3 Popular Controllers For PC Gaming (Guide)

Editor Choice
Xbox Elite Wireless Controller
Steam Controller
Budget Choice
PlayStation 5 DualSense Wireless Controller
Xbox Elite Wireless Controller
Steam Controller
PlayStation 5 DualSense Wireless Controller
$119.49
$288.00
$83.33
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Editor Choice
Xbox Elite Wireless Controller
Xbox Elite Wireless Controller
$119.49
-
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-
Steam Controller
Steam Controller
$288.00
-
-
Budget Choice
PlayStation 5 DualSense Wireless Controller
PlayStation 5 DualSense Wireless Controller
$83.33
-
-
-

Last update on 2021-10-14 / As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more about us.

PC gaming isn’t only about picking up the best computer. The perfect setup includes some other stuff such as a good keyboard and mouse, or a fitting controller for the games that require it.

In this article, we will take a look at the top controllers you can buy to help you have the best gaming experience.

Is PC gaming better with a controller?

For many games, yes. Racing games, adventure games, open-world RPGs such as The Witcher, metroidvanias such as Ori and The Blind Forest, and many other games and genres become smoother to play if you have access to a good controller.

Not all PC games are meant to be played with a controller, however. You can’t play World of Warcraft that way, nor Dota 2 or League of Legends since you need to click with the mouse and activate abilities on the QWER (Dota 2 uses some other keys too).

But most games that you acquire through Steam, Epic, Origin, etc, which are developed for multiple platforms, are meant for playing with a controller.

When you connect an Xbox controller to your PC and try to play, most of the games will immediately recognize your controller.

All buttons matter on the controller, and they are all close. Also, most games have similar configurations for fighting, running, shooting, etc. On the keyboard, however, keys are not so close and you will first have to remember where to press each time. So, a controller saves time.

More than that, 3D games let you change the view to see hidden items, reposition in a fight, etc.

If you don’t have a controller, you need to do that with the mouse, which is harder for fast-pacing, action-packed games.

Is it better to aim with a mouse or controller? 

Mouse and keyboard are MVP when it comes to PC shooters that require precision. You will never see a professional CS: GO player with a controller, as the mouse lets them show their skills better.

Even though controllers are great for a whole variety of games, aiming with a mouse is better because this device was made for precision.

You will never be so quick and precise with the controller’s analog stick as you can be with a mouse in environments where precision and speed matter.

3 Best Controllers For Alienware

This article is part of a series of articles to help gamers find suitable Alienware laptops and desktops for their purposes and also devices to go along.

However, any controller listed here will also be perfect for users of other brands. So, let’s check the three greatest options you can pick up right now.

Microsoft Xbox Elite Wireless Controller

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Xbox Elite Wireless Controller
  • Xbox Elite Wireless Controller is the World’s Most Advanced Controller
  • Get pro level precision, an arsenal of swappable components, Hair trigger locks, and limitless customization with an easy to use...
  • Achieve greater control with interchangeable paddles and rubberized diamond grip

Last update on 2021-10-14 / As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more about us.

This is debatable, but for many people, Xbox controllers present the best anatomy. Unlike older PlayStation and Nintendo controllers, Xbox controllers always had a perfect design to fit well in your hands (but PS and Nintendo have been catching up lately). This way, long hours of gaming feel like a few minutes. 

The Elite series goes way beyond offering the staple comfort. It is highly customizable, letting you tweak many aspects of it. Its d-pad also is made for higher precision in games in which it matters.

And, as you can see just from the picture, the part where your hands hold the controller is made of a different material than the rest, making for even more comfort.

The controller ships for a bit more than the average, but it is a top option for gamers that want to make the best out of the gaming hours.

Pros

  • Highly customizable
  • One of the most comfortable controllers
  • Incredible software support
  • Interchangeable components, haptic rumble, 3.5mm headset, extensive customization
  • Play wired or wireless

Cons

  • More expensive than the average Xbox controllers

Steam Controller

Steam Controller
  • Experience a new level of precise control for your favorite games. The Steam Controller lets you play your entire collection of...
  • Features dual trackpads, HD haptic feedback, dual-stage triggers, back grip buttons, and fully-customizable control schemes. Find...
  • Dual trackpads allow for 1:1 absolute position input via virtual controls like a trackball, adaptive centering joystick, or...

Last update on 2021-10-14 / As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more about us.

Now, this is a controller which isn’t suited for all gamers. It is a very different model that has a layout all changed to include a different functionality: a touchpad, just like on a laptop.

This touchpad is divided between the left and the right side of the controller. Gamers who don’t care about touchpad on a controller can configure it to work as d-pads, though.  

The best part about the controller is that you can configure it however you like. For games that require a lot of different key bindings, you can choose to combine two buttons for a different action.

Also, since it works with the Steam software, you can connect it to any device that has Steam. This way, it will work with your PC and also with your smartphone and Smart TV.

More than that, the touchpads will allow you to play card games where you need to drag the cards from the hand to the board. Think about Hearthstone and Magic Arena, for example.

At first, it might be strange to play with it, but the controller pays off in the end. It is proven to be perfect for playing popular games such as The Witcher 3 and GTA V.

The big twist, however, is playing shooters. It was already said how a mouse is preferred over controllers for precision.

Well, since the Steam controller has touchpads, you can aim with them for high precision in games such as Red Dead Redemption.

You can’t buy it directly from Steam, but you can find it at retailers such as Amazon.

Pros

  • The button scheme is the same as Xbox
  • Ergonomic
  • Two extra programmable paddles on the back
  • Fully customizable

Cons

  • Trackpads don’t feel as good as real analog sticks
  • Touchpads still aren’t as precise as keyboard and mouse

PlayStation DualSense Wireless Controller

PlayStation 5 DualSense Wireless Controller
  • Haptic feedback** - Feel physically responsive feedback to your in-game actions with dual actuators which replace traditional...
  • Adaptive triggers** - Experience varying levels of force and tension as you interact with your in-game gear and environments. From...
  • Built-in microphone and headset jack - Chat with friends online*** using the built-in microphone or by connecting a headset to the...

Last update on 2021-10-14 / As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more about us.

If you are a gamer that prefers the button scheme of PlayStation, its software, or simply its anatomy, then there is also an option for you.

Released in 2020, the DualSense Wireless Controller is one of the best controllers ever released by Sony.

It was said in this article that older PlayStation controllers didn’t fit on hands just as well as the Xbox controller.

Well, DualSense is among the new controllers that have a more ergonomic design. Just from looking at it, you can know it is comfortable. And if you are looking for a fancy-looking device, it delivers that too.

How about performance, though? Its triggers are sensitive, letting you perfectly adjust the amount of power you put into actions where it is important that you have all the control.

For content creators or simply gamers that like to share moments, it comes with a “create button” that lets you capture and broadcast many moments.

Even though the controller was designed to natively connect with the PlayStation 5, you can connect it to your PC too.

Pros:

  • Accurate thumbsticks
  • Adaptive triggers
  • Haptic rumble

Cons:

  • Short battery life
  • Mic quality isn’t great

Final Thoughts

If you are already picking up an Alienware laptop or desktop, then you might be looking for the best controller too regardless of price.

In that case, Xbox Elite is the best you could ask for. Perhaps you have different preferences, but Xbox controllers are always a safe pick due to software compatibility, comfort, and button scheme.

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