Many games designed for Xbox have built-in support for Microsoft’s standard controller. The company also offers a premium version for professional gamers with interchangeable parts and programmability.
The Xbox Wireless Controller is an excellent choice for casual PC gaming. It’s affordable and works well with Windows. It can connect via Bluetooth or the Xbox Wireless Dongle.
The best Xbox controllers for PC gaming are made to be comfortable in the hand for long gaming sessions. They feature a contoured design and buttons in logical locations to ensure an intuitive gaming experience. They are also lightweight and durable. They are compatible with Windows 10 and 11 PCs and most Android phones, iPads, iPhones, and Macs. Some models even have ports for headsets. it comes with a two-million button clicks warranty.
Another benefit of using an Xbox controller for a PC is that it does not require a wireless receiver. This makes it ideal for PC gamers with older laptops that don’t have Bluetooth capabilities or those who prefer to avoid dealing with the hassle of a wireless adapter.
Lastly, a wired Xbox controller can be used for long gaming sessions without worrying about charging the battery. This is especially helpful for pets tempted to chew on the cord or those who occasionally forget to recharge their controllers.
The good news is that most modern console controllers—including the latest Xbox One and PlayStation 5 models—work on PC. They are often less expensive than a keyboard and mouse, and they can give you the flexibility of playing at your desk, on your couch, or in bed.
Ease of Use
Most Xbox controllers designed for Microsoft’s game console work great on PC and don’t require any additional software. This makes it an excellent choice for beginners wanting to start quickly. There are many different options available, from budget-friendly to high-end.
For example, the Xbox One controller works well with Windows through Bluetooth or a wired connection and includes remap able paddles. It also has a 3.5mm headphone jack, which is excellent for private gaming or listening to music during a break from gaming. It uses AA batteries, but a rechargeable pack can be purchased conveniently.
Another option that offers high-end features for competitive gamers or anyone who wants a premium PC controller. It has a sleek, modern design and a battery pack with a longer charge life than regular AA batteries. It also supports the Xbox Wireless Adapter for wireless connectivity and has a USB-C port for wired play.
Many PC games support input, allowing Xbox controller buttons to appear on-screen instead of mouse and keyboard prompts. This is true for both ported Xbox games and non-ported PC titles. The Xbox One controller is the easy pick for this because it works out of the box on Windows and has excellent ergonomics.
The Xbox controller is one of the most common gamepads available, and its support extends to many PC games. Its ubiquity means you can often pick up and play without much configuration, and it’s easy to connect.
The most straightforward way to connect an Xbox controller is through a USB cable (the kind that comes with your console). Plug the slim cord end into the controller and the other into a free port on your computer. Windows should immediately recognize the controller and download drivers. If it doesn’t, you should manually start a search from the device manager.
You can also pair the controller through Bluetooth, which works with most modern PCs. This method has the lowest input latency, which we recommend for those who prefer a wired experience. You’ll need a Microsoft Wireless Adapter for this, and it isn’t included with every controller, so be sure to check your console or purchase an optional dongle.
A wired connection doesn’t require charging, but you’ll need to keep track of its location. It’s common for gamers to lose a controller in battle, so an attached cord can help you find it when it’s time to stop playing. The only real downside to a wired connection is the need to change out the two AA batteries that power the controller, a step back from the rechargeable options on many other console controllers.
A console controller is a versatile option for PC gaming, offering the exact button mapping as your computer’s keyboard and mouse. It’s also often more straightforward for players with mobility or dexterity issues than a traditional mouse and keyboard setup, providing access to games that may not otherwise be available.
Many PC gamers prefer the flexibility of a controller to a standard keyboard and mouse. Many games ported from Xbox have built-in support for Xbox controllers, with on-screen prompts changing to match the controller layout when plugged in.
An excellent choice for PC gamers, with easy Bluetooth pairing and a comfortable grip. It can be powered by a pair of rechargeable AA batteries or via USB, and its user-replaceable batteries mean you can avoid the hassle and expense of purchasing a new controller. The controller is also backed by a warranty from Microsoft, giving you peace of mind when using it for PC gaming.
The more expensive Microsoft Elite Series 2 Core controller is another high-quality option, with a premium design and extra features that provide an enhanced gaming experience. It pairs easily with a PC and conveniently has a USB cable and battery pack. Its biggest drawback is the price tag, making it more of a luxury pick for competitive gamers (or like to pretend they’re). You can even get a less-expensive version that lacks some of the functionality but still provides a solid gaming experience.