Many gamers prefer a controller to a keyboard and mouse, especially for genres like first-person shooters. It can also be more comfortable to play for long periods. An ultra-cheap wired controller that provides all the inputs you need, including dual joysticks and a D-pad.
Whether you’re an esports pro or want to up your game, customizable controllers can fine-tune your inputs to match your play style. These features often cost extra, including an adjustable thumbstick, trigger sensitivity, and customizable button mapping. Some of these tweaks can even give you a competitive advantage in games that require fine-grained aim.
The best PC controllers feature comfortable ergonomic contours and a button layout that’s easy to adapt to for hours of gaming. They also have durable military-grade texture or rubberized grips that prevent slippage during frantic multiplayer matches and long gameplay sessions.
Many of these controllers also come with optional joystick gates to make it easier to get precise movements, which is especially important for games that demand fine-grained aiming. While most PC gamers favor mouse and keyboard over controllers, specific titles are designed with gamepads in mind.
For instance, slicing a skeleton in Dark Souls is more fun with a controller, and many people prefer to use a gamepad when playing the hit action RPG Hi-Fi Rush. An excellent wireless controller offers swappable components, programmable buttons, and extensive software customization, making them the best options for competitive players. You can also pair controllers wirelessly with your Windows 11 PC via USB or Bluetooth, meaning you can enjoy low-latency gaming without a dongle.
The comfort of using a controller can make the difference between winning and losing. A controller that feels mushy or has erratic buttons can frustrate you and lead to mistakes, while a well-built controller can feel great and provide hours of gaming fun.
The debate over whether to use a controller or a mouse and keyboard for PC gaming is ongoing, but the final choice often comes down to the type of games you play. Players of first-person shooters, racing games, and hack-and-slash titles typically prefer a controller because of its superior analog movement and easy access to all the game’s controls.
Keyboards and mice, however, offer more customization options and precision than a controller, making them better suited for users who enjoy playing MMORPGs, RTS, and fighting games. They also tend to be easier on the wrists than a controller, but they can take some time to get used to.
The best PC controllers feature a comfortable shape and design, responsive triggers, a high-quality build, and features like remapping, hardware customization, and button placement adjustments that can improve gameplay efficiency.
They can also support Bluetooth or USB-C for compatibility with your PC. Cheaper controllers include AA battery compartments, while the best offer rechargeable batteries for long gaming sessions. Depending on the manufacturer, they may or may not have lighting and rumble effects.
A gamepad can be a great alternative to a keyboard and mouse. It can be easier to use and more comfortable for long gaming sessions. It can be crucial for players who frequently engage in first-person shooter games or other games emphasizing precision.
The top PC controllers also have several functions that might improve your gaming experience. For example, some offer haptic feedback, which can provide a more immersive gaming experience. They can also have pressure-sensitive triggers, allowing you to make more precise game adjustments.
Moreover, some PC controllers have removable buttons, which can be helpful for gamers who like to customize their controls. For instance, the Elite Series 2 from SCUF offers a high-performance PC controller that includes swappable thumbsticks and remappable paddles. It has a premium design that features RGB lighting, making it a good choice for competitive gamers.
Another benefit of a controller is that it is compatible with most PC games. However, checking if the controller supports the game you want is best before buying one. You can also look for reviews online to find out if other gamers are satisfied with their purchase. It will help you decide if the controller is worth your money.
Ease of Use
Many PC gamers spend hours in front of the screen, and a controller can help reduce strain on your fingers and wrist. It also offers some extra features that can improve your gameplay. For instance, adding a thumbstick and triggers to a gamepad can give you more accuracy in first-person shooters like Doom and Wolfenstein.
They can also help you complete complex 10-hit combos in Street Fighter V or Korean back-dashing in Tekken 7. It’s beneficial for fighting games where you must quickly snap off a string of attacks. Unlike console controllers, which stay faithful to the gaming system they’re paired with, PC gamepads work across operating systems.
With some tinkering, you can connect controllers to your Windows or macOS computer. Some gamepads even feature a touchpad that can be used in Steam Big Picture mode for added functionality. Some high-end PC gamepads even offer the option to swap out the sticks for four alternative options, adjust stick sensitivity, and customize buttons with software.