The Best Controllers for PC Gaming in 2020

Updated: 29 Nov 2020 1:53 PM PST
Posted: 29 Nov 2020 1:48 PM PST

Gamepads To Streamline the PC Gaming Experience

When it comes to gaming systems, PC is one of the best. However, a mouse and keyboard aren't for everyone. If you favor ABXY over WASD, then you're probably in the market for a controller. Fortunately, a growing number of AAA titles and Steam games are controller-compatible.

We're here to help you compare the best PC controllers of 2020. Let's take a look.

Microsoft Xbox One Controller

Microsoft Xbox One Controller Microsoft Xbox One Controller | Credit:

While originally designed for the Xbox, this controller boasts compatibility with PCs running Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and even Windows 7. It connects using an adapter, Bluetooth, or USB. It can be found wired or wireless, though the wireless version does have a higher price tag.

This controller is lauded for its quality, ease of use, and comfortable handling. It's not fancy, but it's generally very reliable. The buttons are crisp and precise, leading to accurate game response, especially when aiming or fighting.

SteelSeries Stratus Duo Controller

SteelSeries Stratus Duo Controller SteelSeries Stratus Duo | Credit:

The SteelSeries Stratus Duo controller is unique because it's one of the few controllers compatible with both Android and PC. It goes the extra mile with VR and Steam support. There is also an Apple-compatible controller, the Nimbus+.

Firstly, the Stratus Duo looks good, with an aesthetically-pleasing design. It's ergonomic, durable, and has good workmanship. This controller is easy to use, mostly due to its elegant shape and size. Considering the price, this is an excellent controller.

Logitech F310 Game Pad

Logitech F310 Gamepad Logitech F310 Gamepad | Credit:

The Logitech F310 Gamepad is one of the most affordable controllers on the market. Don't underestimate it - despite having a small price, the F310 is majorly compatible, working on most Windows machines. That's not an exaggeration - reviewers report that the F310's backward compatibility reaches all the way from Windows 10 to Windows XP. You don't even need to install drivers. You can plug the controller in and start playing right away.

This durable little controller has an appealing design. Firstly, the buttons are bright and have a high contrast against the blue controller. This is helpful for quick presses, especially for controller newbies. Finally, it's lightweight and holds up well over time.

Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2

Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 | Credit:

If you play competitively, you're going to want the best equipment money can buy. Having a pro-level controller gives you an edge when you're in the midst of multiplayer. The Xbox Elite controller can be used with Windows 10 and some Xbox consoles.

The controller looks sleek, with a dramatic black finish. It's weighty, with a solid feel to it. Additionally, the Xbox Elite comes with extra parts - back paddles and interchangeable components. You can mix and match these pieces to meet your preferences.

Razer Wolverine Ultimate

Razer Wolverine Ultimate Razer Wolverine Ultimate | Credit:

The Razer Wolverine Ultimate is a direct competitor to the Xbox Elite controller. It comes in swinging with the same accessibility (Windows 10 and Xbox One compatible), a similar price, and its own unique, exchangeable features.

This controller has an eye-catching design. It's shapely and easy to grip. The Wolverine Ultimate features a convenient control panel, providing instant access to important hotkeys. The cherry on top is its brightly-colored lighting, which sets this controller apart from the other entries on this list.

Valve Steam Controller

Valve Steam Controller Valve Steam Controller | Credit:

Some games don't have controller compatibility. That's where Valve's Steam controller steps in. This controller was built just for PCs and brags compatibility not only with Windows but also Mac and Linux.

Valve officially discontinued the Steam controller in late 2019, but its cult following never went away. The controller is still available for purchase through Amazon. If you're a stickler for precise button-mapping or searching for some middle ground between keyboard and controller, you may want to check it out. It doesn't handle like a traditional controller, which could be exactly what you're looking for.

8Bitdo SN30 Pro+ Gamepad

8Bitdo SN30 Pro+ Gamepad 8Bitdo SN30 Pro+ Gamepad | Credit:

The SN30 Pro+ is a budget-conscious controller that can be used with Windows, Mac, Steam, Nintendo Switch, and even Raspberry Pi. While its design harks back to classic SNES controllers, it also incorporates vibration feedback and a screenshot button. This combination of old and new is one of the things that gives the SN30 Pro+ its appeal.

These days, it's rare to see a controller without grips. It's unique, lightweight, and nostalgic for older controllers. This controller may also be more comfortable if you have smaller hands, or dislike the shape of modern controllers.

Astro C40 TR Wireless Controller

Astro C40 TR Wireless Controller Astro C40 TR Wireless Controller | Credit:

A few of the controllers on this list are produced in conjuncture with Xbox. But what if you're in the other camp? If you want to bring a Playstation controller to the PC, then consider Astro's C40 TR controller. It touts exchangeable components, a built-in 3.5mm headphone jack, and a premium, durable design. So, if you feel like splurging on a quality controller, then maybe give the C40 TR a try.

Gamepads Galore

With so many options, it can be difficult to choose the right controller. Here are some questions that may help you along your quest.

  • What's your budget? Keep in mind, you get what you pay for - a "cheap" controller may also be cheaply made.
  • What brand do you prefer? For example, do you swear by Xbox? Or, do you think Razer is more reliable?
  • Do you want extra decals (think: fun colors) or niche accessories, like back paddles?
  • Do only play on PC, or would you prefer something that works on multiple consoles?
  • What kind of games do you play? For example, if you play a lot of racing games, your controller of choice might be a wheel.

Whatever your preference, there are many controllers on the market that could suit your needs. Hopefully, this list has helped you narrow it down. Happy hunting!


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