Many diehard PC gamers will tell you there’s no beating the precision of a mouse and keyboard. The truth of the matter is that you should use whatever’s most comfortable for you, and for some people, that’s a controller. So, with that in mind, what’s the best controller for PC?
Like all gaming equipment, controllers can quickly get expensive, but there are options for every budget. Here’s a look at the 10 best for every kind of gamer.
1. Xbox Wireless Controller — $60
The standard Xbox wireless controller is arguably the most popular pick for the best PC controller, and it’s easy to see why. Xbox has been famous for its comfortable, responsive gamepads since the 360, and they’ve only improved since.
As a Microsoft product, the latest Xbox wireless controller — the kind that comes with the Series X — works perfectly with PC. Simply plug it in via USB-C or connect it through Bluetooth and you’re good to go. If you plan on taking advantage of Xbox Cloud Gaming or just want a solid, versatile pick, this is the one for you.
2. Xbox Elite Series 2 — $180
If you like the layout of the vanilla Xbox controller but want more customization options, check out the Elite Series 2. This high-end gamepad has all the convenience and comfort of the original but a slew of upgrades.
The second version of the Elite controller comes with adjustable thumbsticks, more sensitive triggers, interchangeable buttons and an improved rubber grip. At more than double the cost of the standard, it’s not worth it for everyone. However, if you have the budget, it’s hard to find a better-performing controller.
3. Victrix Pro BFG — $180
The Victrix Pro BFG is another highly customizable pick for the best controller for PC. Like the Elite Series 2, it’s a higher-end option, but what you lose in dollars, you make up for in personalization.
You can swap virtually everything on the Pro BFG around to your liking. The modular design allows up to 20 buttons, including four on the back. If you struggle to find controllers that fit just right, this is the one for you. However, it does lack vibration, which is a shame, considering the high price.
4. 8BitDo Pro 2 — $50
For something more budget-friendly, check out the 8BitDo Pro 2. This controller’s retro design is reminiscent of the SNES but with a wider, more comfortable grip and modern conveniences like programmable buttons and dual joysticks.
The 8BitDo Pro is also compatible with just about every platform — including Android, the most popular mobile OS — making it even more cost-effective. It may be a bit smaller and more finicky than other, more expensive options, though.
5. Sony DualSense — $70
If you grew up on PlayStation, the PS5’s DualSense may be the best PC controller for you. Even if you didn’t, it deserves mention here. It boasts some of the most immersive haptic feedback of any controller, adaptive triggers, remappable buttons and a touch screen.
Of course, you’ll experience more of these features to their fullest when playing PS5 games. That said, a growing number of PC games support them, making the DualSense a solid longer-term investment.
6. Sony DualSense Edge — $200
Do you like the DualSense’s layout and features but want more? Try the higher-end DualSense Edge — Sony’s answer to the Xbox Elite Series 2. At first glance, it may seem like the same controller at a premium price, but there are plenty of new features to discover at a closer look.
The grips are rounded and more comfortable, there are new back buttons, and you can program more of the DualSense’s cutting-edge features to your liking. The trigger lengths are also adjustable, and the joysticks are changeable. While it certainly isn’t cheap, this controller is one of the best for Sony fans.
7. GameSir G7 SE — $45
On the opposite end of the price spectrum is the GameSir G7 SE. At just $45, it’s the cheapest controller on this list, but don’t let that fool you. This budget-friendly gamepad can hold its own against more expensive competition.
The G7 SE has Hall Effect joysticks and buttons — meaning there’s no physical contact with other parts, making them last longer and preventing the dreaded stick drift. Despite the price, it’s also one of the more responsive controllers out there. However, it’s not as ergonomic as other options and doesn’t have a wireless version.
8. Nintendo Switch Pro Controller — $70
Another one of the best controllers for PC is Nintendo’s Switch Pro Controller. Historically, Nintendo isn’t famous for cross-system support, but the Pro Controller uses Bluetooth or a USB-C cable to connect to the console, so you can connect it to your PC, too.
The Switch Pro Controller has impressive haptic feedback, long battery life and a moderate price tag for a console accessory of its caliber. Unfortunately, you’ll need special software or an adapter to use it on non-Steam games on PC. It’s also not as sensitive as some others in its price range.
9. Razer Wolverine Ultimate — $90
Most of the controllers on this list are console gamepads compatible with PC. If you’d prefer something more PC-specific, Razer’s Wolverine Ultimate may be for you. It looks like an Xbox controller but with all the hallmarks of a serious gaming rig — including mechanical buttons and RBG lighting.
The Wolverine Ultimate is also customizable on a level you’d normally pay double the price to achieve. As remarkable as it is, though, it can’t wirelessly connect to your PC and requires a unique app to configure it.
10. Thrustmaster eSwap XR Pro Forza Edition — $180
Rounding out this list of the best controllers for PC is the Thrustmaster eSwap XR Pro Forza Edition. It’s not cheap and its name is a bit of a mouthful, but if you mainly play racing games, it’s the best tool for the job.
As you’d expect at this price point, the eSwap XR Pro is fully modular, letting you customize the button layout however you’d like. The racing-focused Forza Edition even comes with a driver’s wheel joystick attachment, which is both a blast and helpful for racing games. However, if you don’t play many racing titles, you’re better off with either a different premium gamepad or a cheaper alternative.
Find the Best PC Controller for Your Setup
The best controller for PC depends on your budget, what you play and how you like to play it. Once you understand what you want, use this list to find what’s best for you. Between these 10 controllers, there’s something for everyone.
Follow Us On
Get the latest tech stories and news in seconds!
Sign up for our newsletter below to receive updates about technology trends