Best Android Game Controllers
Gaming on a smartphone can be a frustrating experience. Games that require more complicated controls are hard to translate to a touchscreen. Virtual d-pads and action buttons just don’t feel right. A simple Bluetooth controller can make all the difference. Here are the best Android game controllers you can buy right now. Game on!
1. Steel Series Stratus XL
The Steel Series Stratus Xl is considered the gold standard in Bluetooth game controllers by many people. It looks and feels a lot like an Xbox controller, which may or may not be a good thing depending on your point of view. The controller has some weight to it, which means it doesn’t feel like a piece of cheap plastic.
The Stratus XL has a button layout that will be familiar to PlayStation users. The two joysticks are on the bottom with a d-pad on the left, A, B, X, Y buttons on the right, and two triggers on the back. The three buttons in the middle can control Android actions (Home, Back, etc).
One thing that can be a little annoying about this controller is that it’s powered by AA batteries. You can’t charge it with a USB cable like a typical controller. The good news is they seem to last for quite a while. The Stratus XL is a little pricey as Bluetooth controllers go, but for $45 you’re getting a quality accessory.
2. MadCatz GameSmart C.T.R.L.
Mad Catz C.T.R.L. has a beefy design that will remind many people of the old Xbox controller (though it’s not nearly as bulky). The button layout is also the same as Xbox with joysticks oriented across from each other diagonally. The d-pad is on the bottom left and the A, B, X, Y buttons are on the top right. It has four buttons on the back and media controls on the top.
One of the best features of the C.T.R.L. is the toggle switch that can flip between three different modes. “GameSmart” is what you’ll use for most Android games, “mouse mode” adds a cursor to the screen that can be controlled with the joystick, and the third mode is for PC gaming.
The Mad Catz C.T.R.L. is also powered by AA batteries, unfortunately. It’s rated for 40+ hours of gameplay. The controller is available in a few colors for around $30 on Amazon.
3. Moga Hero Power
The Moga Hero Power is another controller with the Xbox design and button layout. It has the asymmetric joystick placement, d-pad , A, B, X, Y buttons, rear bumpers, and triggers. The standout feature is the fold-out phone mount. This makes it super easy to play games on your phone, which is something not a lot of these controllers do.
Thankfully, the Hero Power does not use AA batteries. You can plug it in via microUSB to charge it up. You can even use the controller as a battery pack to charge your phone. A lot of these game controllers will work with PC games, but this controller is really designed specifically for Android. Keep that in mind if you plan to use it elsewhere.
This excellent controller is available for only $20 on Amazon. There is a slightly bigger version, the Pro Power, that is also available for a little extra money.
4. Xiaomi Mi Game Controller
Xiaomi doesn’t just make great Android phones. They also make some great Android accessories. The Mi Game Controller is an affordable little controller. It has the Xbox button layout and a nice compact design. You get two joysticks, d-pad, action buttons, Android buttons, and bumpers and triggers.
The device has motors for vibration feedback and a 3-axis gravity sensor. One nice feature is automatic standby mode to save power. It will turn off after 5 minutes of inactivity. This controller will also work for your Android TV device. It’s available for around $24 from Gearbeast and other online vendors.
5. 8BITDO Zero Wireless Game Controller
Lastly, we have to include this tiny little controller. The 8BITDO Zero is small enough to fit on your keychain. It’s the ultimate portable controller. The controller has a d-pad, four action buttons, two bumpers, and a select and start button. Not bad for something that’s only 6.7 x 1.4-inches.
The small size also means it has a small battery, but thankfully you can recharge it with a microUSB cable. You could easily charge it with your phone if you still have a microUSB device. A controller of this size won’t work for everyone, but it’s a fun accessory to have at your disposal. For only $16 it’s hard to go wrong.