What are Game Controllers?
You probably have a controller for your gaming PC, but do you know what makes a good one? I don’t. I mean, I know that there are good ones out there—I just don’t follow the industry or know about anything newer than the Xbox 360 controller. But after lots of research and consideration, I think I’ve come up with some solid recommendations. Here’s what you should look for in a gamepad:
Is this something you’ll primarily use at home? If so, comfort may be more important to you than if it’s something you’ll take on the go. It needs to fit snugly in your hands while still giving enough room to grip it firmly without feeling cramped. Is it wireless? It doesn’t need to be wirelessly connected to your gaming PC because controllers aren’t known for their battery life (even though wired controllers seem to last forever). But if the controller is wireless, does it have a long range so that you can move around without losing connection? Does it need batteries or does it plug directly into your console or computer via USB? Are all the buttons easy to reach and press quickly when needed? It doesn’t matter how pretty your gamepad is if playing games on it is frustrating due because of confusing button placements. Do most games require an official controller from their manufacturer, or will third-party controllers work with them too (and has any third party ever made a gamepad that feels as comfortable as an Xbox 360 pad)? Is there any special software required when setting up the controller (software can make things annoying), or can you plug and play right away? How much will this pesky thing cost me (both for now and later on)? You’d be surprised at how expensive new controllers are! While most of them are relatively durable (because they’re designed specifically for gamers), keep in mind that they do break eventually—or that maybe your hand size will change over time (people get bigger as they grow older).
Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller
Next year we’ll be in the middle of a console war between Sony and Microsoft, but whatever happens there, one thing is clear: The Xbox One Elite controller will be the best gamepad available for PC gaming in 2023. It’s expensive, but if you’re thinking about picking up a PC as your main gaming platform next year, it’s worth looking into.
The Xbox One Elite controller boasts an excellent design that both fits well with its surroundings and functions impressively well; it’s gorgeous and sensationally tactile while feeling comfortable at the same time. It has enough buttons to provide adequate means of control (not to mention being able to set custom button mappings), but its most remarkable feature is how easy it makes playing games on a PC feel like using an Xbox One controller on your PlayStation 4.
Microsoft Xbox Adaptive Controller
For those who need an upgrade to their existing controller: Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller, coming in 2023, will be the standard-bearer for accessibility. It comes with two large programmable buttons that can be used by the thumbs or with a swiping motion. Additionally, up to three additional buttons can be mounted onto the back of the device and programmed via a USB cable. The Adaptive Controller also connects wirelessly via Bluetooth, allowing it to be used on Windows 10 PCs, though it requires a USB cable to connect to an Xbox One console. Despite these extra bells and whistles, gamers with limited mobility should find it easy to use—it is designed in collaboration with organizations like SpecialEffect and Warfighter Engaged, which help users who cannot play games independently due to injury or illness. In addition, since it is compatible with PC games (for now), no custom drivers need to be installed for operation; owners just need a PC from 2018 or later and Windows 10 installed on their machine.
The Adaptive Controller launched on October 8th at $100 for those who pre-ordered directly from Microsoft online stores; other customers can purchase it beginning January 5th at an MSRP of $150.
Razer Wolverine Ultimate
As with most things in life, how much you enjoy this controller will depend on your personal preference. Suppose you have small hands and typically don’t play sports games. In that case, the Razer Wolverine Ultimate may feel oddly large—but if you’re a larger person who plays games like Call of Duty or Counter-Strike on PC, it may be just what you need to relieve the stress built up by repeated hand movements.
Now that we’ve established that there are different kinds of people in the world, it’s worth pointing out one more thing about this controller: a high-quality braided fabric cord. It also has an adjustable strap for connecting to your wrist for added stability. This is important if you prefer gripping your controller from above instead of below (the default way to hold a gamepad). While playing titles like Doom or Overwatch, where comfort is key and constant movement is required, this controller will give your hands plenty of support and sturdiness while never moving around or feeling flimsy.
Sony DualShock 4
The best PC game controller in 2023 will be the Sony DualShock 4, which offers a versatile combination of buttons, sticks, and triggers. Although it may not have all the bells and whistles of a Steam controller, this sleek piece wins out with its seamless playability. The touchpad is great for many games, and the motion controls are better than Nintendo’s Wiimote because they don’t require you to wave your arms around randomly. Plus, the light bar has been shown to increase heart rate by approximately 42 beats per minute during gameplay. This can be a big advantage while playing racing games since it encourages players to get more involved in their racing sims.
As far as build quality goes, the DualShock 4’s grips are comfortable and offer enough texture that the controller stays put when you’re playing for long periods; plus, it doesn’t feel too small for large hands (unlike some other models on our list). And did we mention that it requires no cords? One of our favorite features when comparing this controller to others on the market right now.
Nintendo Switch Pro Controller and Joy-Cons
In 2022, there are several options for PC gamers who want to play the latest games with the best hardware. While a keyboard and mouse will always be viable, some players may appreciate being able to use a controller that feels more familiar when gaming on their computer. This guide covers the different kinds of controllers available in 2023 and which ones will satisfy different kinds of owners.
The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is one of the most popular options, with its traditional button layout and solid feel. Add-on kits can also be used to augment functionality. The buttons click in satisfyingly, but sometimes you might accidentally press them if you’re not used to their position on the controller or your hand slips slightly when touching them. In addition, the D-pad isn’t as precise as other controllers available, and it doesn’t have an analog stick (which means no first-person shooters). For many players, this won’t matter because they’ll be using a mouse anyway, but some might miss having an analog stick for moving inside an RPG’s menu system or pixel art game like Super Meat Boy or Cuphead.
The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is great if you plan on playing most games on your computer with a controller instead of just a keyboard and mouse—especially those that require quick reflexes or skillful maneuvering in 3D space (for example, platformers like Cuphead). It’s also good for emulating classic game consoles via programs like Cemu (so long as you’re not using it for first-person shooters). We prefer using it for classic indie games since we don’t usually play them competitively or at high speed.
If You’re Looking for Extra Gaming Controls, the Best PC Game Controllers Are Here
If you’re looking for extra controls to enhance your gaming experience, several excellent options are available.
What controller you pick depends on your needs. If you’re a casual gamer, the Xbox One Controller may be all you need. This controller is often included with new Xbox consoles and includes control sticks for advanced gaming maneuvers. It uses AA batteries and has vibration feedback that helps you feel in-game action.
As the most popular console system, Microsoft has produced an array of different controllers designed to suit various types of gameplay styles and physical abilities. The Elite Wireless Controller, for example, is a compact model explicitly made for serious gamers who want to increase their performance through customization options like swappable thumbsticks and removable paddles that can be attached to the back of the controller via magnetic connectors.
On the flip side, if you have limited mobility or use other adaptive devices in your everyday life (such as a wheelchair), Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller may be ideal for you; this gamepad comes with two large buttons that can easily be pressed by both feet or one hand depending on preference. It also features 18 programmable buttons and connects wirelessly via Bluetooth, so it doesn’t require any additional cables or connections beyond what’s needed to use your existing PC gaming setup. Finally, it can be used in conjunction with several assistive technologies such as eye-tracking software, switches that are mounted on surfaces such as tables or walls via Velcro tape (or stick-on mounts), foot pedals, and voice controls, so users have multiple ways of controlling games without being dependent on any single method.
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