Long gone are the days of using 30 attachments to get your $10 check-out aisle computer controller configured to Lego Racers on your IBM ThinkPad. Same with the days of buying 12 Mad Catz controllers to have them all break within a month, just because you refused to shell out for the first-party PlayStation option. Now, we see more and more controller compatibility with all of our tech, as gaming touches every screen we’ve got. Wired controllers and fight pads are a thing of the past, and Bluetooth controllers are all the rage, for good reason. Who wants to be stuck sitting three feet from the TV?
So if you're looking for a customizable pro-gamer controller like the Xbox Elite, or a more budget-friendly option so you can gather enough for Mario Kart night, we've laid out some of the best Bluetooth controllers on the market. And we’re covering all the bases, with controllers for everything and anything, from Nintendo Switch to PlayStation, from mobile to extreme PC gaming. What we’re not including are first-party controllers, unless there’s some sort of design twist to them; too obvious.
This controller takes me straight back to the days of Mad Catz, with one key difference: It works. The controller is transparent with an LED that can cycle through colors. It’s also got a rechargeable battery, which is a welcomed addition, as a lot of third-party controllers, especially with Nintendo, require batteries. And it features programmable extra triggers, for those Switch players looking for something closer to the “elite experience” Xbox offers. It feels great, plays great, looks great—and comes in $20 cheaper than the first-party Nintendo Pro controller.
If there’s one thing Nintendo fans love, its a loud ass controller design. PowerA has a massive range of Bluetooth controllers, including a line of wireless GameCube controllers in their classic colors, and controllers styled off franchises like Animal Crossing, Mario, and even Crash. For Smash players, the GameCube design is a must, unless you're digging out your WaveBird and messing with the channels for 30 minutes. It comes in classic purple, gold, silver, and a WaveBird gray, and they all take me back. Now, please PowerA, add a spice orange controller, and I’ll buy four right now. PowerA wireless controllers all sit around $50 but constantly have sales down in the $30 range, letting you own some retro goodness, and most importantly, expand your controller collection for much cheaper than first-party options.
Until recently, when Apple finally opened its doors to first-party PS4 and Xbox controllers, it was tough to find a good controller for your iPhone. This is, and was, the go-to. SteelSeries' Nimbus is one of the easiest wireless controllers to use, and that includes making it compatible with your iPhone. Now that Minecraft, Fortnite, and of course, the still-fresh Apple Arcade are all playable on iOS devices, consider it an obvious way to elevate mobile gaming.
Are you a PS4 player who’s just so damn jealous that you can't have your own Xbox Elite controller? Here's one of your best bets for an alternative. The C40 is a more PlayStation-sized controller that works on PC and Mac, and allows for an immense amount of customization. Truly, nearly everything on this controller is interchangeable, from paddles to buttons, which means you can build the exact controller you want. As a bonus, it's pretty lightweight and comes with a carrying case.
I love customizable controls and intense button layouts as much as the next guy, but I've always favored a killer look. Folks, that makes this brand a personal favorite of mine. ColorWare allows you to make custom controllers or purchase pre-designed ones for every console. I’ve got a pair of safety yellow Joy Cons and a controller that's an homage to the Super Nintendo for my Switch, and a yellow controller for my PlayStation is next on the list. ColorWare customizes first-party controllers, so quality of the machine itself shouldn't be a worry. And the paint jobs are so professional you’d have no clue they didn't come like that from the warehouse. They are pricey, and it may not be reasonable to deck out your whole controller cabinet with these bad boys, but as a gift or for your go-to controller you really can't beat the customization.
Okay, this is basically ColorWare but just for Xbox. Both have their merits if you’re looking for an Xbox One controller, but Xbox Lab is cheaper. The Design Lab also features some Xbox signature options, like the shadow gradient design or the tactical camo. This is fun, and it doesn't cost too much more than a standard Xbox One controller, making for another really cool way to customize your gaming setup. Honestly, I cannot begin to explain the joy of having your own custom colored controller.
The Switch has a bounty of retro games between its SNES and NES catalog, and 8bitdo wants to make sure you can play those the way they were designed. It built a whole series of controllers and other techie items that are skinned like old-school Nintendo controllers, along with having Bluetooth abilities. The Sn30 Pro+ in particular is just a Super Nintendo controller amped up to fit current needs. The controllers work on Switch, Mac, Steam, Android, and PC, meaning if you're emulating something ancient you can add one of these to play wirelessly but also in a way that's true to form. Nintendo fans do love their retro shit.
The Razer Raiju is a gorgeously built controller that strikes that middle ground to be comfortable for PlayStations players, Xbox players, and even Nintendo players. There are several versions: the Ultimate, the Tournament, and the Mobile. The mobile works with Android devices and features one of the best phone mounts I've seen up to this point. The two PlayStation editions, Ultimate and Tournament, play the same but feature some visual differences. Mainly, the Ultimate has gorgeous customizable LED edge lighting on the touch pad. While the Tournament lacks this light, it is available in the signature Razer black, white, and pink. The controllers also have several extra buttons, like additional back triggers, along with interchangeable parts to give PlayStation owners another option for an Xbox Elite type of experience. Note: if you're stuck between this and the Astro controller, the Astro feels smaller than the Raiju, while the Raiju feels a hair closer to an Xbox controller. Both are comfortable, so it completely comes down to personal preference.
This entry is cheating, and I’m sorry for that. But the Google Stadia is one of the best ways to mobile game, especially for Pixel owners, and the controller is one of the nicest feeling and looking ones out there right now. While Stadia had a rough launch just due to a lack of new titles on the platform, Google kept a steady release schedule up, and the future looks bright. With awesome games available like Doom Eternal, along with an indie presence sneaking in, the Stadia is finally making it more exciting to use what is truly innovative gaming tech. And all you need to buy is the controller for $69 to get started, meaning it's one of the cheapest gaming options on the market. Google does have a “pro” subscription for $10 a month with free games and other benefits. The other offer is the Premiere edition, which includes a Chromecast Ultra (so you can play on any TV through a little plug-in) and three months of Stadia Pro for $129, which just might save you a pretty penny.
快乐飞艇开奖appAll right, fine, the end of this list is just all kinds of cheating, but I had to include this PS4 controller attachment. It's a simple and cheap $25 add-on from Sony that puts customizable buttons onto the back of your Dualshock 4. It plugs into the bottom of the controller, looks cool as hell, and is extremely easy to use—and it’s an affordable alternative to buying a high-end controller. Most places are sold out for now, but you can get one used.