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While some of us are perfectly fine using a mouse and keyboard when gaming on PC, sometimes a controller is just plain better. There’s something to play Halo on PC without a controller which does not feel good.
There are great controllers designed for PC gaming, as well as console controllers that can be used on multiple platforms. If you’re looking to add a controller to your PC gaming setup, we’ve got some suggestions for you.
Before we dive in, we should note that this article only focuses on traditional controllers. If you’re looking for something a bit more specialized, you can head here to check out our guides to racing wheels, flight sticks, and battle pads, as most of these controllers are compatible with pc.
Here are our picks for the best PC game controllers.
8BitDo Pro 2 Controller
We’ve sung the praises of 8BitDo gamepads a lot in the past, and we’ll take every excuse we can to do it again. In our 8BitDo Pro 2 review, we called it one of the best third-party controllers (and the best you can choose for your Nintendo Switch). It looks great, feels great and works great.
If you play a lot of retro games, the 8BitDo Pro 2 is a solid controller. It was designed with a “classic” feel in mind and features two “Pro-Level” buttons on the back. This controller comes bundled with 8BitDo Ultimate software, which gives you plenty of options to customize button mapping, joystick sensitivity, vibration control, and macro creation.
Where to buy it: eBay ($69.99) | Kogan ($79) | Amazon Australia ($84.90)
Logitech G F310 Controller
Looking for a more affordable option? Logitech is another one of those brands that have a pretty solid track record when it comes to PC gaming peripherals, and the F310 is one of the best controllers you can get for under $60 (or less, if you can find it on sale).
The Logitech F310 is a fairly simple PC controller – plug it into a USB-A port and you’re good to go. Its form factor is close to the PlayStation’s controller, so there’s good familiarity when you’re holding it. The Logitech F310 is a wired controller, which might be a deal breaker for some. Its shoulder buttons are also a little thin, so you may need to adjust how you normally hold it to compensate for that.
Where to buy it: Amazon Australia ($38) | eBay ($48.90) | Logitech ($59.95)
Razer Wolverine V2 Wired Gamepad
In terms of form factor, the Razer Wolverine V2 has everything you’d expect from a good PC controller. It’s lightweight, has nicely textured side grips, solid mechanical switches with good feedback, and fits comfortably in your hands. It also includes two remappable multi-function buttons, as well as the ability to customize button mapping, stick sensitivity, and vibration levels.
The Wolverine’s only major downside is that it’s a wired controller – although that’s not much of an issue if you’re playing while seated at your desk. The Razer Wolverine V2 is also compatible with the Xbox Series X/S (which explains why its design is so similar to the console’s native controller).
If you are someone who needs all of their PC accessories to have RGB functionality, there is a Chroma variant of the Wolverine V2 available. But at $254.95 a piece, you’d really like your RGB peripherals.
Where to buy it: eBay ($129) | Microsoft ($169.95) | Razer ($169.95)
Sony PS5 DualSense wireless controller
If you already own a PlayStation 5, then good news, you already have a fantastic PC controller on hand. The PS5’s DualSense controller is fantastic – it’s sturdy and comfortable with precise feedback. “Pressing the buttons feels good” seems like such an obvious metric for a controller, but the DualSense is really nice to use.
To use your PS5 controller with your PC, you have two options: plug-and-play or Bluetooth. For the former, all you need is a USB-C to USB-A or USB-C cable to simply plug it straight into your PC. It is important that the USB cable can carry data, not just power.
If you want to keep things wireless, go to your PC’s Bluetooth settings. Now grab your disconnected PS5 controller and turn off and hold the PS button and the Create button at the same time. After holding these buttons for a few seconds, the touchpad light bar should flash and you can select the controller from the list of available Bluetooth devices. Congratulations, your PS5 controller is now a PC controller.
Where to buy it: Amazon Australia ($89) | eBay ($99) | Kogan ($99.95)
Xbox Wireless Controller
Much like the PS5, the controller that came with your Xbox Series X/S is a great option for a PC peripheral. In Kotaku Australia’s review of the Xbox Series X/S Wireless Controller, we praised how it improved on the already excellent Xbox One controller design. It has better tactility and is more comfortable to hold and use.
The Xbox Wireless Controller can be connected to your PC directly via USB cable or via Bluetooth.
To pair your controller with Bluetooth, you need to hold the Pair button for three seconds until the Xbox button starts flashing. Once you’ve done that, open your PC’s Bluetooth settings and you should be able to select the Xbox Wireless Controller from the list of available devices. Unfortunately, the controller’s rumble feature will not work when connected via Bluetooth.
Where to buy it: Amazon Australia ($89) | eBay ($89) | Microsoft ($89.95)