I was once a console gamer and I really like the ergonomics of the best PC Controller. There are numerous controllers you can use on the PC, albeit, some of them require more tinkering than others.
If you are contemplating on getting the best PC controller soon, then you’ve come to the right article. I will talk about some of the best controllers for PC you can find on the market today. Do note that some of these best PC controllers here are expensive but they are worth every penny.
Wireless gamepad with great mods functionality
One of the best PC joysticks out there
Razer Wolverine Ultimate
Has a 10-foot braided cable for enhanced durability
Great design and performance
PowerA Fusion Pro
Great third-party xbox game controller
Sports an RGB Lighting mechanism
Great performing and comfortable thumbsticks
Before getting started, why would you want to use a gamepad for gaming when a mouse and keyboard clearly has more advantages than a good joystick for pc does? Well, that is a good point. But, as I’ve said earlier, some people (me included) actually prefer the ergonomic design of the gamepad and it also provides them with the buttons they need without being overwhelmed with a lot of keys (like that on the keyboard).
Best Gaming Joystick for PC
Gamepads nowadays are more than adept at delivering high-quality inputs and there are also wireless variants as well. So, what are the best gamepads you can buy? Here are just some of the best ones:
Evil Game Controllers Review
You might be aghast to see the first recommendation but it is just actually the name of the company. Evil PC joysticks have been around since 2007 and they are one of the best gamepads out there. What makes them unique is that you can custom tweak the game controller to match your preferences.
First, you can decide which game controller base you’re going to purchase. You can choose an Xbox best controller for PC layout or one with the Playstation layout (the former is a more popular choice). Next, you will then choose the color scheme of the entire pad as well as the colors of the buttons. This particular gamepad is wireless so you will need to charge its batteries from time to time. But, the major selling point of the Evil game controllers is their mods.
Their mods functionality is actually controversial because a lot of people deem it “cheating.” Why? Well, the mods allow you to do a lot of things like empty the entire clip of your gun by just one press of a button, you can also do certain actions with a click of a button that would normally require a number of button presses, and so on.
How do you actually use the mods in the first place? Well, you can press a certain direction on the D-pad and press the desired button you want to mod. For example, suppose you want to fire 5 times with a single button press, hold right on the D-pad and then press the fire button five times and then release. The next time you tap right on the D-pad, it should fire bullets 5 times in succession. You can also do a lot of things with the PC controller such as map different buttons, create a custom firing rate, and so on.
The buttons and the D-pad are quite responsive. The face buttons actually feel like mouse clicks because the rubber material used on the original Xbox game controller has been stripped out, thus, making this best controller for PC much more comfortable to press. Also, because of the way its constructed, the buttons require lesser travel distance, resulting in more optimal performance in games such as shooters and adventure games that require fast responses.
If you want additional functionality, there are also two buttons at the back of the game controller. Now, you might be shocked by this but when asked why the company decided to put buttons instead of paddles, they said that the buttons actually feel more natural as opposed to paddles. There is some truth to that since most of us who’s used some first-party game controllers only have buttons on them and no paddles.
If you are on the lookout for the best PC controller that just feels like the original, then the Evil game Controllers are for you. Just don’t use them in tournaments as some officials might deem them as cheating tools. But for home use, this is one of the best PC joysticks out there.
Also Checkout this article on Best Arcade sticks – Buyer’s Guide
PowerA Fusion Pro Review
Next on the list is the PowerA Fusion Pro. This gamepad slightly resembles the Xbox best controller for PC but it has more rounded grips compared to the original one. It is also a bit lighter which means that it may feel cheap. In terms of the D-pad, it is a bit stiff but most games nowadays hardly utilize the D-pad for any movement. It is also wired with a considerable cable length.
The gamepad’s thumbsticks feel quite nice and are a bit larger as well. This makes it easy for you to navigate through your games without putting too much stress on your thumb, especially if you’re planning to play for hours on end.
If you like a fancy light show, the Fusion Pro also comes with RGB lighting. The areas that will illuminate are the V-shaped strip in the middle and just under the thumbsticks. You can cycle through the different colors and lighting modes by pressing the buttons at the back. The good thing is that there is no software required which makes this functionality a plug-and-play.
There are also four programmable buttons at the back of this best PC controller: two on the left-hand side and another two on the right. They are situated perfectly so they are easy to press but I sometimes find that I accidentally press some buttons during heated moments. Fortunately, I was quickly able to adapt and it should also be the case for others as well.
The PowerA Fusion Pro works right out of the box if you are using it as a third-party xbox game controller, but if you’re going to use it on the PC, you need to download the Xbox One drivers directly from Microsoft’s website and it should work just fine.
If you want to program the buttons at the back of the game controller, all you have to do is press the program button located at the center of the gamepad, tap the face button you want to replicate, and then finally, tap the button at the back where you want to program the said button. It is quite easy and requires no technical knowledge at all.
The shoulder buttons are also quite good to the touch and they are highly responsive as well. The Directional buttons, well, it could be better, but I find that there are other gamepads that offer more responsive D-pads than this. Still, the face buttons, the shoulder buttons, and the buttons on the back feel great to the touch and doesn’t require too much force for it to activate.
The PowerA Fusion Pro sports an RGB Lighting mechanism, 4 programmable buttons at the back, great tactile buttons, great performing and comfortable thumbsticks, and it works on both Xbox consoles and the PC.
Logitech F710 Controller Review
All of the best PC controllers 2022 I’ve mentioned up to this point are quite expensive; so expensive, in fact, that some people will not dish out that much money. If you’re one of those people who just want an inexpensive yet effective gamepad, then the Logitech F710 game controller is an enticing choice for you.
The Logitech best PC controller F710 sports a similar design to that of the Sony PlayStation game controllers, so fans of the design will be pleased with this one. Out of its package, it comes with a USB dongle for wireless connectivity, an instruction manual, a cable, and the PC controller itself. Do note that the face buttons are mapped as “ABXY” because that is the button configuration for Xbox game controllers (which are natively supported by Windows PCs).
This gamepad doesn’t have the bells and whistles compared to other gamepads I’ve mentioned but I like it mainly because of its simplicity. It has four buttons located at the center of Back, Start, Mode, and Vibration (yes, the game controller vibrates). It also comes with domed thumbsticks which are pretty good for its price.
On the back side of the PC controller, you will see the batteries hidden under a plastic cover. This gamepad uses two AA batteries, so I highly suggest that you get rechargeable batteries if you’re going to use this one. Just underneath the battery holders is a placeholder for the Wireless Dongle. This makes it a very compact gamepad and it also ensures that the USB dongle will not be misplaced as it is plugged neatly into the game controller.
What’s cool about the F710 is that it not only supports Windows PCs but it can also be used on Android smartphones and tablets as well. All you have to do is buy a USB OTG cable, plug the USB dongle, and plug it into your smartphone or tablet. After a few seconds, the game controller should get detected without a hitch.
There is also a toggle switch at the top of the PC controller for “Direct” inputs and the “X” inputs. There are also four shoulder buttons that are also quite nice to the touch. You can download its drivers on Logitech’s website for improved compatibility as well as other fixes.
Now, you might be surprised why I recommended this product despite its negative reviews. Well, to tell you honestly, I really didn’t find any negatives in the gamepad that people were raving about. The feedback of the buttons, as well as, its thumbsticks and hair triggers are just right to the touch and the gamepad itself is light. Nothing too fancy but it was expected given the price point.
One of the major issues that people complain about this gamepad is its wireless connectivity. Other users report that the PC controller has some of the worst wireless implementations among other gamepads on the market. The signal can get choppy and the included cable, which supposedly helps improve the range of the wireless connection, does not improve the experience at all. While that may be true for them, it is not true for all of the Logitech F710 gamepads. The batteries they’re using might not be fully charged at that time, that’s why they experienced a choppy gamepad performance. They’re probably just used to the more expensive ones, which again, is not an option for some gamers.
For only $50, the Logitech F710 is a barebones gamepad with good enough buttons, a respectable set of thumbsticks, and a Playstation-like design. The wireless connectivity can be improved depending on the batteries you use so it is good practice to always keep them charged before using the PC controller. If you want an inexpensive pad that does the essentials, the Logitech F710 is a good buy. Just don’t expect too much from it.
Razer Wolverine Ultimate Review
Razer is not new when it comes to creating quality gaming peripherals. Since their first pro game controller, the Razer Onza, it was widely received by console gamers due to the fact that it has an amazing feel and also a noteworthy feature set. But, the Onza was controversial in the sense that some major gaming leagues ban the said peripheral because it was considered a “cheating” tool. Even though that is the case, Razer actually took it as a constructive feedback in that indeed, their best PC controller was one of the best performing products on the market at that time.
The Onza had some quirks and so, the company released the Razer Sabretooth. The Razer Sabretooth pretty much rectified the issues that were present on the Onza such as thumbsticks chipping off after quite some time, buttons being not too responsive after a couple of months, and so on.
Although the Razer Sabretooth is already something to be proud of, Razer is not content with it as the individual gamer’s needs are always changing. Therefore, in order to cater to the “new breed”, Razer released their newest best PC controller called the Razer Wildcat.
The Razer Wildcat sports the same design as the Razer Sabertooth but with some nifty additions. As you will notice, there are now four buttons located at the bottom part of the game controller for different functions. The leftmost button allows you to map a particular button on the back triggers, the next one is the profile switcher, the third is for mic mute, and the last is for the volume controls.
This is great because you do not have to go back to the menu to tinker with the said settings as you can do it on the fly. Also, when you plug this on your computer, this thing is plug and play, meaning, it will not require any more additional drivers. Just below the four buttons is a 3.5mm jack so you can plug in your earphones or headphones.
An interesting design decision that the company made was that they did not opt for paddles; instead, they went for two extra triggers at the back. When asked why they went this route, representatives from Razer said that triggers feel more natural and are easier to learn than paddles. Also, they provide a better tactile feedback compared to the paddles that other companies use. And, I do agree with them; it just feels “natural” in a sense and they are easier to click as the triggers have a noticeable tip.
The back triggers can be pushed upward or downward for a total of 4 programmed buttons. Mapping a button to the back trigger is easy; simply tap the program button at the bottom of the game controller, tap the face button/s you want to program to the trigger, and then tap the back trigger of your choice and the game controller will give a slight rumble indicating that the programming is successful. It is that easy!
If you’re like some people who do not use the additional triggers at the back, you can remove them simply by using the included small screwdriver. They are very easy to remove and does not require any technical knowledge to do so.
The Razer Wildcat also has a 10-foot braided cable for enhanced durability. Razer hasn’t made a wireless pro PC controller because they feel that wireless signals can get clunky at times. Furthermore, the company also includes two rubber side grips and two rubber covers for the thumbsticks. They actually do a pretty good job but my only complaint is that it only comes in one color, and that is the company’s Green color scheme. Also, the rubber side grips have to be put on manually and it can be tricky. Luckily, there is a set of instructions showing you how to put it on; you just have to make sure that you align them nicely.
In terms of the buttons, Razer calls them “Hyperesponse” buttons and I definitely agree. The buttons are clicky like their mechanical mice and they provide a good tactile feedback. It also doesn’t need to actuate that far to register the button press on the screen. The D-Pad is one of the most responsive I have ever used in third-party game controllers. It is best used in fighting games where tricky combinations are common. The thumbsticks are also great as well. They have a concave design but they are soft and easy to use. Plus, the included thumbstick grips help immensely, especially if you are the type of person who has sweaty hands.
This best controller for PC is intended to be used not only for the Xbox One but it can also be used on the PC without any problems. Moreover, it comes with a carrying case that provides a space for the game controller and a nifty compartment for the cable and the accessories.
All in all, the Razer Wildcat is an amazing product and I must say that if you have the money, definitely get one.
Sony Dualshock 4 Controller Review
You’re probably shocked to find a first-party game controller in this list but a lot of people actually use the PS4’s default best controller for PC. They use this best PC controller because the ergonomics are good, the feel is great, and its features are just right for any gaming task.
In fact, Polygon’s own Dave Tach said that the “DualShock 4 is the best controller ever made by Sony”. He also went on to add that this game controller sports the familiar design with some nice additions to make this one the best controller for PC.
A lot of people also like the fact that this best controller for PC is plug and play in Windows 10 PCs. The controller comes with a micro USB cable and by plugging the game controller to your PC using the said cable, your computer should instantly recognize the gamepad.
For the people who haven’t used the new Dualshock 4 best controller for PC, it is best if we compare it with its older brother: the Dualshock 3. Basically, the design is still the same but the DS4 controller is actually bigger than the DS3 and it helps a lot of people grip the gamepad even more comfortably. The DS4 also has concaved thumbsticks as opposed to the dome-shaped ones found on the DS3.
At the bottom where your palm will be situated, the DS4 now has a textured finish which actually helps you grip the PC controller even more. Another thing you will notice is the D-pad. The DS3 has textured D-pad buttons while the DS4 comes with a much smoother finish.
The trigger buttons have also been reworked. A lot of times, people find themselves unable to utilize the shoulder buttons because of their shape. That has since been rectified by the company and they opted for a concave design on the DS4. They feel beefier, they are much easier to press, and they feel nice as well.
One nifty addition to the original Sony best PC controller is the Touchpad situated at the center of this best controller for PC. What this does is it allows you to do swipe commands because certain games demand those kinds of inputs. I really like their implementation because it feels really smooth and it is also very sensitive too. I never found myself skipping a touch-based command when using the touchpad because it is really that good.
If you glance at the PC controller, you might be surprised because you cannot see a “Start” button anymore. But, do not be as the Start button is now called the “Options” button and is located just beside the face buttons. On the opposite end is a new addition called the “Share” button, which when pressed, saves the last 15 minutes of gameplay footage so you can share it to different video sites. Furthermore, you can also share screenshots as well.
You can also stream popular streaming websites such as Ustream and Twitch by also pressing the Share button. There is also an option that allows you to display comments on the screen (which you can also uncheck if you don’t want to have this turned on).
At the bottom of this best controller for PC lies a 3.5mm headphone jack and at the top lies the Micro USB cable port which you should use if you’re going to play with PC games using this best controller for PC. There is also some onboard speakers on the controller but I do not find them useful since their audio output is subpar.
If you want the best PC controller that has full support for the Windows 10 operating system and is very easy to use, then Sony’s Dualshock 4 best controller for PC is the one for you.
Note: some people have problems having this best controller for PC work on the PC. In that case, you might have to download the InputMapper program (formerly known as DS4Tool).
Xbox One Elite Review
The Xbox game console is crafted by Microsoft and so is the Windows operating system. That is why the Xbox controllers can be used on the PC as well. With that being said, if you want the best Xbox Controller to date for use in PC gaming, then the Xbox One Elite wireless best controller for PC is something you should definitely look into.
According to Microsoft, there was a lot of research done before crafting this majestic best PC controller and they also went on to say that the controller not only helps the elite players but also casual gamers as well.
Like the Razer Wildcat, the Xbox One Elite also comes with its own carrying case complete with all of its accessories. If I were to sum up the build quality of the gamepad in one word, that would be robust. The gamepad is durable and it feels quite good to hold. It sports an all black design with some metallic accents in certain places. The thumbstick shaft is made of metal and there are options for you to put either a concave or a dome-shaped thumbstick (it comes in concave thumbsticks by default).
The D-pad is also something worth noting. By default, the D-pad comes with its “Diamond-shaped” finish that improves its feel. It is best used for genres other than fighting games or any game that requires pinpoint accuracy. If you’re into fighting games, you do have the option to swap out the diamond-shaped disc in favor of a more familiar design. Both of them are responsive, though.
The Xbox One Elite best PC controller has modular accessories. The four horizontal paddles on the back? You can remove them if you do not want to use them. The thumbsticks can also be replaced at will. And oh, did I mention that you do not need any tools to swap them out? There are three thumbsticks in total. There is the usual Xbox concave thumbsticks, Playstation-esque dome-shaped thumbsticks, and the taller concave thumbsticks. The taller thumbsticks actually feel pretty weird but I find them great in racing games.
Something to note about the paddles. It is in the horizontal orientation and I find them much easier to click than vertical paddles. Also, they are very easy to remove as you just pull them off and that’s it. You can remove one, two, three, or all of them if you do not want them. A lot of people do not like the placement of the paddles because they are situated where the rest of your fingers will be. But, it will only take a short while to get the hang of it.
The triggers are also tactile and easy to press and they also have the trigger stop mechanism. You can switch between the regular mode where you depress the trigger button down to its full capacity or you can switch to another mode where you only have to press it halfway for more fast-paced trigger presses. I just love the triggers and how they’re soft and responsive. They are way better than the previous Xbox One best PC controller which is pretty awesome.
If you want to tweak certain parameters of the gamepad, you can download the Xbox “accessories” app which has an intuitive and easy to use interface. Some of the tweaks you can do are completely remapping the buttons to whatever button you desire, change the brightness levels of the gamepad’s illumination, and changing the sensitivity of the triggers, just to name a few.
There is one thing I do not like about the PC version of the Xbox Accessories app and that some of the most difficult options to comprehend do not have any text indicating what they do. The Xbox console version has them, but the PC doesn’t. Hopefully, Microsoft will change this in the near future.
In terms of audio, the Xbox One Elite comes with a standard 3.5mm jack at the bottom of the PC controller. Most console gamers play FPS games and there is no better alternative for a gaming headset with a microphone attachment to communicate with your buddies. It is nice for Microsoft to include this one in their Elite best PC controller.
Now, I have a little bit of rant here. The Xbox One Elite is a wireless PC controller and it even comes with two AA batteries, but before you can use its wireless functionality on the PC, you will need an Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows which will cost you an additional $25. Why am I complaining? Because this gamepad already costs so much money and you still need to buy an additional accessory to make it work wirelessly with the PC. Still, it does come with a cable to connect the darn thing, but still.
Anyway, with the rant out of the way, the Xbox One Elite is one of the most sturdy and great modular best controller for PC. For maximum compatibility, use this best PC controller on the Windows 10 platform. This may not be affordable but you’re going to get a robust best PC controller with a slew of accessories and a handy carrying case.
Valve Steam – Best Controller
There are a lot of best controller for PCs on the market but not a lot of them are truly innovative. Yes, there are gamepads where you can custom tweak it to your liking, making its aesthetics match your appeal, and so on. But, in terms of functionality, they’re all the same.
This is where the Valve Steam Game Controller shines. This best PC controller from the popular video game company has one goal in mind: to make a gamepad that will emulate a keyboard and a mouse in a PC controller form factor. But, did they succeed? Probably, because a lot of people actually like to use this best controller for PC when playing games on the computer. Read our steam controller review.
Now, the design of the Valve Steam Controller is very different from the ones you’re accustomed to. It has an all-plastic build with a black finish and a rather concave style grip as opposed to the grips being outward like most of the other PC controllers. The plastic material feels cheap but according to a lot of users, they do not experience any problems with it in terms of durability.
There is also no D-pad but there is a disc on the left with the D-pad cutouts and on the right is a touchpad for touch inputs. Slightly below the right touchpad are the ABXY face buttons which is a bit smaller than the standard Xbox face buttons and some might find their positioning awkward. The gamepad also has only one thumbstick as opposed to two thumbsticks found in other best PC controllers.
At the top, you will find the Steam button as well as a forward and a back button just beside it. There are also two shoulder buttons as well as two trigger buttons in their usual placements. Now, in terms of tactile feedback, the Steam PC Controller is not top notch. The triggers feel mushy, the face buttons are not clicky enough, and the thumbstick may feel that it might fall off. But despite these issues, the Steam PC controller is an innovative one.
The Steam controller is a wireless best controller for PC and is powered by two AA batteries. The battery slot can be found at the back of the controller. You can find a button you can push to eject the lid off and you will then find the battery slot. It has a handy battery ejector functionality which makes battery removal easy. The PC controller also comes with a USB dongle and a micro USB cable as well. Gaming joystick for pc reviews.
If you think that this PC controller is not worth it because of the buttons, think again. Its unique feature: the touchpads are what makes this one of the best controller for PC. They feel nice and they actually respond to your inputs pretty well. The gamepad also has a “haptic feedback” functionality, although, I do find it a bit on the softer side, meaning, it doesn’t really give it that shock factor.
Also, the PC controller is actually highly configurable and you can tweak certain parameters like the style of input, sensitivity, swipe direction, Haptics Intensity, and so much more. The left touchpad also acts as a D-pad as well and you can tweak it even further using Steam’s software.
Now, contrary to popular belief, you can actually use the Steam controller for non-steam games. The game must support the Steam Overlay and just import it via the program and the controller should then work. There are some games, though, that will post a warning where the controller might not be the best input device to use and that further tweaking is necessary to make it work fine.
The Steam controller is touted by many as the best controller for PC gaming, and rightfully so, it has a lot of things you can tweak to truly make the controller “yours”. There is a steep learning curve but once you get the hang of it, the Steam PC Controller is definitely one of the best gamepads on the market.
The design, the materials used, and the buttons can all be overlooked because of its two touchpads. It’s sensitive enough and can be completely tweaked according to your preferences. If you like innovation or something unique, then give the Valve Steam PC Controller a try.
Xbox One S Controller Review
Every iteration of the Xbox game console always comes with a new PC controller. Since the release of the Xbox One S game console last August, a lot of people got excited about the new best PC controller and I’ve got to say, I am one of them.
Let me say right off the bat that the design of the new PC controller is more streamlined and it fits the new game console’s color scheme perfectly. Also, I’ve heard that the controller can actually be customized to improve its aesthetics because this PC controller can be redesigned by the folks over at Microsoft’s Design lab.
Anyway, what are the differences? Aside from its aesthetics, the grips that were smooth on the original Xbox One controller now has a more textured surface to further help you with gripping the PC controller. I consider myself as one of those players who get their hands sweaty during intense gaming sessions.
Another major addition to the Xbox One S controller is the inclusion of a Bluetooth signal. This is another perfect addition considering that some computers and even laptops have Bluetooth connectivity. All you have to do is turn on the Bluetooth functionality of the PC controller and turn on the Bluetooth receiver of your gaming rig and you’re good to go. This alleviates the need to buy a separate USB dongle to use the gamepad wirelessly, which is a huge plus for me.
You might also notice that some of the main functions are a bit better in this one. The D-pad provides a stiffer feedback and the thumbsticks’ base is actually made of reinforced material. They also feel nice as well. The face buttons feel just like the previous generation model.
What previous owners of the Xbox One PC controller would really like is that the Xbox One S controller is compatible with the previous generation controller’s accessories. If you’ve bought a stereo headset, a chatpad, or any other Xbox One controller accessory, that should work just fine on the new generation PC controller.
Just like the Xbox One Elite PC controller mentioned above, this gamepad is also tweakable with the Xbox Accessories app. You get to have the same level of customizability but the only problem is that this gamepad doesn’t come with the Elite’s profile switcher toggle. Still, the profile can easily be changed from within the app so this shouldn’t be a big deal.
I am quite impressed with the highly improved range of the PC controller. Since this is a wireless best controller for PC, you can use it up to a whopping 40-feet away from your PC (considering that no object is blocking the path). This is amazing because it allows you to play on your couch, for example, and you will have a comfortable gaming session.
Despite the new additions, the Xbox One S PC Controller is still powered by two AA batteries and its slot can be found on the back.
I must say that the Xbox One S controller is one of the easiest controllers to use on the PC as it will instantly get recognized. Also, the fact that the gamepad also supports the previous generation PC controller’s accessories means that this is a truly enticing buy for people who are looking for a gamepad for PC gaming. Best windows 10 compatible joysticks.
Logitech F310 Review
Logitech doesn’t have a high-end gamepad but what they do offer are great inexpensive options that you can use. If you do not have $50 to dish out on the Logitech F710 (which is the most inexpensive out of the PC controllers I’ve listed so far), this one will be a great choice for you. For under $30, you get a durable gamepad that is barebones in functionality but does its job pretty well.
A lot of people actually like this great PC controller despite its lack of functionality. And, it is very easy to get it working on the PC. All you have to do is download its drivers from Logitech’s website, install them, then plug the controller in via its USB cable, and that’s it!
No more additional programs to download to make this PC controller work; it just works provided that you install its drivers beforehand. If you want the absolute minimum when it comes to gamepads, then the Logitech F310 is a great option for you.
PC controllers for gaming are incredible peripherals if you want to emulate the console gaming experience when playing your PC games. There are a lot of them on the market but the ones I’ve listed are worth it. There are inexpensive gamepads like the Logitech F310, Logitech F710, Xbox One S, and the innovative Valve Steam Controller.
The high-end ones like the Xbox One Elite, Razer Wildcat, Scuf Infinity One, and the Evil Top PC Controllers are pricey because they have a lot of customizations and they also have a lot of accessories that you can swap out if you want.