Last updated: Thursday, January 24, 2019
The best Android game controllers have helped gaming on Android become that much more addictive! True enough, some games on the Android operating system are way more fun to play with a controller. Whether on a tablet or smartphone, they enhance the user’s gaming experience. Some games are way easier to play on a controller then through touch and you’ll find yourself beating them and cruising through levels much quicker. Here we take a look at the best controllers for gaming on Android.
Playing games on your phone or tablet does not have to be a boring or frustrating experience. A portable and affordable controller may be just thing you need to relieve that stress.
Benefits of Using a Gaming Controller with Games in the Android Library
There are many reasons why you will want to consider using an Android game controller.
Here are some benefits you will get from using a controller:
- Functionality: Android game controllers will give you more buttons and therefore options while playing a game. Instead of having just one way to interact with your game (tapping on the screen) you have multiple buttons and joysticks.
- Control: Just as the name suggests a controller will make it easy for you to control the game. You are sure to be accurate while taking those sharp corners while playing a racing game or dodging that bullet in a shooting game.
- Familiar: These controllers are very similar to the ones offered on the PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo platforms. They are intuitive and easy to pick up and play.
- Responsive and Fast: There are some games such as fighting, racing, or sports games that require very fast reactions. You are able to react faster with a controller and be less likely to make mistakes. It is difficult to not tap the wrong thing every once and awhile when using touch interface.
- Performance: Can you guess what all of the above result in? That’s right, better performance. You’ll spend less time earning achievements and conquering levels. You can master the games in the Android library much faster with a controller.
What to Consider When Buying an Android Controller
Now that you’ve got a handle on the benefits of using a controller for Android games, we suggest you take a quick look at this section before making a purchase decision.
Before you buy a controller that you will use with your Android tablet or smartphone it is important to consider the following:
It is very important to know the Android version of your phone or tablet so that you do not end up buying a controller that is not compatible with it. Most game controllers work with the latest version of Android, but not all work with older versions. You also need to check if your game supports the use of a controller.
Android game controllers are relatively affordable but it is good to know your budget and stick to it. Pricing differs because of the make or model, and not all controllers offer excellent performance. Be careful of controllers that are really cheap, they may not receive ongoing maintenance updates from the manufacturer.
Choose a design that best suits your needs and appearance preferences. If you really like the PlayStation platform for example, you may want to find a controller that has a similar shape to what you’re used to.
Some Android game controllers come with a mount that allow the user to mount their phone or tablet temporarily on it while playing a game. We highly recommend this feature — especially if you do not have a stand for your smartphone or tablet. A stand will keep your phone or tablet at the angle that makes it comfortable to game with a controller which is the next best option after one of these controller mounts.
9 Best Android Game Controllers of 2019
Here are some of the best game controllers in the market today
Nyko’s smart clip gaming device provides an excellent hands-free Android gaming experience. It interfaces with Sony’s Dualshock controller. It will enable you to mount Android phones to your Dualshock controller. All you need to do is mount your phone and use the knobs to tighten it in position. It also allows the player to record, stream, or broadcast videos giving you the option to use your camera.
The Nyko is clearly best for gamers who own a PlayStation. It has a very sleek design with excellent ergonomics. Its disadvantage is that its rubber bands are very sensitive and may deteriorate with time.
This game controller is curvy in nature with a dimpled and textured design giving you a good grip while playing. The layout of the button is analog in nature with a start button, a select button, and two sticks on the front. The two sticks are positioned wide to make enough room for the four-way directional pad. There are four action buttons on the right and 2 shoulder buttons and 2 triggers on the back.
The Moga hero Power folds out hinge ensure that your phone is properly secured while you play. It also has an LED light that warns the user when the controller’s power is low. This controller doesn’t take a lot of storage space in your bag making it very easy to carry around. It also charges your phone as you play.
3. 8BitDo Zero
This is one of the smallest game controllers in the history of gaming. It can be easily mistaken for a key holder. This is because you can simply hang it on your keychain. In spite of its size, the 8BitDo is highly functional. Reminiscent of a retro Nintendo controller, it has very nice and tactile buttons that include a four-way directional pad, 4 action buttons, 2 trigger buttons, a start button, and a select button.
It is only 18 grams in weight. As small as it is, it is still highly functional with a good battery that lasts up to 18 hours once fully charged. This game controller is also very affordable coming in at under $20.
Using it requires either a USB cable or Bluetooth connectivity. Its only disadvantage is that it does not have a mounting option.
4. GameSir T1
This controller works very well with smartphones and tablets using a USB cable or wireless connection. It also has a mount option that is safe and firm ensuring that your phone stays intact while you play. The mount can support 3.5 to 6 inches phones. It features controlling buttons that include a 360° joystick and a D-pad button for maximum performance.
GameSir T1 has a rechargeable battery that can last up to 18 hours. Even though there have been complaints concerning its Bluetooth connection, the manufacturer appears to have resolved the issues and the GameSir T1 controllers works just as it is supposed to.
This controller, unlike the Android controllers in our list, comes in two pieces. It is not like any other ordinary game controller. This feature makes it very unique and qualifies it for the best android game controller for your setup. The two pieces are in such a way that you fix one on each side of your phone in a landscape orientation. It holds the phone in a firm grip making it safe and secure. The two pieces controller has several buttons that include a start and select button, 4 action buttons, a four-directional pad, and 2 joysticks one on each side. The trigger buttons and the flat bumper are on the back of the device adjacent to a charging port.
The Pyrus Telescopic can fit up to a 6.1 inches phone and it also has an built-in battery that lasts up to 8 hours when fully charged. One of its best features is the mode switching. This means you can easily switch configurations between a keyboard mode, an arcade mode, and a gamepad mode.
The SteelSeries Stratus game controller features twin joysticks which have a textured surface, four action buttons, a four-LED array, a four-way directional pad, triggers and shoulder buttons and other 3 front-facing buttons.
This game controller has the polish and build of a PlayStation or Xbox controller. This is a controller that you can count on even when there is no power because it does not have a rechargeable battery. It operates on two AA batteries that can last up to 40 hours of gaming time. Its disadvantage is that it does not have a built-in stand, you’ll want to get a stand for your smartphone or tablet.
Many people do not consider this game controller as stylish as the other controllers in the market. But it is highly configurable and compatible with almost all Android operating devices. The Matricon G-Pad XYBA features a four-way directional pad which is located in the left-hand corner, four action buttons, a start button, a select button, power button and an LED power button. It also includes 2 joysticks, 2 bumper buttons, and 2 triggers.
This game controller has a unique feature. It will actually vibrate in response to what is happening on the screen. Its major disadvantage is that it does not have a stand to place your smartphone or tablet on.
8. Razer Serval
This game controller has a very conventional layout and a textured grip that is designed for a from grip ensuring safety during gaming sessions. It features on the right side a joystick and 4 action buttons, on the left side it has another joystick and a directional pad, and on the back, it has 2 shoulder buttons and trigger buttons.
The Razer Serval game controller is also powered by 2 AA non-rechargeable batteries. Its major advantage is that it can be paired with multiple smartphones, has an adjustable clip, and also can use a wireless or wired connection.
9. 8Bitdo N30
Another Android game controller from company 8Bitdo. The N30 model is operated on a lithium battery, has a Bluetooth connectivity, USB connectivity, and also comes with a dust cover. Its nostalgic appearance is universally loved by players that prefer old school games, arcade games, and fighting games. It works well with all smartphones and tablets running the Android operating system.
One thing we’d like to point out is that if you do not like a looser feeling joystick, you may want to pass on this one. Users have mentioned the joysticks lack any stiffness that they may have grown accustomed to in other game controllers.