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While some of us are perfectly content with using a mouse and keyboard when 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 out there that have been made for PC gaming, along with console controllers that can be used cross-platform. If you’ve been looking to add a controller to your PC gaming set-up, we’ve got a few suggestions for you.
Before we dive in, we should note that this article is only focusing on traditional controllers. If you’re in the market for something a bit more niche, you can head over here to check out our guides for racing wheels, flight sticks and fight pads, as most of those controllers are compatible with PC.
Here are our picks for the best PC gaming controllers.
8BitDo Pro 2 Controller
We’ve sung the praises of 8BitDo gamepads a lot in the past, and we’ll take any excuse we can to do it again. In our review of the 8BitDo Pro 2, we called it one of the best third-party controllers around (and the best one you can pick up 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’s been designed with a “classic” feel in mind and includes two “Pro-Level” buttons on its back. This controller comes bundled with the 8BitDo Ultimate Software, which gives you a lot of options when it comes to customizing your button mapping, joystick sensitivity, vibration control and creating macros.
Where to buy it: eBay ($69.99) | Kōgan ($79) | Amazon Australia ($84.90)
Logitech G F310 Gamepad
Looking for a more affordable option? Logitech is another one of those brands that have 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 can nab it on sale).
The Logitech F310 is a fairly no-frills PC controller – plug it into a USB-A port and you’re ready to go. Its form factor is close to the PlayStation’s controller, so there’s a nice familiarity when holding it. The Logitech F310 is a wired controller, which might be a deal breaker for some. Its shoulder buttons are also a bit thin, so you might need to adjust how you’d normally hold it to compensate for that.
Where to buy it: 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’d 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 reappable multi-function buttons, along with the ability to customize its button mapping, stick sensitivity and vibration levels.
The only major drawback of the Wolverine is that it’s a wired controller – although that might not be much of an issue 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 its design is so similar to the console’s native controller).
If you’re someone who needs all of their PC accessories to have an RGB function, there is a Chroma variant of the Wolverine V2 available. But at $254.95 a pop, you’d really want to love your RGB peripherals.
Where to buy it: eBay ($129) | Microsoft ($169.95) | Razer ($169.95)
Sony PS5 DualSense Wireless Controller
If you already own a PlayStation 5, then good news, you’ve already got yourself a fantastic PC controller on hand. The PS5’s DualSense controller is fantastic – it’s sturdy and comfortable with precise feedback. “Pushing buttons feels good” seems like such an obvious metric for a controller, but the DualSense really does feel good to use.
To use your PS5 controller with your PC, you’ve got two options: plug-and-play or Bluetooth. For the former, all you need is either a USB-C to USB-A or USB-C cable to simply plug it directly into your PC. It’s important that the USB cable can carry data, not just power.
If you want to keep things wireless, access your PC’s Bluetooth settings. Now grab your disconnected and power off PS5 controller and hold down the PS Button and Create button at the same time. After holding those buttons for a few seconds, the touchpad’s light bar should be blinking and you’ll be able to select the controller from the list of available Bluetooth devices. Congratulations, your PS5 controller is now a PC controller.
Where to buy it: Amazon Australia ($89) | eBay ($99) | Kōgan ($99.95)
xbox wireless controller
Much 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 upon the Xbox One controller’s already great design. It has improved tactility and is more comfortable to hold and use.
The Xbox Wireless Controller can be either connected to your PC directly via USB cable or via Bluetooth.
To pair your controller with Bluetooth, you need to hold the Pair button for three seconds until the Xbox button starts flashing. 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 won’t work when connected via Bluetooth.
Where to buy it: Amazon Australia ($89) | eBay ($89) | Microsoft ($89.95)