Gaming on PC has its own benefits, like the freedom to switch to any peripheral be it keyboard & mouse, a steering wheel, or even a controller. While first-person shooters are best experienced using a keyboard and mouse, thanks to their low response times and the mouse’s pinpoint accuracy. Though some might find a controller to be better suited for open-world and RPG games, which on its own is a whole other experience, and thanks to Steam’s ability to personalize any controller connected to your system, there are limitless possibilities on how you can configure it to your liking.
If you’re looking to get a controller then take a look at some of the best controllers you can buy for your PC.
Xbox Wireless Controller – Microsoft
A classic case of if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, the original Xbox 360 controller was solid all around and felt good even after long gaming sessions. The Xbox One controller retained almost all of its predecessor’s aspects and improved its design, giving it a sleeker look and better vibration motors along with new YBAX keys that feel clicker.
The Series X|S Controller remained largely the same, except it added an extra ‘share’ button in the middle of the controller, added a disk-shaped d-pad akin to their ‘Elite’ controllers, and also included a USB C port which is capable of plug and play. The controller also includes a 3.5mm headphone jack as well as Bluetooth which makes pairing it with your PC relatively easier.
If you’re all about aesthetics, the controllers come in multiple designs and colors to choose from.
DualShock 4 Wireless Controller – Sony
The DualShock 4 is a bit tricky to set up with your PC.
The controller itself is quite comfortable and has a decent grip, while its analogue sticks, d-pad and triggers are tactile and smooth. DualShock 4 also has a motion sensor which works with multiple games and a touchpad which you can use to control the mouse pointer on your desktop. Like the Xbox One/Series Controller, it features a 3.5mm headphone jack and built-in Bluetooth, although it uses a Micro USB port for charging, rather than USB C.
DualShock 4 also comes in multiple colors and designs, ranging from plain colors to camos.
Logitech F310 & F710 Controllers
If you’re on a tight budget, yet you’re looking to invest in a controller then you can’t go wrong with either of these. The F310 is the cheaper option out of the two, and is a simple plug and play controller with its analog sticks positioned like a DualShock controller yet it retains the Xbox’s ABXY buttons. However, it lacks vibration motors, has a plastic body, and is a bit smaller than most controllers and If you don’t mind being restrained by cables, then the F310 is perfect for your needs.
Its sibling, the F710 is slightly pricier but feels much more premium thanks to its rubberized grips, vibration motors, and its wireless functionality. But there is no way to turn off the controller which drains the battery faster than you might expect, and it uses external batteries, and changing the batteries tends to get tedious.
Regardless of their shortcomings, they’re a no nonsense option for some casual gaming.
Steam Controller – Valve
Perhaps the most unconventional controller in this list, Steam Controller doesn’t just function as a controller but it also has the capability to replace your mouse and keyboard too. It was designed to be paired with the Steam Link streaming device to let you play PC games on your TV. The controller has an ergonomic shape and features dual trackpads which are 1:1 accurate so you wouldn’t miss a single shot, tactile triggers, and immersive haptics. It also features a gyroscope and accelerometer which lets it function as a racing wheel and can be used both wired and wirelessly.
But its main selling point was how customizable it is as every single button was mappable, and its dual trackpads made it easier to play first-person games. Unfortunately, the controller was discontinued in 2019 due to diminishing returns, but you can still grab it from various retailers such as Amazon.