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Best PC Game Controllers (2022): Which PC Game Controller Is Best For You?

There’s no arguing that for a lot of PC games, mouse and keyboard are better. However, there are quite a few games where a controller will provide a much better experience. Fighting, souls-likes, metroidvanias and platformers are just some game genres that are arguably better experienced with a gamepad than a mouse and keyboard. With that said, here are our top picks for the best PC game controllers.

Best PC Game Controllers Comparison Chart

ModelPriceCategoryStandout Features
Microsoft Xbox Elite Series 2 ControllerCheck Price Best premium controllerHighly customizable, Swappable thumbsticks, Trigger modes, Back paddles
Microsoft Xbox Wireless ControllerCheck Price Best wireless controllerNative support on Windows, Officially supported by many games
Sony DualSense ControllerCheck Price Best controller with haptic feedbackHaptic feedback, Touchpad, Adaptive triggers
8Bitdo Pro 2 ControllerCheck Price Best budget wireless controllerTwo back buttons, Profile switching, Compatible with PC, Mac, Android and Nintendo Switch
PowerA FUSION Pro 2 ControllerCheck Price Best wired controllerFour mappable paddles, Three-way trigger locks, Swappable thumbsticks
PowerA Enhanced Wired Xbox ControllerCheck Price Best budget wireless controllerTwo back buttons, Over 20 color choices

Microsoft Xbox Elite Series 2 Controller

Best premium controller

The Microsoft Xbox Elite Series 2 Controller offers tons of customizations.

If money is not a concern and you just want the best controller in the market, the Microsoft Xbox Elite Series 2 Controller is the obvious choice. It is beautifully built and since it is from Microsoft, it’s natively supported on Windows. There are a lot of customization options with the controller. You can swap thumbsticks, remap buttons on the back paddles and choose from three trigger modes.

The customizations that you can do with this controller allows you to have an unmatched level of control over how you want to use it. The Elite Series 2 controller comes with many major improvements over the first iteration. It has a built-in battery that you can charge with the carrying case that also doubles as a charging dock. It also has Bluetooth connectivity now, which is a big upgrade since you won’t need the Xbox Wireless dongle anymore.

Microsoft Xbox Wireless Controller

Best wireless controller

The Microsoft Xbox Wireless Controller is the base standard when it comes to wireless controllers for PC.

For those that want a standard wireless controller, nothing beats the Microsoft Xbox Wireless Controller. It’s natively supported on Windows and this latest iteration also has Bluetooth connectivity, so you don’t need the Xbox Wireless dongle. There’s hardly any difference between the Xbox Wireless Controller and the older Xbox One Wireless Controller. But that’s because there’s really not much that need changing.

The Microsoft Xbox Wireless Controller retains the comfortable shape of the Xbox 360 and Xbox One controllers, but it also comes with a textured handle for better grip. One addition is the Share button that lets you capture screenshots and gameplay videos.

Sony PlayStation DualSense Controller

Best controller with haptic feedback

The Sony PlayStation DualSense Controller has haptic feedback, adaptive triggers and a touchpad.

Another not-so-expensive wireless controller that you should consider for your gaming PC is the Sony PlayStation DualSense Controller. This PS5 controller has some features that you won’t get with the Xbox Wireless Controller. Features such as haptic feedback, adaptive triggers and the touchpad are exclusive to the DualSense.

As it is from Sony, Microsoft’s rival in the gaming space, it doesn’t have official Windows drivers. However, you can use it with Steam, either via wired USB or Bluetooth. As of now, there are only a few games that take advantage of the features of the Sony PlayStation DualSense Controller, however, it’s almost certain that the number of games that will support it will increase in the future.

8Bitdo Pro 2 Wireless Controller

Best budget wireless controller

The 8Bitdo Pro 2 Wireless Controller is versatile with a retro look.

The 8Bitdo Pro 2 Wireless Controller has a retro, yet modern look. This wireless controller has almost everything you want in a controller. It supports profiles that you can configure using the 8Bitdo Ultimate software and it also has a pair of back buttons, which is nice, considering that this is a budget-friendly controller.

The controller works on PC, Mac, the Nintendo Switch and Android devices, so it’s very versatile. At its price range, there really is nothing that can match its feature set. In addition, it has a surprisingly excellent build quality. It has some heft to it, and if you shake the controller, there’s no rattling. It truly is one of the best controllers to get if you want something that’s light on the wallet.

PowerA FUSION Pro 2 Wired Controller

Best wired controller

The PowerA FUSION Pro 2 Wired Controller is an affordable feature-packed controller.

Technically, it is not the best wired controller around, since that distinction goes to the Razer Wolverine Ultimate. However, the PowerA FUSION Pro 2 wired controller is our pick for the best wired controller simply because it’s much cheaper, while still being feature packed. Also, PowerA makes some of the most durable budget-friendly controllers in the market.

Some of the features that you get with this controller include four mappable paddles, three trigger lock modes and swappable thumbsticks. Basically, the PowerA FUSION Pro 2 is a mid-range priced controller with high-end features.

PowerA Enhanced Wired Xbox Controller

Best budget wired controller

The PowerA Enhanced Wired Xbox Controller is a budget-friendly controller with back buttons.

The Xbox 360 wired controller was one of, if not the best budget wired controller for PC. However, the only Xbox 360 wired controller that you can get right now are from third-party manufacturers, and some of them can be iffy when it comes to quality. Enter the PowerA Enhanced Wired Xbox Controller. It has the same form factor as Xbox controllers, it’s durable, and it’s also quite cheap.

If you are looking to get a wired controller for your PC and you want to spend the least amount, the PowerA Enhanced Wired Xbox Controller is the best option. The cable is detachable, so you can easily replace it if it gets damaged, it has a 3.5mm jack, and it has two back buttons that you can remap in the middle of a game.

Verdict

The Microsoft Xbox Elite Series 2 and the Core Xbox Wireless controllers top our list of the best game controllers for PC.

Microsoft Xbox Elite Series 2 Controller

Best premium controller for PC

Microsoft Xbox Wireless Controller

Best standard wireless PC controller

For those that want the best controller for PC, the Microsoft Xbox Elite Series 2 is the obvious answer. It’s the most feature-packed of all the controllers on this list, with features such as swappable buttons, remappable controls, trigger modes and more. The only downside is that it’s quite expensive. For those that want a standard controller with a more acceptable price, the Microsoft Xbox Wireless Controller is our recommendation. It has all you need in a controller and being from Microsoft, it is natively supported on Windows. A good alternative is the Sony DualSense, since it has more features. However, it doesn’t have official Windows drivers and it’s more expensive.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Which controller is best for PC gaming?

The best is the Microsoft Xbox Elite Series 2 controller, but it is quite expensive.

๐Ÿ“Œ What controller is best for FPS?

The Microsoft Xbox Elite Series 2 and the PowerA FUSION Pro 2 are our top choices for FPS games since you can swap out their thumbsticks.

๐Ÿ“Œ Can I use a PS5 controller on PC?

Yes, you can use the PS5 controller on a PC, and some games even support its haptic feedback feature.

๐Ÿ“Œ Which is better for gaming, keyboard or controller?

It will really depend on the type of game that you are playing. Shooters, strategy games, point and clicks and CRPGs are games that are better with keyboard and mouse. Platformers, most indie games, fighting games and 3rd-person hack and slash games are arguably better experienced with a controller.

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Carlo Salvador

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about fitness, gaming and music.