5 Best PC Controllers to Take Your Gaming Up a Notch
The debate over whether PC or console gaming provides the better entertainment experience is unlikely to be concluded anytime soon, especially with the release of the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series S/X and their incredible technology. For die hard PC gamers who might find using a keyboard to be difficult or ineffective for certain types of PC games, the ideal solution may be the acquisition of PC controller. Like the proprietary DualSense PlayStation controllers or the Xbox S/X Wireless controllers, these PC controllers connect to your PC using technology including Bluetooth and RF (radio frequency) to enable gameplay like that of playing on a console. Learn more about the features to look for when considering which PC controller best meets your needs and budget.
PlayStation 5 DualSense wireless controller
Possessing cutting-edge haptic motors to recreate the feel of environmental conditions and shifts in terrain as well as adaptive triggers to simulate the tension of drawn bows or trigger pulls, the PlayStation 5 DualSense Wireless Controller provides console gamers with new levels of immersion. With a little bit of knowledge, you can easily get around the lack of existing official PC drivers for the DualSense controller by connecting it directly to popular PC gaming platform Steam. Because the PC versions of top-selling titles including Metro Exodus, Deathloop, and Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla has begun taking advantage of the DualSense’s existing technology, you can connect your existing controller by purchasing a motherboard with Bluetooth already incorporated or a USB Bluetooth adapter. Once recognized by your PC, you can proceed to Steam’s Big Picture Mode to customize your controller buttons, sensitivity level, and other settings as desired.
Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2
As the most modern design iteration of Microsoft’s successful series of wireless controllers, the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 represents years of ergonomic design holding some very impressive technology. In addition to being fully compatible with both Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One consoles, the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 also offer compatibility with PCs running Windows 10 or Windows 11 as operating systems. This controller provides you with multiple options for connecting it to your PC both wired and wirelessly. Users can either opt to connect their Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 via Bluetooth technology, use low-latency radio frequency with the purchase of an appropriate adapter, or connect directly via a USB cable to help minimize any issues with lagging.
Logitech - F310 PC gaming pad
This PC gaming controller is an excellent option for those who generally prefer to utilize their mouse and keyboard but still occasionally find use for a PC controller. Although this controller lacks some advanced features like customizable button shortcuts and its ergonomics are not heavily developed, this is an extremely affordable controller for gamers who don’t want to invest heavily in rarely used equipment. Given that this controller is only compatible with Windows operating systems, Mac and Linux owners might wish to consider other options. IT is worth nothing that if all you are looking for out of a PC gaming controller is bumpers and triggers, dual joysticks, an octo-directional D-Pad and four standard face buttons, this controller will easily fit the bill. In addition to working directly with Steam like other models of controller previously discussed, this unit works well with popular games thanks to its use two of the most common controller input standards, namely XInput and DirectInput.
Turtle Beach Recon Controller Wired PC gaming controller
If you are looking for a PC gaming controller that can grant you significant tactical advantages over your opponent’s while also ensuring steady communications with teammates, the Turtle Beach Recon Controller Wired Gaming Controller can help you do just that. Advanced gaming features include Superhuman Hearing to detect subtle sounds like weapons reloading or footsteps as well as texture bumpers and triggers for a no-slip grip. Users can also utilize a pair of customizable buttons on the controller’s underside including the Pro-Aim button for achieving greater precision when aiming over longer distances. This model also incorporates built-in micro cooling channels to help reduce hand fatigue and sweating, four customizable EQ presets for switching between different games’ audio setups, and controls for both chat audio mix as well as gaming located in easy to reach locations.
8Bitdo Pro 2 Bluetooth PC controller
If you are the type of gamer who can’t limit their love of games to a single console or manufacturer, why should you purchase a PC gaming controller that only works with a select handful of operating systems or devices? Thankfully the 8Bitdo Pro 2 Bluetooth PC Controller is not only compatible with Windows PCs and operating systems, it can also be enjoyed by owners of Nintendo Switches, MacOS, Raspberry Pi, Steam, and Android. In addition to featuring a classic design reminiscent of some of the earliest Nintendo controllers, it also incorporates modern gaming feature like thumb sticks, a pair of customizable back buttons, wireless Bluetooth capabilities, motion controls, built-in rumble vibrations. Users can also take advantage of this unit’s improved grip textures, four-way mode switching button and the ability to switch between custom controller profiles without skipping a beat.
While some PC controllers are built with the express purpose of readily connecting to your PC, adapting an existing Xbox or PlayStation controller make take some time and effort. It should also be noted that driver issues may cause you to have to plug headsets into your PC’s audio rather than the controller’s 3.5 mm audio jack, this is hardly an insurmountable issue.