PC controller, the best of 2023

PC controller, the best of 2023

PC controller

What is the best PC controller? Over the years there has been a drastic increase in PC gamers who use a gamepad to play video games in addition to the usual mouse and keyboard. The reasons are different, many prefer to approach certain videogame genres with the controller, just think of action-adventures or platformers. However, it should be emphasized that there are several gamepads on the market, all diversified and unique in their own way, not only from an aesthetic point of view, but also from a purely playful one. Furthermore, with the arrival of the new generation of PS5 and Xbox Series X|S, many new technologies have appeared which diversify the gamepads in question even more.

On PC there is also the great advantage of being able to keep a controller active while playing comfortably with mouse and keyboard, thus being able to interchange the device at will depending on the situation. Therefore, one immediately understands the usefulness of having a good controller in one's PC workstation, which does not necessarily have to be too expensive. In fact, there are various types of pads, from the "PRO" ones (more expensive and also more complete) to the standard, retro or trivially cheap ones.

In this article, we will tell you, in detail, about the controller with the best value for money, as well as providing you with an overview of some other products that may interest you depending on your needs.

The best PC controller: our pick

Our pick for the best value for money PC gaming controller is the Xbox Series X|S standard gamepad, which can also be used on PC in Bluetooth, wi-fi (with a suitable key) or with a classic wired cable. The Xbox Series X|S controller can be found in different colors and in different themes. For less than 65 euros, you get a good pad with a more than good build quality and a really excellent feeling, as far as gameplay is concerned, enhanced by a level grip texture and the introduction of the share button to share our moments of play with more ease. The motors dedicated to the vibrations (rumble) placed both on the handles and in the triggers complete the general picture and allow you to feel some game actions with greater immersion. It should be emphasized that the aforementioned controller has asymmetrical analogs, which is why it may not appeal to those who prefer to play with the classic PlayStation pads, moreover it does not have an integrated battery, functioning with the classic stylus batteries or with a rechargeable battery sold separately .

Below you can take a look at some colorways, plus, if you're interested, we give you the opportunity to visit the Xbox Design Lab to make your own custom pad at a price, however, much more high. We also remind you that there are also themed pads, even these, however, can reach rather high prices due to the customizations.


Xbox Series X|S Controller Black Carbon | Microsoft Xbox Series X|S Controller White Robot | Amazon Xbox Series X|S Controller Red Pulse | Microsoft Xbox Series X|S Controller Shock Blue | Microsoft Xbox Series X|S Controller Electric Volt | Microsoft


Xbox Series X|S Controller Design Lab | Microsoft

The absolute best

If you have between 150 and 200 euros to spend on a quality controller, then we just have to recommend the Xbox Elite Controller Series 2, a pad with high build quality, ideal for those who play both online and single player. Its advantage lies mainly in the possibilities it offers: paddles (additional rear buttons), very high customization such as the possibility of creating profiles with custom button mappings, interchanging the analogs or setting different resistances for the triggers. In short, not a common pad, but one that still justifies the high price.

After recommending the 1 Series in the previous months, today the 2 Series is taking its place, which improves in all respects the predecessor by introducing an extra profile, the integrated battery, an additional travel for the triggers, smaller paddles and a general revised build quality, especially with regard to the rubberized grips of the handles.

Xbox Elite Series 2 | Amazon | Microsoft

The absolute best, but cheaper

Born and designed for all those players who want to use a Pro Controller but at a slightly more accessible price, Microsoft is meeting us with Xbox Elite Series 2 Core. Available in two different colors (black and white), the controller is in all respects a classic Elite that we told you about earlier, but it is sold without some accessories and with only the fundamental ones inside the package. A certainly lower expense, which however also corresponds to a maximum yield, given the characteristics of the controller that remain unchanged, such as for example a more precise directional cross and the possibility of adding additional triggers.

Xbox Elite Series 2 Core | Amazon

The best PC controller with symmetrical analogs

If you are gamers who prefer symmetrical controllers, know that we have also thought of you with the spectacular new DualSense of PlayStation 5. They are excellent controllers, also excellent for video games any type of title. These too can be found in their standard version for just under 65 euros and can be connected via both Bluetooth and cable. In addition to this, they all offer an integrated battery with about 15/20 hours of battery life, adaptive triggers and handles with vibration motor with haptic technology, perfect for immersing the player 360 degrees inside the video game. In addition to the adaptive innovations, the new DualSense features a touchbar, speaker and gyroscope exactly like the previous PlayStation 5 Dualshock, also integrating a microphone for the first time to be able to communicate with your friends (albeit with some limitations).

Below you can find a series of DualSense, with different colors and different customizations.

DualSense White| Amazon DualSense Cosmic RED | Amazon DualSense Starlight Blue | Amazon

The best budget PC controller

If you are looking for a really cheap PC controller, then your best choice can definitely be a peripheral made by PDP. The pad in question is produced under official Microsoft license and has the same form factor as the Xbox One and Xbox Series S | X pads, complete with an additional button for capturing game clips and screenshots. The controller is only available in a wired version, but it could be a plus if you don't like replacing AA batteries and don't want to have a Play & Charge Kit. The cost, definitely within everyone's reach, makes it a perfect choice if you have a tight budget and is also compatible with consoles produced by the Redmond giant, like all peripherals produced under license.

PDP Wired Controller | Amazon

The best Retro controller

Retro gaming enthusiasts are most often looking for a controller that takes them back to the past, where analogs weren't there and buttons were the only thing to press. For this reason, old retro controllers are still on sale, many even original and produced by the companies of the time.

The best one we recommend is also the one we recently tested at a SEGA event, it's retro -bit of the SEGA Mega Drive, a retro pad with 6 buttons. back and directional; light, aesthetically beautiful and above all original. Useful for playing fighting games, platformers or Metroidvania.

Sega Retro-Bit | Amazon

How to choose the best PC controller

If it is true that most computer games can be played with a mouse and keyboard, it is also true that over the years more and more gamers have have chosen to have a pad, also thanks to the arrival of certain types of games, once relegated only to the console environment. When we go to choose a PC controller it is necessary to take into account some aspects and factors that can influence (and greatly) the gaming experience in general.

Asymmetrical or not?

One of the first considerations to make when deciding to buy a PC controller is definitely the form factor. In circulation for years now there are only two types of controllers: asymmetric and non-asymmetric. Historically, PlayStation controllers fall into the former category, while Xbox controllers fall into the latter category. The difference lies in the position of the analog sticks: in asymmetric controllers they are located at the bottom, positioned on the left and right. In non-asymmetrical ones, however, the left stick is positioned at the top in the same position, while the right one is lower.

Weight and size

A good PC controller must be heavy or light? Big or small? There is no precise rule. Also in this there are differences between the PlayStation and Xbox form factors: the controllers launched by Sony are historically smaller (with the exception, in reality, of the DualSense, present on PS5), while those of Microsoft are decidedly larger and more ergonomic. The choice in this case is entirely based on personal taste and obviously on comfort.

Keys and layout

When deciding to buy a PC controller, it is also necessary to keep in mind our preferences for the layout. Better a controller with the D-pad (ie the directional cross) which has the four detached arrows and which allow greater control in certain genres such as fighting games or a single cross? And the keys? Historically on PC the ones chosen by Xbox are used (ie ABYX, LR, LB, RT and RB) and it is really rare to find other configurations. However, with the compatibility of PlayStation controllers on Steam and Epic Games, if you are gamers coming above all from that console environment, there is certainly more choice now, especially if you look carefully not only at the official market, but also at the peripherals produced under license like for example the Nacon ones.

Wireless or wired?

Just like with consoles, there are two types of controllers on PC too: wireless and wired. Wireless controllers often cost slightly more and there are also real kits on the market that allow you to use a rechargeable battery, thus freeing the consumer from using AA batteries, which risk becoming a major expense at the end of the year. The wired cable eliminates the input lag phenomenon, but also risks being slightly uncomfortable, especially if you play with a friend. However, it is good to remember that most of the PC pads available on the market can be used in both configurations.

Additional keys or not?

If you come from the PC world and especially from peripherals such as mouse and keyboard with programmable keys, you might be looking for these functions on controllers as well. Over the last few years Microsoft and Sony have launched very similar solutions, with real controllers that add several programmable buttons. An excellent solution, especially if you play certain genres using these peripherals.

Powered by Blogger.