15 best joysticks and gamepads

Review of the best according to the editorial board. On the selection criteria. This material is subjective and does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.

A gamepad is much more comfortable to play with than a keyboard and mouse. Especially in genres that involve controlling a character, not the world – action games, RPGs, shooters, fighting games, etc. But to immerse yourself in the gameplay as deep as possible, you need a good gamepad.

We've compiled a list of the 15 best gamepads – wired and wireless; as well as joysticks and steering wheels.

Rating of the best gamepads and joysticks

Nomination a place Name of product price
The best wired gamepads for your computer 1 Thrustmaster GPX LightBack Ferrari F1 Edition
2 Microsoft Xbox 360 Controller for Windows RUB 5,369
3 Logitech Gamepad F310 RUB 1,510
The best wireless gamepads for PC 1 Microsoft Xbox One Wireless Controller RUB 2,990
2 Logitech Wireless Gamepad F710 RUB 2,283
3 Valve Steam Controller 6 400 rub.
4 Nvidia Shield Controller 1 390 rub.
The best joysticks for your computer 1 Thrustmaster Hotas Warthog RUB 32 958
2 Saitek X52 Flight Control System RUB 8,737
3 CH Products Fighterstick RUB 16,990
4 Logitech Extreme 3D Pro RUB 2,099
5 Thrustmaster T.16000M RUB 4,998
The best PC gaming wheels 1 Logitech G29 Driving Force RUB 16 550
2 Thrustmaster T500RS RUB 10,500
3 Speedlink Drift O.Z. (SL-6695-BKOR) RUB 3,499

The best wired gamepads for your computer

Thrustmaster GPX LightBack Ferrari F1 Edition

Rating: 4.9

Thrustmaster GPX LightBack Ferrari F1 Edition

Why # 1: XInput support, vibration feedback, PC and Xbox 360 compatibility.

Description: Thrustmaster GPX LightBack Ferrari F1 Edition wired gamepad tops the rating thanks to its combination of technical characteristics and attractive design. To work, it uses the XInput API developed by the company Microsoft, so it is compatible with almost all games that support the corresponding control. The design of the gamepad is inspired by the paintwork of Ferrari racing cars from the F1 championship – the body is made in white and red.

The gamepad is equipped with two mini-joysticks and one crosspiece. The set of control buttons is common for Xbox 360. Vibration feedback is supported. The gamepad also has a stereo headset jack (3.5 mm jack).

Advantages

  • Full DirectInput and Xinput support;

  • Pleasant plastic and attractive design;

  • Standard layout for Xbox 360 and gamepads Microsoft;

disadvantages

  • Thick, rigid connecting cable;

  • Relatively high price;

  • There is no automatic installation of drivers on old operating systems with disabled updates;

Microsoft Xbox 360 Controller for Windows

Rating: 4.8

Microsoft Xbox 360 Controller for Windows

Why runner-up: A 'standard' gamepad for Windows, but relatively expensive.

Description: Microsoft Xbox 360 Controller for Windows is a gamepad recommended for use with personal computers. It is fully compatible with XInput technology and therefore works in the vast majority of games. In addition, support for this gamepad is implemented in the 'Game Mode' of the operating system Windows 10 – and, as a result, it is suitable for control in old projects.

The gamepad is equipped with two mini-joysticks and a D-Pad '(' cross'). Additional buttons – 10. Vibration feedback is available. The gamepad is connected to a computer via USB and is equipped with a three-meter flexible cable.

In addition, it is, as the name implies, compatible with the game console Microsoft Xbox 360.

Advantages

  • Comfortable design and textured surface, pleasant to the touch;

  • Vibration feedback and convenient key layout;

  • Native gamepad support by the operating system Windows 10;

disadvantages

  • Inconvenient in some genres (2D platformers, fighting games) crosspiece;

  • Expensive (as for buying in 2018);

  • To some users, the gamepad itself may seem small;

Logitech Gamepad F310

Rating: 4.7

Logitech Gamepad F310

Why the third place: The lowest price in the rating, but no vibration feedback.

Description: The Logitech Gamepad F310 gamepad is one of the most budgetary gamepads with support for XInput and DirectInput programming interfaces, which are used by the operating system Windows 10 to control games. In addition, it can work with analog APIs introduced in older projects. When the XInput interface is active, the controller driver for 'Game Mode' Windows 10 is installed automatically.

Like other XInput gamepads, the Logitech Gamepad F310 comes with two analog sticks, a D-Pad and 10 buttons. There is no vibration feedback in the device. USB is used to connect to a computer, the cable length is about 2 meters.

Advantages

  • Textured plastic, pleasant to the touch;

  • Strong and reliable build;

  • Quick connection without installing drivers for Windows 10;

disadvantages

  • No vibration feedback;

  • Tight trigger buttons ('triggers');

  • The relatively small size of the gamepad itself;

The best wireless gamepads for PC

Microsoft Xbox One Wireless Controller

Rating: 4.9

Microsoft Xbox One Wireless Controller

Why first place: XInput wireless gamepad with vibration feedback, quick and easy setup.

Description: Gamepad Microsoft Xbox One Wireless Controller tops the rating for one simple reason – it is he who is recommended for use with the operating system Windows 10. It implements native support for the XInput programming interface, so the controller can be used in almost any game.

The controller communicates with the PC via the channel Bluetooth, there is no receiver in the kit. Equipped with a standard layout for Xbox One – two mini-joysticks (sticks), one D-Pad ('D-pad') and 11 buttons. The controller supports vibration feedback. A headset jack (3.5 mm jack) is also available.

The controller is powered by two AA batteries. It can also be connected to a computer via a micro-USB cable.

Advantages

  • High ergonomics, excellent build quality;

  • There is a headphone jack;

  • Fast and easy connection;

disadvantages

  • Automatic connection without drivers only to Windows 10;

  • Powered by batteries that have to be changed every 1-2 months;

  • Bluetooth – no receiver included;

Logitech Wireless Gamepad F710

Rating: 4.8

Logitech Wireless Gamepad F710

Why Runner Up: Best value for money, good gamepad for amateur gamers.

Description: Wireless gamepad Logitech Wireless Gamepad F710 is suitable for novice gamers and amateurs. It is compatible with the DirectInput and XInput programming interfaces familiar to the operating system Windows 10, therefore it works without installing drivers. For communication with a computer, a 2.4 GHz radio channel is used, a receiver is included.

The gamepad is equipped with the standard Xbox and Windows layout, which includes two analog sticks, one D-Pad and 10 buttons. Supports vibration feedback. Powered by two AA batteries, the charge lasts for 1-2 months, depending on the activity of use. Wired communication, like the previous model in the rating, is not supported.

Advantages

  • Compatible with new and old games;

  • Fits comfortably in the hands, despite its relatively small size;

  • Dense build and quality materials;

disadvantages

  • Uses a 2.4 GHz radio channel, which can overlap with signals from a router or other wireless devices;

  • D-Pad crosspiece – solid and membrane, which can damage the interlayer at high loads;

  • When the battery level is low, it often loses the signal;

Valve Steam Controller

Rating: 4.8

Valve Steam Controller

Why Third Place: The best controller for Steam games, but extremely expensive.

Description: Valve Steam Controller is the only controller in the ranking that is designed specifically for PC games from the Steam store. Each of them offers its own set of settings, thanks to which the gamepad is compatible with any project, whether it be shooters and RPGs, even platformers and strategies.

In addition, it features a large number of controls. The gamepad is equipped with 1 analog stick, 1 D-Pad, 2 touch trackpads, 2 auxiliary lobes and a variety of sensors: motion detector, accelerometer, gyroscope. It can also emulate keyboard and mouse. Vibration feedback is available.

The controller is connected to the computer via a radio channel, the receiver is included in the kit. Also can be connected directly with USB cable. The gamepad is powered by batteries, two AA batteries are enough for 40 hours of play.

Advantages

  • Compatible with all games from Steam;

  • Motion Detector;

  • Emulation of keyboard and mouse;

disadvantages

  • High cost;

  • Average build quality;

  • Requires habit;

Nvidia Shield Controller

Rating: 4.7

Nvidia Shield Controller

Why the fourth place: It communicates with the PC only by wire.

Description: The Nvidia Shield Controller gamepad was not designed for personal computers, but for the proprietary Shield gaming tablet. However, it does support the XInput hardware / software communication interface, so it emulates as an Xbox controller. Instead of the usual radio channel, it uses Wi-Fi Direct technology, which is rarely compatible with a PC, and, as a result, a cable is required to connect to a computer.

In addition, the controller is GPU-sensitive. If your computer has a non-Nvidia graphics card installed, it simply won't work.

Nevertheless, the controller has one of the lowest prices in the rating and well-thought-out ergonomics. It is equipped with two analog sticks, one cross and 10 buttons. Supports vibration feedback. There is a headphone or stereo headset jack, a microphone is built into the gamepad itself.

Advantages

  • Thoughtful, well-designed ergonomics;

  • XInput compatibility;

  • High-quality, reliable assembly;

disadvantages

  • It communicates with the computer only by wire;

  • No programmable PC software and no settings;

  • Requires an Nvidia graphics card;

The best joysticks for your computer

Thrustmaster Hotas Warthog

Rating: 4.9

Thrustmaster Hotas Warthog

Why first place: Ultra-precise positioning, metal body, user-friendly software.

Description: The Thrustmaster Hotas Warthog joystick was created for professional gamers who want to get the most realistic experience of controlling planes and other vehicles. It consists of two modules – a multi-position RSS itself and an additional throttle control.

Joystick design includes separate motor control knob, 4 view switches, classic D-Pad and 28 customizable buttons. The device is 10-axis. A Hall sensor is used for the most accurate positioning. The RUS axis recognizes 65535 reports, the throttle – 16383. There is also a TRIM axis with 1023 reports on the Hall sensor (silent) and an IDLE stopper.

The joystick is made in a metal case, it is connected to a computer via USB and is complemented by a green backlight.

Advantages

  • Ultra-precise positioning;

  • Axles on Hall sensors;

  • Customizable functionality;

disadvantages

  • Takes up a lot of space;

  • If the drivers are installed incorrectly, there may be an axis offset;

  • Difficult to set up, especially for novice gamers;

Saitek X52 Flight Control System

Rating: 4.8

Saitek X52 Flight Control System

Why Runner Up: Long lasting and reliable, but less customizable than the leader.

Description: The Saitek X52 Flight Control System joystick is designed for amateur gamers. The mid-range unit is complemented by an engine control knob, information display and 23 customizable buttons. The joystick is mechanical, so at the beginning and end of the move it may 'hang up' a little – a dead zone is required. Resistors are used for positioning.

The joystick is equipped with three view switches and has 7 axes. The design includes 23 configurable buttons and a backlit LCD information display located at the throttle. There is a two-position 'trigger' on the RUS, which is very convenient when set up correctly.

Advantages

  • High reliability and durability of the device;

  • Lots of customization, including additional profiles for buttons via Pinkie (Shift);

  • High positioning accuracy;

disadvantages

  • Non-linearity, especially on the Z-axis ('twist');

  • Unreliable attachment on 'suction cups';

  • Inconvenient, incomprehensible software;

CH Products Fighterstick

Rating: 4.7

CH Products Fighterstick

Why third place: High precision joystick with Hall sensors, but no motor control knob included.

Description: CH Products Fighterstick is one of the most accurate joysticks in the ranking. It uses Hall sensors, so it is devoid of 'dead zones' and supports thousands of degrees of positioning. In addition, it is ergonomic and visually copies the control stick of the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft. Additional buttons are placed on the RUS.

The joystick design includes a 3-axis control stick with 4 view switches and 3 programmable buttons. Almost all controls are customizable, both on the device itself and in the bundled software.

A USB interface is used to connect to a computer, the cable length is 1.8 m. The body of the joystick is made of special high-strength plastic.

It should be noted that the joystick is supplied without a motor control handle and pedals. They will need to be purchased separately.

Advantages

  • An exact replica of the F-16 aircraft control stick;

  • Customization;

  • Ultra-precise positioning thanks to Hall sensors;

disadvantages

  • High cost and relatively low prevalence;

  • No pedals included;

  • No throttle in the kit;

Logitech Extreme 3D Pro

Rating: 4.6

Logitech Extreme 3D Pro

Why the fourth place: Joystick for amateur and non-professional gamers, but one of the cheapest in the ranking.

Description: Logitech Extreme 3D Pro is one of the best joysticks in the budget price segment. It is equipped with a single control stick (the throttle is not included in the kit) with support for 4-axis positioning. It is based on resistors, so there are small dead zones at the very beginning and end of the path.

Also, the joystick design includes 1 view switch and 12 customizable buttons. Dual profile is supported, i.e. additional key actions by pressing Shift. With the right skill, you can customize or program almost every aspect of the joystick.

Advantages

  • Easy to set up and customize;

  • Most flight simulators come with a predefined control template for this model;

  • Inexpensive;

disadvantages

  • No throttle and pedals included;

  • Not very accurate 4-way view switch (no diagonal)

  • Works strange with some flight simulators;

Thrustmaster T.16000M

Rating: 4.5

Thrustmaster T.16000M

Why the fifth place: Sufficiently comfortable ergonomics and precise positioning, but buttons without signatures at all.

Description: Thrustmaster T.1600M closing the rating joystick is suitable for fans of experiments and new discoveries – despite its high positioning accuracy and pleasant ergonomics, it is equipped with buttons without signatures. To understand which one is responsible for what and how to set which one can only be 'empirically'.

The joystick is 3-axis and has a built-in motor control handle. 16 additional buttons are configured and programmed through the bundled software. The joystick uses hall sensors for maximum precision positioning and features a multi-directional mini-stick to control the view.

The delivery set includes replaceable function modules that help to reconfigure the joystick for the left (or right) hand. The device is connected to the computer via USB.

Advantages

  • High precision positioning thanks to the use of Hall sensors;

  • Nice ergonomics;

  • Tight and high-quality build;

disadvantages

  • Difficulty in customization and customization;

  • Wide handle, which may seem uncomfortable for some users;

  • Tight twist (Z-axis);

The best PC gaming wheels

Logitech G29 Driving Force

Rating: 4.9

Logitech G29 Driving Force

Why first place: Pedals included, leather braid, feedback, lots of extra buttons.

Description: Logitech G29 Driving Force is a flagship steering wheel that helps you get a complete driving experience and eliminate the use of the keyboard in gameplay. It is equipped with many customizable buttons and D-Pad, support for feedback and vibration feedback, rotates 900 degrees and is braided with genuine leather.

The set also includes three pedals – brake, clutch and gas. The steering wheel is compatible with the Driving Force gear lever.

Advantages

  • Convenient for long corners;

  • Tightly and efficiently assembled;

  • Many buttons, there are paddle shifters;

disadvantages

  • The steering wheel may seem small;

  • The gear shift lever is purchased separately;

  • It is better to pull the steering wheel braid;

Thrustmaster T500RS

Rating: 4.8

Thrustmaster T500RS

Why Second Place: Fewer additional buttons than the leader of the ranking.

Description: The Thrustmaster T500RS steering wheel is suitable for novice gamers and amateurs. It is equipped with a large wheel (diameter 30 cm), three pedals included, supports feedback and vibration feedback. The built-in powerful industrial-grade motor is responsible for them. The steering angle is 1080 degrees. There is a D-Pad ('cross').

The main advantage of the steering wheel is the customizable pedals. Their height and distance between them can be adjusted.

The steering wheel is connected to a computer via USB.

Advantages

  • Highest realism of feedback and vibration response;

  • Comfortable steering wheel;

  • Belt drive and 1080 degree swing angle;

disadvantages

  • The checkpoint will have to be purchased separately;

  • Steering wheel braid made of synthetic materials;

  • Difficulty attaching to the table;

Rating: 4.7

Speedlink Drift O.Z. (SL-6695-BKOR)

Why the third place: Budget, but with a gear lever and gas and brake pedals.

Description: Steering wheel Speedlink Drift O.Z. – a model for novice gamers. So, the angle of rotation of its wheel is only 180 degrees. But there is vibration and feedback, 12 additional keys, a built-in gearbox and two pedals (gas and brake) included.

The steering wheel connects to the computer automatically, you do not need to install drivers for it. However, it is compatible with almost all games. It works quietly and stays securely on the table.

Advantages

  • Fast and easy connection;

  • Vibration feedback and feedback;

  • Rubberized steering wheel;

disadvantages

  • The rotation angle is only 180 degrees;

  • Paddle shifters duplicate pedals;

  • Unrealistic gear lever;


Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.

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