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The Best PC Gaming Controller

Updated Dec 11, 2022
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When you’re playing fast-paced first-person shooters and complex strategy games on your PC, you can’t beat the accuracy of a keyboard and mouse. But a gamepad is still a great addition to any gaming PC if you play platforming, puzzle, or retro games, or if you’re more comfortable with a controller. Microsoft’s latest Xbox Wireless Controller—the same one you’d buy for an Xbox Series X or S—is the best controller you can buy for PC gaming because it’s comfortable and supported by most games.

Microsoft Xbox Wireless Controller, comfortable, compatible, and familiar

Microsoft Xbox Wireless Controller

Comfortable, compatible, and familiar
Microsoft’s controller is comfortable to hold, and it benefits from built-in Windows support—simply plug it in, and it works with just about any game that supports a controller. But it requires AA batteries or an add-on rechargeable battery pack if you want to play wirelessly.
We recommend
Sony DualShock 4 Wireless Controller, good for smaller hands

Sony DualShock 4 Wireless Controller

Good for smaller hands
Sony’s PlayStation 4 controller is a more comfortable choice if you have smaller hands, and it has a built-in rechargeable battery and nicer-feeling analog sticks. But it might require additional setup for some games, and many games default to Xbox-style button labels.
Another good choice
PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller for Xbox One, a cheaper wired choice

PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller for Xbox One

A cheaper wired choice
This officially licensed clone feels a bit cheaper than, but surprisingly similar to, Microsoft’s Xbox gamepad, and it usually costs around half the price.
Budget friendly
Retroflag Classic USB Gaming Controller, for retro gamers

Retroflag Classic USB Gaming Controller

For retro gamers
If you like playing old games and want a more authentic experience, this is the best of the many SNES-style controller replicas.
Another good choice
PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller for Xbox Series X|S, best for some accessibility needs

PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller for Xbox Series X|S

Best for some accessibility needs
For the time being, Xbox controllers provide the greatest reconfigurability in PC gaming, which is the most important feature for gaming accessibility.
Another good choice

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