Mobile gaming is constantly on the rise, and the introduction of cloud gaming is a welcome addition. With cloud gaming, we now have the ability to play our favorite titles from AAA directly on our Android devices. However, sticking our fingers on our modern touchscreens is not the best experience as it can get annoying after a while. On the other hand, game controllers offer a more immersive experience with ergonomic design, physical joysticks, haptic feedback while playing, and much more.
How to Choose the Best Android Gaming Controller?
Before we take a look at the best Android controllers, let us first understand how to decide the right controller. The first thing you need to decide is whether you are looking for a wired controller or a wireless controller. Once you decide, you need to choose a controller based on your gaming preferences. If you are more into retro gaming, then you should have look at the retro controllers, but if you are looking for controllers for cloud gaming, then you should opt for controllers based on that.
You should look for a controller that has all the important buttons like a joystick, shoulder buttons, D-pad, and some more. The controller should be ergonomically designed because if it is not, it can affect the overall gaming experience. Also, it should fit well in your hand and should not slip out of your hand while playing. Also, the gamepad should be compatible with Android devices. If it is a wireless controller, you should choose controllers with rechargeable batteries, as many on the market still use traditional batteries AA.
Best Android Controllers to Buy
Most mobile games are best enjoyed with a mobile gaming controller, so what are we waiting for? Let us take a look at the best ones out there.
1. Best Wired Gaming Controllers for Android
Wired controllers are some of the oldest and easiest to use controllers around. These gamepads work well with most Android devices, as you only need an OTG adapter to connect them to your smartphone. Since it is a wired connection, the latency should be comparatively lower than the other controllers. Let us take a look at the best ones out there.
i. MSI Force GC20
MSI is known for making some of the best gaming laptops on the market. Similarly, they also make gaming controllers for our smartphones. The MSI Force GC20 is an interesting offering from the company. The all-black gamepad with red MSI accents looks really good. It offers all the features you would expect from a mobile gaming controller. You get all the standard buttons plus a D-pad. Since it is a wired controller, it also saves you from the hassle of charging your game controller from time to time. For the asking price of $15.99 USD, it’s also quite affordable.
Buy MSI Force GC20
The IFYOO-V108 is an excellent alternative to the MSI controller and is also recommended by Amazon. An outstanding feature of this game controller is the turbo key. You can assign a repeating action to the turbo button, which will then be executed repeatedly with just one click. It is available in two different color options – red and blue. Moreover, you can also buy the gamepad with an OTG connector to quickly connect it to your Android smartphone. All you have to do is connect the other end of the controller to your smartphone and you are good to go. It is currently selling for $23.99 on Amazon, but you can get an extra 10% discount by applying coupons during checkout.
The next wired controller on the list is the EasySMX controller. This ergonomic controller has over 6500 reviews on Amazon with an average rating of 4.3 stars, and there are several reasons for its popularity. EasySMX features two vibrators that make playing even more enjoyable and pleasurable. Also, all the important buttons, triggers, and joystick are present. It is available in several color options: gray. Black, Blue, Green, Red, and White.
2. Best Wireless Gaming Controllers for Android Devices
Wired controllers are good, but if you want to jump on the wireless bandwagon, we have got you covered. If you are tired of plugging cables into multiple devices, wireless controllers (Bluetooth controllers) are the way to go.
i. SteelSeries Stratos Duo
SteelSeries is not a new name when it comes to making gaming controllers. As a matter of fact, they make some of the best Bluetooth controllers available out in the market. The Stratos Duo is the latest offering from SteelSeries and is already popular among gamers. It does not have those fancy colors/accents but still manages to look classy. You can easily connect the controller to your Android smartphone over WiFi or Bluetooth. Moreover, instead of using the traditional AA batteries which you need to replace after some time, this one can charge easily over micro USB and claims to offer 20 hours of gaming time.
Buy SteelSeries Stratos Duo
ii. GameSir T4 Pro
The GameSir T4 Pro is the best seller on Amazon due to its price and functionality. It has a semi-transparent design that allows us to see some components of the controller. It also has a LED backlight near the ABXY button which seems pretty useful and cool. There are three ways to connect the controller to your Android device – WiFi, BlueTooth, and the traditional wired option. The best thing about the GameSir T4 Pro is that it charges via USB-C port, whereas most controllers in this range have a micro-USB port. Also, GameSir T4 Pro is the best game controller for Android TV.
Buy GameSir T4 Pro
3. Best Controller for cloud gaming
Cloud gaming is the next big step in the world of gaming on smartphones. The platform now allows us to easily play our favorite titles from AAA on our smartphones. To get the best cloud gaming experience, a good controller is essential. Let us take a detailed look at the best controller for cloud gaming.
i. Google Stadia Controller (For Stadia)
Stadia was launched in 2019 with the goal of making gaming easily accessible to everyone. While Stadia had some issues in the first year after its launch, Google has managed to improve the experience now. If your cloud gaming platform of choice is Stadia, then the Stadia gamepad is your best bet. Since it comes directly from Google, it works seamlessly with Stadia. The controller has a Google Assistant button, so you can control various things in Stadia with just your voice, using its built-in microphones. However, to connect the Stadia controller to your Android device, you will need a mobile mount.
Buy Google Stadia Controller
ii. PowerA Moga XP5-X Plus (For XBOX Game Pass)
PowerA Moga Xp5-X Plus is our choice if you are an Xbox Gamepass user. This Android game controller is designed specifically for Xbox and should work well with Game Pass. If your battery is almost dead but you still want to keep playing, you do not have to worry with the PowerA Moga Xp5 Plus. Why? How can a game controller solve that? The simple answer is that it is equipped with a 3000 mAh battery that works as a power bank. Combined with the ability to connect the smartphone directly to the controller, an uninterrupted gaming experience is guaranteed. However, this Android controller is specifically designed for use with Xbox Game Pass and does not work with Xbox consoles.
Buy PowerA Moga XP5-X Plus
4. Best Retro Gaming Controllers
If you want to relive your childhood memories, then retro gaming controllers are just what you need. Many retro gaming controllers do a phenomenal job of helping you relive the retro gaming experience. Moreover, many of them bear a resemblance to the old controllers with funky colors, design, and so on. Moreover, they are also quite affordable compared to other modern gamepads.
i. 8bitdo SN30 Pro+
The 8bitdo SN30 is probably the most popular retro gaming controller for mobiles out there. Despite being a retro controller, it comes with all the modern bells and whistles. From a modern USB Type-C for charging to wireless connectivity. In addition, 8bit claims that the controller has a built-in 6-axis gyroscope for an even more enjoyable retro gaming experience. This game controller is available in classic black, gray, and SN editions and lasts up to 18 hours on a single charge.
Buy 8bitdo Sn30 Pro+
ii. iNNEXT 2
If you are not willing to spend a lot of money on a retro controller, then iNNEXT 2 seems like a really good option for only $9. The main reason it’s so cheap is that it does not support wireless connectivity like the 8bitdo. However, for the asking price, it seems to do a lot of things right. The design is well done, making it look like a retro controller. All you need is an OTG adapter to connect the controller to your Android smartphone, and you are good to go. It is available in two color options – black and gray. If you are willing to spend a bit more, you can also get the gamepad in a wireless configuration for $25.99 USD, which is still quite affordable.
Buy iNNEXT 2
5. Best Telescopic controllers
The FlyDigi Wee2T appears to be very compact and its design makes the controller easy to transport. Since it is a telescopic controller, you just need to put your smartphone in between. It is important to know that it supports phones up to 6.3 inches in size. The best thing about this controller is the 80-hour battery life, which should provide for uninterrupted gaming sessions with your friends. On the other hand, the charging time is also pretty good at 4 hours. It is available in two color options – Navy and Orange-Red.
Buy Flydigi Wee2T
ii. GameSir X2
GameSir makes some of the best controllers on the market, and the GameSir X2 seems no different. For $60, it is admittedly on the premium side. It offers all the features we need. Since the controller connects to your smartphone via USB Type-C, most modern smartphones are supported. There is also a screenshot button on the controller that allows you to easily capture your favorite moments in the game. The gamepad supports devices with a maximum length of up to 167 mm. Moreover, the GameSir X2 is also available in a Bluetooth configuration, so you can easily pair it with your smartphone even if it does not support USB Type-C.
Buy GameSir X2
6. Best Android Phone Clip controllers
What are phone clip controllers? These types of gaming controllers are very similar to normal controllers, but they have a trick up their sleeve. The controller has a built-in smartphone mount that allows you to easily attach a smartphone directly to the controller, making gaming more fun and ergonomic at the same time.
i. GameSir G4 Pro
At the latest, it is clear that GameSir makes a huge range of controllers and is one of the main reasons for its popularity. The controller can be used both wired and wireless. Like the Gamesir X2, this controller is also equipped with a screenshot button that allows you to quickly take screenshots with just one click. It also has a turbo button that you can set to perform a custom, repetitive action, such as firing automatically with the button. In fact, you can easily switch the ABXY layout depending on the game.
Buy G4 Pro
ii. PowerLead XS
If you are looking for something for your budget, consider the PowerLead Controller. The controller is currently available for USD 21.99 on amazon with an additional 10% discount with coupons during checkout. It has a textured surface for better grip, alongside gold accents on the controller. The controller comes with a rechargeable battery and offers 10 hours of battery life. It is also equipped with all the standard controls such as a joystick, shoulder buttons, and ABXY buttons.
Buy PowerLead XS
8. Best Android Gaming Controller (Overall) – Razer Kishi
Razer Kishi is one of the most popular controllers on the market and also the choice of Amazon. The controller has over 7000 reviews on Amazon, with an average rating of 4.4 stars. It has all the controls you need during your gaming session, including a D-pad, joystick, shoulder buttons, and more. This handheld controller is extremely compact and can be easily and conveniently carried in your backpack. All you have to do is connect your smartphone via the controller’s Type-C port and you are ready to go.
One stand-out feature of Razer Kishi is the pass-through charging. With a traditional telescopic controller, you have to take your Android phone out of the gamepad when the battery is dead to charge it. With the pass-through feature, you can connect the cable to the gamepad, which will then pass the charge to your smartphone for an uninterrupted experience. Plus, latency should not be an issue since the controller connects to your Android smartphone or iPhone via the USB Type-C port.
Do you know what the best part about this gamepad is? No batteries! Yes, you do not need to charge the Razer Kishi as it connects directly to your smartphone. Also, this mobile controller is available in three packages – controller only, controller+earphones, and controller+grip strap. The controller can be used for both cloud and mobile gaming.
Buy Razer Kishi
Honorable Mentions (The Popular Console Gaming Controllers Duo)
1. Xbox Controller
Did you know that you can use your Xbox controller with your smartphone/ PC? Since Xbox controllers work via Bluetooth, you can easily pair them with your other devices without any additional accessories. Besides, you can also use the Xbox wireless controller via USB OTG cable.
Buy Xbox Controller
2. PS4/PS5 controllers
Similar to Xbox controllers, you can use a PlayStation controller with your mobile device or laptop. This saves you from buying an extra controller to use with your other devices. Although Sony has been using Bluetooth in its controllers for some time, only PS4 controllers and PS5 controllers are supported. This means that you can not just plug in your old PS3 controller to play mobile games.
Buy PS Controller
Frequently Asked Questions about Gaming Controllers for Android
1. How to connect gaming controller to Smartphone?
Connecting the controller to your Android phone or even an iOS device is a straightforward process. We have already covered a detailed guide on how you can do just that. You can read more about it here.
2. Will my game account get banned if I use a controller?
Yes, in a few multiplayer games like BGMI or PUBG, or COD, your account might get banned, so please try it at your own risk. That being said, there is still a huge variety of mobile games in which you can use controllers.
3. What is a Turbo button in a controller?
As you may have seen in this article, many controllers have a turbo button. Basically, the turbo button is meant to perform a certain task several times in a row without you having to constantly press a button. The best example of this would be shooting in a game. When shooting, we have to press the X button several times, but if we press the turbo button once, it will automatically perform that action.
4. What is the best game controller for Android TV?
GameSir T4 Pro is our choice for the best Android TV game controller. It is an affordable gamepad with multiple ways to connect. Although, only the 2.4GHz WiFi is recommended to be used with an Android TV.
5. What is the best controller for Super Mario?
Super Mario is a retro game, so you might want to look at the best retro controllers like 8bitdo and iNNEXT.
6. How do Wireless controllers connect to our smartphones?
The majority of the wireless controllers available in the market connect over Bluetooth to our smartphones. Few others use WiFi to connect. Bluetooth controllers are a better bet due to lower latency, lower battery consumption, and better reliability over WiFi controllers.
7. Can I play all games using a Controller?
The simple answer is No. Many controllers are designed to work best with specific types of games. For instance, FPS games require precise aiming controls, whereas racing games need quick reflexes. So when buying a controller, make sure you know what type of games you plan to play before purchasing.