Top 10 PC Game Controllers and Gamepads

 PC game controllers and gamepads have always been somewhat of an afterthought for PC gaming; Support across games was sparse at best and most non- first person shooters didn't support them at all. With more games being developed for all the major platforms, support for PC gamepads has become almost universal with all new games. Over the past few years, many new options have become available from quite a few different manufacturers. The list of PC game controllers that follow all offer ease of use, comfort and lots of buttons to game with.

01
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Xbox One Elite Controller

Xbox One Elite Controller
Xbox One Elite Controller. Image Courtsey of Amazon

Connection: Wired & Wireless
Programmable: Yes
Vibration: Yes

With the Xbox One Elite controller Microsoft has created one of the best PC game pads available, improving upon the Xbox 360 controller in a number of ways. The Xbox One Elite game controller offers both USB wired and wireless capability and is compatible with both Xbox One consoles and Windows based PCs. The Elite game controller allows players to customize buttons and joysticks to their preference. The directional pad and analog thumb joysticks are interchangeable and allow for players to customize the height and feel of the joysticks. The standard six top action buttons and four trigger buttons are fully programmable and feature a hair trigger lock allowing for a faster rate of firing. The Xbox One Elite also features a rubberized diamond grip and has a great ergonomic design that makes it comfortable to use for long periods of time.

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Logitech Wireless Gamepad F710

Logitech F710 Gamepad
Logitech F710 Gamepad. © Logitech

Logitech Wireless Gamepad F710

Connection: Wireless (USB port needed for receiver)
Programmable: Yes
Vibration: Yes

The Logitech F710 Wireless Gamepad is Logitech's top of the line PC gamepad controller that provides console like controls on many PC action games and console ports. The F710 allows gamers to play console ports with their console native style controls while also allowing programmable buttons that allow for use with PC games that may require keyboard inputs.

The Logitech F710 Wireless Gamepad uses 2.4 GHz wireless USB receiver which keeps your gaming free from any tangled cords. The gamepad features the familiar console gamepad layout with 10 programmable buttons, 2 analog joysticks and an 8-way directional pad. The 8-way directional pad also includes individual switches for each direction making it more responsive and accurate than D-pads that use a single pivot point to control the eight directions. Finally the F710 gamepad provides gamers with vibration feedback to give your gaming a more realistic and immersive feel from games that support vibration feedback. The F710 Gamepad can also be paired with Steam's Big Picture allowing you to surf the web, play games and more.

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03
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Xbox 360 Controller for Windows

Xbox 360 Controller for Windows
Xbox 360 Controller for Windows. © Microsoft

Xbox 360 Controller for Windows

Connection: Wired or Wireless
Programmable: No
Vibration: Yes

The Xbox 360 Controller for Windows is the PC specific version of the popular Xbox 360 gamepad although there is no difference between the Xbox 360 version and this PC version other than the name printed on the packaging. It comes in both wired and wireless option, both of which are compatible for use on the PC or Xbox 360. The wireless version of the gamepad includes a 2.4 GHz wireless USB receiver, with 30ft range, that can be purchase separately and is also compatible with existing Xbox 360 controllers, however, it does require a re-sync if you are switching between the two.

The ergonomic design of the Xbox 360 Controller provides a comfortable feel even after hours of play. The gamepad controller includes 10 buttons - six on the top of the gamepad and four trigger buttons that can quickly be pressed with your index finger, 2 dual analog joysticks and an 8-way directional gamepad.

04
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Razer Sabertooth

Razer Sabertooth PC Game Controller
Razer Sabertooth PC Game Controller. © Razer

Razer Sabertooth

Connection: Wired
Programmable: Yes
Vibration: Yes
The Razer Sabertooth Elite Gaming Controller is a PC and Xbox 360 gamepad packed with a ton of features. Like many other game pads the Razer Sabertooth is fully customizable allowing gamers to program keys depending on their game and style. It also includes onboard memory for saving profiles so if you take it on the road you'll never have to be without your custom setup. The Razor Sabertooth also features six shoulder/trigger buttons and two programmable rocker buttons on the bottom of the game pad. This is in addition to the 4 buttons and two joystick buttons on the top of the gamepad. The gamepad also has the standard dual analog joysticks and 8-way directional pad. Finally the Razor Sabertooth includes a built in OLED screen for profile switching and easy customization that allow players to adjust sensitivity as well as save and load profiles.

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05
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Mad Catz C.T.R.L.R Mobile Gamepad

Mad Catz C.T.R.L.R Mobile Gamepad
Mad Catz C.T.R.L.R Mobile Gamepad. © MadCatz

Mad Catz C.T.R.L.R Mobile Gamepad

Connection: Wireless
Programmable: Yes
Vibration: No
Mobile Compatible: Yes

The Mad Catz C.T.R.L.R. Mobile Gamepad is an all in one gamepad that is compatible with not only a standard PC but it is also compatible with Amazon Fire TV and other Android based gaming devices. It has dual mode Bluetooth which ensures it will remain compatible with existing Bluetooth devices as well as Bluetooth 4.0. It features three different gaming modes including a mouse mode that allows for assignment of typical mouse navigation to the action buttons and analog joystick. This is works well with the integrated media buttons which allow for remote control functionality for services such as Netflix, YouTube and more. It also includes a travel clip that attaches a phone or other smart device to the gamepad.

In regards to the specifications for gaming the controller has a standard console gamepad layout with 10 programmable buttons, two analog joysticks and a directional pad. The controller is powered by three AAA batteries which provide up to 40 hours of continuous use.

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06
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Thrustmaster GPX LightBack

Thrustmaster GPX LightBack PC Game Controller
Thrustmaster GPX LightBack PC Game Controller. © Thrustmaster

Thrustmaster GPX LightBack

Connection: Wired
Programmable: No
Vibration: Yes

The Thrustmaster GPX LightBack gamepad controller is compatible with both Windows PC and Xbox 360 console games and comes in an original black color or a red and white Ferrari F1 special edition signed by Fernando Alonso. It includes ultra-precise mini joysticks that features non-slip rubber grips, eight built-in LED speed lights, a directional pad, two trigger buttons and standard Xbox 360 layout.

The Thrustmaster GPX LightBack also features two vibration feedback motors built into each handle as well as some unique features found on other PC game pads. These include a built -n headset connector to help keep cords from getting tangled from the PC and the light feedback feature illuminates a backlight for the mini-sticks to be in sync with in game events.

07
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Mad Catz Pro Circuit MLG Controller

Mad Catz Pro Circuit MLG Controller
Mad Catz Pro Circuit MLG Controller. © Mad Catz

Mad Catz Pro Circuit MLG Controller

Connection: Wired
Programmable: No
Vibration: Yes

The Mad Catz Pro Circuit MLG Controller is a high-end gamepad that is officially licensed by Major League Gaming for the Xbox 360, but with many Xbox 360 gamepads, it is fully compatible with a Windows PC out of the box. The Mad Catz Pro Circuit Gamepad has a number of unique features including swappable components which means players can set up and interchange the joysticks and direction pad to their preferred layout it also features additional module kits that are sold separately. In addition to the swappable components it also comes with removable top and side faceplates allowing gamers to skin their controller to their clan or personal preference. The final unique feature that comes with the Mad Catz Pro Circuit gamepad is a pair of 35g weights that can be added to give the controller the ability to add or remove up to 70 grams of weight.

Mad Catz Pro Circuit MLG Controller is a wired USB gamepad with a removable 3-meter braided cord that screws into the top of the controller making it very rugged and easy to disconnect when storing or taking on the road.

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08
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Cyborg V.3/Saitek PP32 PS2700

Cyborg V.3/Saitek PP32 PS2700
Cyborg V.3/Saitek PP32 PS2700. © Cyborg

Cyborg V.3/Saitek PP32 PS2700

Connection: Wired
Programmable: Yes
Vibration: Yes

The Cybor V.3 gamepad controller is a re-branded version of the Saitek PS2700. Both versions are fully compatible with Windows PCs as well as the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 console systems. It includes all the standard buttons, 2 quick-fire triggers 8-way direction pad, 2 analog joysticks and vibration feedback for games that support it. PC gamers have the added benefit of being able to program any keyboard or most command into the controller making most PC games compatible with the gamepad. The Cyborg V.3 also includes a reversible left joystick/directional pad which allows you to have the dual joysticks next to one another as in a PlayStation controller layout or in an Xbox style layout where the right joystick is even with the directional pad.

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09
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Classic NES Controller

8Bitdo Bluetooth Wireless Classic NES Controller
8Bitdo Bluetooth Wireless Classic NES Controller. © 8Bitdo

Classic NES Controller

Connection: Wired/Wireless
Programmable: Yes
Vibration: No

The 8Bitdo Bluetooth Wireless Classic NES Controller is a classic Nintendo Entertainment System style game controller for the PC, Android and iOS devices. It is a wireless controller for mobile devices and a USB corded device for the PC. It also features programmable keys, a total of six buttons including two trigger buttons for your index fingers, and the classic retro look and feel many grew with playing.

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10
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Steel Series Free

Steel Series Free
Steel Series Free. © Steel Series

Steel Series Free

Connection: Wireless
Programmable: Yes
Vibration: No

The Steel Series Free gamepad that is compatible with Android mobile devices as well as Windows PC and Mac computers. It is a wireless controller with Bluetooth Connectivity and features programmable buttons giving you complete customization. It has a classic/retro look to it but features all of the controls of a modern gamepad including dual analog joysticks, a directional pad, two trigger buttons and the classic four button layout. The rechargeable battery supports over ten hours of non-stop gameplay before needing to be recharged.