Sit back, relax, and play all your favorite PC games with these gamepads.
The traditional way to play games on a PC is with a mouse and keyboard. We still recommend these peripherals for many PC games out there where a gamepad just doesn’t make sense, but console controllers can really elevate your gaming experience. In this guide, you’ll find our recommendations for the best PC controllers.
Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller
The best controller for PC games.
Microsoft has been making gamepads since the original Xbox was released in 2001 and the latest Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 is a masterpiece. Seriously, you’ll understand why we rate this controller so highly once you use it.
Xbox Core Wireless Controller
The best value
An outstanding experience at an affordable price.
This gamepad takes the original Xbox One Wireless Controller and turns everything into an 11 with ultra-comfortable grips, excellent buttons, and excellent in-game triggering performance. It’s quite affordable since you don’t receive a built-in rechargeable battery.
Scof Instinct Pro
The best unofficial Xbox controller.
The Scuf Instinct Pro is a great third-party controller for the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. It has four remapping paddles on the back, adjustable instant triggers, a rubberized grip, and a mic button on the front. You can even swap out the outer cover.
Sony DualSense Wireless Controller
Even the PlayStation console is excellent.
The Sony DualSense Wireless Controller may not be for Microsoft controllers, but it’s still worth considering for PC gaming. It has ultra-accurate thumb sticks, adaptive triggers, and haptic clatter. It’s also comfortable to use and looks the part.
Razer Wolverine V2 Chroma
The best wired Xbox controller.
The Razer Wolverine V2 Chroma Controller for Xbox and PC delivers snappy actuation with Razer Mecha-Tactile buttons, six additional remapping buttons on the shoulders and back, interchangeable joystick caps, and Razer Chroma lighting support. If you need a high-end replacement for your Xbox controller, this one has a lot to offer.
8Bitdo Pro 2
The best retro inspired controller.
Do you miss your old gamepads? We do too which is why the 8BitDo Pro 2 is amazing for those who prefer the look and feel of older generation controllers. 8BitDo Pro 2 works well with Windows, Mac, Switch, Android and Linux operating systems.
PowerA enhanced wired controller
For those on tight budgets.
The PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller works with the new Xbox Series X and Series S consoles, as well as Windows PC and Linux, and comes in a variety of colors. If you want a decent controller at an affordable price, you’ve just found it.
Hori fighting stick
Best arcade fighting stick control.
This is a perfect recommendation for someone who wants to relive the days of smashing buttons and running joysticks on their old arcade controllers. If you like fighting games, this will be the console for you.
Play games with the best PC controllers
It is important to consider a few factors when choosing the best controller for PC. Primarily, one needs to determine if they need a wireless connection. It’s one thing to play on a video game console in the living room, but it’s an entirely different ball game when you’re using a computer and a monitor on a desk. A wired console might make more sense with a PC. Then there are advanced features like haptic feedback that may (or may not) work with Windows and other operating systems. We keep all of this in mind when choosing our recommendations.
We view the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 as the best controller for PC gaming simply because it brings together everything that makes a perfect gamepad. It’s incredibly comfortable to use for hours on end, has premium triggers and buttons for improved durability and performance, and looks the part. For something a little more affordable, we recommend the Xbox Core Wireless Controller, which is a slightly tuned-up version of the Elite, but still manages to pack a punch where it matters most, including in wireless capabilities.
If you just want a wired controller, the Scuf Instinct Pro is the gamepad to buy. It is exceptional and almost as good as what Microsoft offers with its Xbox console. We also included the Sony DualSense wireless controller, which might seem like an odd recommendation given that Sony also doesn’t have a desktop-class OS like Microsoft, but the controller works just fine with Windows or Linux, except for a few PlayStation-only features. . It’s simply a seriously good console.
No matter which console you choose for PC gaming, you will be able to enjoy certain games (such as Assassin’s Creed or The Witcher 3) better than using a keyboard and mouse. We’ve covered almost all the basics, with the exception of HOTAS, and even included some of our recommendations of the best Xbox Series X consoles.