The Best Controller for PC Gaming in 2019

Check out our list to find out the best controller for PC for you.

September 24, 2019

You may think that controllers are not essential for PC gaming, but you’d be surprised how much they can improve your experience in certain titles. While gaming mice and gaming keyboards are (rightfully so) worshipped by many gamers, one can’t argue with the fact that some games – driving, flying, sports titles and whatnot – are better played with a controller.

Furthermore, unlike on consoles, PC gaming controllers aren’t affected by the same limitations, so shoppers have more wiggle room to choose the controller that best suits their needs. So, without further ado, if you’re in the market for such an accessory, read through our selection to find out what’s the best controller for PC currently on the market. And while you’re at it, take a look at our lists of the best gaming routers and best gaming speakers – who knows, maybe you’ll find something interesting.

Pros Cons Conclusion

Editor's pick

razer wolverine best controller for pc
Razer Wolverine Ultimate
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Physical media keys. Customizable macro buttons. D-pad and sticks are swappable.
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Lacks wireless support. Expensive. The Razer Wolverine Ultimate boasts a great design, clever button layout and tons of useful features.

Best for the budget

logitech f310 best controller for pc
Logitech Gamepad F310
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Very Affordable. Retro design. Lightweight.

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Stiff triggers, takes some getting used to A very affordable option for budget gamers.
sony dualshock 4 controller for pc
Sony PlayStation Dualshock 4
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Intuitive touchpad. Gyroscope. Steam support. Ergonomic design.
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No official drivers. One of the best controllers for PC gaming if you don’t mind fiddling with unofficial drivers.
xbox elite controller best controller for pc
Microsoft Xbox Elite Wireless Controller
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Swappable components. Optimized and robust software for mapping.
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Heavy. The best controller for PC currently on the market, without a doubt.

8 Logitech Gamepad F310

The Good The Bad
Very Affordable Stiff triggers, takes some getting used to
Retro design
Lightweight

Logitech F310

Retro Gamepad

If you’ve already spent god knows how much money on the best gaming desktop, no one is going to judge you for wanting to tighten the belt. For gamers who are on a tight budget, this is the controller to purchase. The Logitech Gamepad F310 is perfect for people who are devout mouse and keyboard gamers because all of its features are designed with PC users in mind. The controller includes everything one would need, from bumpers, triggers, dual joysticks, an eight directional D-Pad and standard face buttons.

However, there’s just one caveat: the stiff triggers, which don’t make for great ergonomics. The D-PAD is nowhere near the quality of Microsoft’s, but that’s to be expected at this price point. Other than that, the build is solid and sturdy. A great choice, and you can get it at half the price of a Microsoft controller.

7 GameSir T4 PC Game Controller

The Good The Bad
Designed exclusively for PC use The design could be better
Affordable Price Slippery grip
Sturdy build

GameSir PC Game Controller T4

Wireless Gaming Controller

When it comes to affordable, entry-level controllers for PC, you’ll have a hard time finding something better than the GameSir T4. It’s designed exclusively with PC gamers in mind, and it really shows. The build quality is exceptional, it boasts an ergonomic design, the RGB options are sleek and simple and, the cherry on top, it comes with Bluetooth functionality.

If I had to pinpoint one hitch, that would be its slight comfort issues. More specifically, I’m referring to the grip on the controller. Because the shell is made out of plastic, holding the controller can become a struggle, especially if you have sweaty hands. Other than that, in terms of low budget, entry level controllers, you should look no further than the GameSir T4.

6 8BitDo SN30 Pro

The Good The Bad
Classic Nintendo Design Thumbstick placement could be better
Sturdy build
Compatible with current games

8Bitdo SN30

Controller for Windows, Nintendo Switch, macOS

Retro controllers are all the craze right now, and 8Bitdo is one of the best, if not the best, companies making them these days. The 8bitDo SN30 Pro is effectively an upgrade over the N30 Pro, which was also praised by critics and consumers alike for its sleek retro design and high portability.

The 8BitDo SN30 is everything the SN30 was, only improved – better design, better ergonomics, better comfort. The cross-shaped D-Pad, traditional face buttons, and its pair of joysticks and triggers allow you to experience any games from the PlayStation-N64 era, as well as any retro titles available on the PC, exactly like back in the day. All in all, whether you’re a nostalgic retro geek or prone to playing indie platformers more than anything else, make sure to give this one a shot.

5 SteelSeries Stratus XL

The Good The Bad
SteelSeries Engine. Spongy face buttons
Solid build Lack of automatic sleep mode
Compatible with Android and Windows

SteelSeries Stratus XL

Bluetooth Wireless Gaming Controller

What could I say about this controller that’s not been already repeated ad-neuseam by other outlets? It’s SteelSeries, god damn it, it’s supposed to be good. They’re known and respected for releasing competitive gaming headsets, mice and keyboards, and this controller is no exception to their line of flawless products.

Though it might seem like a controller designed specifically for mobile and VR headsets, I’m happy to report that it handles itself quite well on other devices as well, including PCs and consoles. For a relatively low price, you get a built-in battery that lasts for 20 hours of gameplay, a solid body built to last the most intense gaming sessions, and the already famous SteelSeries Engine, which allows a great deal of customization.

On the downside, the controller has some rather spongy face buttons and a lack of automatic sleep mode, which can cause the batteries to drain faster than they should. But considering the low price-point and the brand, these hitches are insignificant relative to the quality on offer.

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4 Steam Controller

The Good The Bad
Ergonomic design Steep learning curve due to the design
High degree of customization
Excellent haptic feedback
Mouse - keyboard control included

Steam Controller

By Valve

The Steam controller is probably the weirdest entry in Valve’s history. At first, I saw it as a cynical cash-in in the whole “bring the PC in the living room” shtick, so you can probably imagine my surprise upon finding out that the Steam Controller is actually pretty damn decent.

Developed by what I assume is a rogue faction within Valve, the Steam Controller is probably the best option for gamers who really, really hate controllers, for whatever reason. In fact, it’s not too far-fetched to say that this gamepad is designed specifically for games that don’t offer support for controllers out of the box.

If you want to play, say, Crusader Kings 2, Europa Universalis IV, Civ VI, or any other games that require mouse and keyboard, the touch-pad is built to replicate their functionality. Naturally, the Steam Controller is highly configurable and features excellent haptic feedback. Its only downside is the steep learning curve, but that’s to be expected from a device that’s designed to mash two wholly distinct peripherals into one place.

3 Razer Wolverine Ultimate

The Good The Bad
Physical media keys Lacks wireless support
Customizable macro buttons Expensive
D-pad and sticks are swappable

Razer Wolverine Ultimate

6 Remappable Multi-Function Buttons

Out of all the companies that gave me a ‘’Oh, I didn’t know they made that!’’ moment, Razer is probably the one that surprised me the most. The Razer Wolverine Ultimate is one of those things that you automatically assume are going to be bad, but eventually prove to be quite decent.

Though it isn’t without its drawbacks, namely the lack of wireless support and its hefty price, the Razer Wolverine Ultimate is worth purchasing for its physical capability of replicating the feeling of using a keyboard.

This is possible thanks to the physical media keys, customizable macro buttons and the ability to swap the sticks and D-pad. Add do that the gorgeous RGB options and neat design, and you got yourself one of the best controllers for PC currently available.

2 Sony PlayStation Dualshock 4

The Good The Bad
Intuitive touchpad No official drivers
Gyroscope
Steam support
Ergonomic design

Sony PlayStation Dualshock 4

Wireless Controller for PlayStation 4

The Sony Dualshock 4 might be a weird choice for the second spot since it doesn’t offer official drivers, but its features and overall quality makes all the hassle worth it. It sports an ergonomic design, an objective improvement over the Dualshock 3 and a cleverly placed touchpad which is a real treat to use in games built for it. The cherry on top is the gyroscope, which gamers can use to fine-tune their aim in shooting games.

The one thing that makes me scratch my head is that while the headphone jack and the built-in speaker are fully functional, the Bluetooth doesn’t work with the official Sony dongle. It’s not necessarily a deal-breaker, just something to consider.

1 Microsoft Xbox Elite Wireless Controller

The Good The Bad
Swappable components Heavy
Optimized and robust software for mapping
Elegant design
Sturdy

Xbox Elite

Wireless Controller

This brings us to our final item in this list, the Microsoft Xbox Elite Wireless controller. Xbox controllers have been the staple of PC gaming for many years, so it’s only natural that this one made the first spot. Not by virtue of its pedigree, of course, but because it surpasses many controllers in every department possible.

Despite its relatively high price, the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller is worth every penny. Why? Because it enjoys the distinction of being the most comfortable controller on the market. This is possible thanks to its rubberized grips and elegant finish. It has a sturdy, high-quality feel to it, which compensates for its natural heaviness.

The Xbox Elite Controller is furtherly complimented by a slick, highly-optimized software that allows users to fiddle with all kinds of settings, from stick sensitivity, button assignments, triggering min/max values and so on and so forth.

However, the face buttons still have that mushy feeling typical of Xbox controllers, but you can hold that against it too much when the overall quality on offer is so high. And what better way to enjoy the best gaming monitor than by playing video games with the best controller for PC that money can buy?

CONCLUSION

This wraps up our list of the best controllers for PC in 2019. While in the past, PC gaming was defined by the mouse and keyboard combo, controllers have steadily creeped into the gaming ecosystem to the point where almost any gamer has at least one controller reserved for certain games. If you’re ready to buy one, check out our roundup and you’ll surely find something suited for you.

Marco Giuliani

Marco Giuliani

Lead Editor

I can reproduce every scene from The Sopranos word by word. I also like to talk endlessly about weirdly specific game mechanics and tropes. But I guess that's par for the course, right?

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