Gaming For PC (GFPC)

5 Best PC Controllers [2023 Refresh]

Best PC controller

Table of Contents

Whenever we talk about PC gaming and dive into peripherals, the mouse and keyboard are the first things that come to mind. The mouse and keyboard combo is extremely cohesive and using one without the other is virtually impossible. 

There’s no doubt that if we conducted a survey, they’d be the natural choice for operating a PC by users and especially PC gamers. However, times are changing, and so are peripherals. There have been attempts by the PC user base to leave this inseparable combo and move towards other methods of input but that has failed numerous times. 

On closer analysis, however, there has been a little bit of success when targeting gamers. This milestone has been achieved by optimizing gameplay for controllers in some games. The association of controllers with certain games has been strengthened enough that gamers have started to use controllers while playing those games on the PC too! 

The old combo we all use in our comfort zones is no doubt a good choice for FPS gaming, but some games like Need for Speed, the Asphalt series, Forza Horizon, and other racing games are difficult to play with a mouse and keyboard. The advent of controllers in the PC gaming domain has made these types of games more fun and much easier to play. They did it, didn’t they? 

If you aren’t familiar with the term ‘controller’, its modern iteration is a handheld device that contains 2 or more joysticks and a series of buttons. The joysticks are mainly used for movement, either of a character or vehicle, whereas the buttons are used for any other purposes like punching or applying a car’s handbrake, depending on the genre of the game. 

If you are one of those willing to buy a controller for a PC, we have a guide for you that will make your life easier by helping you decide from the best 5 PC controllers on the market. They aren’t ordered by rank, as we thought it best to leave the decision of which is the best option to our readers. Here’s a sneak peek of the best PC controllers of 2023: 

Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2

Best PC controller

The first PC gaming controller we’ll look into is the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2. This controller has been designed by Microsoft’s gaming brand, Xbox, specifically for gaming purposes. The weight of this controller is 345 g (around .76 lbs), which is a little bit heavier than your average controller, but its battery life is an impressive 40 gaming hours. The 3.5mm headphone jack makes it easy to connect to a headset.

As for charging, the rechargeable battery takes about 3 to 4 hours of charging time via a USB C-type port, which is known for fast and easy charging support. The Xbox Elite Series 2 uses Bluetooth for connectivity which enhances its spec sheet even further by providing enhanced connectivity. 

It has adjustable tension thumbsticks, with shorter hair trigger locks. Along with that, its rubberized handles provide a very firm grip on the controller that doesn’t tire your hand. The controller uses a lithium-ion battery which can fast charge due to high current input. The Xbox Elite Controller Series 1 wasn’t that popular due to issues with wireless connection and problems with the control buttons. 

The joystick also had a lot of bugs. But the Elite Series 2 has proven to be a great successor, as all the problems that the community had noticed have been removed. However, there have been some complaints about it being overpriced considering its specifications. 

Sony DualSense Wireless Controller

Sony DualSense Wireless Controller for PC

Our next pick is the Sony DualSense Wireless controller. This controller was released for the new PlayStation 5. It also supports PC gaming but comes with some restrictions. The official release of this controller was 18 June 2021. 

It comes in 3 different color shades: Cosmic Red, Midnight Black, and White, each having its different price with White being the cheapest. It has a very modern vibe that makes it more visually appealing than other controllers. The joysticks are on-the-spot, which helps enhance the haptic effect of this controller. The buttons are quite soft, and the touch is quite pleasant. 

It has a total weight of 210 g (0.46 lbs). This is much lighter compared to other famous controllers like Xbox Wireless Controller. The dimensions of the controller are 19.9 cm x 7 cm x 19 cm. To power up a seamless Bluetooth connection, it uses 2 lithium-ion batteries to juice it up. 

Even though it houses more batteries than other controllers on the market, the battery life is only 7 to 8 hours, even less than the standard Xbox Wireless Controller, which contains one 2x AA battery, but still provides 30 hours of battery life. When used on a PC, users cannot take advantage of the adaptive triggers, as they aren’t supported at the moment. 

Games on the Steam platform support the DualSense controller, but you might find issues when using it with non-Steam games, as they aren’t fully compatible with all games. However, due to a huge PC gamer base, it isn’t expected to take long to bring all these features to Windows too. Sony has worked hard to make such a sleek and modernistic design, and once it has added compatibility for more games, it will outshine the competition.

Xbox Wireless Controller

Xbox Wireless Controller That Works On PC

Up next is the standard Xbox Wireless Controller. This gaming controller was released by Microsoft on October 27, 2015, for both PlayStation and Xbox systems, but is now also compatible with Windows 7, 8, and 10. 

It has remained one of the best controllers since its release and has a solid build quality. This was one of the first controllers that came with wireless technology. The controller has a total dimension of ‎16.41 cm x 11.71 cm x 6.91 cm and a total weight of 281g (0.62 lbs), which is much lighter when compared to the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2. 

Bluetooth was added to this controller in 2016 due to community pressure and it now covers all basic gamer requirements. It has a comfortable feel to it, due to the textured rubber grips on both sides. The hybrid D-pad also has a great interface. 

The batteries used in the controller are two AA batteries, which provide a battery life of 30 to 40 hours on a 4-hour recharge. At the community’s request, one more feature added to the Xbox Wireless Controller was the Share button, which allows the player to take screenshots and capture gameplay footage with just the push of a button. Best of all, it isn’t hefty on your pockets due to its simplicity.

PowerA Spectra Wired Controller

PowerA Spectra Wired Controller

Next on our list is the PowerA Spectra Wired Controller. This is the best budget PC controller on the market. The main platforms it works on are the Xbox Series X and Windows. 

It was officially released on 14 June 2021. It has a total weight of 447g to 490g (about 0.99 lbs) depending on the color you choose, as the controller comes in multiple colors. The dimensions of the PowerA Spectra Controller are 16 cm x 11 cm x 6.5 cm. 

One cool feature that has not been seen in many other controllers is its LED lighting. It has an edge lighting effect which looks amazing, especially against the jet-black color model. The edge lighting can either be solidified or changed to form a rippled pattern by using the controller’s dedicated app. 

Also, the buttons are quite smooth and comfortable, which makes the experience even better. It is quite cheap and affordable for many players’ budgets. It also contains 2 mappable buttons on the back, which increases its value even further. 

This controller lacks wireless connectivity, which is a huge drawback, as it is common among its competitors to have a Bluetooth option. This controller is essentially a wired Xbox controller, which is fine for PC users used to a mouse and keyboard but becomes a nuisance for most players used to Xbox Wireless Controller.

Razer Wolverine Ultimate – PC Controller

Razer Wolverine Ultimate

The last PC controller to enter our list of top 5 gaming PC controllers is the Razer Wolverine Ultimate. It is the creation of one of the most famous companies in the world of gaming accessories: Razer. 

This controller was released to the community on 28 December 2017 and since then has been one of the most famous and commonly used controllers. This is mostly thanks to the feel of its keys and its infamous chroma lighting effect. The keys on it feel like those of a mechanical keyboard. It is a multi-platform controller, compatible with the basic Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and also PC. 

The total weight of this PC controller is 272g (0.6 lbs), which is a little bit heavy, but not as heavy as the PowerA Spectra Wired Controller. The dimensions of the controller are ‎10.6 cm x 15.5 cm x 6.6 cm. The swappable sticks and the loud, satisfying controller buttons are what make it unique compared to other controllers on the market. 

The Razer Wolverine Ultimate doesn’t require batteries, as it’s one major flaw is that it is wired only. This isn’t much of a problem for most PC users but makes it difficult to use for many Xbox players. Also, for a wired controller, it is quite costly. 


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