Best PC Gamepads & Standard Controllers in 2020



Retro-Bit Official Sega Genesis USB Controller 8-Button Arcade Pad for Sega Genesis Mini, Nintendo Switch, PC, Mac, Steam, RetroPie, Raspberry Pi - USB Port - Black Review:


For those of us who remember the Sega Genesis, the release of the six-button controller was a literal game-changer. The old three-button controller wasn't designed for advances in fighting games (e.g. Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Eternal Champion), and this controller came to the rescue. I am happy to report that this is a spot-on recreation of the original controller. The feel, the weight, and the balance are almost exactly as they were nearly 25 years ago. Years later this controller is still impressive, and the USB interface means that you can use it to play new PC-based retro-style games like Bloodstained.

Furthermore, unless something changes between now and September, we should be able to use this controller with the upcoming Sega Genesis Mini. The Mini features games that benefit from the six-button controller, but it ships with two three-button controllers instead (the Japanese version of the Mini ships with two six-button controllers--go figure). This controller can help bridge the gap. On one hand, I like the idea of playing older Genesis games with an authentic, launch-issued three-button controller, but it is good to know that I have the option of a six-button if I want it! If you pre-ordered a US Genesis Mini, or if you plan to get one at a later date, this controller is a must.



8Bitdo Sn30 Pro+ Bluetooth Gamepad (Sn Edition) - Nintendo Switch Review:


I've been using 8bitdo controllers for a couple years now, as I play a good amount of 2D platformers and puzzle games-- both of which all but require precise inputs. While the Switch Pro controller is a good option for games that don't require that, inconsistencies with the d-pad on both of mine have left me craving something I could use with my Switch that didn't share these issues.

Upon announcement of this controller last year, I was immediately excited-- a controller with similar aesthetics and layout to the SNES controller with better ergonomics and analog sticks? I was intrigued.

A controller has to do a few things in order for me to consider it "good." It has to be built well, has to be responsive, and it has to have as little quality-control issues as possible. I'm happy to say that this controller hits all those marks and then some.

The SN30 Pro+ is lightweight, perhaps a little too light for my liking, but the materials used here are all solid. The buttons are clicky, the triggers smooth in their actuation, and the d-pad is rock solid no matter how many times I roll my thumb around it. No incorrect inputs, either! The analog sticks are just a touch too short for my taste, especially after using Nintendo's Pro controller for well over two years now, but they're much better than those that are baked into the JoyCons.

Input lag doesn't seem to be an issue with this controller, either. It was on par with or better than officially-licensed products, which, if you've ever used a third-party controller in the last few decades, isn't always a given.

All in all, the controller itself is fantastic. Combine the above points with the fact that it has rumble, gyro-aiming, and charges over USB Type-C like the Pro controller, and this is a damn good piece of kit. Highly recommended, especially if you're looking for an alternative to the (albeit slightly) more expensive official offering.



8Bitdo Sn30 Pro+ Bluetooth Gamepad (G Classic Edition) - Nintendo Switch Review:


I feel kinda bad writing this review, as I can certainly tell 8BitDo was really aiming for perfection with this one. And it almost is.

My first one arrived with the left analog a bit cockeyed. What I noticed immediately after that, was that upon pressing the d-pad, I saw that there was quite a bit of space between the cutout in the plastic for the d-pad and the actual d-pad button. This leaves a gap where the d-pad loosely slides around the extra space in all directions. This in turn, causes the plastic of the d-pad to rub against the walls of the cutout of the controller when being pressed, making faint, but unpleasant squeaking and plasticky scratchy noises. The friction of the rubbing can sometimes be felt as well. It is most pronounced and noticeable when pressing the 'right' direction.

Also, the four face buttons felt a bit wonky on this particular unit. They felt loose in the controller, overly clicky (unrefined and cheap) and felt inconsistent with each other. It overall felt poorly put together. Deciding I can't have any of that, I returned it for a replacement hoping it was just a bad unit.

The second one arrived feeling much better overall, leaving me initially impressed. Both analogs were straight, and the face buttons felt better, but not great. The shoulder buttons along with the triggers were perfect on this one (triggers on the first one felt unequal).

The glaring problem was still the d-pad. This one actually sounded louder than the previous. It also felt noticeably less firm. It felt a bit squishy and less refined. There wasn't as much of a clear, concise distinction when pressing down on any/all directions as the last one did. It felt a bit muddled, mushy and flat. This was clearly far less than ideal, so, again, I returned it.

The third one, *sigh*....again arrived with a slightly crooked left analog stick. The four face buttons felt meh, the shoulder buttons and triggers good. The d-pad, however, still made that same friction/squeaky noise from rubbing against the walls of the cutout, yet slid around freely within the cutout.

I'm thoroughly convinced by now that this problem is in part due to a design flaw, and partly due to manufacturing inconsistencies. However, at least this time, the d-pad had a nice, soft, but firm and concise click that felt far better than the last two I had. But still considered defective, as it rattled and made that scratchy/squeaky noise. Returned.

This fourth one is the one I should have gotten the first time. This unit is PERFECT. D-pad is flawless, minus the (far less) rubbing and the accompanying noise, albeit MUCH quieter than any of the last three. It's the best it'll ever be, as some slight 'rubbing' is inherent and unavoidable with this design.

The two most recent bad ones I had that I mentioned above, I still had on me so I could take them all to UPS in one trip. This gave me a chance to inspect them side by side, and also to verify that these things weren't just in my head.

What is different with this good one is that there seems to be some kind of soft, grippy rubber backing on the back of the d-pad keeping it from sliding around as much inside the cutout. It still moves, but MUCH less so, reducing 80% of the rattling I have been hearing in the previous ones. And since it slides around less, it also rubs less, resulting in less squeaks. It also just 'feels' better in every way.

The four face buttons also feel much, much improved from all the previous ones I felt. They feel properly cushioned giving the buttons a comparatively more 'premium' feel to it. I don't know if this improvement goes hand in hand, but they rattle a lot less as well eliminating the remaining 20% of the previous controllers' rattles.

To clarify what I mean by this 'rattling' is this:

If I hold my 4th (good) one in my left hand, and any/both of the bad ones I still had in my right hand and shook them both like I'm using a salt and pepper shaker at varying intensities, the controller in my left hand would be silent, minus the barely audible sounds of the face buttons shaking in place, which is completely normal and would really only be heard when shaken pretty hard.

The other two would, by comparison, sound like baby rattles at pretty much any intensity. I kid you not. It's as if the buttons were just kinda 'tossed inside' and called good. I can't say how or why there is so much variation among just this small sample of four controllers, but to me that indicates a QC department that needs attention. I may just have a had a string of bad luck, but reading other reviews, I know this d-pad thing isn't an isolated case. Their d-pads have indeed improved from their previous models, but they still need a little more refinement when it comes to the issues stated above.

But how does the d-pad actually perform now that I have one that isn't defective? It performs quite well, in fact. They don't move around nearly as much as the defective ones. If they eliminated the rubbing entirely, it would, in my humble opinion, make the controller perfect in every way. But even as it is, I consider it the best controller out there currently. The best for 2D platformers, the best for 2D fighting games, and the best overall controller period.

The controller's ergonomics feels perfect in the hands. It feels like the dualshock4 in terms of form, size, and weight. Any carrying case made for the DS4 will work with this. The actual parts used feel quality. I also like the plastic used for the d-pad on the G-Classic Edition. The smooth plastic with strips of grip texture feels so nice and premium to the touch. The four convex buttons feel high quality to the touch as well, and have a nice, soft, cushioned, but pronounced click to them. The shoulder buttons feel exactly how I remember the OG snes ones to feel like, and the triggers have a smooth, consistent feel to them throughout their entire range.

It took no effort to pair them to the Switch, and the Ultimate software is pretty neat as well. It seamlessly updated the firmware to the current v3.01 for me and had me on my way in no time.

The d-pad on this thing is so good that I actually haven't seen my brother pull of so many damned shoryukens so effortlessly in a row since the SNES days. I think he may actually give me a challenge now.

All in all, this is a nearly perfect controller that will replace the Pro controller as my daily driver. They just need to get rid of that rubbing and improve their quality control. I'm confident they will, as I sense this company's drive to be the best in its class, willingness to listen to customer feedback and make things right with customers when incidents arise with their outstanding support. Thanks, 8BitDo. I hope you guys iron out these small issues in the near future. Thanks to Amazon for making all this so much less painful than it had to be. If I had gotten this perfect of a unit the first time, I would have undoubtedly given the SN30 Pro+ five
stars, however, due to my experiences and realizations, I need to deduct one star.



Mobile Game Controller [Upgrade Version] Mobile Gaming Trigger for PUBG/Fortnite/Rules of Survival Gaming Grip and Gaming Joysticks for 4.5-6.5inch Android iOS Phone Review:


I recieved the control faster then I was told (which was awesome). Ive used triggers that clipped onto the top of the phone and they were great but a little uncomfortable so i decided to upgrade. My hands used to fall asleep when I was using the clip on triggers. This game controller exceeds my expectations. Its a comfortable fit for my hand and does actually increase my abilities in game. I play pubgm and when the zombie event came it was essential. The fan does a good job of keeping my phone cool as well as my hands.
Pl My only concern is the way the phone fits in to the controller the triggers feel like they are on a spring that could wear out. So far i play almost every day and i havent notice any change in about a month still feels tight.

Long story short. Its worth the buy.



8Bitdo Sn30 Pro+ Bluetooth Gamepad (Black Edition) - Nintendo Switch Review:


Let's start out with something that isn't relevant to my score but might be of interest to some buying this controller.
My controller arrived and it didn't seem as new as they claimed, at least as far as the box was concerned. Some minor scratches from shipping were on the box were a whatever thing but the inside had some dust and other lil' bits of debris from what might be a previous owner or a refurb place. I doubt it was refurbished because the controller itself seemed perfect. It was just odd bits of bits of dust and particles on the plastic covering.

Okay onto the review that's directly effecting the score:
First of all, download the ultimate software for this off 8bitdos website, it allows you to easily update the controller and modify bits of it for PC and POSSIBLY Switch use. I haven't played a lot with this and my Switch just my PC. This is important you don't ignores this as one of the updates straight up says it's to help fix controller lag with the Switch with the Joycons attached. That's a BIG update if I read one.

On to my experience
After 10 minutes of just making sure everything was set I played about 4 hours of Monster Hunter World on PC with rando's & a friend and it's very, very impressive. It doesn't feel like a 3rd party controller, it really feels like a proper 1st party controller which is weird since I'm used to the XB1 rev1 , PS4 & WiiU Pro controllers. This feels like an odd mix between the PS4 and a SNES controller. Not in any badway just weird in the hands if that makes sense.

There's several modes that the controller can function with, with PC for the most part you want it to be set to XInput as that's the standard for that, by holding start+X it'll boot into that. For switch you hold start+Y. You only need to do this if you're changing the device you're pairing it with. If you've already synced it, you just need to hold start. So it's quick like that.

The buttons all feel solid as do the sticks, I didn't have any problem with Monster Hunter other than my hands feeling a Nintendo controller & the game being mapped for a XB controller. Each button felt responsive as did the sticks. I really couldn't see anything to complain about here. The triggers are analog so they'll give you the responsiveness you might want for PC and they work perfectly fine for Switch despite it not having analog.

I played a bit of Freedom Planet on Switch (10 minutes or so) which can be demanding given your dpad inputs+attack/special inputs can change a lot. There's nothing I noticed here, dpad felt fine and I didn't go in a random direction when using my specials or attacks and I couldn't spot any delay. This is a game I've put over 150 hours into as I enjoy it so I think I'd be able to notice something really standing out.

The controller comes with a USB -C charging cable which has a USB3 jack on the other end, so charging the controller is plenty easy. And unlike the PS4 controller if you don't want to use the pack they include, you can pop the battery cover open, remove the battery pack and slot in your own enloops- which I did for my first test run as I didn't want to wait to charge my controller.
It worked great, I can't speak for batterylife in this review but I'd imagine it'd be fine considering it's basically a XB1 controller in it's functionality. I'm sure I can promise with CONFIDENCE this is better in 90% of ways than a PS4 controller with PC. I've had experience with that controller on PC and it was fine but would need 3rd party drivers for most games, which actively told me I had lag despite being only 2-3 feet max away from the adapter & the battery life of the PS4 controller even with 3rd party apps adjusting the brightness of the bar to dim or OFF- the batt life was still poor. This I'm sure will do much better. My MD30's batt life seems absurd.

The grips feel better than they look in the pics, they look like they're kinda just slapped on to make up for the complaints for the regular SN30 controller but actually they felt pretty nice. They feel like a PS4 controller's grips and sticks with a SNES being the base for the face of the controller.

I've seen some complain in the reviews but I'm not seeing those issues honestly. I got some cheap-y ASUS adapter for PC and my switch is maybe 3-5 feet away from the controller with direct line of sight and I noticed no lag nor had any issues hooking them up. It was about 10 minutes to get the controller updated & working on PC with xinput and less than a minute for the switch. You don't have NFC for switch but I doubt that's an issue for most.

The short: Do you need a controller for PC or Switch but don't feel like shelling out a boat load of cash for a Switch Pro controller or a XB1 controller+wireless adapter.
This can serve you just fine. There's no limitations to speak of for either device as they don't need an adapter *PC WILL NEED SOME FORM OF BLUETOOTH OR JUST WIRE IT) .
The software and controller options are very, very robust, it's a good feeling controller and I couldn't spot any lag what-so-ever.

This doesn't feel like those janky madkatz controllers you'd get because they were cheap, this genuinely feels like a 1st party controller but has the versatility of no platform to claim loyalty to. You can easily use it between PC, Switch, android and iOS with a small button combo to change it when you need it. I've used the MD30 controller much the same with PC & Switch and that was great & this seems to mirror that experience.



DELAM Mobile Game Controller with L1R1 L2R2 Triggers, PUBG Mobile Controller 6 Fingers Operation, Joystick Remote Grip Shooting Aim Keys for 4.7-6.5" iPhone Android iOS Cellphone Gamepad Accessories Review:


Get out your evil laughs, because if you’re after chicken dinners you’re going to get some. I’m partial to PUBG mobile myself, but on an iPhone 7 using a three fingered claw just isn’t possible. With this? All four, baby. Headshot central, I’m coming for you!

I’ve included my setup as an attached image. NOTE in PUBG you MUST turn off emotes or else they will interfere with the rightmost trigger!

I’m removing one star because the main left and right triggers are a bit too close to the edge, while the center two triggers hang over the screen a bit more than I would like.



Mobile Controller, BEBONCOOl Mobile Game Controller for PUBG, Android Game Controller for Android/iOS/iPhone, Wireless Remote Controller Gamepad, Mobile Gaming Controller Supports Mobile Key Mapping Review:


There might be a lot of confusion with this product. It was not designed for the western market that aren't keen on Mobile games, or at least not to the level of the east Asian markets. The application is useful is you are mobile gamer, but it is very dated and basic, and that seems to be 1/2 the product.

HOWEVER If you are a PC/console gamer like me, the good news is that application just gets in the way and you don't need it.

****ANDROID ONLY DETAILS BELOW****

On the back of the controller you will see a quick guide sticker on the back. IF YOU WANT TO USE THIS FOR REMOTE PLAY (Steam Link, Nvidia Shadowplay/Moonlight, Parsec tested). You want to set the device into HID mode. You can do this by syncing with android by holding "X" + "Android". You can verify it in your bluetooth settings, and make sure it is enabled. Once it is HID mode, most remote play applications will work with out any special configuration.

As far as the build quality, it average, but there is the added bonus for Nintendo Switch Owners. Should you want to, retire the device the internals are very similar, you can actually see that they are Nintendo Switch thumb sticks so if you are a bit crazy and have the hardware know how, hey you have spares.

Overall a slightly above average product that actually over complicates things in the instructions. Would recommend if you want to play your PC games on the go.



MEO Mobile Game Controller with Cooling Fan [ 6 Finger ] - Mobile Game Aim and Shoot Trigger L1R1 Grip Gamepad Compatible with iPhone/Android [ Black-4000mAh Built-in Battery ] Review:


Just got the package in today, and by just opening the package I can already tell that this controller is completely made out of cheap plastic and does not seem to be durable at all and may only last for so long, that's the bad. The good is that each triggers work perfectly and are in full contact with my mobile screen. Surprisingly it does fit my humongous Galaxy Note 9 and feels really good in the hands. I got this to help reduce the stress from my fingers from cramping up and going all over the place whenever I play PUBG Mobile or CoD Mobile. Have not tried it yet, but I'm pretty sure its gonna help me a whole lot in my mobile gaming.



Wireless Android Game Controller, Retractable Telescopic PUBG Controller Joystick Gamepad with L3 R3 Buttons for Android Phones Review:


Summary:
* Best in class for playing DS and vertical phone games **IF your phone fits vertically**.
* Essentially a bounabay v2
* Laundry list of problems that you'll want to glance over to see if they'll bother you significantly.

Clarifications

* This is basically a v2 bounabay
* Buttons are further away
* Buttons might be a little bit smaller
* Sticks click and have 3 little divots
* Home button
* Slightly larger battery
* There's a few clones of this around
* Amazon says 8 hours play time, but the manual says 90 hours

Pros

* **IT ISN'T TOP HEAVY.** Biggest reason to buy this. Almost every controller is top heavy when you put your phone in, this is perfectly weighted. It FEELS natural.
* It's a DS emulation controller. Consider the buttons and how on the emulators the touch screen is on the bottom, and compare it to the DS. Just.. perfection.
* Grips the phone great, it's got a little recess where the edges fit fantastic. Rubber grips the sides of the phone great. Not hard to slip the phone in at all, which is a problem with other controllers.
* Grip style makes it so vertically or horizontally power and sound buttons don't get accidentally pressed. Huge plus compared to the 9025.
* Great form factor. I could carrying this in my pocket.

Cons

* Reason I'm returning it is my one plus 3T will not fit in it vertically, seems it's 2mm too wide.
* Given it's about 2mm too wide, minimum phone width for this device would be ~77mm, I'd push 80 for a firm grip on the phone
* Plastic doesn't line up a tiny bit on the edges. Just bothers me a bit, looks cheap.
* Matte isn't the velvety plastic stuff ipega uses, it's just plastic.

Quirks

* Pulling it out to fit the device it's very wobbly but I doubt it would break based on how it's constructed. Feels cheap putting the phone in, but you forget about it once it's in.
* Pictures online show no lights, just dark buttons with gray lettering, but Home, A/B/X/Y are all back-lit. Lights aren't bright, but you can't turn them off. Could be annoying in darkness.
* Shoulder buttons need pretty deliberate activation
* Buttons and stick are on the small side, nothing I couldn't get used to though.
* Don't get this if you have power or sound buttons on the top or bottom, or on the bottom half of your phone in vertical mode (? do any manufacturers even do this)

To be honest, it's almost there, it's *almost* the perfect device for playing emulated games. To make it perfect:

* **Make it fit any device vertically**
* Make it fit with phone cases
* Give lights a toggle
* Bigger buttons, bigger sticks
* Improve build quality. Give it that nice velvety plastic. Fix the wobbly telescoping.
* Rounded rectangular build for better pocket fit
* Rectangular build also lets you move less important buttons to the bottom (turbo, home)

Overall, I'd probably keep this if my phone weren't too small because the other aspects I could get used to with time. Doesn't fit though, so my search continues.



Mobile Game Controller, STOGA Android Controller ios Controller Wireless Controller Compatible with ios and Android Review:


 If you love mobile gaming and are searching for a neat little controller to enhance your experience, this Wireless Controllers is easy to use, performs well on most supported games, and not to forget excellent battery life.

pros:
* suprisingly easy to use.
* built hard, has sturdy design.
* comes with a solid phone holder.
* No lag on games.
* Awesome battery life

cons:
yet to find, will report back if I found any.