Finding the best controller for enjoying PC video games is a extra private journey than it sounds. It’s obtained to be comfy to make use of, with each button, stick, and set off simply in attain. It’s additionally necessary that you simply’re getting the options you need. For instance, these would possibly embody simple setup on PC, good battery life, multi-platform compatibility, and accessibility choices, like the power to remap buttons and modify stick or set off sensitivity.
At Polygon, we play video games on a variety of consoles and platforms — each new and previous. Our workers has all kinds of preferences and desires. We’ve come collectively to share our favourite PC-ready controllers.
Microsoft Xbox controller
On the Polygon crew, the Xbox controller obtained the very best variety of endorsements of any controller. This speaks to its consolation and worth, and that Microsoft has launched sufficient colours to fulfill various tastes in design. It additionally helps that it’s often round $50 (relying on the colour), and that it simply works with most PC video games. Regardless of the Windows PC game consumer, there are not any additional steps for setting it up.
This controller is a refined model of Microsoft’s Xbox One wi-fi mannequin, with added texture round its grips, plus a seize button within the center. It can, after all, hook up with Xbox consoles, and to PCs which have Bluetooth. One universally optimistic change from the older model is that, if you wish to join through a cable for wired play, its connector port is the extra ubiquitous USB-C as a substitute of Micro USB. It additionally has a 3.5mm headphone jack for personal listening, although it will possibly solely be used in case your controller is wired into your PC, not wirelessly.
Beyond PC compatibility, the Xbox controller boasts native compatibility on Steam Deck, plus current variations of Android and iOS. So, whether or not you’ve a cellphone or pill, this controller can simply join through Bluetooth. A rising variety of cell video games help it, too, and it really works like a attraction with the Xbox Game Pass game streaming app.
It can work on much more platforms if you buy 8BitDo’s intelligent $19.99 USB Adapter 2. With it, you should utilize the Xbox controller in your Nintendo Switch. In addition to Switch help, this USB adapter allows you to simply join your Xbox controller to different units, like Mac, Raspberry Pi, and extra.
The largest draw back to the Xbox controller may not hassle you: It requires two AA batteries, although on a optimistic notice, the battery life is across the 40-hour vary, relying on utilization. If you don’t wish to change out batteries, we advocate this $44.99 8BitDo twin controller charging dock, which incorporates two rechargeable battery packs, sufficient for two controllers.
Microsoft’s Xbox Elite Series 2 builds on the wonderful basis of Microsoft’s Xbox controller with options that fanatic avid gamers could admire. It options swappable stick caps and directional pads, adjustable rigidity for its analog sticks, and customizable again paddles. It additionally ships in a pleasant zip-up case. If you need extra buttons and tweakable settings in a controller, this may be price its $178.99 value. This mannequin is appropriate with Xbox and PC.