The Best Controllers For The Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch - And PC, Too

Amazing controllers for every kind of discerning player.
These won't break the bank, either.
These won't break the bank, either. Microsoft

A player is only as good as his gear, no matter what platform he or she is on. Whether you’re playing Forza on Xbox, God of War on PlayStation 4 or Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on your Switch, it always helps to be on the forefront when it comes to controls – and what better way to bring home wins than with the best controllers across all these platforms.

Of course, there are a ton of controllers out there available for literally every platform. These can come with a ton of features, but it’s important to note what features you’re looking for. Not all controllers are created equal, and because there is a wide array of choices, you may end up buying one for yourself that’s a better fit for somebody else.

So, without further ado, let’s check out some of the best controllers on the market across all platforms, and see which one best suit your play style needs.

NOTE: If you buy something through this post, Player.One may get a share of the sale.

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller (Nintendo)

While the Joy-Cons for the Switch are amazing and innovative newcomers that could only come from the likes of Nintendo, players who grew accustomed to the somewhat standardized control scheme can still have their way with the official Nintendo Switch Pro Controller. While every Switch bundle comes with the Joy-Con attachment that lets you use them together as opposed to one in each hand, some players may still find it a bit weird and clunky. This is where the Pro Controller comes in.

The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller definitely shines the most when in docked mode, as you can play games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild like you would on a standard console. The best thing about it is you don’t sacrifice functionality, as the Pro Controller comes with the motion controls, HD rumble, build-in Amiibo functionality and other features that you would expect from a set of Joy-Cons.

PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller – Link Silhouette Edition (PowerA)

If you find yourself in the market for something cheaper than the official Pro Controller from Nintendo, then PowerA might be your guy. The company is known for putting out cheaper, yet still amazingly made controllers across all platforms. Their best one for the Switch is the Enhanced Wireless Controller. This one comes with a special silhouetted design of Link. It also comes in this deep green color which looks pretty darn amazing.

Of course, if green or The Legend of Zelda isn’t up your alley, then PowerA offers more choices for the Enhanced Wireless Controller, like Mario designs, plain colored ones, or even one themed after the recently released Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled. The Enhanced Wireless Controller lacks amiibo functionality, but it does have additional buttons at the back that you can map to your heart’s content. It’s also powered by standard AA batteries that can last up to 30 hours.

PowerLead Wireless Pro Switch Controller (PowerLead)

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), or the Super Famicom, as it’s known in Japan, remains one of the most iconic video game consoles of all time. To add to that, its controller still holds a special place in the hearts of those who grew up with it, and as such there is a considerable market for controllers bearing the same design, but with modern functionality. This is the PowerLead Wireless Pro Controller in a nutshell; it features the design of the SNES controller, but with added features like two joysticks, shoulder buttons and volume buttons.

It’s also quite versatile, and can be used with PCs if you’re looking for a more authentic feel if you're ever playing a classic game. It can also be used with Android and macOS devices, and features a 3-axis gyroscope for some form of motion control. It can also be used wired, as the controller has a USB-C port.

PlayStation 4

DualShock 4 Wireless Controller (Sony)

Sony’s DualShock controller design has largely remained unchanged across its many iterations over the years, and for good reason; it’s probably one of the most praised controllers in all of gaming history. When it comes to the PlayStation 4, the first and foremost choice is to grab an original Sony DualShock 4 controller, because if it isn’t broke, then why fix it?

The DualShock 4 controller comes in quite the number of available colors, like this Crystal one here. There’s something about seeing the internal workings of a controller that makes it more appealing, at least to me. However, if you don’t really dig it, there are a number of others, like Alpine Green, Blue Camouflage, Gold, Green Camouflage, Jet Black, Magma Red and Midnight Blue.

CHENGDAO PlayStation 4 Controller (CHENGDAO)

Believe it or not, there are a few good alternatives when it comes to third-party PlayStation 4 controllers. If you don’t mind the tacky face buttons – which I assume is there for copyright reasons – then this CHENGDAO PS4 controller could be right for you. It’s cheaper than a regular Sony DualShock 4, but that doesn’t mean it’s inferior; in fact, it matches the features found in a DualShock 4, albeit packaged in a kind of tacky, over-the-top fashion.

You also get grooves on the faceplate, which should let give you a more tactile feel whenever you hit buttons. It also has a built-in gyroscope that can detect omnidirectional information, including roll, pitch and yaw. Best of all, it’s cheaper than a DualShock 4 while at just about the same level of build quality, that is if you don’t mind the Chinese branding and overall odd look.

Kingear Wireless PS4 Controller (Kingear)

Another good alternative if you want something a little different than the DualShock design is the Kingear PS4 controller. This one is slightly bigger than a DualShock 4, and is very different when it comes to ergonomics. For one thing, the curves flow more like an Xbox controller than a DualShock 4, so this should be a good fit for those more familiar with Microsoft’s offerings. Besides that, you get the same face buttons, albeit changed slightly for third-party reasons, and the same shoulder buttons and joysticks. It’s cheaper as well, while being at the same level of build quality.

The best feature this one has, in my opinion, is the grooved handles, which I think is overall better for gripping rather than the first-party offerings for both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. You also get quite the different lighting at the top, which is smaller and colored orange. The Kingear PS4 controller may be a good pickup for those who aren’t that comfortable with a DualShock 4, but still want the same button and joystick layout from one.

Xbox One

Microsoft Xbox Wireless Controller + Wireless Adapter for Windows 10 (Microsoft)

If I had to pick the best controller that I’ve ever used in all my years of gaming, it would be the current Xbox One Wireless Controller from Microsoft. Seriously, this thing is amazing, so much so that it made me weary of trying out DualShock 4 controllers. It’s simple, elegant, and very well-built from the ground up, even more so than that ridiculously overpriced Xbox Elite Wireless Controller. It’s powered by two AA batteries which can be replaced with higher quality ones to increase its battery life. I’m getting around 20 to 25 hours of game time on mine using premium rechargeable AA batteries.

The best thing about this one, though, is that it’s also the perfect PC controller. Since I do almost all of my gaming on PC, this one comes very recommended. There’s no input lag either, and if you find that you do feel lag, you can always plug it in via a USB cable and work from there. The experience is very seamless as well, and the Bluetooth works straight out of the box with no setting up needed whatsoever. Get this controller if you game on both an Xbox and a PC.

Hyperkin Duke Wired Xbox One Controller (Hyperkin)

When the original Xbox console released back in 2001, it came bundled with the bulkiest and thickest controller you could imagine. Nicknamed ‘The Duke,’ the controller was largely criticized when it was released due to how unwieldy it can be, and was subsequently replaced and forgotten over the years. Fortunately, with how the internet works these days, you’re bound to find a market for almost everything, even these bulky, oversized controllers. Hyperkin capitalized on this and re-released The Duke for the public last year, where it has since had a more positive reception.

To be honest, I never did get the hate for this thing either. I still remember using one of these to play Timesplitters: Future Perfect in gaming cafes, and it’s perfectly useable, albeit a bit tiresome after a while. The Hyperkin Duke includes modern features for it, too, like a 3.5mm headset jack. It’s also only wired, which should please those who prefer that controller scheme, and is available to use on Windows 10 PCs.

Xbox One S Wireless Controller with Custom Soft Touch (Microsoft)

Xbox One controllers have taken on many forms, and now there’s one that’s available for players who don’t really like the feel of hard plastic. Originally launching for Xbox One S devices, this wireless controller with Custom Soft Touch is an amazing pick-up if you want to feel that nice soft texture on your palms while gaming. It’s the same in every respect as with a regular Xbox Wireless Controller, save for that custom soft touch feel, which some people might enjoy.

It also comes in a wide variety of colors that’s sure to please the whimsical, although they do carry a bit of a premium price on top. For me, I prefer this neon green one that’s reminiscent of the color of Xbox.


Steam Controller (Valve)

This may be a divisive addition to this list, but it’s absolutely worth it if you get the chance. I was lucky enough to borrow a Steam controller from a friend of mine a year ago, and it’s probably the weirdest controller experience I’ve ever had – in a good way. The Steam Controller imitates mouse movement and tracking two trackpads, along with a single joystick for movement.

It’s fully customizable as well for all your favorite PC games, allowing you to mix and match certain control schemes as you please. It does take some time getting used to, due to how different it can be, but I can certainly see the appeal for it in terms of PC games on your couch with how intuitive the controls are.

So, what do you think? Which controller will you be picking up? Let us know and stay tuned for more recommendations from us on the best deals on controllers and other hardware.

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