If you’ve been playing on consoles all your life using a controller, you will struggle to achieve the same performance using a mouse and a keyboard. That’s why, in this list we reviewed the 5 best PC gaming controllers available in the market in 2019. After countless hours of research, we were able to conclude that the best ones available right now are the ones that follow. We ranked them based on their prices, quality, durability and more. Let’s get started.
1. Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
The winner of our best pc gaming controllers list is the Nintendo Switch Pro controller. With the introduction of the Nintendo Switch, the console hybrid that wants to connect both portable gaming fans and those that want to game on TV. It has done a good job with its small controllers that are perfect for portable play, but lack the more traditional feel of the Xbox and PS4 controller. The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller has a more robust feeling and has all the buttons and axis that you can find on the traditional controllers. It has done a pleasant job of designing an excellent controller.
In terms of aesthetics and function, it looks like the Xbox One controller. The button and axis layout are the same as in the Xbox controller. The triggers have a great tactile response, but not up to par with its competitor’s performance. The analog sticks rotate smoothly and are pretty responsive. Action buttons have a satisfying and clicky feel to it, similar to the Dualshock 4 buttons. And the famous Nintendo directional pad makes a return. A welcome feature for older fans who have enjoyed Nintendo from the NES days.
While playing you will feel that the Pro Controller is a nice upgrade from the Joy-Cons, it is really better in some games. But in some games the Joy-Cons perform better. It is the fault of the Switch library and games designed for different controls. It is very versatile and works with every system. It can connect to the PC in a breeze, but it needs you to set the controls manually for each game. Other than that it is great for PC gaming.
The vibration on the Pro Controller is very good, although it doesn’t have the nuances of the HD rumble of the Joy-Cons. Still, it is better than the outdated feedback of the other controllers. After owning the Pro Controller for some time, you will see that this is the comfiest controller on the market, hands-down. It may not have some features that many pro-gamers would like, but it is a nice and comfortable controller that Nintendo has designed for people who want just to relax while playing.
A must buy if you value your comfort and experience, and your budget as well.
2. Steam Controller
Steam has released the Steam Controller before releasing the SteamOS. It released it as a controller that would bridge the gap between PC and console gamers. This controller aims to do everything, to be the best controller for every game. Also, it wants to eliminate the need for a keyboard and mouse. It is a bold goal and a very interesting product, that is innovative and a breath of fresh air.
Setting up the controller is effortless. Place the batteries in the back slot. Plug in the USB Bluetooth receiver turn on the controller and you are set to go.
When talking about the design of the Steam controller, opinions are very diverse and vary from one to another. Personally, I think that despite being large and bubbly in general this controller has a smooth vibe going on with it. Yes it is big, but it is also elegant. Not an eye strain. Holding the controller feels a little strange at first, a little bubbly and fat. However, after a while it becomes very comfortable, as you start getting used to its ergonomics.
The buttons placed on the Steam Controller are similar to those of Xbox, but smaller and placed where you usually have the right stick. This is probably done to leave space to the large touchpads. It has just one analogue stick that is really high quality, stiff enough with plenty of responsiveness and rough-rubber top for comfort and grip.
There are two touchpads, of which one rests in the place where buttons rest in traditional controllers and the other in the place of the D-pad, again in the traditional controllers. Touchpads have buttons and haptic engines beneath them that give you a slight nudge where your thumb is resting. The touchpad on the left has a large plus pressed on it, giving it a D-pad feel. Although the other pad is purposed to feel like your mouse cursor.
The gaming experience varies from game to game but generally it is a nice experience. However, it will definitely not replace the mouse and keyboard setting. The accuracy and precision are not the same as in those. But it is a nice change of pace and would be convenient for lots of other games other than competitive shooters.
3. Logitech Gamepad F310
Most of the PC gamers that usually tend to play adventure games, platformers, or racing games have considered owning a controller to have a better experience and easier gameplay. But a large number of them have considered the prices of PC controllers and have strayed away from the idea. But with the Logitech Gamepad F310 you can have your own gaming controller for the price of a meal in a chain fast food restaurant.
It has a ridiculous look, to be honest, looks like a modern PlayStation 2 controller with a ’90s SNES twist, but designed by a caricaturist. But at that price it is not wise to expect an Xbox One controller design. Apart from the aesthetics the controller feels flimsy and light. It has two analogue mini-sticks, button and trigger on each side, the directional pad and four action buttons that are programmable. In the middle there are the Start, Mode and Back buttons. Under the controller there is a switch that will allow you to switch between Xinput and DirectInput. It is recommended to download the Logitech software to configure the controller to your liking.
The whole process of installing the controller is very easy. You just plug it in, and just install the drivers in Windows 10, most of which is done automatically. Then you are done just run your favorite platformer and play until dawn.
Despite having a flimsy feel and not superb build quality, the buttons of the F310 have very good tactile feedback, the sticks are smooth enough and the triggers are a little bit stiff but very responsive. Nothing to worry about in the control input department, just the D-pad feels like it is not as durable as other buttons. I would not recommend this controller to gamers who tend to get a little angrier in their gaming sessions. There are controllers who can withstand abuse and occasional throwing, but Logitech Gamepad F310 is not one of them.
I would recommend this controller to everyone who is a regular gamer that doesn’t require high performance from a controller. It has a funny design and not great build quality, but with its good buttons and its amazing affordability, it is worth giving it a try.
4. MSI Force GC30
A lot of gaming peripheral manufacturers are designing their own controllers with various features and advantages. MSI is a known brand in the gaming industry for its wide range of peripherals with high quality and amazing value. MSI has introduced a controller under the Force series, the GC30. It has wireless connectivity and is compatible even for the Xbox and PlayStation, and naturally for PC.
Design wise it resembles so much to the original Xbox 360 controller, meaning it is pretty small. At the sides it has a piece of large textured rubber for improved grip on each side. The directional pad of the MSI Force GC30 can be swapped between the heptagonal faceplate and the 4-directional D-pad. The heptagonal faceplate is a very welcomed feature by the fight game fans, as it allows them to have better control over their inputs, which is important for combos.
The controller offers multiple modes. One of those modes is the default mode. While in default mode the Windows 10 system will detect the MSI Force GC30 as a native Xbox 360 controller. The Android mode on the other hand, is used for connecting the controller with android phones. For the games that have native controller support it worked pretty well and flawlessly.
The triggers and buttons feel tight and responsive. Although, the triggers have shorter travel distances opposed to other controllers we tested. The sticks are very comfortable and very responsive to the thumb movements. Every input was registered and swerving motions are registered smoothly. The sticks have interesting characteristics that will suit various of gameplay styles. Moreover, the sticks are clickable and can even be clicked from any angle.
The dual force motors provide good feedback for major and some minor effects, it is not as accurate as of the Xbox controller, but it is still pretty good for an unofficial controller. You can easily guess the build quality of the MSI Force GC30 from its substantial weight, and sturdy and quality build material. Every part of the controller feels natural and sturdy. Excellent delivery from MSI.
It definitely provides the most value you can get from a controller with its versatility and long button life and general build quality.
5. Sony DualShock 4
Starting our best pc gaming controllers list, we have a product by Sony. The Dualshock 4, Sony’s 4th generation controller for its 4th generation of consoles. It has fixed its own predecessor’s flaws and has added some clever features. It may have been launched at the end of 2013 together with the PlayStation 4, but its design still is modern and pretty much the best for consoles. It can be connected to the PC, however, you can not use the complete number of features.
Until the introduction of the Dualshock 4 the design of the PlayStation controller was somewhat unchanged, they featured the same design that was a classic but it was getting old, and the competition was producing better controllers like the Xbox One controller that was comfortable and had a clever design. The Dualshock 4 did not change everything, it continues most of the themes from the original Dualshock. But now it has a rounder, sleeker frame that is a bit larger than its predecessors. It is a joy to hold feels comfortable and natural. Moreover, the touchpad and the speakers are new additions that give it a more futuristic feel. Also, I should mention Dualshock 4’s build quality and durability are the best in the market.
The touchpad acts like a button itself as well. In the newer designs of the Dualshock 4 the touchpad has a light bar above it, providing added experience and intuitive feedback. The trackpad is also somewhat accurate in its directional orientation and added a new way to play games. The analog sticks are very responsive and been upgraded for better grip.
The Dualshock 4 is somewhat compatible with PC. First you have to buy the separately sold the USB Wireless adaptor, to connect the controller wirelessly. The wireless audio capabilities will be inaccessible when playing from the PC. But still it is one very useful and convenient, if you game both on the console and on PC.
The Dualshock 4 in my opinion is the near perfect console controller, and one of the best for PC, just if it had better PC support. The controller is the most durable and better-built controllers in the market. It has a moderate price and has tons of color schemes and special editions to please you.