Last Updated on March 22, 2017
It’s time to get an updated list going for the best controllers for PC gaming! It’s 2017 now and the market for controllers has changed quite a bit.
In the past I had done a similar post but as I said, it’s time to get a more updated list since there is a lot more going on in this space and there is more value out of what has come out.
These Are In No Specific Order
Meaning that these are simply the 5 that I found to have the most value in terms of what you get for what you pay for. The first on the list isn’t the best and neither is the last.
All controllers are different and have their unique features about them and it’ll come down to the individual person to dictate whether or not it’d be a controller that suits what you’re trying to get out of the controller.
With that, let’s get on with the list!
I’ve used the Steam Controller for quite a while now, I have a more in-depth review right here if you’re interested in getting all of the details about it.
What I love most about the Steam Controller is that you’re able to change up the button mapping for any Steam game, even ones that aren’t on Steam!
You know how you can add a non-Steam game to your library? Once you launch it in Big Picture Mode you’ll be able to map each button to whatever you want.
You can make the touch pads be buttons of their own, make them into joysticks or have ABXY as your movement if you really wanted to. Whatever you want each button to be used for, you can do it.
There are also a few customization features such as the sounds it makes when you turn the controller on/off and being able to have different rumble emulations.
It takes a while to get used to the pads and what not but I think the Steam Controller is entirely worth it if you’re looking for something that’ll let you map the buttons to whatever you’d like!
Wireless Xbox One Controller
I say to go with the wireless one because I had a bad experience with the wired one. A wired Xbox One controller is cheaper and maybe you’ll have better luck but my cable stopped working pretty quickly.
Since I’ve moved on to using the wireless adapter I have not had any issues at all with it disconnecting or not working how it’s supposed to.
The wireless adapter that comes with is able to connect up to 8 controllers from what I’ve read, I haven’t actually tried to pair more than one to it though.
Xbox controllers have always been the pioneer controller, the most sought after gamepad and it’s for good reason. The overall design of the controller is what most people are comfortable with.
I enjoy using it for 3rd person shooters, fighting games and driving games. It works perfectly for those types of games. Xbox One controllers are also some of the most durable ones, they’ll last for many years.
Zhidong Wireless Controller
You’ve probably never heard of this brand before but if you’re looking for a wireless controller that’s under $30 then Zhidong’s wireless controller is something you should take a look at.
Most off-brand products, especially when it comes to gaming controllers, probably shouldn’t be trusted. But many people have bought and reviewed this cheap controller to justify putting it on the list.
At first I wanted to include the Logitech F710 controller instead of this one but I read up that Logitech’s controller isn’t compatible with Windows 10 and that’s a big no no.
This Zhidong controller has a driver that Windows 10 will pick up on right away and it’s also compatible with Android platforms.
It comes with a USB dongle that it uses to connect and when turned on the ABXY buttons illuminate. The material isn’t the highest quality out there but again, this controller would be for those of you that are looking for a cheaper option that’s wireless.
Afterglow Wired Xbox 360 Controller
It’s time to dabble back to the classic Xbox 360 gamepad. I have a blue version of the Afterglow Xbox 360 controller and it has worked for a long time now!
Even though the Xbox 360 controller is an older controller, this is still compatible with Windows 10. When I’m playing a co-op game I have a blue one and it’s still working to this day after over a year of being used.
It works right away, the controller is built and seen as a regular Microsoft Xbox 360 controller hence why it works right away. It feels very similar to the traditional Xbox 360 controller.
You can get it in blue, green and red LED lighting. I wrote an in-depth review of it so be sure to check it out if you’re wanting more details on what it’s all about.
If you’re looking for a wired controller that’s on the cheaper side without being made of cheap quality then this is probably the controller you’re looking for. It also has awesome LED lighting as a bonus!
ZD-V+ Wired Controller
Another off-brand controller with good enough reviews to include, this one resembles a Playstation controller design while being less than $25.
I found this controller and it should be looked at as a potential replacement for a Logitech F710 controller. It uses the ABXY buttons while having the look and feel of a Playstation controller.
Although you get what you pay for when it comes to controllers, it’s not going to have the quality of something made from Logitech, it’s still something that’s going to work for the latest Windows. It really bothers me that Logitech didn’t make the F170 compatible with it…
Anyway, there are plenty of reviews stating that the controller works as you’d want it to. You plug it in, the driver is found and you’re ready to go.
There are some mixed reviews saying that it doesn’t have the greatest material and a small amount of people have stated that it stopped working after some time but that could also be due to how they treated the controller.
Want something cheap and for it to feel like a Playstation controller? This is one that you should definitely look into picking up.
Which Controller Suits You Best?
Every controller feels different and everyone has their own unique taste when it comes to picking out a controller. Sometimes the look of it is most important whereas others enjoy having as many features as possible.
Whatever it is that you’re looking for – this list has covered most of the different types that you’d want to get into. Remember that you get what you pay for. An official Xbox One controller is going to be more durable and will last longer than an off-brand controller.
So, which of these controllers are you thinking about picking up?
What type of controller best suits you?
Let me know in the comments below! 😀
Hey there! 👋 I’m Colton, founder of PC Builds On A Budget.
Whether you need help putting your PC together, finding a great pre-built rig, or want some help finding awesome peripherals – I’ve got you covered!
I share my experiences of anything and everything related to gaming PCs with you here. 👍