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How to choose the right game control for your computer



You cannot play video games without a good control system. Maybe you want a keyboard and a mouse for your shooters and strategy titles. Maybe you don't mind using a touch screen for smartphone puzzles. However, most games play best with some form of dedicated controls. That's why all the big game consoles come with a gamepad or two, and why they can all be connected to your computer with a little thought.

If you mostly want to play games on your computer, for the very good reason that it has the largest library of titles that span the widest range of ages, audiences, genres, prices and hardware requirements, you should carefully invest in some form of controls. There is no error playing Fortnite or Overwatch with your current mouse and keyboard, but almost any other game you download from Blizzard, GOG.com, Humble Bundle or Steam comes to feel much better with double analog sticks under the thumb.

There are countless game buttons and other types of controllers that you can connect to your computer.

  Xbox Design Lab Wireless Controller

Console Controllers

If you have a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One or splurged on a Switch Pro Controller for your Nintendo Switch, you already have a gamepad that you can use with your computer. These controllers all have the advantage of stable build quality and reliable PC compatibility (with some applications or adapters needed for Nintendo and Sony gamepads). If you don't already have one, they're a little expensive at $ 60 to $ 70 each.

The Xbox Wireless Controller is immediately compatible with all Windows 10 computers as a wired controller. Just connect it to a USB port and you can start playing with it. If your controller came from an Xbox One S or Xbox One X or simply a later Xbox controller (the panel around the Guide button will be matte plastic and not blank), it can connect wirelessly to your computer via Bluetooth. If you want to use more than one Xbox gamepad or if you have a previous Xbox Wireless Controller without Bluetooth, you can use the $ 25 wireless adapter to connect up to eight gamepads to your computer without having to handle Bluetooth pairing. [19659002]   Switch Pro Controller on PC

PS4's gamepad, DualShock 4, can also work with your computer via a USB or Bluetooth connection. However, getting to work is a little more complicated. Sony offered a short DualShock 4 USB adapter for computers, but it's hard to find for less than $ 50 now. If you want to play most Steam games, Steam offers a PlayStation Configuration Support option in control settings to get it to work as an Xbox gamepad. Otherwise, you need to install a program called DS4Windows, a free third-party application that trickles your computer into thinking that DualShock 4 is a much more common (for computers) Xbox controller. It's a powerful tool if you can't track the adapter. Alternatively, the 8Bitdos Wireless USB Adapter can serve the same function and works with other wireless controllers except DualShock 4.

Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons can also connect to your computer with even more wrestling. But while they are amazing on the switch, they do not feel as solid or have nearly as comfortable directional controls as Xbox Wireless Controller or DualShock 4. Instead of the Nintendo side of things we recommend Switch Pro Controller. It is a powerful and robust conventional gamepad that can work with your computer without much effort, thanks to the Switch Pro Configuration Support option in the Steam Controller Settings menu (there are two options under PlayStation Configuration Support). For non-Steam games, WiinUPro and WiinUSoft allow you to use your Switch Pro Controller, as well as the 8Bitdo Wireless USB Adapter.

Third Party Game Controllers

If you want to break out of the $ 60 to $ 70 controller, third party game pads offer a lot more choice. There are wireless and wireless options ranging from $ 20 to over $ 200, depending on design, features, and customization options. And of course build quality; cheaper cars from third-party manufacturers can be beaten or missed when it comes to how robust they are and how well they play. That is why we recommend that you look at our reviews and are very careful with cheap and unknown gamepads that seem too good to be true.

Just like the Xbox Wireless Controller itself, any third-party gamepad designed to work with the Xbox One will also work with a Windows 10 computer. It includes the PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller, a $ 30 gamepad that feels oddly like the Xbox Wireless Controller, only with a USB connection and no wireless option. It still has rumble, and adds two programmable buttons on the back that you can set to act like any facial button, trigger, directional, or analog touchpad.

For wireless gamepads, 8Bitdo offers several options, and none of them require the company's USB adapter. Each Bluetooth 8Bitdo controller supports a variety of input modes that allow it to work with computers such as XInput devices, smartphones and tablets such as DirectInput devices, Macs and even the Nintendo Switch. Our favorite is the SN30 Pro, a gamepad that looks and feels like a Super NES controller, with the addition of dual analog pins, four triggers, vibrations and motion sensors. The more compact N30 Pro 2 also has all the features of a tinier and somewhat cheaper package.

Custom Controllers

If you really want to splurge, you can get enthusiastic level games from companies like Scuf, Evil Controllers, and Controller Chaos. These companies generally change the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 slot machines for the first party, by transferring them from the inside out with custom patterns, new buttons, and a series of electronic tricks to get a edge in games like Call of Duty and Fortnite by giving specific Inputs that take advantage of some mechanics.

 Evil Controllers X1 Evil Shift 

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<p>  With these companies you can build your ideal gamepad from scratch. Different colors, designs and finishes are available, with additional options as if the analog pins are concave or convex (often with removable options of different lengths), extended triggers and even faux bullet-facial buttons. The rear paddle buttons are also common on these game pads, providing two or four extra programmable inputs for your fingers resting on the grip. </p>
<p>  Custom Xbox One game pads can work directly with all Windows 10 computers, although the various internal "trick" mods you can get may not work with PC games as they come on Xbox One. Custom DualShock 4 controls can also work on your Windows 10 computers with either a USB adapter or a tool like DS4Windows, but all the extra electronic mods in them are uncertain. <g class= Scufs Vantage is best considered part of the modded DualShock 4 family, but it is unique among this category of controllers; It is a licensed, completely manufactured controller Scuf produced with Sony, rather than a heavy aftermarket change made to a warehouse DualShock 4.

These gamepads are often the most functional, striking and customizable, but they are also the most expensive. They start with three digits, with completely managed controllers costing just over $ 200. If you want custom colors but don't need rear paddles or extra features, you can use Xbox Design Lab to create your own Xbox 360 controller with your favorite colors and stop at a fraction of the price.

Arcade Sticks

Arcade sticks, or fighter stickers, are controls that mimic classic arcade controls. They usually have a single eight-directional joystick and a series of large buttons, mounted on a very large, flat base that you can put on a table or a turn. They are considered as important tools for serious players of fighting games such as Street Fighter V and Dragonball FighterZ. They also work very well for classic arcade games, many of which are available individually or in compilations on each gaming system.

 Hori Real Arcade Pro V Kai

one of the most dearest brands, with sticks for all three major gaming systems (all of which will work with computers via USB). Serious arcade bars like Hori 's Real Arcade Pro series are known for using the same sticks and buttons as Japanese arcades, helping to motivate their steep prices of $ 150 and above. If you want an arcade style experience but don't need the same serious build quality, the 8BitDos NES30 Arcade Stick handles enthusiast level response and robust wireless parts for a wireless connection and a much smaller price.

Enthusiast Controllers: Racing Wheels and Flight Joysticks

If you are a fan of driving simulators or flight simulators, you may want to invest in some simulator-worthy equipment. Racing wheels are steering wheels that allow you to drive cars in racing games by realistically turning a wheel instead of tilting a stick. In the same way, the fly tangles (not to be confused with the analog pins on the gamepads or the digital pins on arcade bars) allow you to fly planes with a realistic all-round grip to steer your pitch, roll and jaw. These seem like very different types of controllers, and they are. But they share three important common factors: they are intended for very specific games and genres, they often consist of several modular components, and they can be expensive.

 Thrustmaster Hotas ]

Thrustmaster is one of the largest racing wheels and air control manufacturers; Thrustmaster's very name calls for the force that lets a flight take flight. The company offers several different flight pins and racing wheels, along with accessories such as pedals, gases, shifters, control panels and even separate heads-up screens that provide additional information about the car or planet system outside your displays. These settings can be expensive, with wheels and sticks starting at $ 100 and easily reached several times as much with accessories.

 Logitech G920 Racing Wheel

Logitech also offers a racing wheel and flight sets, such as $ 400 G920 wheels / pedals with optional $ 60 Driving Force Shifter shifting knob, $ 150 to $ 250 HOTAS joystick / gas combinations, and the modular Flight Yoke system ($ 170 for the yoke, with four separate dashboards, a rudder pedal and a gas gun available for $ 60 to $ 170 each). Because these controls are so specific and modular, we have not recently reviewed any racing wheels or flight control systems.

You can still use a mouse and keyboard

If you stick to shooters, strategy games, MOBAs, and MMOs on your computer, take a look at our best gaming keys and game mouse.

And if you prefer to play on game consoles instead of computers, check out our comparison between Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, as well as best alternative console controller .


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