He has also been playing with game controllers since he was old enough to hold one, and he has extensive experience with every major controller that has ever shipped with a Nintendo, Sony, or Microsoft console. Not every PC game is best played with a keyboard and mouse. A controller is a highly personal object, and your preferences may differ based on your hand size, gaming style, and operating system.
Most wireless controllers connect to a PC using Bluetooth, just like a wireless keyboard or wireless headphones. All Macs and almost all Windows laptops include Bluetooth, but a gaming desktop might not. In our testing, small USB dongles became laggy and inconsistent after just a few minutes of gaming. But regardless of which specific controllers you like, most people should look for the following features:. We looked at 48 controllers from major manufacturers such as 8bitdo, Logitech, Microsoft, Nintendo, Razer, ScufGaming, Sony, and Valve, plus a few other controllers from lesser-known companies that are popular on Amazon.
We ruled out those with poor owner reviews and others that cost way more than controllers with similar features.
We tested all of our modern controllers on a Windows desktop, a Windows laptop, and an iMac with a variety of 2D and 3D games, including the first-person shooter Bioshock Remastered and the precise and exacting 2D action games Super Meat Boy and Cuphead. This process gave us plenty of time to evaluate the all-important analog sticks, D-pads, and trigger buttons, as well as to consider how the controllers felt in extended play sessions.
For the retro controllers, we stuck to classic 2D platformers and action games like Super Mario Bros. We tested each controller for at least an hour, and we played with each of our picks for at least three hours across multiple games. It also has some nice extra features that few other controllers have, such as an internal rechargeable battery and a touchpad that can simulate a mouse cursor. Steam added native support for the DualShock 4 in late , so now it works well with any Steam game that supports a gamepad in the first place.
The Best PC Gaming Controller
But the native Steam support should cover most PC gamers, and it finally gives Mac owners an easy, consistent way to use the DualShock 4. To pair it to any computer via Bluetooth, press and hold the PlayStation and Share buttons until the light bar blinks. Few professional reviewers have evaluated the second-generation revision of the DualShock 4, aside from briefly listing its cosmetic changes in their reviews of the PS4 Slim.
But this controller is so similar to the first version that praise for the original version usually applies to both. Microsoft has made significant improvements in the third-generation revision of the controller released in August , most notably the addition of Bluetooth so that you can use the controller wirelessly with PCs and Macs without needing to buy a separate dongle.
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To enter Bluetooth-pairing mode, press the Xbox button to turn the controller on, and then hold the sync button on the top of the controller for three seconds. But all the buttons, shoulder buttons, and triggers are responsive and feel as good as or better than those of all the other budget controllers we tested. The shoulder buttons are exceptionally loud and clicky, but probably not enough to bother most people. We also like that the USB end of the controller cable—which is around 10 feet long, more than enough for most PC setups and living rooms—has a breakaway segment.
Wirecutter senior staff writer Kevin Purdy was hesitant to buy a third-party controller but has been pleasantly surprised by the AmazonBasics gamepad after a few months of use.
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The Buffalo gamepad has four face buttons, two shoulder buttons, and Start and Select buttons, as well as a directional pad, plus Turbo buttons that simulate rapid mashing on one of more of the other buttons. The shoulder buttons also have just the right amount of give, whereas the Innext retro controllers we tested felt stiff and mushy. The Buffalo gamepad has held up well over years of use. The Steam Controller bridges the gap between games with controller support and games better played on a mouse and keyboard.
It has touchpads in place of a D-pad and right analog stick, and its dual-stage triggers and back buttons are designed to give you more control and customization than traditional console controllers provide. But its plasticky body feels cheap and hollow, and its large shape is awkward for smaller hands to hold.
The left analog stick and the ABXY buttons are difficult to reach because they sit too far toward the center, the ABXY buttons are tiny and clustered too close together, the bumpers are difficult to press, and most buttons—the bumpers, triggers, back buttons, and touchpads—make a sad, echoing click throughout the cheap plastic controller.
The GameSir G3w wired gamepad was a close second to our budget pick. It was impressively comfortable to use and nice to hold in our tests, and its customizable buttons, extra buttons and triggers, and customizable lighting make it a good fit for its target audience. Or after trying to open a file in the DMG? Any ideas how to get my controller to be found? One thing is for sure though; your Mac is not seeing the controller. Either the cable is not suitable for this kind of use can anyone confirm this?
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Ehm … could you be more specific? You mean in games? Or specific games? I hvae done everything right! I installed the drivers, I bought the receiver, and I have a microsoft licensed xbox remote, but it will not connect at all. Please help? Did you controller connect to the dongle? If not and in case you do not get it to connect; try using a Windows PC from family or a friend, to sync controller and dingle first.
Normally that would not be needed, but I have heard of one other users experiencing issues with the initial sync as well, and this approach seems to fix it. Hope this helps …. Has someone successfully tried this?
Thanks in advance. I would assume it would work, but I have not been able to test it. Most have shady reviews on Amazon, even the originals. As for buying a controller; my advise would be to buy a genuine Microsoft. The 3rd party controllers are known to have issues when it comes to working with the Mac and sometimes even Windows. I still have to try my XBox One controller with my Mac, then newer white models are said to work with Bluetooth. I have not yet seen anything based on the Bluetooth option.
Anyhoo … tested the latest Controller 0. Both worked right away without any issues. I even switched while the Controle panel was visible and it just picked both of them up within seconds. Thanks for taking the time to post your feedback! Much appreciated! From the download here? If so; which one? I finally managed to reproduce the issue. I right away updated to the latest version 0. I tested this on my Mac, and this one should work correctly. Please give it a try! Hi , Thanks for your work, it works great on mac os x Very good to hear that! Does running OSX I tried my receiver and and the controller on my Windows BootCamp , it worked fine and it was easy to setup.
Interesting and good!