Best PC Controllers & Gamepad 2021: Buyer’s Guide


Are you looking for the best controllers and gamepad for PC? Here are our top 10 recommendations, they are very popular and oftenly out of stock, click the images or links to learn more before purchasing.

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✅ Best DualShock 4 Wireless Controller For PlayStation 4

Best PC gaming controller, seriously – These controllers are pretty cheap but they work decently and they feel pretty good as well. The only cons about them is their battery life. If you’re not a heavy player, this is the one for you! Make sure you check this out!——————————————————————————————————————

Lightweight, great response time, love the LEDs that change colors, the touchpad is also good and triggers are responsive enough for feedback. There are multiple improvements with these new PS4 controllers over the older ones. The battery lasts a lot longer, the thumbsticks are more rugged and have a better grip on them, L2 and R2 buttons are more springy (a good thing), and the thumbsticks also feel way smoother when moving them around. The buttons are now grey like the throwback controller and there is now light on the touchpad. Although the last-generation controllers are still pretty good, I would definitely recommend the new-gen controllers for only $10 more.

The Best PC Controller: Microsoft Xbox One Wireless Controller

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✅ Best Microsoft Xbox One Wireless Controller

Pretty good controller – This one feels solid, requires no out of the box calibration, nor any calibration at all. You just connect it, let Windows recognize it, and off you are to playing! The controller feels so nice and solid in the hand, and the vibration feels better too than third-party controllers such as PDP.

Pros:

  • Long-lasting charge (I’ve been playing for 3 days at around 4-5 hours/day and it hasn’t died yet)
  • Very ergonomic & comfortable in your hand, much more so than Playstation controllers
  • Very smooth analog sticks and triggers, much smoother than the Playstation’s analogs and triggers
  • Buttons aren’t too sticky like old generations
  • Buttons are all tactile and register nice clicks on presses
  • Perfectly compatible with Windows 10 & Steam so setup and configurability was a breeze
  • The controller is textured, so your hands get a good grip on the controller
  • The way the batteries are removable on this controller is nice because you can swap rechargeable battery packs instead of having to plug in your controller. This is a big plus over the Playstation controllers I think.

Cons:

  • Not Bluetooth compatible (Not very important unless you want play on laptops or tablets or phones)
  • Takes AA batteries, but you can put battery packs in the controller instead of batteries and just use rechargeable battery packs. IMO the controller should have battery packs instead of AA batteries, but battery packs can be bought off Amazon for ~$20 so it’s not a big deal, and they let you charge one battery while you play using the other battery and just swap them.

Conclusion:

A quality controller that has a better battery design, ergonomics, and controls than most of the competition and is easily compatible with PCs. It’s a win in my book.

The Best Alternative PC Controller: Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

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✅ Best Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

A very comfortable and intuitive controller – The Joy-Con Pro Controller is the equivalent of the Pro Controller for the Wii U but with some improvements. The design of the control is very good, feels good to the touch and the buttons are well distributed. It has motion sensors, vibration and unlike the previous version has functionality to use amiibos direct over control. The battery life is excellent, much longer than the wireless controls usually have. Highly recommended, its only negative aspect is that the price of the control is extremely high, even if you find it on sale.

Pros:

  • Really good Bluetooth range, with no input interruption while playing the Switch docked from about 10 feet away.
  • Feels great in hand, and the larger buttons are nice.
  • The D-pad is very responsive and feels as good as the classic D-pads Nintendo has made in the past.
  • The pairing was a cinch
  • The battery lasts a long time on one charge.

Cons:

  • It’s expensive
  • It’s hard to go from the pro back to the joy-cons because the pro feels SO good in your hand. But maybe that’s more of a bad for the joy-cons and not the pro, haha.

Conclusion:

If you are a gamer, you will love the pro controller. The pro will feel much better in an adult hand, but not so big that a child cant use it.

The Best High-end Controller For PC: Microsoft Xbox One Elite Series 2

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✅ Best Microsoft Xbox One Elite Series 2 Controller

Absolutely Perfect – The Elite 2 offers the most advanced features any controller can offer. From it’s 2-3 Day battery life for the average gamer or even most competitive, you can count on Xbox to not let you down during those high intense FPS moments of Apex Legends or Fortnite! Features like the button mapping lets you have complete control over every button action as well as four extra paddles on the back.

Pros:

  • Extremely simple and easy to set up button mapping. It allows for you to assign any button to the four paddles on the back of the controller
  • Ergonomics: Feel is just like a regular Xbox controller except that it generally feels more substantial and there are 4 paddles on the back. They are positioned so that they are easy to press
  • Customization: It comes with a bunch of different thumbsticks you can put on so you can decide what works best for you. I like that you can adjust the tension of the thumbsticks. I did what another reviewer recommended and increased tension then jacked up the sensitivity on my game. This allows me to still move precisely when I need to but also look around much more quickly if I want.
  • Hair triggers: The triggers have customizable stops put in so you can designate both the left and right triggers as a long pull, medium pull, or short pull (hair trigger). For the hair-trigger, I only have to pull it very slightly to shoot which helps speed up my reaction time a bit
  • Battery: I’ve only played about 20 hours so far but the battery was still at above 50%. Easily chargeable with your Xbox

Cons:

  • Can’t set up hotkeys (i.e. can’t make a single press of a paddle be a double click of a different button)
  • Heavy, it is much heavier than a regular Xbox controller due in part to the internal battery. It doesn’t both me but if that is important to you then this might not be the controller for you
  • Internal battery: This is a pro and con. The battery life has been great so far but it will inevitably diminish and can’t be replaced.

The Best Hybrid PC Controller: Nacon Revolution Unlimited

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✅ Best NACON Esports Revolution Unlimited Pro Controller

Best PS4 controller – This is a great controller, probably the best feeling controller on the market. Games feel fluid, comfort is on another level compared to the DS4, but thats likely due to the stick layout being xbox related. The triggers are thick, which is so welcomed as it doesn’t take a toll when constantly pressing on them in a variety of FPS games. Software is almost too smooth, the website is a little bit on the weird side but that was easily forgotten.

Pros:

  • Xbox style thumbstick layout (my main reason for buying this)
  • adjustable weights, cool! Now this feels like my XB Elite
  • the coating on the controller case is smooth
  • R2/L2 triggers are beefy, very comfortable
  • no lag with using the wifi adapter
  • customizable right stick ring light (wish there more vibrant colors available)
  • overall very comfortable for extended gameplay

Cons:

  • the position of the rear shortcut buttons under the handles, S1/S2/S3/S4. I find I accidentally hit one of these when playing GT Sport and my camera view changes, especially painful when in close quarters with other cars, and a mistake is forced. I haven’t set up a custom profile yet, but maybe those buttons can be disabled?
  • The wifi adapter is required for wireless connection
  • thumbstick sounds are a little too ‘clicky’ for my taste, but that is just me being nit-picky. Not a show stopper by any means

The Best Paddle Controller For PC: Scuf Gaming Impact

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✅ Best SCUF Gaming Impact Video Game Controller

Works Great and Easy to Use – SCUF Gaming recently came out with their new and advanced gaming controller (SCUF Impact) that allows to you upgrade your gaming experience to the next level. With four paddles on the back of the controller you are guaranteed a faster, more advanced play style. Another benefit offered from SCUF is their EMR (Electro-Magnetic Remapping) technology that they have recently added to their newest controller.

The Best RGB PC Controller: Razer Wolverine Tournament Edition Chroma

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✅ Best Razer Wolverine Xbox One Controller

You won’t regret it. – Very good controller, customizable in both the light and the extra buttons, useful also in case a button stops working even the (R3 and L3 are the levers running or zom in some cases) forget that the battery runs out in the middle of a game, you can use it both for Xbox and PC.

Pros:

  • wired means no more batteries dying mid-game
  • 2 additional buttons over the Elite controller (works great for Monster Hunter World)
  • M3-M6 buttons feel more Naturally placed than the Elite paddles.
  • ABXY buttons are more responsive and feel more like a mouse click.
  • The controller feels lighter due to the absence of a battery pack.
  • The cord is a durable, Nylon braid, and has a breakaway feature to avoid accidentally pulling your system off the shelf (or kids tripping over the cord).
  • Synapse software is easy to use, and the controller can store multiple profiles for several users or games, with quick switching enabled with the touch of a button.
  • No more fumbling to mute your mic with onboard mute button
  • Switching between game and party chat volume levels is as easy as holding the volume button and pressing left or right on the D-pad, no more going into the Xbox menu. This can be a lifesaver when you need to talk to a Party member or hear some boss fight details and need to do it fast.
  • On the fly button remapping is simple and quick with the remapping button on the controller, without having to go into the software and wasting time.
  • 10 ft cable gives you plenty of distance between your TV and couch/chair.
  • The color system (CHROMA) can be set to a number of modes and colors, making it ideal for any situation, and can be set up different for each profile.
  • Thumbsticks move more fluid and feel more responsive than the stock or elite controllers.
  • Button placement. The M1 and M2 buttons I feared would be more in the way than useful, but was I wrong. With Monster Hunter, it was always a pain to cycle through my quickbar to use an item. The Wolverine allows me to remap M1 and M2 to the left and right d pad controls so I can swap items without halting my attacks.
  • Swappable Dpad and Tilt pad designs are easy to change and both are quite responsive. No more rubber below the buttons means fast response time, and no degraded functionality over time.

Cons

  • A wired cord means restricted sitting distance. This can be solved with a USB extension cord or MIDI extension cable, but out of the box, you only get a 10 ft reach.

The Best Cheap PC Controller: EasySMX Wireless

  • The build quality feels superb. Even the box it came in was pretty awesome.
  • It was literal plug-and-play on my RetroPie (Raspberry Pi). I haven’t tested it on x86/x64 Windows, but assume it’s the same
  • Automatic power-off! It’s powered by two AA batteries, and I was worried after reading reviews that there was no off switch. It automatically turns off!! Way better than an off-switch, which would’ve been a huge pain. I’ve been using the same batteries since I got it.
  • They look pretty darn cool

The Best Flight Stick: Thrustmaster Warthog

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✅ Best Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog PC BL

Love the Warthog! – The Warthog is a quality product. Probably the best on the market. Extremely fast shipping and very well packaged! Big points for that.

Very sturdy well built. I have 200 plus hours using it and everything works great still. Plenty of switches for mapping. All led lights function as advertised. The availability of new grips to purchase makes it very interchangeable. This is a must buy if you have the available funds.

The Best PC Steering Wheel: Fanatec Clubsport

RACING EXPERIENCE:

I upgraded from a Thrustmaster to the Fanatec for use with PC, but primarily XBOX. Set up was super easy as long as you reference some of the online Youtube videos or info on Fanatec website before you start. I have now been racing with this for 3 months and have NO complaints. The realism I get from this set up is amzing. Project Cars 2, Forza 7 and Assetto Corsa are like totally new games. Your sense of car control and engagement is miles beyond any other force feedback wheel. I have experienced no clipping, or loss of power during racing. The new V2.5 has a setting that makes Drift racing possible in ways I never dreamed. Project Cars 2 is the real dream though. Being more of a real SIM racer you actually feel like you are driving the car. I can push it right to the edge with a complete sense of control.

Construction:

Fanatec’s Club Sport V2.5 is built using all metal construction. The pedal set is all metal construction. The wheel with XBOX hub is sturdy with a stable quick release coupling. You can change out wheels with little effort. I have run 2 plus hour races and experienced no loss of function. The fan starts running and clearly keeps things within temp range. I was really hesitant to spend over a 1000 bucks on a SIM rig since I’m not really an online competitor, but now I have it there are ZERO regrets.

If you are serious about SIM racing this is a must. You are buying a pro level product that is essentially Plug and Play.

List Of Best PC Controllers 2021

Need more ideas? People are also talking about these best PC controllers in 2021 ?

  • Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2
  • Xbox Wireless Controller
  • Sony DualSense Wireless Controller
  • Astro C40 TR
  • PowerA Spectra
  • Razer Wolverine Ultimate
  • Scuf Infinity Black
  • Razer Raion Fightpad
  • Microsoft Xbox Wireless Controller
  • Logitech F310

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