Best Wireless PC Controller Gaming 2018: Guide
We all hate sticky buttons and easily breakable PC controllers. Like myself, at one point you’ve probably been confused while selecting the Best Wireless Controller for PC gaming.
But remember this:
“Gaming Platforms” or PC controllers are a highly personal device. Also, most PC gamers worship (rightly so) the keyboard-Mouse combo while playing some real time strategy games (such as Halo Wars) and first person shooters RPGs (such as 007 Legends).
For some 3rd person, flying and driving games such as Elite Dangerous and Overwatch, the Keyboard-Mouse combo can’t beat the convenience and simplicity of the Best Wireless Controller for PC Gaming.
Either way, you’ll need an ergonomic, effective and durable gaming controller that is worth your money and effort for the ultimate gaming experience.
I’ll tear down 10 PC controllers, particularly for their use in different game categories, but not flight including such as Rocket League and Elite Dangerous. Key considerations are PC gaming ergonomics, effectiveness, control and comfort.
Sneak Peek: Our Picks for Best Wireless PC Controller Gaming
Best Wireless PC Controller
DualShock 4 is built to support almost everything: it comes with in-built Move fetaure, Sixaxis tilt controls, face buttons, and the standard analogue sticks.
Despite not being designed for PC, DS4 has grown to become a favorite all-round gamepad for most gaming experts.
It feels strong and solid despite the additional width when compared to Xbox One gamepad.
It comes with a better Xbox One pad and softer curves that will give you better gaming experience.
The DualShock 4 is the best PC gaming controller as it combines the progressive evolution nature and the PlayStation controller familiarity.
DualShock 4 review
New Sticks and Pad
Further, DualShock 4 has better d-pad compared to those on Microsoft Xbox, and thus works great for street fighter gaming on PC. However, you might need to use the input mapper.
It has an excellent analog trigger feel, with the bumpers and triggers producing an amazing tactile feel. Its sticks are more sensitive, responsive (at the centre) and lighter.
DS4 has a favorable concave design to give you better grip and gaming feel. Also, it has raised ring near the edge and are thus easier to grip. I found the DualShock 4 to be more sensitive and smoother.
The DualShock 4 adds a front-facing touchpad to its original Sony PlayStation design. Also, it has excellent sticks and triggers. Interestingly, the DualShock 4 controller will work excellently with games such as Steam and Shovel Knight.
With its built-in speaker, light bar, and touch pad, the DS4 controller will better your gaming experience. Also, if you are music lover, the controller has a 3.5mm audio jack just for you.
However, you need an InputMapper program download for the gamepad to work if you have challenges connecting to the PC. Read full review here.
The Xbox One Elite features among the most versatile and comfortable gamepads available. Notably, Xbox One Elite came as an Xbox One rebrand.
Also, Xbox 360 controller is universally compatible with any games for PC.
It has rubber grips and stainless steel parts that you can change to fit your taste.
It has replaceable magnetic sticks that you can use to customize your gaming experience.
Further, it has the head figure option which is excellent for the first-person shooters.
Also, it has mounted paddles that you can remap functions such as shooter reloading or gear changing in racing games. Finally, an Xbox app is available that will enable you to change the controller sensitivity.
It has hair triggers that you can program to achieve varied sensitivity. On compatibility, Xbox One Elite will work with Windows 7, 8 or even Win 10.
With its excellent ergonomics, quality build and the 4-way cross style, you’ll find the Xbox One Elite to be one of the optimum all-around controller.
Further, the triggers can rumble while the shoulder buttons will fill more comfortable to press, which enhances force feedback.
The sticks have rasped edge and smooth center, which reduces the possibility of slip. Further, the Guide button is placed far Xbox One Elite’s center menu buttons, which reduces chances of unintentional input.
The Elite’s analogue sticks and D-Pads are designed from durable metal while the real analogue stick sockets are supported by a strong rings.
Therefore, Xbox One Elite is an excellent device as it provides increase durability, attractiveness and customization. Read full review here.
3. Steam Controller by Valve – Best controller for customization
Compared to the PlayStation and Xbox, Steam Controller by Valve is an innovative device that you can customize to your taste and thus achieve an appealing look.
You can type from your couch and surf the web. Further, you can connect multiple steam controllers to have fun as a group.
Also, you can use the one-to-one positioning you can virtualize various controls such as a scroll wheel, mouse, or trackball.
Steam Controller allows customization of its touchpads and thus increase the sensitivity of the device – similar to the keyboard and mouse precision.
Further, you can get into the steam community to download suitable control schemes.
Steam Controller has a concave style grip and full plastic build that has been reported to durable despite feeling light.
However, the controller has smaller ABXY face buttons and a single thumb-sticks. It has a disc having D-pad cut-outs and also a touch-pad. The left touch-pad operated like the D-pad but you can still customize it to fit your needs.
Related Post: Steam controller review.
Also, you can save your custom setups or browse, test, and change the Steam community’s layouts. Also, steam introduced the grip trigger in the steam controller and you can easily activate it.
Steam is wireless and thus will be amazing for gaming on your couch. However, it also has a micro USB cable and a USB dongle that you can use to connect the controller your PC.
Valve brought up the touch-pad in place of the analog stick, which improves operation of navigating menus and navigation games.
You’ll find the steam controller amazing due to its outstanding touch-pads that have a haptic feedback ability. As we mentioned, the steam controller is highly customizable and you van tweak features such as haptics intensity, swipe direction, and sensitivity.
Luckily, the steam controller works perfectly okay with non-steam games. However, the games in question need to have support for Steam Overlay.
To connect your steam controller to many wireless USB dongles or steam links, you’ll need to switch off the Controller and pressing the Steam button and choose the various signal choices. Read Steam Controller full review here.
4. Xbox Wireless Controller – Budget pick
You’ll find the Xbox Wireless Controller easy to set up and will be great if you have big hands.
The controller is easy to install and use on OS X and Windows and is a favorite for the Xbox controller lovers.
Further, the controller is compatible with Windows 10, Xbox One S, and Xbox One. Further, it comes with Bluetooth that will enable you to game on the android tablet and Windows PC.
However, Xbox Wireless Controller does not have a touchpad and the shoulder buttons seem clumsily located.
However, some gamers will choose the DualShock 4 due to its advantageous analog sticks and favorable triggers.
It has a rough grip that will allow you to remain on the target. Therefore, it will give you a feeling and comfort that comes with the use of most Xbox-type controllers.
The controller has Bluetooth that will go about double the wireless range covered by the Xbox One Controllers.
Wow, I love the ZD N Wireless Controller as one of the Best Wireless Controller for PC Gaming. It love the button response and the amazing feel. Also, I like when it is paired with the first generation of the PS3.
The ZD N Wireless Controller works perfectly both with Android and PC gaming. Therefore, with the compatibility with Playstation 3, XBox 360, Android, and Windows XP up to Win 10.
ZD N Full Vibration Wireless Controller is plug and play, has a JD-SWITCH Function that will allow you to switch the Left Stick with the D-pad function.
Comes with 2 full sized vibrating motors to produce the full vibration, but only for games supporting Xinput Mode. It has an optimized circuit design, an ergonomic design and a buttons that has a unique copper.
The controller is aesthetically attractive, adequately comfortable and sleek in design. However, the controller is not compatible with XBox One.
It has a polymer lithium battery that is in-built (600mAh) that allows you seamless gaming with the wireless controller.
Further, the JD-SWITCH function will allow you to switch the Left Stick with the D-pad. Also, its full vibration feedback is en enhanced by 2 vibrating motors to give you a better controller and game operation.
The device is plug and play but it is only effective in games that are Xinput Mode compatible. Further, it has an amazing ergonomic build that will allow you to turn joint effortlessly.
Further, the controller lacks input lag but it has an excellent turbo feature. Just like the Xbox 360 controller, the ZD N Wireless Controller are concave and thus your thumbs will not slip off. You’ll find the buttons to be highly responsive and the D-pad amazing. Read Zhidong Controller full review here.
ZD-V+ is an innovative controller in the ZD class of controllers, which will serve in your PC, PS3 and Android gaming. ZD V+ will give you a classy touch that you can only get with more expensive controllers.
You’ll find the controller easy to install and use as it is a plug and play device on windows and other software.
Further, the buttons are highly responsive and will not stick, which will allow faster reaction time. Also, the controller welcome with grip holders made of plastic and thus will last longer compared to the rubber build.
ZD-V+ USB Wired Gaming Controller has both the JD-SWITCH capability and Full Vibration Feedback. Further, ZD-V+ controller supports Direct-Input and X-input mode.
Equally, the controller is plug and play but you’ll need to install DirectX 9.0c or above when using Windows 10. However, ZD-V+ would not work on your console, either Xbox One or Xbox 360.
If you need comfort in PC gaming, then this controller has comfortable analogs and smooth parts and controls that will enhance your feeling.
Like the other controllers we’ve covered, the Left Stick is switched with the D-Pad functions, which is enhanced by the JD switch ability.
With its attractive and strong design, the controller will look highly attractive to you and other people.
ZD-V+ controller will have a vibration feedback in PC games that will support the X-input capability. Therefore, the device relay specific information using tactile vibration.
Further, the controller lacks input lag but it has an excellent turbo feature. Just like the Xbox 360 controller, the ZD N Wireless Controller are concave and thus your thumbs will not slip off. You’ll find the buttons to be highly responsive and the D-pad amazing.
However, for use in windows you might need to have DirectX 9.0c or higher.
Read ZD-V+ USB Wired Gaming Controller full review here.
7. Logitech Gamepad F710 – Wireless
Logitech Gamepad F710 – Wireless adopted the layout of the Dual Shock II pad, both width and weight, and controls that are compatible to the Xbox 360.
Has wide games support and supports total wireless functionality. It has a small plug and play receiver.
It has both DirectInput and Xinput support, Dual vibration motors, 2 analog sticks, and a Dpad. You can use the Profiler software to customize the controls.
The wireless Logitech Gamepad F710 is a solid controller that has both the DirectInput and Xinput modes.
For your Best Wireless Controller for PC Gaming needs, the Logitech Gamepad F710 is be favorably compatible with windows XP up to windows 8.
Further, the controller comes with a long lasting battery, R and L triggers, R and L buttons, 2 analog sticks and a Dpad. It has 2.4 GHz wireless connection that will allow the device to achieve optimum performance in your gaming.
The controller has a fast wireless controller, 2.4 GHz, which will enable you to get fast response in your PC gaming. However, you will need a Nano-receiver to achieve the fast gaming with the wireless Logitech Gamepad F710 controller.
As a programmable controller, the device will function with your Television set and function as a remote.
With its console layout and rubber grips, the F710 controller will fit excellently into your hands and offer you a comfortable gaming. Further, the F710 controller is easy to set up, program and customize through the profiler program.
For a highly engaging and realistic gaming, the Logitech F710 has dual feedback motors (vibration). Read full review here.
Best Wireless PC Controller – Buyers Guide
So, Why did I choose PC gaming Over Console gaming?
Well, here are some of my reasons:
1. With classic games, midtier developers, and big-budget titles, PC gaming will give you an unmatched games selection. Also, it has extensive “Backwards Compatibility” with games in databases such as DOSBox and Interactive Fiction Database coming in handy.
2. A Powerful Gaming PC (which you can upgrade any time – anyway!) gives smoother gameplay and better gaming graphics.
3. Also, in PC gaming you can add fun new content and receive superior quality weapons by downloading “mods”. For example, in “GTA V” you can download the “EXPLOSIVE Samsung Galaxy Note 7” mod, in which you can use the Galaxy Note 7 as a sticky bomb!
Windows 10 has an excellent built-in hook: the PC operating system and Xbox One integration.
However, which are the “Windows 10 compatible” gaming controllers? Well, many: Xbox One Elite controller, Sony, Logitech, Valve, Microsoft, Evil, Razer, PowerA…and others.
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What controller works with steam?: Steam Link Compatible Controllers.
A Steam Link is a device that enables one to wireless stream the Steam content from the Steam Machine or PC to the television and incorporates the Steam Controller functions.
However, streaming games to your computer would not improve their quality as they will run just as they do on the host PC.
You will be able to stream even the non-steam games after adding it to the Steam library. Just hit the “+ add a game” button to add non-Steam games and retail games.
So, now onto the steam compatible controllers:
Your Steam Link will support the below-outlined input devices:
– Keyboard and mouse, The Steam Controller, Xbox 360 Wireless Controller, PS3 and PS4 Controllers
– Xbox 360 Wired Controller, Xbox One S Controller, Nvidia Shield Controller, Logitech F710 – Wireless, Xbox One Wired Controller
You can use the VirtualHere to enable support for headphones, Bluetooth adapters, microphone, flight sticks, fight sticks, and Racing wheels on the steam link.
How to use the PC controller wirelessly
The first question is: What wireless controllers work with PC? Well, check the list grid below.
I will use the Xbox On Wireless Setup and Xbox 360 Wireless Set Up Controller to demonstrate how to connect the controller to your PC wirelessly. In this connection, you will use a Wireless Adapter Dongle if the controller does not have a Built-in wireless adapter.
Step 1: Using USB connections, connect the Wireless Adapter to the PC (if the adapter is not inbuilt)
Step 2: Go to the PC settings and hit the “ADD Bluetooth and other devices” button.
Step 3: Select all the options outlined below that button
Step 4: Select the Xbox Wireless Gamepad.
Step 5: Finally, hit “Done”