Best Gaming Controllers
Every new gaming console comes with a controller, but at some point, you will probably want to get at least another one so that you can enjoy your games with friends or family members.
You want to make sure you buy a licensed controller, so it gets regular driver/firmware updates. In this article, we will present you with some exciting options, both for Sony PlayStation 4, and the Microsoft XBOX ONE consoles, the most popular consoles today. All controllers are tested and known to work with the consoles so that you will have zero compatibility issues.
Yes, this is the default Xbox controller, the one you get with the console. But this is not “don’t fix if it ain’t broken” approach. The stock Xbox controller is one of the best controllers ever made, especially considering quality/price ratio. And it is not only limited to the console; it is fully compatible with Windows (10) computers and even tablets.
The latest Xbox Wireless Controller doubles the range (up to 40 feet indoors) of older models, ensuring maximum comfort and lag-free gaming. Textured grip feels and looks good. And you can feel the superb quality as soon as you take it in your hands. It comes in a variety of colours, but customisation stops there.
Since this is the official, licensed Microsoft product, you can expect it to flawlessly work in every game, and to keep getting regular updates forever. Unless you are a hardcore gamer, you should stick to this one, as it has a superb quality and more than enough options to meet your needs.
Gamers know about Razer and for a good reason. This company has put its name on the map by only making high-end gaming gear. Now they present us with their Xbox controller, named Wildcat, that is primarily designed with esports in mind.
Razer asked the best Xbox esports athletes for opinions, and Wildcat is the end result of the feedback. It has four additional buttons on the back side, that can be programmed for different purposes, allowing you unmatched customisation. It also has a quick access control panel on the front, for changing audio settings, profiles, etc. And you can even reduce the travel distance of triggers. But it does not end there- Razor took the traditional Xbox gamepad design, and slightly improved it, optimising its weight and palm grips.
Wildcat is a wired controller, but in this case, this is not a flaw, at least not for hardcore gamers- having a reinforced wired connection means no interference and no empty batteries. But, if you are a casual user, you will probably like some wireless controllers more than Razer Wildcat.
If you are not a fan of traditional Xbox controller design, consider Horipad PRO. This wired controller looks and feels more like a PlayStation controller, but it is entirely compatible with Xbox and officially licensed by Microsoft. Wired means no batteries and range issues, which makes it a good option for online, competitive gaming. And the cable is more than 8 feet long, which is more than enough.
Horipad Pro also has more buttons than a traditional Xbox controller, namely four buttons on the back that you can customise, with integrated headset, chat, and volume controls (hold D-pad and press back buttons to use integrated controls). It also has a headset jack, analogue impulse triggers and vibration. The overall design and feel is also improved, as Horipad Pro has better analogue sticks, high-quality buttons, and as they claim “the best D-pad in the industry”.
All things considered, this is a reliable controller, and is something a bit different, considering it is not shaped like a regular Xbox pad, so if that is your cup of tea, go for it.
This is the steroid, hardcore version of the regular Xbox controller, which is already a great device. Xbox One Elite will give you an unmatched level of customisation.
First, on the outside, you will have a multitude of exchangeable components- paddles, thumbsticks, and D-pads. And you also get a handy case. This level of customisability allows you to make a perfect setup for your Xbox One Elite, no matter how big, or how small your hands are. Also, interchangeable paddles on the back can be removed without any tools, and are used to give you an edge while gaming. This controller also has a hair-trigger lock- when on, it allows you to fire faster, saving you time between each shot, which is vital for competitive FPS.
But the real customisation starts under the hood, in the app. Here, you can set up your controller however you like, with almost unlimited number of variations. You can save more than 250 profiles of button configuration. And, you can tie them to different games, up to two profiles per game, which you can switch by merely flipping the button on the front side of your Elite controller. This is a useful option for different scenarios- for example, when you play GTA, you can use one set of controls while driving the car, and the other when you are on foot.
Every detail of Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller is player-oriented, Microsoft did their homework. The device is entirely flawless, but it costs plenty, three times as much as a regular Xbox Wireless controller. Still, if you have the money, go for it, you will not regret it.
The main strength of POWER A FUSION Pro are top quality components. It looks and feels like it will last a long time. This controller is officially licensed, so you can count on it to stay updated for good.
POWER A FUSION Pro has passed rigorous, four-stage testing, and is undoubtedly the highest quality device. It also looks good, with unique, customisable illumination with 225 colour combinations. On it, you will find a 3.5mm jack. This controller is wired, but it has a long cord, 9.8 feet.
It has excellent, ergonomic analogue sticks that have superb precision, dual-trigger locks (for rapid fire), and four buttons on the back side, that can be programmed for different purposes.
All things considered, POWER A FUSION Pro is an excellent controller, at a fair price, and we like it.
The original PlayStation 4 controller, DualShock 4 is an outstanding device. There is nothing to dislike here- the controller fits every hand size, is very comfortable, built with quality and extremely durable. It also has a good range.
It has a touch-pad, something exclusive and reserved only for PS4 users (sorry XBOX One). For this model, Sony reworked the analogue sticks and triggers, making them more comfortable and more precise. Like most modern controllers, DualShock 4 has a 3.5 mm audio jack for your headphones, but it also has a built-in speaker. Motion sensors, a highly sensitive gyroscope and accelerometer, are also in place. This is a wireless controller, but if you need to charge it, no need to stop playing, just plug in a USB. This controller has a handy share button that allows you to live stream or upload your moves so your online friends can see them.
DualShock 4 has all that casual/intermediate gamers need, and unless you are a hardcore gamer, is precisely what you should get. It also comes in a broad spectrum of colours and has an affordable price
Razer, a gaming giant, brings us Raiju, a licensed PS4 controller. It is similar to its XBOX One brother- as it has a four-button control panel on the front that let you quickly change some basic options such as volume, microphone, and profile controls. And it also has some additional buttons, two bumpers, and two removable triggers. They are ideally positioned, allowing more in-game control, without sacrificing precision or comfort.
And speaking of comfort- Razer Raiju is ergonomically designed, and your hands will not feel tired even after hours of play. Testing was done with the help of professional esports athletes, and if they gave it the green light, you can count on Razer Raiju to be incredibly comfortable. The weight is just right, not too heavy to tire your hands, but not too light to sacrifice quality.
This controller is also compatible with your PC, just plug and play. Keep in mind, this is a wired controller, and it is not cheap. But if you are a hardcore gamer that needs extra options, it is a good buy.
The key point of this great gamepad is the right analogue stick. It has a convex shape and is carefully designed, with adjusted height and bigger amplitude to allow maximum accuracy. It is also customisable (using PC app)- you can adjust the dead-band and response curve. The left stick is concave, designed for maximum grip, which is very important during competitive matches.
Eight-way D-pad is angled and will allow you to easily use it even without looking at it, just with your finger, which is particularly useful for fighting games. On the back, you will also find four additional buttons, that can be programmed to your needs.
And like the original PS4 controller, Nacon Revolution PRO has a touchpad, a 3.5 mm jack, and a share button. This is a wired controller, powered by a long, 3-meter cable. One of the cool features is adjustable weight, which is done by using six additional weights.
To set up NACON Revolution PRO, you will need a PC and Internet connection. It is also PC compatible. All things considered, this is a quality controller, and if you are not satisfied with just a regular DualShock 4, it will do the job for you.
We have reviewed the Xbox version; now it’s time for the PS4 one- Japanese Horipad FPS Plus. This was the first 3rd party controller with a touch-pad, and it is still an excellent option even today. It is compatible with both PS3 and PS4.
What makes it unique is the asymmetrical analogue stick placement, similar to the XBOX controllers. You will notice the trend- Hori makes XBOX shaped controllers for PS, and PS shaped controllers for XBOX. This makes Horipad a unique option for both main consoles. The sticks are precise, giving back a constant pressure feedback, for maximum control. On the back, you will find a target button that is used to change the stick sensitivity, on the go.
All the buttons on the Horipad can be custom mapped, and there is even a turbo feature that you can switch on/off for D-pad, face buttons and triggers.
Unfortunately, it does not have a headphone jack, motion sensors and rumble features, and no additional buttons on the back. But for the price, Horipad FPS plus is a decent controller.
This controller is not for XBOX or PS4- SteelSeries Nimbus is meant for Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac. This is a bit unusual, but we wanted to cover something a bit different. Gaming on iPhone, Apple TV, and Mac is often neglected, but it is real and growing.
What makes Nimbus unique are its pressure sensitive buttons that allow you an unmatched level of control. Additionally, it has dual analogue sticks you find on gaming consoles (they are positioned in a line, like on a PS4 controller). And since you can use it on iPhone, Bluetooth 4.1 support is present. One exciting feature Nimbus has is its long-lasting battery- it will hold up to 40 hours of play, and can be recharged by Lightning connector. Nimbus also has a cool app that lets you see lists of games and apps that are controller-ready. Even now the list is quite big, but it will only get better as time passes.
Overall Nimbus is an excellent option for the new kind of gamer, a quality product made by a famous manufacturer, and we like it very much.