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Best PC Controller Out There in 2021

pc controller

A good PC controller is always an excellent choice for games like platforming and racing. Earlier, only a keyboard and mouse were used for this purpose, but now nothing can compete with a suitable PC controller.

The latest PC controllers have many incredible advantages in genres such as fighting, racing, and action.

Playing games at a computer table with a keyboard and a mouse requires an extended flat area that forces the player to be in a tense position for a long time which can cause many physical problems with the body posture.

The reason why many players prefer to use a PC controller to play games instead of a keyboard and mouse.

The PC controller, on the other hand, designed to give a more comfortable experience:

  • You can relax, even take a comfortable position while playing;
  • You will get complete control on the system while playing your favorite game;
  • The owner of a personal computer will easily master console games once he learned how to handle a PC controller. 

How to make your selection while buying a PC controller? 

Choosing the right PC controller is not so easy as it seems. Buying the first device that catches your eye and the design you like will be a serious mistake.

There are a number of PC controller options available in the market, and they all differ from each other. So, first, you have to make a list of your preferences. You can also do this by making a list of the most popular PC controllers out there.

It’s great when a PC controller can not only work with the console but also support PC games. In this regard, the following criteria you can consider while choosing;

  • Compatibility with various operating systems;
  • Compatible with Sony PlayStation or Xbox consoles.

Most often, devices designed to work with a Microsoft console can be connected to a PC but not to a PS 4. This applies to the native Sony PC controller: this is an excellent PC controller but not compatible with the Xbox. So, it would be best if you kept this in mind while choosing one for yourself. 

1. XInput and DirectInput support

It is about the API, a kind of translator of the operating system that translates data from the controller to the game that uses it. XInput and DirectInput are different versions of this software framework.

The modern PC game controllers model only supports XInput, whereas the old versions of 8 and 16-bit games only support DirectInput.

New PC game controllers support one or another kind of API, depending on their quality and price. There are devices that can work with both versions of the API, and they have a special switch. Inexpensive PC controller, understand only DirectInput directives. 

2. Choosing a wireless PC controller 

PC game controllers with wires can be annoying sometimes when the cables run through half of the apartment. There are models with wired and wireless, and the selection completely depends on your choice.

Those who have used controllers with wires are well aware of the problems of chafing the wire at the entry and base of the plug.

The wireless models integrated into the gamepad helps to get rid of the everyday nightmare. Another advantage of wireless PC controllers is obvious: freedom of movement while playing remotely. So, make your selection wisely.

3. PC controller with a large number of buttons is not a good choice

The PC game controller full of buttons is not an ideal selection. Controllers with many buttons can ruin everything if you accidentally clicked the wrong button in the middle of the game.

Specialists always recommend choosing a model with the optimal number of buttons, mostly 8-10 pieces, which does not cause any difficulty while playing and gives you full control of the system. 

4. Controller with analog sticks 

Only top model PC controllers have joysticks. It not only helps to give full control but also enhances your gaming experience.

Almost all the quality controllers have these analog sticks, dramatically increasing the usability and taking your gaming experience to the next level.

Thanks to the PC controller with an analog stick, it is worth investing in a PC controller with a stick if you’re not running out of budget. 

5. Continuation of hands 

Build quality and precise shape are important properties for a device that is held in the hands during intensive use. Therefore, the gamepad must have the following advantages:

  • comfortable grip;
  • special matte or soft-touch coating, non-marking and non-slip;
  • had an optimal weight: it is important to feel the controller so that your hands do not get tired;
  • was assembled from tightly fitted parts of sufficient thickness and worked without squeak and distortion. 

What to prepare for and what to expect: store prices

Choosing a high-quality controller is a guarantee of comfort while playing. However, different models also differ in a range of cost.

So, count your budget first and consider a few top models that will meet all your needs. There is a model of all your budget types; let’s take a look!

Most budgetary models are affordable, specially designed to connect to personal computers. These models are wired, always come without a stick, and the body is often made of glossy plastic material without rubberized inserts. These models only support DirectInputs.

The mid-range models already offer wireless controllers. Here you can also find universal controllers compatible with several types of consoles from PS to Xbox. Half of these devices have vibration feedback. Sticks are always present in such models.

Top branded gamepads are the most expensive. They have all the necessary qualities and have an extended configuration. So along with the device can be a receiver, a second battery, games, accessories, and other nice additions.

In such models, you can find spare sticks, crosses, and cases for carrying the entire set or its individual components. Here we have listed the top 10 best PC controllers out there in 2021.

Top 10 best PC controller of 2021 

1. Microsoft Xbox wireless controller 

We are putting Microsoft Xbox wireless controller top in the list due to its excellent quality and amazing gaming experience.

This PC controller was designed to put all the technical aspects in mind. It’s a wireless PC controller available in 5 different colors. Microsoft Xbox wireless PC game controllers only support XInput with Bluetooth capability.

microsoft xbox wireless controller

This model is compatible with selected operating systems and devices. This controller has an in-built windows driver, with the help of that, you can plug the controller via Bluetooth or micro-USB. You don’t need any special software for your PC to recognize the Xbox controller.

2. Logitech F310 

If you’re an adventure game lover and looking for a PC game controller that has superb controllability, then Logitech F310 is best for you. Logitech F310 is loaded with exclusive features that let you play your favorite game from a more relaxed position.

F310 is easy to set up, and it supports both most common input standards- XInput and DirectInput. You can also customize Logitech F310 with your keyboard and mouse inputs with its 10 programmable buttons for a better gaming experience.

logitech f310

Its comfortable rubber grip is best for enjoying long and comfortable gaming sessions. With its 1.8 meters long cord, you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite game from an appropriate distance from the screen. The manufacturers offer a 3-year limited warranty which is worth spending money on.

3. SteelSeries Nimbus Wireless Controller 

SteelSeries Nimbus Wireless controller is the best choice in 2021 for people who love playing games on their iPhone, Ipad, or AppleTV. Its excellent shape and elegant design give you the best gaming experience like nothing else.

steelseries nimbus wireless controller

With its 50hr long battery life, you can enjoy your most popular games for every genre with full control. Another very important feature of Nimbus is its redesigned D-pad and clickable joystick. Also, there is a 4 dual-purpose LED light that helps you know which controller is active when multiple users are playing the same.

4. Sony DualSense Wireless Controller 

Sony DualSense Wireless Controller is one the most popular controllers known for its device compatibility and user-friendliness.

It is an excellent PC game controller of 2021 that opens up new possibilities for game lovers, especially PS5 owners. This wireless device is designed to work with both versions of the API- XInput and DirectInput support.

sony dualsense wireless controller

This DualSense controller is easy to operate due to its symmetrical design, shape, size, and unique button layout. You can also enjoy the best gaming experience with its in-built microphone connecting feature with the help of that, you can connect the headset with the device.

5. Razer Wolverine Ultimate 

Razor Wolverine is the ultimate solution for game lovers. It is a unique Xbox Elite PC controller that offers a pro-level gaming experience with full control and a comfortable design.

razer wolverine ultimate

Razer Wolverine is a wired controller and is best for those who do not in favor of wireless controllers. The controller has 2 customizable multi-function buttons and 4 triggers.

Also, its razer chroma lightning with more than 16.8 million color options gives this controller a classy look. The price of this controller is quite expensive than other models, but it is worth investing in.

6. Xbox One Elite Wireless PC Controller 

If you get tired of using a keyboard and mouse, then it’s high time to switch to the Xbox One Elite Wireless PC controller for better performance.

You can connect an Xbox controller to a Windows PC or laptop with its USB cable, or Bluetooth, it has both options available.

xbox one Elite wireless pc controller

You can also personalize the device by using its unique, customizable features. Its shape and design quickly adapt to your hand size that will automatically improve accuracy and control over the device.

This device is also quite expensive but you will definitely love the flexibility of usage offered by this controller.

7. Steam Controller PC Gamepad 

Steam Controller PC Gamepad is also a popular alternative when it comes to choosing a controller.

The model offers its own set of settings, making the controller compatible with any project, whether it be shooters and RPGs, even platformers and strategies.

steam controller pc gamepad

It supports the XInput communication interface. The dual trackpads of the Steam controller provide the flawless control you need for high-quality PC gaming in your living room. The controller is powered by two AA batteries which is enough for 40 hours of play.

8. Logitech F710 

The Logitech Wireless Gamepad F710 wireless gamepad is suitable for beginners and amateur players.

It is compatible with both DirectInput and XInput programming interfaces familiar to the Windows 10 operating system; therefore, it works without installing drivers.

logitech f710

The Logitech F710 is equipped with a standard Xbox and Windows layout, including two analog sticks, one D-Pad, and 10 buttons. Powered by two AA batteries, the charge lasts for 1-2 months, depending on the activity of users. Wired communication, like the previous other models, is not supported.

9. GameSir PC Game Controller T4 

If you’re searching for a professional PC controller, then GameSir PC game controller T4 is the one you can rely on. There are a lot of features you will love about this controller.

We are putting this in due to its excellent 30hr gaming time, five-speed vibration, adjustable design, and colored LED- backlit buttons and joystick.

gamesir pc game controller T4

It’s a wireless PC controller that comes with six gyroscopes which give powerful control while playing. You can easily pair this controller with multiple devices, including PS4, iOS, tvOS, Xbox, Windows, and many other popular devices. The price of this device is also more affordable than any other controller.

10. Nintendo Switch Pro Controller 

Now, it’s time to take your gaming system to the next level with the Nintendo Switch Pro controller. It is one of the best PC controllers on the list loaded with excellent features that will give you an amazing gaming experience.

nintendo switch pro controller

This wireless controller supports both API versions i.e. XInput and DirectInput also, its standard shape fits easily in hands. The device is lightweight and easily compatible with almost all the devices such as Windows, macOS, Android, and Raspberry Pi, etc.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it. We have listed the top 10 best PC Controllers out there in 2021. If you find it challenging to choose the best controller, then our information mentioned above will help you select one. We will continue to review other most popular controllers in our upcoming articles. So, stay tuned!

Ravi is a digital entrepreneur who has a vision of helping businesses to increase their online
presence through websites, mobile applications, and SEO. He is the Founder & CEO of
Webomaze Pty Ltd, a one-stop digital agency based in Melbourne.