PC gaming. They are comfortable, easy to use and can help improve the quality of gaming for gamers used to consoles and PlayStation controls.
Features of gaming PC controllers
Connection to the PC: The PC controller can be connected to the personal computer in three ways:
- Simple wire connection
- Connection through a USB: this wiring offers a connection to other devices as well as the personal computer by way of a USB.
- Wireless: this connection utilises batteries and a wireless connection to connect to the PC.
Vibration Feedback: The PC controller can be made to vibrate during high-intensity gaming. This helps get the gamer into the mood and is an optional feature which can be turned on or off depending on the gamer’s preference.
Programmable Action Buttons: This feature allows PC gamers to play shooting games with their controllers and allows multiple operations to be done at once.
Now that you know exactly how a gaming controller works, and how it integrates with the computer, the ideal gaming controller is easy to find for your computer.
How do you use a controller on your PC?
Gaming controllers for consoles can easily be used for the PC with a little help from the internet. There are two kinds of popular gaming console controllers: the X Box controller and the PS 3 controller. They are all entirely different console controllers, but all three of them can be used on the PC.
X Box 360
These controllers are the best console controllers for the PC, as they can be custom made for Windows operating systems. While X Box controllers can have drives downloaded from the internet to allow them to be compatible with PC’s, there are also X Box consoles out in the market that are directly compatible with both kinds of gaming, and are preferable to downloading the software, as these controllers are easy to move around and play with. All you have to do to make the custom made controllers is plug it in, and you are free to play it as you wish.
However, for authentic X Box controllers, there are dongles sold by Microsoft that help connect the controller to the PC and allow for easy connection and readability.
X Box controllers are also the easiest to play with while playing PC games, as they are convenient to use, efficient, affordable and popular with the gaming network.
Connecting the PlayStation 3’s DualShock 3 is slightly harder than the X Box controller. This controller connects to the PC using a bluetooth, which works well for laptops which understand bluetooth, but for desktops, a USB dongle will have to be bought to connect the controller to the PC.
Once the controller is connected to the computer, a software known as Better DS3 is to be downloaded in order to make the controller compatible with the PC. Once the software is downloaded, and the system is set up using the guided setup instructions, the gamer is good to go.
Are all PC gaming controllers Windows compatible?
The operating system Windows 10 supports X Box One and X Box 360 gaming controllers. However, apart from this operating system, the other operating systems do not adapt quite as well to console controllers.
The remedy for this is easy and simple to follow. Microsoft has recently released a $ 25 gaming adapter for X Box One and X Box 360 adapters, which allows the user to plug in up to 8 console gaming controllers and have them working perfectly for any PC game to be found online or offline.
This might prove a little pricey for a regular gamer, but is the best option for a hardcore gamer.
For other gamers, you may connect the console controller to a Windows 10 operating system using either Bluetooth or a USB dongle.
Windows 8 and Windows 7 have a slightly more complex process involved. These operating systems need for you to update their drivers in order to use the console game controller. After having updated the driver software for the particular console controller, you may connect it to the PC and have it working using either a Bluetooth connection or a USB dongle, just like for Windows 10.
These methods only work for X Box console controllers. For PS 3, you may have to download the software Better DS 3 in order for it to work, but in the end, even a PS 3 controller can work on a Windows operating system.
Therefore, yes, PC gaming controllers are compatible with the Windows operating system.
What are the best PC controllers?
PC controllers are highly valued and comfortable devices for gaming, which make gaming a much more relaxed and entertaining. Thus, the competition between PC gaming controllers has never been at a higher point. We have divided the gaming controllers into three categories: Budget Controllers, Luxury Controllers and Intermediate Controllers.
The best budget controller in the market is seen to be the Wired X Box 360 gamepad.
Easy to use, affordable and a classic in the field of gaming, X Box has a good compatibility with the Windows operating system and is also supported by almost all the games available nowadays. It is comfortable to hold and has a good analog stick layout, which makes it useful for games that require multitasking. It is simple to use, with a classic and easy to learn button layout and works well with X Box as well as PC systems. It is incredibly cheap, as compared to other gamepads, at a reasonable cost to quality ratio. While its D-Pad is not as developed as the D-Pads on more expensive controllers, it is still formidable and a great controller for PC games.
The luxury controller that stood out from its peers is the X Box One Elite Wireless Controller.
With an attractive, durable design and components that can easily be replaced as per preferences inside it, this controller is the best of its kind, surpassing all others in terms of feel, gaming control, sturdiness and reliability. It helps make the game feel more natural and fits into the hand easily. Its appearance is attractive, and it has a subtle rubber texture to prevent slipping, thereby giving the gamer a slight advantage over his opponents. Having robust software for mapping and easy installing processes, this controller is perfect for any gamer, hardcore or not. However, it is very expensive, at about triple the price of a regular gamepad with the same physical features.
The best intermediate controller for PC gaming is the PlayStation DualShock 4.
With a durable and attractive appearance, this controller is sturdy and sharp, with a great strain control on the buttons and analog triggers. The analog triggers are flattened for better grip and have a durable, long lasting feel. There is great tactile feel to the triggers and bumpers, which give a satisfying clicking feeling as they are pushed. They are comfortable to hold and fit well into the palms, with a slight roughening of their plastic in order to gain grip and a comfortable hold on the device.
The only downside of this device is the fact that it is not supported by Windows, and users must download unofficial software in order to make it compatible with Windows operating systems. The software DS4Windows is a good software to use, which allows the Windows operating system to treat the controller like an X Box 360 controller, thereby allowing it full access to various games and media.
What are drivers and which are the best drivers for Windows?
A device driver is software in your operating system which controls a particular kind of hardware. Device drivers are used to controlling several things such as printers, CD’s, disk drives, readers and so on. All of these drives are generally built into the operating system for convenience. However, in order to use console game controllers on the PC, for example, some drivers need to be updated or installed in order to allow the controller to work on the operating system.
There are several hardware drivers for Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Apple Mac and so on that may be downloaded for your console controller to work well on the PC.
Contrary to popular myth, drivers need not be made by the manufacturing company of the operating system for it to be effective. Several drivers sold for free online have also been proven useful for PCs. While most drivers, when installed, work well, some may require additional hardware such as CD’s to be added to ensure that they work well. Windows 10 only needs their pre-downloaded drivers updated for PC game controllers to work well.
Drivers for Windows can be found on Microsoft’s official web page, or on miscellaneous websites. As a side note, they can only be downloaded from the internet as software that helps translate and control gaming PC controllers for the best enjoyment of the gamer.
Which one to go for?
A gaming controller goes a long way in enhancing your gaming experience and so, picking the right one is crucial. The DualShock 4 Wireless Controller for PlayStation 4 can be a good choice if you’re a serious gamer. Thanks to its precision controller, it offers great control for all PlayStation 4 games for a superior gaming experience. The newly added multi-touch and clickable touch pad on this controller offer endless gameplay possibilities and irrespective of whether you’re a newcomer or a veteran, you’ll love this feature. It also features built-in speaker and stereo headset jack that allows setting of new audio options for a top quality gaming experience on PlayStation 4. Overall, the DualShock 4 Wireless Controller is a top pick.
If you’re a serious gamer, having a top-quality controller is a must. The Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller can be a really good choice if the price is not a big issue. This gaming controller is compatible with Xbox One and Xbox One S. It is also compatible with Windows 10 through USB connection or the Xbox Wireless Adapter that you can easily get in any store. The best feature of this controller is that you can swap thumbsticks and D-pads that ensures superior game-changing accuracy and speed for an enhanced gameplay experience. You can also fire a lot faster now, all thanks to the Hair Trigger Locks that allow a quicker response. And when it comes to control and accuracy, the interchangeable paddles and rubberized diamond grip offer firm grip, allowing for high precision. Last but not the least; you can customise the experience with the help of Xbox One Console app. This is truly a premium choice product, go for it!
Unlike a hardcore gamer, a casual gamer doesn’t need the most expensive products to enjoy a good gaming session. The Microsoft Xbox 360 Wired Controller for Windows & Xbox 360 Console is one such product that offers great performance at an affordable price. The design and aesthetics of this product allow you to play for hours on your PC or Xbox One; enjoying every bit of your gaming session. The vibration feedback is really cool, as it gives you a truly amazing, riveting gameplay experience. The thumbsticks are precise, and the two pressure-point triggers along with an 8-way directional pad ensure that you have complete control over the game. The controls are quite accurate and enhance the gaming experience. Setup is easy, and you can connect this to your gaming console via USB. All these top quality features at an affordable price, this controller offers a great value for your money. Highly recommended!