While many PC games are best played with a mouse and keyboard, many are designed to work with a traditional controller. It’s also a bit more comfortable to kick back in your gaming chair and kick back with a controller, giving you an easier way to unwind with your favorite games. There really is no shortage of PC controller options in 2023, especially since almost every controller designed for specific consoles also has built-in PC support. Essentially, PC users have a choice of the best controllers across platforms. We’ve rounded up the best PC controllers of 2023.
Due to the abundance of options, choosing a PC controller can be a little tricky. Of course, if you own a console or two, you already have a great controller that works well on PC. However, you might want something with more features than the standard Xbox, PlayStation, and Switch controllers. PC users tend to have more control over their gaming experience in general, so wanting a versatile PC controller makes sense.
From pro-style controllers to retro gamepads and modular designs, here are the 10 best PC controllers of 2023. For more controller recommendations, check out our roundups of the best PS5 controllers and best Switch controllers.
Affordable, customizable, and ergonomic, it’s hard to beat the 8BitDo Ultimate. 8BitDo’s ultimate software puts you in complete control of your experience. You can save up to three unique profiles, remap the pair of excellent back triggers, adjust stick tension and vibration intensity, and trigger delicately. This type of in-depth customization is usually reserved for far more expensive controllers — not a $50 controller. It runs 15 hours on a full charge and comes with a matching charging dock.
One particularly welcome feature remains invisible but is nonetheless important. The analog sticks use Hall Effect technology, an advancement that uses magnets to detect motion. This friction-free design eliminates wear and the dreaded stick drift.
The high performance of the 8BitDo Ultimate paired with an extremely affordable price makes it an easy recommendation. If you want additional features, you can get the Bluetooth version compatible with Nintendo Switch for $70.
8BitDo Pro 2
The 8BitDo Pro 2 is very similar to the Ultimate although it lacks reverb effect sticks and the charging dock. Still, it’s a remarkable controller with a decidedly retro design that makes it a great choice for those who play a lot of classic games or run emulators on their PC. It’s also the ideal choice for gamers who prefer aligned analog sticks and games that play better with D-Pad controls.
The Pro 2 includes two back buttons, custom profile switching, and support for Android, Steam Deck, and Switch. The battery also lasts a bit longer than the Ultimate, reaching 20 hours before needing to be plugged in.
Xbox Elite Series 2
It’s expensive, but Microsoft didn’t skimp on any corner with the Elite Series 2. With an ergonomic design, premium build quality, rubberized grips, interchangeable components (like analog sticks and D-Pads), four rear buttons, trigger locks, and a staggering 40-hour battery life, the Elite Series 2 is the ultimate PC controller in pro gaming. Style. If you don’t need all of these features or want something cheaper, you can pick that up Elite Series Core 2 for $130, although there are no back buttons and other customization options. You can use third-party components such as B. Back pad, purchase separately.
Victrix Pro BFG
The Victrix Pro BFG looks incredibly aggressive, but its inventive design also allows it to be highly modular. Controller modules on each side can be pulled out in seconds using the tool provided. You can switch from the default offset stick layout to an aligned setting. You can also switch between three different D-Pads – the eight-way shown above, and the traditional Cross Pad – and change the thumbstick caps to shorter and taller formats. It even comes with a six-button microswitch battle pad for the right side of the controller. The triggers can be locked at five different pull distances depending on your preference, and there are four well-placed rear triggers. You can remap inputs on the fly and save up to three control profiles.
Although the Pro BFG doesn’t feel As premium as the Elite Series 2, it’s the best pro-style controller when it comes to customization. Technically, it is designed for PS5 (and PS4), but also works wirelessly and wired with the PC.
Xbox wireless controller
Microsoft made minimal changes to its controller when moving from Xbox One to Xbox Series X – but why fix something that ain’t broke? The Xbox Wireless Controller has garnered countless fans over the years thanks to its simple, no-frills design. Best of all, it’s fully compatible with PC, making it a great choice for people who want to play on Series X and their computer. It’s also a great option for using Game Pass on PC, as it automatically syncs with the software and lets you play without fiddling around in a bunch of settings menus.
While your DualSense controller is a great option for most PC games, it’s your best bet when playing PlayStation ports, as they support advanced features like haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. But no matter what you play, the DualSense’s ergonomic design and premium materials are hard to beat. Add in a built-in microphone and 3.5mm jack and you have a well-rounded gamepad. It’s a bit pricey at $70, but you’re undoubtedly getting a quality controller.
Switch pro controller
Finding a comfortable, ergonomic controller is largely up to the user, with hand size and personal preference being the key driving factors. But many gamers will likely agree that the Switch Pro Controller is a great option that will suit almost everyone. You won’t find any back buttons or customizable components, but the Switch controller is a well-built Bluetooth controller with an excellent battery life (around 40 hours) that’s perfect for most types of gaming. So if you’re transitioning from battle royales to RPGs and want to make sure your hands are comfortable during extended gaming sessions, put the Switch Pro Controller at the top of your list.
Razer Wolverine V2 Chroma
Are you looking for a controller with luxurious, tactile buttons and triggers? Look no further than the Razer Wolverine V2 Chroma. There’s a lot to love about the gamepad (including a sleek design and the back buttons), but it’s the mecha-tactile action buttons and microswitch D-pad that will win you over. These offer you extremely responsive input and a satisfying “click” with each press. You can even enable a hair trigger mode to make its triggers fire faster. That’s a big selling point for people who like fast-paced multiplayer games, as it should give you a slight edge over the competition. Keep in mind that this particular Wolverine controller only supports a wired connection.
PowerA Fusion Pro 2
If you want the reliability of a wired controller (or just don’t want to hassle with charging batteries), then you should definitely check out the PowerA Fusion Pro 2. Equipped with a detachable set of back paddles, locking triggers for faster actuation, rubberized grips, and high-quality analog sticks, this wired controller is one of the best third-party wired controllers out there. It’s also a lot more expensive than most wired controllers, priced at $90 — though it’s often on sale. There are two faceplates available, black or white, and the 10ft cable should give you plenty of room to route it around your Battlestation or relax in your gaming chair without worrying about it breaking is unplugged.
8BitDo SN30 Pro
8BitDo knows exactly what it’s doing as this is the company’s third entry on this list. The SN30 Pro offers many of the same features that make the Ultimate and Pro 2 so compelling, but with a retro flair not often found in controllers of this caliber. Inspired by the classic SNES gamepad, you’re treated to a nostalgic design coupled with tons of modern conveniences – like a rechargeable battery, USB-C input, Bluetooth support, and support for Switch and Steam Deck along with the PC. Its D-Pad is also incredibly responsive and designed to prevent accidental inputs, making it a great game for fighting games and beat ’em ups. And while it looks like a Super Nintendo controller, the SN30 Pro also has all the inputs you need for modern gaming.
The products discussed here have been independently selected by our editors. GameSpot may receive a portion of the revenue if you purchase something featured on our site.