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While some of us are perfectly happy using a mouse and keyboard for PC gaming, sometimes a controller is just better. There’s something about playing Halo on PC without a controller that just doesn’t feel right.
There are some great controllers that are made for PC gaming along with console controllers that can be used cross-platform. If you’re looking to add a controller to your PC gaming setup, we’ve got a few suggestions for you.
Before we dive in, let’s keep in mind that this article only focuses on traditional controllers. If you’re looking for something a little more niche, check out our guides to racing wheels, flight sticks, and fightpads here, as most of those controllers are PC compatible.
Here are our picks for the best PC gaming controllers.
8BitDo Pro 2 Controller
We’ve sung high praise for 8BitDo gamepads in the past, and we’ll use any excuse to do it again. In our review of the 8BitDo Pro 2, we called it one of the best third-party controllers out there (and the best you can buy 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 has been designed with a ‘classic’ feel in mind and has two ‘Pro-Level’ buttons on the back. This controller comes with the 8BitDo Ultimate Software, which gives you a lot of options when it comes to customizing your button assignment, joystick sensitivity, vibration control, and creating macros.
Where to buy?: eBay ($69.99) | Kogan ($79) | Amazon Australia ($84.90)
Logitech G F310 Gamepad
Looking for a more affordable option? Logitech is another one of those brands that has a pretty strong 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 buy it). can buy on sale).
The Logitech F310 is a fairly basic PC controller – plug it into a USB-A port and you’re good to go. The form factor is close to the PlayStation’s controller, so there’s a good familiarity when you hold it. The Logitech F310 is a wired controller, which can be a deal breaker for some. The shoulder buttons are also a bit flimsy, so you may have to adjust how you’d normally hold it to compensate for that.
Where to buy?: Amazon Australia ($38) | eBay ($48.90) | Logitech ($59.95)
Razer Wolverine V2 Wired Gaming Controller
In terms of form factor, the Razer Wolverine V2 has everything you could want in a good PC controller. It’s lightweight, has nicely textured side grips, solid mechanical switches with nice feedback and fits comfortably in your hands. It also includes two reassignable multi-function buttons, along with the ability to adjust button assignment, stick sensitivity, and vibration levels.
The only major downside to the Wolverine is that it’s a wired controller – although that might not be too much of a problem if you’re gaming while sitting at your desk. The Razer Wolverine V2 is also compatible with the Xbox Series X/S (which explains why the design is so similar to the console’s native controller).
If you’re someone who needs all their PC accessories to have an RGB feature, there’s a Chroma variant of the Wolverine V2 available. But at $254.95 each, you’d really love your RGB peripherals.
Where to buy?: eBay ($129) | Microsoft ($169.95) | Razer ($169.95)
Sony PS5 DualSense wireless controller
If you already own a PlayStation 5, there’s good news: you already have a fantastic PC controller on hand. The PS5’s DualSense controller is fantastic – it’s sturdy and comfortable with accurate feedback. “Pushing buttons feels good” seems like such an obvious metric for a controller, but the DualSense feels really good 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 easily connect it directly to your PC. It is important that the USB cable can carry data, not just power.
If you want to keep everything wireless, go to your PC’s Bluetooth settings. Now grab your disconnected and power off PS5 controller and hold the PS button and the Create button at the same time. After pressing those 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?: Amazon Australia ($89) | eBay ($99) | Kogan ($99.95)
Xbox Wireless Controller
Like the PS5, the controller that comes 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 well it improved on the already great design of the Xbox One controller. It has improved tactility and is more comfortable to hold and use.
The Xbox Wireless Controller connects directly to your PC via a USB cable or via Bluetooth.
To pair your controller with Bluetooth, press and hold the Pair button for three seconds until the Xbox button starts blinking. 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 doesn’t work when connected via Bluetooth.
Where to buy: Amazon Australia ($89) | eBay ($89) | Microsoft ($89.95)