If you’ve just got your brand-new gaming PC, you’ll need some way to control your games. It’s important to have the best peripherals to ensure you have the best gaming experience possible. There are two mains ways to control your games when you’re playing on PC.
The first is using a mouse and keyboard. This is great for games like first-person shooters, which gives you greater control of your aim. If you choose the mouse and keyboard combo, you’ll want to invest in a good gaming mouse with a high DPI and a mechanical gaming keyboard to beat your opponents. If you’re joining the mouse and keyboard gang, we at TechEngage have lists for both Best Gaming Mice and Best Gaming Keyboards.
Your second choice of game input is a game controller. This is the best way to match the console experience, perfect if you’re playing platformers, driving games, and casual games. If you’re looking for a relaxing gaming experience, a controller is the best way to go. We also have a list of the best handheld video game consoles; you can check it out.
There are loads of choices for PC controllers on Amazon, and it can be quite difficult to pick one that does the job. That’s why we at TechEngage have put together this list of the best gaming controllers for PC on Amazon.
Best gaming controllers for PC on Amazon in 2021
- Comfortable (for smaller hands)
- Great rumble and gyroscope
- Some games need third party software
The first pick for the best PC controller is… a PlayStation 4 controller? Right, stick with me. If you have small to medium hands, this controller is hands down the most comfortable controller sub $100.
Whilst the DualShock 3 was leagues behind the Xbox 360 controller in comfort, but with the release of the PS4, the feel, shape, and sensitivity of the dual analog sticks and trigger buttons have been improved to provide a greater sense of control, no matter what you play.
This controller features a built-in speaker and stereo headset jack, putting several new audio options in the player’s hands. You can use the controller to plug in your headset to free you from your desk, perfect for gaming on your couch.
To use the DS4 to the best of its ability, I highly recommend using the Steam big picture to configure your controller. Once I set up the DualShock 4 preset, I could use the touchpad in supporting games. In Grand Theft Auto V, I was able to use the touchpad as two separate buttons and the touchpad as a secondary mouse input.
The DualShock 4 also has a great gyroscope, adding some extra possibilities on how to control your PC games. Recently, in a video, LinusTechTips was able to map the gyroscope to a mouse input for better mouse control in CS: GO using JibbSmart’s JoyShockMapper. Since then, Valve has added an input method to Steam Big Picture to add gyro input to their controller config. It works quite well, something well worth checking out.
Without Steam Big Picture, support for a DualShock 4 can be a little hit-or-miss. My copy of The Witcher 3 is from GOG, and therefore it doesn’t work well by itself. To ensure it works perfectly, you may find it useful to use DS4Windows by Jays2Kings. This program emulates an Xbox 360 controller to ensure complete combability.
With a list price of $59.99, the DualShock 4 is a little expensive compared to the third-party controllers on this list, but if you want guaranteed quality from a reputable brand, the DualShock 4 is a great choice.
- Highly customizable
- Really comfortable
- Really, really expensive
If you’re going to splurge out for a premium controller, your choices used to be, for example, something from Thrustmaster. The main selling point of these controllers is the customizability of these gamepads, like, for example, the $160 fully modular eSwapX. These are perfect for eSports professionals, but for wealthy regular gamers, you won’t find these feel very premium or comfortable.
Then comes along Xbox’s Elite 2 controller, the iPhone 12 Pro Max of Xbox controllers. Designed to meet the needs of today’s competitive gamers, the new Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 features over 30 new ways to play like a pro. Enhance your aiming during gameplay with new adjustable-tension thumbsticks, shorter hair trigger locks, and a wrap-around rubberized grip.
With the Elite Series 2, you can tailor the controller to your preferred gaming style with the interchangeable thumbstick and paddle shapes. Use Xbox Wireless, Bluetooth, or the included USB-C cable to play across your Xbox One and Windows 10 devices. Using the Xbox Accessories app, you can assign key-bindings to buttons; for example, you can make a paddle become a shift button.
With an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, customers love the performance and comfort of this premium product. One Amazon reviewer writes:
“The things I like is the solid feeling it has, the full grip in the handles, buttons are more responsive, the sticks pressure can be changed, it is Bluetooth compatible, has a rechargeable battery and a charging stand, and much more customizations and joysticks compared to the first version.
I honestly cannot find a single flaw on this controller. I’m also not quite sure how Microsoft or anyone else could top this. It is pure perfection in your hands. The price is absolutely worth it in my opinion.”
With a list price of $291.45 no-one can argue that this controller isn’t expensive. But, for a package of premium quality, customizability, and comfort, the Xbox Elite 2 Controller is unmatched.
- Turbo Button
- Cheap feeling
If you’re looking for an affordable wired controller that is comfortable and functional, the be1 Wired Gaming Controller isn’t that bad of a shout. This controller features non-slip textured rubber grips that avoid stickiness. The feel of the shape and triggers is improved to offer a greater sense of control.
The two electric motors vibrate when skidding or being shot at, which makes the game experience more exciting and thrilling. The controller vibration can be turned on and off within game settings. This isn’t anything revolutionary by any means, but the vibration works, and it works well. What more could you want?
The asymmetric thumbsticks are great if you have larger hands, and some users may find it more comfortable than a symmetrical design like the PlayStation 4 controller. This controller is wired, and whilst a wireless controller gives you more freedom of where you can game from, it can be quite inconvenient to keep your controller charged. Wired controllers are perfect if you’re sitting at your desk.
With an average rating of 4.4 stars out of 5, Amazon reviewers love how affordable this controller is. One reviewer writes:
“Very good controller in it of itself. Very much a hybrid between an Xbox controller (given the regular button naming and design) and a Nintendo Switch Pro controller (given the design of the center home and + – buttons). The grips feel good, it’s very lightweight, the buttons are comfortable and responsive, as are the joysticks. The backlighting is really cool. as is the design of A B X Y buttons. During gameplay itself, the controller does the job. The controls are responsive, vibration is excellent (bit more intense than some controllers I’ve used), and everything works as it should from a gameplay perspective.”
Priced at $28.99, this controller is incredibly affordable. If you’re looking for a cheap and cheerful PC controller, say if you’re a keyboard and mouse player who plays controller only occasionally, this is a perfect choice.
- Cheap feeling
The REDSTORM wireless controller is basically a wireless version of the previous be1 controller. This controller is fully compatible with not only PC but also the Nintendo Switch. The connection method is very simple; it only takes four steps to connect a stable Bluetooth connection to your switch, then you can enjoy the games anytime and anywhere.
The motion control function with a 6-axis sensor provides a precise gaming experience for the Nintendo motion sensor but can also be used – like the DualShock 4 – as a gyro controller for PC using Steam Big Picture.
The 600mAh battery is built into the controller switch, so you don’t need to replace the battery. One charge takes up to 10 hours. The automatic shut-off function saves energy, high precision that makes the movement of the lens more fluid and faster.
With an average rating of 4.5 stars out of 5, Amazon reviewers love this product. One happy customer writes:
“Based on the price I had my apprehensions about this product but overall the controller is excellent. Has the feel of a licensed Nintendo Pro Controller but without the premium price tag. Connects easily and the LEDs are cool but can also be turned down or off entirely if you don’t like them.”
Priced at $37.99, this controller is very affordable for a wireless controller, well worth checking out!
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