The best android controller is a must for any serious android video gamer. A bold statement but we stand by it, and with good reason. Controllers grant a much more comfortable and more immersive gaming experience, allowing the player to have more control while playing.
This article will discuss the benefits of Android controllers, as well as the features you should pay attention to when purchasing such controllers. We also bring you a selective list of the top ten Android controllers currently available on the market.
Some Background On The Android Controller
Android controllers emerged when smartphones acquired more computing potential. With this computing potential came the Android video game industry, and it’s an industry that continues to grow.
As most of you know, the most notable console video game giants, Sony and Xbox, understand the connection between gamer and the console, which is the controller. Instead of directly controlling the in-game characters via buttons on the console, players communicate with the console via controllers.
As Android games became more and more sophisticated, the need for controllers emerged. It was no longer enough to swipe and press the touchscreen, or break the nav button on your Sony Ericsson in the very early days. Thus the industry responded to consumer’s requests and needs and started making Android controllers.
Benefits Of Android Controllers
Any hardcore gamer will tell you that you need a controller, but this isn’t true. You can play most of the games without a controller, and there’s no denying that. However, that gaming experience is not the same as the one with the controller.
Any games that require fast reactions, such as sports, racing or fighting games, are much easier to play with the controller. And it’s not all about the comfort, but also about performance.
As the name suggests, the controller gives you more functionality and complex control while playing games. Moreover, Android revitalized old games, the ones you played on Nintendo or PlayStation 1, and the familiarity of a controller with these games is key to the appeal.
What To Look For In The Best Android Controller
There are several factors you need to consider when purchasing Android gamepads and controllers. We have created a list to make things more straightforward and easy to understand:
Compatibility: compatibility should be your primary concern. Making sure that controller will match your device is a must. Also, check if any particular game supports gamepads because not every game is gamepad compatible.
Design: look for notable manufactures. Furthermore, align your preferences with the product. Are you searching for arcade controller with stick and buttons, or for a more modern-like gamepad with LED buttons?
Mounting: some Android controllers have mounting options, allowing you to mount your phone on the controller, temporary merging them into one device. If you want this option, look for gamepads that offer it.
Price: though gamepads are ordinarily inexpensive, look for one that matches your budget. Prices range anywhere from $25 to $100.
Now that you have a general understanding of what things you should pay attention to let us take a look at our ten best Android controllers.
The Best Android Controller Reviews
We are starting our list with the 8Bitdo N30, an arcade looking gamepad made by Geek Theory. 8Bitdo N30 has class and is compatible with Android, Nintendo Switch, Mac and Windows platforms.
It is powered by lithium battery for wireless Bluetooth connection options, but you can also plug it in via USB cable. 8Bitdo N30 features both turbo and D-pad modes (D and X input), Mac and Nintendo Switch mode.
Upon purchase, you will receive the controller, 3m long USB cable, and Geek Theory dust cover. This product is a must for those gamers who long for arcade, old school games, especially fighting games.
8Bitdo N30 works well with all mentioned devices, its case is high quality made, and device features unique, arcade design will introduce a top of the line technology and high functionality.
Compatibility with many platforms, including Nintendo, Android, Mac, and Windows
Unique arcade design
Long battery life (up to 18 hours)
Default button making won’t suit everyone’s needs
Joystick might feel somewhat loose
GameSir T1 features modern design and works well with Android smartphone and tablet, as well as with PC, PS3, Nvidia Tablet. It also works with steam.
To connect it to the smartphone you will use wireless technology, and the USB cable to connect it to your PC. It works with Android version 4.0 or higher, and Windows 7 or other future versions.
The gamepad features highly functional bracket, acting as a mount for phones. You can attach any phone from 3.5 to 6 inches. The mount is safe and firm, making sure your phone stays where you place it.
GameSir T1 also features 360°analog joystick together with D-pad buttons, enabling maximum performance. This controller also comes with a rechargeable lithium battery, one that lasts up to 18 hours.
GameSir T1 will work with most PS3 and Windows games. When it comes to Android compatibility, you can always use free software to check for compatibility online.
Compatibility with most platforms
Features 360°analog joystick
Long-lasting rechargeable battery
Quality design with mounting options
Some customers complained about Bluetooth connection, but other than that, this device works as described
Nyko Smart Clip is a DualShock 4 gamepad, working best for PS4 and Android. It allows for excellent handsfree experience, allowing you to mount your phone on the gamepad, with tightening knobs to assert the phone’s position.
It works well with Androids, Windows phones, iPhones and Blackberries, up to 3.5 inches. The gamepad also allows you to record, stream or broadcast videos, having the option to utilize your phone’s camera.
Ergonomics are excellent too, and jumped fits and feels right when playing, allowing maximum comfort and perfect gaming experience. Rubber bands are sensitive, and high quality made but will deteriorate over time, as will any other gamepad.
Due to its design, it works best with smartphones, wither Android, Windows or iPhones. Nyko Smart Clip is a smart investment for casual gamers who want full gaming experience.
Compatible with multiple platforms
Well made and durable
Has mounting capabilities
Rubber bands will deteriorate over time
Won’t safely hold phones bigger than 3.5 inches
8Bitdo SF30 Pro Controller works well with Nintendo Switch, as well as with Android, MacOs, and Windows. This gamepad looks old and arcade, but is highly functional, featuring perfect motion control and vibration options.
You have the option to use Wireless Bluetooth connectivity and the USB cable. Much like other 8Bitdo gamepads, the SF30 Pro Controller has both D-Input and X-Input function options.
SF30 Pro is a retro controller, very thin and lightweight, and feels very good in hands. It will take you down to the memory lane and remind you of your childhood while you play old games on a new smartphone.
Due to its high functionality and unique retro design, SF30 Pro is one of the best gamepads currently available on the market. It is also worth mentioning that this gamepad features USB-C technology, with regards to the USB cable.
Compact and lightweight
Compatible with notable platforms and devices
D-Input and X-Input
Lacking mounting options
MYGT Android Controller is a modern wireless controller, featuring modern, Predator-like design. It will work on all Android 4.0 or higher devices, and, being modern, it is also VR compatible, support leading VR platforms, such as Oculus Rift and Samsung VR.
MYGT Android Controller supports Bluetooth 4.0 or higher, allowing wireless connectivity, as well as the USB connection. It has dual analog control and D-pad sticks.
This controller also has mounting options, able to hold 4-6 inches phones firmly. Like its competitors, it also has a built-in rechargeable battery, and it comes with the USB cable with which you will charge it.
This device also comes with 30-day money back guarantee, together with a 2-year warranty. Ergonomics are excellent, introducing anti-slip technology with a ribbed rubber cover for the firm but comfortable grip.
Modern design and functions
Compatible with most platforms
Rechargeable longlasting battery
Excellent ergonomics, featuring anti-slip design technology
Foldable mount (able to hold 4-6 inch phones)
Design won’t suit everyone’s taste
KINGAR Controller also features wireless connection technology, paired with the USB cable connection option. It supports 3.2 Android and all newer versions, IOS devices with 4.3 operating system, or those above it.
It features 3.0 Bluetooth technology ranging up to 8 meters and comes with 20 hours lasting rechargeable battery, allowing maximum performance and comfort.
KINGAR also offers the 30-day money back guarantee and one year warranty on their gamepad. The most prominent feature of the KINGAR Wireless Gamepad Bluetooth Controller is its telescopic mount, one that can hold phones and pads from 5 to 10 inches.
It works best for Android users but also works well with iPhones and Ipads. It is easy to set up and use, feels right, is built of quality material and allows for the more comfortable gaming experience.
Telescope stand supports devices from 5 to 10 inches
Perfect ergonomics, firm grip
Long-lasting recharge battery
Supports only Android and Ios
Customers complain that the gamepad won’t work with some games it should work with
Shinecon VR Remote Controller is modest on the outside, very powerful on the inside. This controller works best with Android and IOS, providing smooth gaming experience.
The device is compact and lightweight and will fit in anyone’s hand perfectly. It uses 2 AA batteries, but they don’t come with the device, so order them additionally.
Shinecon VR Remote Controller features two control modes, KEY, and GAME. Use KEY mode for navigating and browsing, reading ebooks, taking selfies and so forth. GAME mode is, well, for gaming.
Installation is straightforward (just hold start button to turn it on or off), ergonomics are excellent, and you can switch between to modes using the dedicated button. If you are an Android user, this is one the best controller you can obtain on current’s market.
Unique design and lightweight
Features two modes (GAME and KEY)
Supports IOS, Android and Windows platforms
Comes without batteries
BEBONCOOL Game Controller Amazon’s choice when it comes to Android controllers. It is quality made, efficient and beautifully designed.
It features two diagonally placed joysticks, L2 and R2 buttons (together with all standard buttons) and a D-pad. Works best with Samsung phones, but supports others too (such as HTC, LG, etc.) It is even VR compatible, supporting Oculus Rift.
It also features mount for your phones (supports 3-6 inch screens), and it will support 3.2 or newer Android versions. The battery will serve up to 8 hours when used at full capacity, which is convenient.
You can also download the BEBONCOOL GAMEPAD app; it offers 300 video games, of which 145 are free, which is more than enough to try out this gamepad. BEBONCOOL Game Controller looks and feels great, and serve you for a long time if accidence doesn’t occur.
Beautiful and quality design
Features phone mount for maximum comfort
Works with Samsung VR
BEBONCOOL GAMEPAD app helps you find games
Works only with Android
Works with a small number of devices
NVIDIA SHIELD Controller is very selective, working with SHIELD tablet and portable. However, when it comes to performance, oh boy!
The NVIDIA SHIELD Controller features a beautiful design, has a great feel, unique shape ensures firm and comfortable grip and DualShock joysticks. The battery is fantastic and will last up to 60 hours.
This controller also features DualShock vibration, headphone jack (excellent if you want privacy or immersive atmosphere), and smart voice search. Oh, and if you live in the smart home, you can control it with this gamepad.
The NVIDIA GeForce experience still doesn’t recognize the SHIELD Controller, but NVIDIA is working on that too. This is one of the best controllers, but is very exclusive, working only with SHIELD tablet and portable, as well as with Windows.
Unique, futuristic design
Long-lasting battery (60 hours)
Perfect ergonomics feels right in hands
Has audio jack
Some customers complain about sticky buttons
You will have to use the USB cable for PC gaming
KINGAR found itself for the second time on our list, this time with its highly responsive and button-sensitive gamepad. It has three different modes: PC, IOS, and Android mode.
It is suitable for long-time gaming, made of anti-hand perspiration material. It also feels right in hands, allowing firm and stable grip. KINGAR Bluetooth Game Controller features 2.1 Bluetooth emitting and has the telescope phone bracket, suitable for 4 – 6.3 inc phones.
The battery will last 6 hours and is rechargeable. Most notably, the controller has 32- bit high sensitive chip, excellent at registering and processing input, allowing perfect and fast performance.
The product comes with user manual and USB cable, and you don’t have to install any drivers to use this device; plug it in and enjoy the flawless gaming experience.
Able to mount 4 – 6.3 inc phones
Has unique modes for each platform
Doesn’t support MacOs or Xbox
Mediocre battery life
Though this is a top ten list, there are no clear winners. Why? Well, even if we could pick the best android controller, it might not work on your specific smartphone, tablet or other devices.
Furthermore, you might like the way the controller works, but not its looks. It is hard to objectively measure these devices because they have to feel right in your hands.
However, rest assured that, if you purchase any of the devices from the list, you won’t regret it. Each entry in our best android controller list could be considered the best at what it does and what it works with. They will change your Android gaming experience for good.