What controllers are people using for PC gaming these days?

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sparky_buzzsaw

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Hey! I've been using a 360 controller for the last four or so years for PC gaming. It's worked great for me so far but the sensitivity's getting a bit wonky and the sticks are at the point where it's just time for a new controller. I was thinking I'd just go with another wired 360 controller again, since I hate going through batteries unnecessarily and I like the 360 controller.

But a) are there newer controllers I should be looking at instead, and b) just as a general conversation piece, what are you currently using for a PC controller? Feel free to chime in with other accessories you like - a favorite mouse, trackpad, if you've bought a flight stick for the recent flight sim revival, whatever.

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The_Nubster

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I use a DualShock 4 as a gamepad. I love the weight in the hand and how tight the triggers are. There's good software to emulate a 360 controller and Steam's native support is great, too. Until I get my hands on a new Xbox controller or a Dualsense and can confirm their quality, I'll probably stick with a DS4 until it falls apart in my hands.

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liquiddragon

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#3  Edited By liquiddragon

I bought a Series controller to replace my wired 360 controller but the compatibility on the Series controller seems to be real spotty w older games like ps3/360 era games so looks like I’ll have to use both depending on the game I’m playing.

I like the size of the Series controller (I have smaller hands) and that I can use batteries. I dislike the dpad tho it’s better than the 360’s and I really don’t like the cheap texture they added to the back surface

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sparky_buzzsaw

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@the_nubster: Loved my PS4 controller. That is probably my favorite feeling controller to date, thoguh I had terrible luck with the sticks.

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swthompson

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I tried the Series controller but it's both too small (my hands cramped up after an intense Hades run) and doesn't support every game out there (Persona 4 Golden doesn't see it at all, as one example).

I'm back on Xbox One controllers with the wireless dongle. Best compatibility and comfort.

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navster15

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Can you even get a new 360 controller at this point? In any case, the Xbox One/Series controller remains my go-to. Specifically the Elite version 1, although I get it that folks don’t want to pay that much. Whenever the Xbox design lab comes back I recommend going that route. Some friends of mine got some neat designs that have me a little jealous.

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stantongrouse

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I have four 360 pads (from the 360 day) that all just about work, they are for any local multiplayer but couple of Christmas's ago my sister got me a Xbox One pad. That what I now use for any solo play. I love the 360 pad but I think the one pad has a nicer feel, one day I'll have the money to pick up a few more. Personally, I can't get on with PS pads, I have no idea why but they just feel uncomfortable in my old mitts.

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OldGuy

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Both my wife and I use Xbox Elite controllers (v1) and they've held up great. I love the heft and, well, everything about them (the "dish" d-pad is my favorite thing) - and being able to put the stick press onto paddles on the back of the controller is really nice. We've got a whole mess of rechargable batteries (for all of our things that need batteries) and a four battery charging station and it works out perfectly.

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Justin258

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A basic Xbox One controller is going to be the most compatible thing you can buy.

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sweetz

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#10  Edited By sweetz

XBox One controller and one of these and just rotate out the batteries between the charger and controller. I love the fact that it still has swappable batteries, unlike the PS4 controller which has atrocious battery life and then forces you to be wired when it runs out. (Seriously it's crime that Sony didn't upgrade to at least a 1500mAh battery when they revised the controller. I've swapped out the batteries on my PS4 controllers with 2000mAh units, but not everyone is prepared to do that.)

I love the XBO controller even more than the 360; it's better in every way, there's no reason to try to find a 360 controller at this point.

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mikewhy

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PS4 controller. Steam lets you map the touchpad to other things which really come in handy.

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Panfoot

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Xbox One controller, in fact not even the official one MS one but a $20 dollar one I picked up at gamestop 4 years ago that both feels pretty much identical to the official one and outside of some of the rubbery material starting to peel away, held up pretty great. I wanted a 360 controller but once my old one died I couldn't find one that wasn't a crappy looking knock off, though it didn't take to long to get used to the Xbox One version which I'd say is probably my favorite now.

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RoyalGhost

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#13  Edited By RoyalGhost

I'm just using a dualshock 4. I don't own an Xbox so it's hard to justify buying an Xbox controller when I have one that works. I also just prefer the dpad and stick layout on Playstation controllers. But you have to get ds4windows for a bunch of stuff if you want to use it. More and more stuff is supporting it natively but that's not gonna make old stuff work and emulators don't cooperate with it either. Bluetooth is nice too though that has become more and more standard across controllers.

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FacelessVixen

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Mainly a DS4, especially for character action, but I prefer an XB1 for racing games.

I'll never not play a shooter with mouse and keyboard, though.

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huntad

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#15  Edited By huntad

I use the Xbox One Elite Controller series 2, but I have also used the Dualshock 4. I don't like the weight of the Series 2 controller but the controller feels really good, otherwise. Not a huge fan of the symmetrical thumb stick placements on Sony controllers.

*Note: I have had horrible success with bluetooth connectivity on the series 2 before I bought the Microsoft dongle that allows for wireless connectivity. It simply disconnects at random when using bluetooth.

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ajamafalous

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I used a DS4 from the time the PS4 came out until the time the PS5 came out, and now I'm using the PS5 controller.

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MeierTheRed

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Switched a DS4 out with the new Xbox series controller.

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Humanity

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I still have just a 360 pad hooked up. I actually have a spare Xbox One controller now since I have an elite and now a new Series X controller but I dunno.. it works fine. The ergonomics I think are perfect on it for my hands, even slightly better than the modern Xbox controllers, so until it really starts to malfunction I'm fine with it.

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Giant_Gamer

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DS4 for my PC.

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ghost_cat

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Using a PS5 controller even though I don't have a PS5. Love the look, feel and weight to the controller. An added bonus, for me, is the touch pad being so smooth and pleasant to run my fingers across, and I find myself sometimes running my fingers across it when I get anxious to help alleviate that feeling.

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Gundato

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Assuming you mean gamepad otherwise we gonna start talking hotases.

2020: XBONE controller with occasional forays into an 8bitdo sn30propluswhatever in the living room. Both were good. 8bitdo felt a bit weak but I actually like the playstation layout so that was a pro.

(Late 2020 and) 2021: XBOX Series controller. Grabbed one on sale to check it out and that thing is just the best gamepad ever made. Textured back, good feeling triggers, and a d-pad good enough that I stopped digging out the fight stick when the mood takes me since I can straight up do DPs on there consistently AND without thumb abuse.

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Atlas

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Dualshock 4. It's my second favourite PC controller ever, after Xbox 360.

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ripelivejam

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ctrl-f duke

;_;

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FinalDasa

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Still using a 360 controller but occasionally using my SNES 8bitDO.

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nateandrews

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#25 nateandrews  Online

I use an Xbox One controller. Hoping someday that the Dualsense will receive full haptics/rumble/adaptive trigger support on PC. That'd be rad.

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imhungry

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Mainly use the Xbox One controller, which FYI you can plug in and use as a wired controller if you don't want to futz around with batteries.

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OurSin_360

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360 controller with a pretty bad drift in the left stick, also had to splice and electric tape the plug cause it had a short lol.

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sparky_buzzsaw

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@imhungry: Oh right on. Didn't know this. I think you just made up my mind.

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Lego_My_Eggo

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Using a DualShock 3 since i don't use my PS3 a lot and might as well get some use out of it, and i use it with a USB cord so no charging needed. Before Steam started working with all the big controllers on the market i would never have recommended a DS3 since the compatibility with PC was crap and a pain to get working, but now Steam just see's it as a DS3 and knows how to handle it. And i was considering moving to the DS4 whenever i get a PS5 just because it is so much better, but the DS3 was there so why not.

But if i was in the market to buy a controller and not use a hand me down like i am doing now i would just buy a DS5, but i like the PlayStation form factor so that's just me.

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fisk0

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#30 fisk0  Moderator  Online

I'm still using the 360 controller I bought for Borderlands in 2009.

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styx971

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i've been using a xbox one controller for a couple years now having used a logitech and a steam controller before that. i usually just go wireless and it works well most of the time ( pairing occasionally drops at random). that said the series x controller imo would probably be the most logical upgrade if your in the market since 1 its new and 2 the d-pad on it looks nice

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BullLee

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#32  Edited By BullLee

I bought an 8BitDo SN30 Pro a couple years ago, which I use frequently. The controller feels sturdy and it's got a really nice D-pad. What irks me a little is that it's got digital trigger buttons that are recessed into the back of the controller, which feels weird, and the whole thing's a bit small for my average sized hands.

I treated myself to an SN30 Pro Plus for Christmas though, and that pad seems great! Even though the faceplate is the same as the SN30 Pro's, it's got PS4-style wings which make it feel heavier and easier to hold for extended periods of play. Also, analogue triggers (which to me feel a bit mushy. I prefer the short travel of digital triggers since I've never ran across a game which actually uses the analogue functionality). Another bonus is the removable battery pack, so you can use regular batteries in a pinch. I see myself using this controller for a long time to come.

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quasiconundrum

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DualShock 4. I prefer the feel, and I don't have an Xbox anyway.

The support for it is pretty good nowadays (at least on Steam, and Epic for the most part), though I do have to use DS4Windows (a separate program) for PC Game Pass.

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Mendelson9

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I use an Xbox pad since it has really good compatibility with all games. I had weird issues with the PS4 outside of the Steam Input stuff and I don't really want to run extra software just to get it working. (tried it a while ago, not sure how support is now)

I have been using a 8BitDo SNES gamepad for D-Pad games and that's been pretty great too.

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Jesus_Phish

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I'm using a DS4 because my 360 pad started getting some bad stick drift. But it's not ideal. The support is "ok", but in a world when 360 pads run perfectly "ok" isn't good enough.

I'm looking around for reports on if the new PS5 controller is any better and if it's not I'm just going to get an Elite.

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mikewhy

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@quasiconundrum: It's got some quirks (like figuring out the app ID, or some gamepass games still not working) but I've had decent results with GloSC.

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mekon

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Growing up I played DooM, Quake and other FPS, so I usually play WASD. Until last decade I didn't own a controller which is why I'm loyal to that, but I now have a hand-me-down PS3, an XBone (the wireless controller for that died after about 20 hours, so I found it cheapest to buy a wired 3rd party replacement which works well), a Switch, and a Steam Controller which I mainly use for driving games such as Trackmania because the right hand pad sensor is slick.

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frytup

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#38  Edited By frytup

Two Xbone controllers. One paired with the wireless adapter plugged in my PC and one paired with Steam Link. Now and then I think about getting an Elite, but haven't been all that motivated to do so. What I've got does the job.

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jsnyder82

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I’ve got an SN30 Pro Plus. It’s easy to connect to my PC, the D-pad is excellent, there’s software available from 8BitDo to configure it, and the battery life is incredible.

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brian_

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I play very few games on my woefully inadequate PC, but I just picked up a Xbox Series S bundle that came with an extra controller, and so I've designated that as my PC controller. I think it's actually the first Xbox controller I like. I've never liked any of their d-pads, but I've had no issues with the new one. My hands are on the smaller size, and I feel it's fits better in my own hands. I feel like I also have a better grip on the sticks too. For whatever reason, my thumbs would slip off the Xbox One sticks regularly.

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kalos

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I got a PS5 DualSense for Christmas and enjoyed using it for PC games. It has this heft that is unlike my other gamepads and it's surprisingly larger than the DualShock4 (seems like a great size for me). Works great for Steam games (because of SteamInput), but -- like DualShock4 -- lots of games don't switch button icons to show PlayStation buttons. I haven't noticed much about the rumble (it's just emulating traditional rumble and there's nothing going on with the triggers). I haven't figured out if it's too big for me.

However, the DualSense doesn't work for nearly all my GamePass PC games. I launch them from Steam Big Picture (via UWPHook), but I can't get SteamInput to work for most of these games either (haven't tried Joy2Key), so I wouldn't recommend the DualSense as your only gamepad if you have/want GamePass.

Otherwise, I'm using DualShock4s (which can barely hold a charge now) and a new white Xbox One gamepad that I'm really liking. The new xb1 gamepads have a nice grippy texture, but beware that the original models didn't support bluetooth!

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Xdeser2

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I just use an aftermarket wired xbox one controller I got from walmart for like....25 bucks? It's been working fine for a year now.

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Daiphyer

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The Xbox One controllers with the wireless dongle. It's the most "plug-in-and-it-just-works" controller for PC. I did use a DS4 before that, and honestly, using it with bluetooth had enough latency for me to not like it, and I was not about to hook up a USB cable to it.

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apewins

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#44  Edited By apewins

The Dualshock 4 controller is the best controller I've ever had (not having tested the DS5 yet), but it bums me out that most PC games don't support it directly which leads to a lot of hassle setting up, rumble not working, and on-screen prompts not being accurate (the "Press X" prompt always takes a second for me to figure out because it's different on Xbox and Playstation).

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CaptainSodaPop

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I have 3 360 controllers, Xbox One S controller, Switch Pro Controller and DualShock 3. Also have SNES USB adapter for emulation and some shitty USB Mega Drive/Genesis knockoff. For PC I mostly use my 360 controller because I can connect it wirelessly, sometimes when my batteries die I use an Xbox One S controller with a wire. I would use it all the time but Bluetooth on my laptop doesn't work for some reason so I stick with 360 until I buy a Bluetooth adapter. Xbox controller has best support on PC. I also prefer it's analog stick layout over PlayStation's. Also I could never picture myself playing with PlayStation controller and having Xbox button prompts on screen.

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doctordonkey

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DualSense. Best controller ever made, even without properly programmed haptics, it still feels the best.

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jamesyfx

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I'm using a third party Xbox 360 controller. It works with Xinput and it's awesome. It's been hammered over the years and still works.

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whitegreyblack

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I use an Xbox One controller.

For some MP games I've plugged it in via USB and then been able to use my headset with mic plugged into the controller's 3.5mm jack, with no additional setup required - which was kinda nice.

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CreepingDeath0

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I had a 360 controller for nearly a decade, and when it does I replaced it with a Xbox one controller. What an utter pile of crap that is. Feels terribly cheap and the right trigger feels like it's going already, so avoid that entirely.

If you have the cash the PS5 controller is amazing. One of the most comfortable controllers I've ever used. If that a bit too much the PS4 controller is also pretty great.

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MKennedy

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DS4 for me.