Best Game Controllers In 2023

There are a number of reasons why you’d want to change up your video game controller. Perhaps you’re not too happy with the shape of the in-box controller, or maybe you want a few extra programmable buttons. Most likely, your controller has started experiencing stick drift, which is just bad luck. If you’re the kind that wants to upgrade instead of buying a cheaper or equal replacement, we’ve got some recommendations.


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RELATED: Best Controllers For PS5

We’ve curated a list of great controllers you can upgrade to for the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and the Nintendo Switch. This list will not feature the base controllers for these platforms, but will instead focus on alternate controllers that provide something different thanks to their shape or additional features.

DualSense Edge Cover

PlayStation DualSense Edge Wireless Controller

Best PlayStation 5 Controller

Makes more Sense

PlayStation’s proprietary current-gen pro controller. Instead of opting for a third party alternative, PlayStation’s own DualSense Edge features all the bells and whistles of the base controller, but with a few additional features like changeable stick caps, replaceable stick modules, mappable back buttons, adjustable trigger lengths, and on-controller profile selection. This is as customizable as a DualSense can get.

Pros

  • Highly customisable.
  • Features adaptive triggers and haptic feedback.
  • Replaceable stick modules to combat stick drift.

While the PS5 DualSense is laden with unique features, the DualSense Edge comes with all that and more. Besides the haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, it offers two programmable buttons on the back and an option to replace the entire stick module. While it would be better if Sony worked towards fixing stick drift instead of earning money off it, at least you won’t have to replace your entire controller.

Xbox Elite Controller Series 2

Xbox Elite Controller Series 2

Best Xbox Series X|S Controller

Play your own way

The Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 is the current-gen version of Xbox’s popular Elite controller. It is one of the most customisable controllers you’ll ever come across; allowing you to adjust the tension in the thumbstick and triggers, app integration for voice commands, swappable d-pad designs, and upto four programmable back buttons.

Pros

  • Swappable d-pad design.
  • Four programmable back buttons.
  • App integrated voice-commands.

Just like the DualSense Edge, the Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 is Microsoft’s current-gen premium controller. While it doesn’t include the innate features like its PlayStation counterpart does, it makes up for it by being one for the most customisable controllers you can get your hands on. Additionally, it features four programmable buttons, giving you more power in the palm fo your hand.

tears of the kingdom nintendo switch pro controller
via Nintendo

The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

Best Nintendo Switch Controller

When you want to Switch things up

The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller isn’t like the rest of the controllers on this list. But, then again, the Nintendo Switch is unlike any other console. If you don’t like the feel of the JoyCons, or you’re just too used to the shape of modern controllers, the Pro Controller is just what you need. The Tears of the Kingdom edition is, by far, the best looking one too.

Pros

  • Way more comfortable than base JoyCons.
  • Easy to pair and play.
  • Acts as an extra controller for couch co-op.

Sometimes – and we’ve all been there – the Nintendo Switch JoyCons can make your hands cramp a bit. While innovative, they’re not the most comfortable. That’s why Nintendo launched the Pro Controller. While it adds a level of comfort, it also acts as a great option to play while the console is docked. The Tears of the Kingdom edition is a bit more expensive, but it looks really good.

 Razer Wolverine V2 Wired Gaming Controller for Xbox

Razer Wolverine V2 Wired Gaming Controller for Xbox

Best Third-Party Xbox Controller

Clickyness isn’t just for keyboards anymore

Moving onto the third-party controllers, Razer’s take on the Xbox Series X|S controller comes with way more features than the base controller. The Wolverine V2 features Mecha-Tactile buttons and d-pad to give you that satisfying clicky feel that you get in mechanical keyboards. It also features an extra shoulder button, and a Hair Trigger mode for precision commands.

Pros

  • Tactile feel to buttons and d-pad.
  • Broad, ergonomic grip.
  • Extra shoulder button.

When it comes to third-party controllers, Razer is quite a bit ahead of the curve. Specifically tailored for the Xbox Series X|S, the Wolverine V2 offers a number of features that Microsoft’s controllers don’t come with; the most prominent being the tactile buttons and d-pad. However, it also comes with a Hair-Trigger mode, that offers immediate and precise commands for when you need it.

Razer Wolverine V2 Pro Wireless Gaming Controller
via Amazon

Razer Wolverine V2 Pro

Best Third-Party PlayStation Controller

Over the Edge

The V2 Pro is Razer’s take on the PlayStation DualSense. While the base version is for the Xbox, the V2 Pro is targeted at the PlayStation 5, and offers a whole lot more. Besides the Mecha-Tactile buttons, customization options, and Hair-Trigger mode, the V2 Pro is wireless and features four back buttons. It also comes with the trackpad that the PlayStation controllers come with.

Pros

  • Four programmable back buttons.
  • Unique ergonomic shape.
  • RGB lighting.

Razer’s naming convention is a bit weird, making the Pro version exclusively for PlayStation; but that doesn’t take away from how good the Wolverine V2 Pro is. Besides all the cool features it comes along with, it’s one of the very few third-party controllers to feature a trackpad like Sony’s proprietary controllers. Unlike it’s Xbox counterpart, it’s wireless and feature RGB lighting.

nintendo 64 switch controller in its box
via Nintendo

Nintendo 64 Switch Controller

Best Retro Controller

Let’s throw it back

The Nintendo N64 controller is considered one of the best controllers ever made. So, it only makes sense that Nintendo launched a wireless version when the Switch’s Online offerings started including N64 games. It looks exactly like how you remember it, give or take a few material changes. And, of course, it’s wireless.

Pros

  • Classic look and feel to invoke nostalgia.
  • Looks great just sitting on a shelf too.
  • Great alternative to the Switch Pro controller.

Controllers have only become more comfortable and feature-filled as the years have passed. Not too many of them are missed once you’re used to holding a current-gen controller that gives you all the comfort and customizability that you can hope for. And yet, very few of them look and feel as cool as the N64 controller. Its revolutionary build allows you to swap your holding stance based on the game and the situation. This controller was truly next-gen for its time, and still manages to hold up.


FAQ

Is PS5 controller good for PC?

The PlayStation 5 DualSense controller can be used on the PC, and works especially well with Sony first party games ported to PC.

Is controller good for PC?

Depending on the game, and your personal preference, controllers are absolutely fine to use for PC games. They may not give you the same accuracy as a mouse, but most games feature aim assist for controllers.

Do PS5 controllers last?

Depending on how much you use it, a PS5 DualSense has a battery life of 12 to 15 hours. Physically, though, it is susceptible to stick drift, just like any controller.

NEXT: Best Controllers For Xbox Series X|S

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