Every PC gamer throughout the years either plays casually either competitively thought about buying a controller. Keyboard and mouse might do the job as well but for some games and type of gamers a controller would be essential to play a game to the maximum or to be able to compete to the maximum.
Especially later in these years where esports have grown tremendously we have seen several manufacturers to get into the market and bring to us some of the best controllers that we could use in our PC gaming.
This is the reason we made this review where you will be able to check the best controllers that they are currently on the market, read together with us every aspect that makes this controller valuable and what will bring into your game.
Off course in this review we included controllers that would be better for casual gaming but you will be able to read about the best controllers, modded or not, that are currently out the market and what are the possibilities you will have with those.
We assorted the controllers on three different categories, Casual Gaming, Competitive Gaming and Esports.
- In the Casual gaming category are the controllers that are mainly for gamers that want a controller to support their gameplay in various games without any additional feature but with great gaming experience.
- Competitive gaming category is for those that they would like to buy a controller with some extras as they don’t play daily for fun but they are professionals or they want to be and they want a controller to support this. Off course it also recommended for casual gamers that want to bring something more in their gameplay.
- In the Esports category you will be able to find the controllers that are designed for professional use, based on esports player’s demands and requirements. You will find also customizable controllers that you can order and adjust them based on your needs and the game you want to play.
Taking in consideration all these facts below today you will check the best controllers review that you can buy today in the market. First we are going to present you the best controllers that could suit you for casual and competitive gaming and while we go through we will check some of the best choices intended for competitive gaming.
Lets do this!
SONY DUALSHOCK 4
Sony really made a breakthrough when they released the Dualschock 4 as it was the first controller from Sony that was really loved from the gamers. Not only from those that they were playing Sony Playstation 4 but from PC gamers as well.
Dualschock 4 combines the old Sony history together with a high end build than can give a great gaming experience for the PC gaming. There are not too many things to be said and explained for this controller as every games had tried it once and really knows how good it feels in the gameplay.
Grip & Buttons
The grip of this gamepad is really good as you really can feel the controller in your hands and it is weighting only 210g. The parallel thumbsticks might be more comfortable for your and help your gameplay might not. Most of DS4 users admit that they don’t have a problem with this and sometimes it might be more comfortable than the Xbox One line up.
The buttons are clicky as you need and the triggers are really sensitive in order to fulfil ever gaming aspiration you might have.
It might not give you any customization options but let’s take it serious and think about the controller at its value. The gamepad is fully compatible with every PC and it is really easy to connect it and start playing. Only the Share and the Options button they are not really doing nothing as they are clearly for the Playstation 4 features.
You will not be tired with this gamepad after hours of gameplay while even the battery does not last so long it is enough to enjoy couple of hours of casual gaming.
From our point of view DS4 is one of the best choices to consider if you want a good gaming controller for daily use, easy to connect and off course you can try it everywhere before you buy it.
Steam Controller by Valve
When Valve and Steam announced that they are going to release a controller that will be fully compatible for PC and with the Steam Big Screen features we were really looking forward for it.
Now the Steam Controller is out in the market for a year now we can understand why gamers loved it and really supported it through this period.
We need to be clear that the Steam Controller is a gamepad for pure casual gaming that you will be able to enjoy at the most, but not for competitive gaming as it was not designed for this purpose.
The design first of all is totally different from any other controller but this is something that is making this gamed unique. It is a device that has all the controller features but also give you the feel of the mouse precise when you are going to use it FPS for example.
The grips are curved up and that give the controller more stability while the face is also designed from scratch. The basic feature that should take a look are the two circular pads.
The two top bumpers and triggers are very clicky and you can feel them right in your fingers while you are going to use it.
The huge advantage of this gamepad is that give you the opportunity to play games that are not fully controller supported. You will also be able to play strategy games and have the precise of the mouse while you want to order your troops.
You will need some time to get used to it, but without no time you will love the Steam Controller. Let’s not forget that Valve and Steam are really work on the continuous development of this controllers based on the community’s suggestions and requests.
Bottom line is that the Steam Controller is a great choice for gamers that wants a fully compatible controller with the precision of a mouse to play all kinds of games they would like to. Excellent controller with supportive development team and a great price.
SteelSeries Stratus XL
SteelSeries is known for all the gaming peripherals is offering to us and you will be able to find some of the best gaming mice and keyboards in the market under their brand. But they decided to develop and release back in 2015 a gaming controller that is going to be able to compete against the others in the market.
SteelSeries never announced that they released a controller for competitive gaming with extra buttons etc. but they released a very good, stable controller with some nice extra features and a very nice design.
Stratus XL is something different than the common PC controllers even if it not bringing something new in the market.
The gamepad has a nice curved down grip and it is really comfortable in the hands. Buttons are not very clicky and sometimes you will have to press harder but the overall feel of them is good.
Analog sticks might be a problem for some people as they are a little bit rigid comparing to other controllers, so in this case you might also need to use some extra power while you are using it.
The battery of the controller can live up around 35 to 40 hours of gaming, which is not bad for a gamepad at this price. There is also the LED indicator that tells you always how much battery you have left.
The most important part that makes it different from the other controllers in this category and gives to it a small feature is the customization that SteelSeries offer for the controller, like for every other gaming related product she produces.
SteelSeries Engine 3 application will give you the opportunity to customize every aspect of the controller based on your gaming needs. You can adjust the analog stick sensitivity, considering the fact that they are bit stiff, the triggers and bumpers.
This is a great feature that comes together with the controllers and together with the solid design and build it make the Stratus XL a good choice.
Overall Stratus XL is not a controller that made the breakthrough or it was an innovative one. But it is a good choice if you want something different from the classics and you really like the customization option. In this budget this controller can offer you both, but if the customizing it is not a feature for you it might be better to consider the other options.
Razer was one of the first companies that started to make pro controllers for gamers and one of the best addition she brought to the market was the Razer Wildcat. A controller that is built and developed for professional players with extra four customizable and programmable buttons on its back.
Razer Wildcat has a very nice design and colors, with the additional Razer rubber grip that you can adjust on the sides. But nevertheless you can feel the plastic design and on it as Razer wanted to give a clear focus on the functions that will help the player rather in the style. Thumbsticks are carbon made and they have a great feel while the buttons are very clicky and you will feel coming back instantly comparing to other controllers.
Razer Wildcat come with two four extra buttons, two removable triggers and two bumpers. The triggers are located in the back while the bumpers between the main bumpers on the top of the controllers.
These extra buttons are fully customizable and can be programmed based on your needs. This is a great feature as you will be able to adjust every extra bumper or remapping the whole controller with the simple Razer app on the background.
There is also the panel that is in front of the controller and there are buttons where you can change profiles, mute the mic an adjust the volume balance. This extra feature was really loved by many professional gamers as it is something unique that Razer brought into the market and simplify many things during a tournament.
The Wildcat is an actual competitor of the Xbox One Elite as the price tag put both controllers even. The option would be yours as there are some small differences you might want to take into consideration while choosing a controller.
Overall Razer Wildcat is a good, solid controller with customizable options that can be used from any professional player that wants something extra from his gameplay.
Powera Fusion Pro
We have to admit that Powera is not a manufacturer that it comes up to our mind when we want to buy a controller. They have many gaming accessories but controllers were not their top product.
But after the release of the Fusion Pro and we have to admit that things changed in a good way. Fusion Pro is a high end controller that combines quality, customization and price. They tried to fill the gap between the high end controllers like the Elite and the midrange and we have to admit that the made it.
Powera Fusion is a gamepad in the size of the Xbox One controller but with a little bit bigger buttons in the front. The triggers are bigger as well and that will help you as will need to push less. Analog sticks are a much larger and both have nice edges which give you a nice grip feeling and make the control more precise.
It comes up also with some LED lightning addition that gives the controller a nice look and you can control them via buttons.
The best feature of the Fusion Pro, besides the price, is that it comes with four extra buttons in the back. We are talking about flat buttons that from one hand the design of them reduces the “danger” that you will accidentally hit those buttons but from the other hand you need to try harder to achieve it. There are two bigger and two smaller buttons and you can customize them based on your needs. It is hard to find this feature at another controller and with this price tag.
The customization of the buttons is easy as well as you just need to press the button in the front of the controller and replicate the one you want to.
Powera Fusion Pro could be given the title of the most value for money controller for competitive gaming. It has all the features that will help you reach your skills to the limit, with the extra buttons and the ergonomic design. Off course there is gap between them and the other high end controllers but the gap also is between their prices as Fusion Pro has a very lower one.
Xbox One Elite
Microsoft decided to bring into the market a pro gaming controller after a year of research and we have to admit that they might have brought the best controller we might be able to find in the shops currently.
Xbox Elite is a high end, fully customizable controller with great design that it is aimed mainly for professional gamers who want take advantage of the mods and customization a controller can give them.
It is actually an upgraded version of the Xbox One Controller that comes together with the consoles but there is much more than that. Microsoft conducted a lot of research before coming with this result. The product is combination of experts and professional gamers that together joined powers to create a controller that pro gamers are going to use.
First thing that is going to impress you is the whole package you get when you are buying the Elite Controller. It come together with the carrying case, replaceable d-pads and three sets of thumbsticks based on your style of play. The case is a fabric covered one, in which you will be able to carry and protect the controller together with the accessories.
The design of the Elite Controller is unique. The core body of the Elite Controller remains the same as the classic Xbox One, with some quality changes. The new thumbsticks are stainless, the pads are replaceable and very precise and one of the best features is the grip of the controller. By the first time you will start playing with the Elite you will understand how steady and solid it is in your hands. The grip is a combination of the new rubber matte and the rubber grip on the underside of the controller. Even the extra weight that has comparing to the Xbox One Controller, due to the fact that Microsoft invested in the best materials, this will not be a problem for most of you as the Elite Controller will adjust into your hands and you will not understand the change.
Briefly about the customization, we will have to say that everything can be done only with your hands without any screwdriver or other tool. Thumbsticks and the D-pad fit in the controller with magnets that make it easy to swap them and the triggers on the back have locks than can switched on, off or totally remove them. This is also a great feature of the controller that could make you adjust it even during a game or tournament very easy!
With the Xbox app you will be able to adjust the trigger values, the triggers and the thumbsticks sensitivity with unlimited options and unlimited profiles in your PC. Basically you will be able to change and remap the whole controller with this app so you can understand that you will be able to reinvent the whole controller.
We could say that the Xbox One Elite Controller would be the choice of the ScreaminFingers team as it is currently the best option for pro gamers. The only con could be the price, but considering the options and possibilities that the Elite One gives to players it is a really good investment for everyone.
Bottom line, the Xbox One Elite Controller is really the best one out there!
Evil Controllers – Xbox One Pro
There is a big discussion around the modded controllers that are currently in the market and they were also some people claiming that they were illegal due to the advantage that they are giving to the owners. Evil was one of the first companies started to completely modify and reinvent the controllers and now they have some great solutions for pro gamers.
Just to clarify without any further misunderstanding, those controllers are legal as they currently approved for pro tournaments.
What Evil does is that they are actually take an Xbox One Controller and without changes in the design they totally change the mechanics inside the gamepad. They add a custom faceplate and in the back a matte grip which giving the controller a much better and sturdier hold. You will have two extra remappable buttons in the back that you will be able to customize them at your own. Now here is the most important feature that you get with the Evil controller is the mechanical change of the Buttons and Triggers that are more sensitive with different mechanisms that will give you the opportunity to register any move faster and you can feel them more clicky and with faster feedback.
The Evil controllers are 100% customizable but they offer some ready solutions that might be cheaper and with the same features you would add if you would like to make on tailored made solution.
One last important thing about the legal side of this controller in the gaming pro community. Evil offer controllers that they have gameplay mods. Well those controllers are illegal in the gaming pro community and it is pretty sure that you are going to face some accusations with the use of those.
We are talking about the controllers that you will be able to find in the link with the price of $140,00 that gives you a customized gaming opportunity and much better grip than the stock Xbox One Controller.
With all that said, we think that Evil Controllers are a pretty good solution for pro gamers that they know why they need a tailor made solution. The Xbox One Pro from Evil costs couple of dollars less than the Xbox One Elite, so it is up to you if you would like to go for a tailor made solution or with the Elite.
Scuf is another company that offers tailor made solutions for controllers and they started couple of years after the Evil. They also focus on the total reinvention of the controllers and they give focus both in design and in the mechanical part of the controller.
First we need to say that Scuf is offering also tailor made solutions than you can create a controller from scratch based on what you like and need but here we are going to talk about the on the shelf customized controller from Scuf the Infinity One.
Infinity One is a Microsoft Controller that Scuf is taking it from stock, tear it down and comes up with a totally different controller also from the design point of view. The body has a different grip which you will totally help you feel how steady and solid is the controller which will include also some Scuf logo patterns and LED additions. There is an interchangeable thumbsticks control option that you will give you the chance to change them within seconds, as the Infinity 1 comes with the regular Scuf concave length thumbsticks. At this point we need to mention that all those features are totally customizable so in case you will need something different it is up you to change it.
Now let’s talk about the big extra of the Infinity One which is off course the four extra parallel paddles in the back. They have really nice design and they are easily reachable with your fingers as they cover a large surface on the back of the controller. Off course you will be able to totally customize them, remove the, or even use one or two at the same. This is a great option that Scuf gives to us and every games should take advantage of it. From our point of view this parallel line of those paddles make the gaming more convenient and ergonomic than the other options we have in the market.
Infinity One gives you the grip and the feeling of a pro controller that will give you the help to improve your gaming skills. It comes with a price tag that is really close to the Evil solution and the Xbox One Elite as well. With the Evil solution they are both some tailor made solutions than are 100% customizable so you need to check the features of each controller and make your decision based on your style. We have to say that is a really good handcrafted solution for pro gamers but it comes together with the relevant price.
After the analysis of each controller we hope that we are going to help you a bit choosing the right one. Every gamer needs to think some factors before buying the right controller.
There are some answers you need to question yourself before choosing the gamepad you want.
- What is the purpose I want to the controller for?
- What is they style of the controller I want?
- Will those extra buttons help my gameplay?
- What is the current budget I want to spend for this device?
And off course many more questions.
A good hint from us would be also the categories we gave to the controllers, that you will easily help you identify the type of the controller you want. If you are a casual gamer that wants a controller for some daily use, the right category would be the first one. Our choice from those options would be the Dualschock 4 as it a great controller, easy to use and the price of it is a decent one.
If you are a gamer that is currently starting to compete in tournaments and wants a controller to help with the extra mile, then the category competitive gaming would be the right one for you. Wildcat is a great option as it is a controller that could really easily make it to the esports category but the Fusion Pro for is a value for money controller with great features and a greater price.
Now in the Esports category, a category for pro gamers, for us the controller that is currently the winner is the Xbox One Elite. It has a great quality with some additional features and the only con is the the current price tag. The modded solutions are a great option for those that they want a tailor made gamepad with the additional features that also the Elite has.
With all that said, we hope that after this review guide you will be able to choose the right controller for your needs and start making your controllers screamin with us!