The best game controller for PC is many things to many different people, and many different genres too. You could argue you’ve already got the best PC controller combo plumbed into your machine with your trusty keyboard and mouse, but sometimes having a specific controller to hand can be vitally useful and actually change the way you approach a given game.
Whether it’s a great wired or wireless pad, an official or third-party device, having a well-built, comfortable controller can really make the difference to your game. So it’s important you make the right choice.
We’ve checked out the official Microsoft Xbox One and Elite pads, as well as the excellent Sony DualShock controller. But the likes of Scuf and Razer are all making decent alternatives if you’re looking to peacock with a funky design or just want a host of different buttons at your thumbs’ disposal. But the biggest gamepad decision is about whether you favour the Xbox’s offset thumbstick design or the symmetrical PlayStation layout. There are die-hard fans in either camp, but for our money the offset design gives you the best balance between control and easy access to the buttons.
But there are specific controllers for other game genres too. A flight or space-based sim really demands a quality flightstick, especially one with a separate throttle for those BSG Viper-esque, non-Newtonian dogfights. And if you’re a dedicated racer then a steering wheel, with good force-feedback, can shave valuable seconds off your in-game lap times. And may even save your life, as I found out…
WHAT IS THE BEST GAME CONTROLLER FOR PC IN 2020?
It is an incredibly close-fought battle, but we think the best PC controller is the Xbox One wireless pad. It’s incredibly well-built, with smart ergonomics, excellent triggers, and is always reliable. The offset D-pad/thumbstick layout might erk the PlayStation faithful, but for our money we think it the best choice.