The Best Controllers For The PC: The Right Pad For The Gaming Computer

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The Best Controllers For The PC: The Right Pad For The Gaming Computer
The Best Controllers For The PC: The Right Pad For The Gaming Computer

Video: The Best Controllers For The PC: The Right Pad For The Gaming Computer

Video: The Best Controllers For The PC: The Right Pad For The Gaming Computer
Video: The BEST Controller For PC Gaming V3 [DECEMBER 2020] 2023, December
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Microsoft Xbox One Controller - with wireless adapter for Windows
Microsoft Xbox One Controller - with wireless adapter for Windows

Microsoft Xbox One Controller - with wireless adapter for Windows

Now from € 51.99 at Mediamarkt Similar offer at Amazon price can now be higher. Price from 2020-26-07 11:43 p.m.

The Xbox One controller is currently the reference as heir to the 360 pad, which has successfully established a new standard among PC controllers. The PC games that supported the Xbox 360 controller now also automatically support the Xbox One Pad - current titles with controller support anyway.

If you rely on the buttons to be shown, the Xbox controller also has the best prerequisites. Most games with controller support show you the button prompts from Xbox 360 or Xbox One when the pad is connected.

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Another advantage is the flexibility when connecting the controller. You can simply connect it to the PC using a microUSB cable, which gives you the lowest input lag. The controller can also be used wirelessly, as is usual on the console. Either you use the Wireless Adapter for Windows, with which you can connect up to four Xbox One controllers to the PC at the same time using Microsoft's proprietary radio standard, or you simply use Bluetooth. It should be noted here that Bluetooth is more susceptible to interference and only current second generation Xbox One controllers support the radio standard.

The often criticized use of AA batteries can also be an advantage. In combination with rechargeable rechargeable batteries, you never have to connect the controller to the cable while playing. If the batteries are all out, you simply change them. In addition, built-in batteries have the disadvantage that they lose power after a few years, which is not a problem with the Xbox One Pad, because you can easily replace the batteries at any time without handicrafts.

Just past the throne: the PS4 controller

PlayStation 4 - DualShock 4 wireless controller
PlayStation 4 - DualShock 4 wireless controller

PlayStation 4 - DualShock 4 wireless controller

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Our second choice for a PC controller also falls on a pad that was originally developed for a console. Sony's DualShock 4 is also very popular among PC gamers. In contrast to the previous PlayStation controllers, the ergonomics of the DS4 have been fine-tuned so that many players can even see the PS4 pad above the Xbox controllers - especially if they have slightly smaller hands.

The growing popularity was also noticed by the developers, which is why more and more PC titles natively support the PlayStation pad and also have the appropriate button prompts. Compared to the Xbox controller, the direct support is still small. Fortunately, Valve also responded, so that the DS4 can now be recognized in Steam and completely set up in the controller settings. So you can use the PS4 pad for all games with controller support and also play non-Steam games with it if you add them to Steam. You are no longer dependent on hobby drivers like DS4Windows.

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You can either connect the controller to the PC with a microUSB cable or wirelessly via Bluetooth. The official DualShock 4 USB Wirless Adapter from Sony is unfortunately no longer in production and is being sold for horrific prices. But since this only uses the Bluetooth standard, you can also use any other Bluetooth dongle for a fraction of the price.

For retro fans: 8-bit do controller

8Bitdo SN30 (G Classic Edition) Bluetooth Game Pad
8Bitdo SN30 (G Classic Edition) Bluetooth Game Pad

8Bitdo SN30 (G Classic Edition) Bluetooth Game Pad

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8BitDo M30 Bluetooth Wireless Gamepad
8BitDo M30 Bluetooth Wireless Gamepad

8BitDo M30 Bluetooth Wireless Gamepad

Now from € 26.27 at Amazon price can now be higher. Price from 27.07.2020 00:28 a.m.

If you can't get all the frills with analog sticks, several shoulder buttons and vibration motors, you should take a closer look at the 8BitDo controllers. Especially the two models SN30 and M30, which are modeled on the Super Nintendo gamepad and the MegaDrive controller.

8BitDo has emerged as a particularly recommendable manufacturer of classic controllers with modern extensions. If you need a suitable controller for the old school games in retro or emulator form, you get Bluetooth controllers with good battery performance that come very close to the look and feel of the originals.

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In addition to XInput, they also support DirectInput, which means that they can also be used as controllers in many classic PC games. And there is also a mode for Mac computers and the Nintendo Switch.

Budget controller: Nacon Compact Controller

Nacon Compact Controller PC & PS4
Nacon Compact Controller PC & PS4

Nacon Compact Controller PC & PS4

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Controllers from various peripheral manufacturers usually do not have the best reputation. Even if the name Nacon is still relatively new, the company has been gaining experience in the production of gaming accessories since the mid-90s: Before that, they sold their hardware under the name Bigben.

The Nacon Compact Controller is particularly suitable for PC players who usually play with a mouse and keyboard and only need a controller for a few titles. By default, the controller is available for around 35 euros and tears a much smaller hole in your wallet.

The wired controller is available in 5 different colors, has a touchpad, vibration motors and a headset connection. In addition to XInput on the PC, the controller is also compatible with the PS4 and is ideal as a second controller for local multiplayer games.

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Controller on the PC? Nowadays finally "uniform"

In front of the Xbox 360 pad, controller support on the PC was like the wild west. Even though Microsoft has made joysticks and controllers for the PC market before, a standard was missing in many areas. On the one hand, developers sometimes removed controller support from the PC version, even on multiplatform titles, and on the other, controllers were often not compatible with every game.

The "PC" as an open system does not have one controller, but offers a number of different gamepads from different manufacturers - or as console players would say "third-party providers". The quality here can fluctuate accordingly.

Those who preferred to use the original controller of their favorite console on a PC at that time faced the next problem: no USB connection. The proprietary connections of the various manufacturers required adapters. And so that the whole thing is also recognized on the computer, a driver, which mostly seemed rather cobbled together and unfinished. Here you could look forward to problems such as digital input of the analog sticks, non-functioning vibration or the complete crash of the controller support in the middle of the game.

You can already tell: Not everything was better in the past - controller support on the PC definitely wasn't!

What is XInput and DirectInput?

XInput and DirectInput are both programming interfaces (API) that belong to Microsoft's DirectX and allow the control of a program via an analog or digital input device on the PC. XInput is the current standard, which Microsoft introduced for the first time with the Xbox 360 controller under Windows XP. Most PC games from 2005 rely on XInput.

The Xbox gamepad and many other XInput controllers are configured to work with old software that only support DirectInput. In individual cases, however, there may be incompatibilities. You can configure old DirectInput devices with an additional Xbox 360 controller emulator so that you can also use them in games that only support XInput.

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