Rating of the best gamepads and joysticks


The gaming industry is developing at a frantic pace and often many of its aspects overlap. One such aspect was controllers or joysticks. If on a computer this function is performed by a regular mouse, then with a game console everything is a little more complicated. You can’t connect a mouse to it, but you need to control the cursor somehow, so console developers created game joysticks.

It is worth noting that games from consoles are gradually migrating to computers and vice versa, so many peripherals are becoming universal.

Classic joysticks are used primarily in space and flight simulators, while steering wheels are used by gamers who prefer racing simulators. Gamepads are more used in sports games, simulations and fighting games. Additionally, special software emulators are produced that are capable of reproducing the functionality of a particular controller.

The best wired gamepads for PC

5 Defender Omega

Defender Omega

The maximum simplification led to torment during setup, as many games simply refuse to see it. The complete driver that comes with the purchase plays the role of waste paper, so you will have to look for «fresh» firewood yourself in order for everything to work correctly. In most cases, after that, you will most likely have to install an emulator.

The joystick has a large dead zone, which, coupled with low positioning accuracy, is not entirely positive in racing and shooters, where reaction speed and accuracy are important. The cord length of 1.8 meters does not provide much room for maneuver. It is worth noting the smell, which for some reason is not here, even despite the plastic, which, by the way, is also hard. Thus, before you is a very budget controller with a number of drawbacks that cause such a low price tag.

4 Thrustmaster GP XID PRO

Thrustmaster GP XID PRO

Not the cheapest, but high-quality gamepad has 2 versions — the usual «white» and made in a more aggressive style black and gold with the prefix «Pro». Connecting is very simple — insert the cord and forget. It is defined in the system as the Xbox Controller, so there should not be any compatibility problems. The durable plastic can withstand minor bumps and scratches, and the shape of the joystick is such that it’s nearly impossible to slip while gripping.

The inscriptions begin to wear off quickly after 2 months of use. External shortcomings are compensated by a very long cord from 2.5-3 meters, which allows the player to move away from the monitor or even lie down and relax.

3 SVEN GC-250


The Russian brand SVEN offers a very interesting option for those who are looking for the most budget-friendly analogue of top-end joysticks. It has everything you need, including support for Xlnput and the ability to use not only on PC, but also on PS3, as well as Android devices. The cable is standard, 1.8 meters long, the rigidity is average for the hospital, so it’s not bad, but not good either.

Judging by the reviews, the gadget is playable, ready for gaming right out of the box, although vibration may require original drivers from the manufacturer’s website. The convenience of the form is noted, the gamepad is comfortable to hold in your hands, and the side zones do not allow you to slip out. There are also tangible downsides. Firstly, the unusual labeling of the buttons with numbers. Secondly, frequent problems with the accuracy of the operation of the cross. Thirdly, tight stick buttons. And, fourthly, the unusual reaction of the triggers, which will have to get used to.

2 Defender Game Racer Turbo

Defender Game Racer

Modest price and functionality are the main advantages of Game Racer Turbo. All this is enclosed in a gamepad with a classic shape from the PlayStation 2. Despite the fact that the Game Racer Turbo from Defender is designed for gaming battles on the computer, the cable has a branch with a plug for connecting the controller to the Sony PS1 / PS2 console. The design and shape of the «defender» controller are completely copied from the above prefix.

The body of the device has a rubberized structure and is «equipped» with a standard set of buttons (D-pad, sticks, triggers), as well as additional Turbo, Slow and Analog buttons that activate special modes and mini-joysticks. However, the analog sticks are not covered by soft touch. Unlike more top-end models, the developers have provided for vibration feedback, implemented through two powerful vibration motors in the left and right parts of the body. True, the cord is still a bit short (1.5 meters).

1 Logitech Gamepad F310

Logitech Gamepad F310

The F310 model, which is loved by the players, has become one of the leaders in sales and in the top category due to its affordable price tag. The controller has two joysticks, a D-pad, 10 buttons, including high-quality triggers, to which you can assign any action in the game menu. Two API support modes are available — XInput and DirectInput, as a result of which the gamepad supports most of the game titles on the PC, and there are no problems with game compatibility. Ease of setup and durability have made the F310 one of the most popular models in the gaming market.

The ergonomically shaped case is made of very durable plastic, and looks like a kind of hybrid of controllers from Xbox and PS. The 1.8 meter long wire is quite thin and harsh for its price segment. Vibration is absent.

The best wireless gamepads for PC

5 SteelSeries Nimbus Wireless Controller

SteelSeries Nimbus Wireless Controller

SteelSeries Nimbus Wireless Controller for devices on Mac OS and iOS systems became the «black sheep» in our rating. This means that you can use it on branded Apple laptops and monoblocks, as well as on the iPhone. You will have to seriously overpay for the brand and quality, and this pleasure will cost an average of 6,500 rubles. The device is connected via Bluetooth. Additionally, there is a Lightning port, that is, a wired connection to your iOS device is possible. The response is considered one of the best on the market and can serve as a benchmark for competitors.

There are no negative reviews from buyers on the quality of workmanship. Everyone notes the fast connection, clear signal, nice materials and overall reliability, thanks to which this gadget will serve its owner for a long time.

4 Sony DualShock 4 v2

Sony DualShock 4 v2

A top-tier wireless gamepad originally designed for the PlayStation, but compatible with both Windows PCs and Macs. Designed with Sony’s most advanced technologies, it features durable button switches, precise positioning sticks, a built-in gyroscope, vibration feedback, a quick in-game movie recording button, and a touch trackpad. The manipulator is powered by an integrated battery, but if necessary, you can use a USB connection.

The reviews speak of high-quality support for storing settings for different profiles, ease of working with triggers and sticks, assembly reliability, good functionality and first-class performance of vibration motors. The possibility of selecting colors for every taste, including various camouflages, is also noted. As a negative, we note the meager equipment — only the gamepad itself, as well as the lack of developed support outside the Sony ecosystem, that is, third-party software will have to be used on the PC.

3 Valve Steam Controller

Valve Steam Controller

The gamepad from Valve differs from all controllers on the market not only in its stylish appearance, but also in its powerful functionality. So the controller supports Steam Machines, works with a computer and can emulate both a mouse and a keyboard. The button block is represented by one cross, an analog stick, function keys and two touch trackpads. The power supply is enough for 40 hours of continuous operation of the gamepad.

In functional terms, as well as the build quality, the Valve Steam Controller has no complaints. The controller is “stuffed” with all kinds of sensors and options in the form of an accelerometer with a gyroscope, as well as the ability to customize the device “for yourself”. Using two trackpads with a gamepad, it’s easy to play even those games that controllers are not designed for. «Steam» software allows you to use the gamepad as a steering wheel, steering wheel, controller for any console and computer program. But due to the disadvantages in the form of a high price and the mandatory link to a Steam account, the device is not popular both in Russia and in the world as a whole, which is why the product often disappears from store shelves for a long time.

2 Logitech Wireless Gamepad F710

Logitech Wireless Gamepad F710

This model is almost a copy of the F310, only the design is different. It holds the signal perfectly even through a concrete wall. A huge plus is the hardware support for DirectInput / XInput standards, which are regulated by a single click on the end of the controller. Thus, the problem with Microsoft games, which are tailored to the Xbox standard, immediately disappears.

However, for many players, some features of the device will come as a surprise. In particular, when you press the top shifts, there is a click, and the triggers are rather taut compared to other devices. In active games, frequent pressing of the «clicky» buttons causes a little discomfort. In the hands of the product is felt as reliable, durable and heavy at the same time. The crosspiece still remained undivided.

1 Microsoft Xbox One Wireless Controller

Microsoft Xbox One Wireless Controller

The top 1 in this category was another controller from Microsoft, which took first place in the ranking. Improved ergonomics, coupled with a spectacular appearance, distinguishes this device from a gamepad to the Xbox 360. The “button functionality” has not changed, the device still has offset sticks, a modified D-pad and 11 buttons with smooth motion and pressing. The controller supports connection to both the Xbox One console and the computer. Game compatibility and auto-adjustment is one of the best gamepads on the market.

Connect the Xbox One Wireless Controller to your computer using a wireless receiver or USB cable. The built-in rechargeable battery lasts for long hours of gaming battles even with vibration feedback turned on, however, the high price and the lack of both a receiver and a spare battery in the kit ultimately affect the prevalence of this gamepad among PC gamers.

The best joysticks for PC

5 Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas One

Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas One

A very nice joystick for PC and Xbox One with an original design that stands out from the competition with an abundance of futuristic details. It has an engine control knob, but not in a separate case, but combined with a handle. There are only 14 control buttons, which upsets some potential buyers. The gadget supports 5 axes, is connected via a USB cable, is equipped with an RUS handle tension adjustment and is generally very convenient to use.

4 Thrustmaster Hotas Warthog

Thrustmaster Hotas Warthog

A large number of control buttons has become a feature of this model. The base of the Hotas Warthog is made of metal, so when you grab the control stick you will feel cold. This aspect is highly controversial, as some buyers find it atmospheric, while others complain about the discomfort. The handle always returns to the center and is firmly pressed, which eliminates backlash and at the same time causes a sharp return that can rock the monitor on your desk.

The handle is removable and is installed in a three-dimensional block with magnetic sensors. There are 2 bad news. The first one includes the presence of only 2 axles, which means that you will have to buy additional pedals. The second problem lies in the lack of a simple mechanism for controlling engine thrust. The joystick is very dependent on the control unit, so the kit comes with an additional module, painted in black and green.

3 Logitech Saitek X52 HOTAS

Logitech Saitek X52 HOTAS

Expensive and very advanced model. Two separate blocks draw attention to themselves: in addition to the main one with a joystick, there is an engine control knob, next to which there is a small display with blue backlight — you can display time, information about the enabled profile, etc. on it. The quality of materials is beyond praise — there are a large number of aluminum inserts, everything is very pleasant to the touch. Of course, the gaps are minimal, and squeaks are completely absent. Rubber feet and suction cups are used to prevent slipping on the table. For gamers who love reliability, there are holes in the case through which the device can be screwed tightly to the table.

2 Thrustmaster T.16000M

Thrustmaster T.16000M

The model from Thrustmaster is noticeably simpler than the previous participant, both in terms of cost and functionality. The appearance is also difficult to call premium, but everything is assembled with high quality and feels very pleasant in the hands. Note that the design has three interchangeable elements, with which the device can be adapted for left-handed use — for this, no doubt, a plus. But let’s scold the T.16000M for not very good tactile separation of some buttons, because of which you sometimes have to look at the joystick to understand where to press. Yes, and signs could be applied …

But there are no problems with positioning accuracy — due to the use of Hall sensors, and not resistors, accuracy increases, false alarms practically disappear. Yes, and the durability of such a scheme is much greater. There is an engine control knob, but you will have to get used to its location. In general, the device can be recommended to fans of dynamic air battles. For professional simulators, the model will not work very well.

1 Logitech Extreme 3D Pro

Logitech Extreme 3D Pro

A very simple and cheap joystick from Logitech stands out from the competitors presented in the top at the best price. As you might expect, savings come at a cost. The model has a modest size and a weak element base, which is why it quickly “looks up”. The sensor responsible for orientation in space consists of 2 magnetized plates and one rubs against the other, which is why movement is tracked. Over time, all this is erased, the accuracy drops dramatically, and the manipulator becomes unusable.

At the same time, pleasant ergonomics can be distinguished. It fits perfectly in the hand, the buttons at the top are comfortable, there are all the necessary buttons. Thus, before you appeared an inexpensive manipulator for arcade games that do not require expensive peripherals with high-precision control.

The best gaming wheels for PC

5 HORI Racing Wheel Apex

HORI Racing Wheel Apex

Hori is a gray horse in the gaming peripherals market, releasing good and bad gaming solutions. One of the successful approaches can be considered the emergence of the Racing Wheel Apex. Looks very nice, has a large number of buttons. Compatible with XBOX, has feedback in the form of vibration, that is, there is no force feedback. The rotation angle is 270 degrees, and the main materials of execution are plastic and rubber. The latter is soft and very pleasant to the touch.

The pedals are very similar to the Defender counterparts and have an insanely small travel of 2-3 centimeters. Paddle shifters have a good course, but their quality is so-so. In the upper part there are toggle switches for switching the operating mode. It is problematic to fasten the base strongly to the table because of the suction cups that can be removed. There are no guides and drivers for it as such, even on the official website, and only a firmware update and instructions for this are available.

4 Artplays Street Racing Wheel Turbo C900

Artplays Street Racing Wheel Turbo C900

The Artplays Street Racing Wheel Turbo C900 can be considered the best universal and inexpensive wheel. It is compatible with the following platforms:

  • PC;
  • Xbox 360;
  • Xbox one;
  • PS3;
  • PS4
  • Nintendo Switch.

It looks simple and without frills, the pedals included in the kit also have an ascetic look. It has 11 buttons and vibration as feedback. Angle of rotation 270 degrees. Mounts are made in the form of clamps taken from Logitech. Instead of paddle shifters, there is a gearshift lever. Additionally, in some cases it comes with a PC game and, judging by user reviews, this is the Raceroom Racing Experience.

3 Thrustmaster T150 Force Feedback

Thrustmaster T150 Force Feedback

The gaming wheel from Thrustmaster is head and shoulders above the previous participant. The steering wheel lies confidently in the hands, the grip is comfortable. Separately, it is worth noting a couple of pleasant features. The first is a huge steering angle, 1080 degrees. These are three full turns, due to which, in some games, the movements of the virtual and real steering wheels are completely the same. Together with the second feature — vibration motors and feedback — this allows you to immerse yourself in what is happening on the screen.

The controls are conveniently located. The steering wheel has a standard PlayStation set of buttons that can be easily reached from almost any steering wheel position. There are nice wide aluminum paddles for shifting, but hardcore gamers can plug in a third-party box that mimics a manual transmission. It is also possible to replace the standard pedal set with a model with a clutch. Connects T150 via USB to PC, PS3 and PS4

2 Logitech G29 Driving Force

Logitech G29 Driving Force

The steering wheel from Logitech is a controller that includes a 28-centimeter leather-wrapped wheel, brake, clutch and gas pedals. On the steering wheel and manual transmission there are additional programmable buttons (18 pieces) and a D-pad. With a 900-degree rotation angle, you can twist the steering wheel in game simulators to a “critical” level, and compatibility with consoles allows you to experience the full functionality of the controller in PS3 exclusives.

In terms of design and comfort, the G27 Racing Wheel is a solid five. There are also no complaints about the build quality of the steering wheel and pedals. The only thing you can find fault with is the price, which for most PC owners will be «cosmic». But fans of car simulators are well aware that this “Logitech” steering wheel represents the perfect balance of quality, functionality and cost.

1 Thrustmaster TMX Pro

Thrustmaster TMX Pro

Premium gaming wheel for PC and Xbox One. Everything about this model is great: stylish racing design, a sufficient number of controls, build quality, and almost perfect vibration feedback. Of particular pride is the 900-degree steering angle, which will add realism to the car’s behavior on the track, and belt feedback will give the necessary tactile sensations from the steering process. There are also full-fledged three pedals in the kit, which fans of manual transmissions will appreciate.

Judging by the reviews, the steering wheel fully justifies the declared functionality, working out every ruble invested in the purchase. Also noted is the convenience of setting up and calibrating through proprietary software, build quality and the presence of metal parts, for example, paddle shifters. On the negative side, some people don’t like the lack of a rubber braid all over the steering wheel and, of course, there is a lack of a separate gearbox block.

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