RS Recommends: These Bluetooth Controllers Turn Your PC Into a Game Console
If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Rolling Stone may receive an affiliate commission.
Gaming on a PC has a lot of upsides: better graphics, more control over settings, and a wider catalogue of games to play, but you’re stuck using a mouse and keyboard for controls. That’s fine if you’re playing a first person shooter at your desk (a mouse offers unparalleled control in this situation), but not if you want to kick back on the couch.
In that case you’ll want a Bluetooth controller, which lets you control your PC games like you would a console. Reliable wireless controllers used to be hard to come by, but they’ve gotten a lot better over the past few years. Issues like lag and operating system compatibility have largely been eliminated, especially with the rise of Bluetooth. You no longer need to plug a wireless adapter into your computer, install software, and hope for the best.
If you want to play the latest games in their highest possible fidelity, or revisit some classic titles that haven’t made it to console, a Bluetooth controller can make the experience a lot smoother.
What Are the Best Bluetooth Game Controllers For PC?
There are many factors to consider when choosing the best Bluetooth Game Controllers For PC; below are the most important ones, which we considered while we were researching this list.
Ergonomics: Holding a game controller for multi-hour gaming sessions can cause hand cramps, but we’ve chosen Bluetooth controllers with curved edges and ample spacing for buttons. You should still take a short break after every hour you play games.
Size and Weight: Two factors that contribute to ergonomics and comfort are the size and weight of the controller. All of our picks weigh a pound or less, which means they’ll feel solid in your hand without being too heavy.
Battery Life: Most of the Bluetooth game controllers we’re recommending run on rechargeable batteries that last about 20 hours per charge.
Compatibility: All of the controllers in this guide will work with a PC, but many of them can also be connected to game consoles.
1. Xbox Wireless Controller
The most reliable controller out there is the Xbox Wireless. It’s available in a multitude of colors and features a textured grip for a more comfortable gaming session — even when your hands start to get sweaty.
The D-Pad (directional pad) has been upgraded from its predecessors and is easy to use, especially during fast-paced fighter or racing games. The console also has a designated share button so you can easily share your favorite moments from your game with your followers.
The wireless is great as well — I’ve been using this controller for over four months and never faced any lag or drop of Bluetooth connectivity. The battery life clocks in at about 40 hours which makes it a strong option for serious gamers that stream on Twitch all day.
Plus it’s compatible with your new Xbox Series S/X, Xbox One, Windows 10/11 and certain smartphone devices.
Overall, it’s also hard to beat Microsoft’s Wireless Controller if you want to play new PC titles from the comfort of your couch. Pairing it to your computer is simple, and you’ll get premium performance from the moment you turn it on to the second you turn it off.
Buy Xbox Wireless Controller $54.99
2. 8BitDo SN30 Pro
If you want to use your PC to play retro games, 8bitDo’s SN30 Pro is your best bet.
This Bluetooth controller is modeled after the one used for the Super Nintendo, with a nearly identical layout. The difference is the SN30 Pro has a pair of analog sticks on the bottom, which allows you to play modern games, too.
While we haven’t tried the SN30 Pro, the other 8bitDo controllers we’ve tested have felt great in the hand. Many consider the Super Nintendo controller to be one of the best game accessories of all time, and the SN30 Pro is a no-brainer if you fall into that camp. You can use this controller with a PC, Mac, Android device, NES or SNES Classic (with an adapter), or the Nintendo Switch.
The first thing we noticed when trying 8bitDo’s other controllers were the quality of the buttons, including the directional pad. There was never a dropped input or delay while using this hardware. 8bitDo says the SN30 Pro lasts about 18 hours per charge, and needs to be plugged in for about two hours once it’s depleted.
If you’d like to use your computer to relive some old memories from the 8, 16, 32, or 64-bit game console days, 8bitDo’s SN30 Pro is the right controller.
3. SteelSeries Stratus Duo
SteelSeries made a name for itself by making the best controller for playing games on an iPhone, but its Stratus Duo also works with PCs and Macs.
The button layout is similar to the one on 8bitDo’s SN30, with a pair of analog sticks on the bottom, plus-shaped direction pad to the left, and four buttons on the left. The overall shape is closer to Microsoft’s Xbox controller, which means it should be more comfortable to hold if you’re used to contemporary game console controllers.
The Stratus Duo can connect wirelessly using Bluetooth or a 2.4GHz frequency, but we recommend the former because there will be less interference. Many Wi-Fi routers use the 2.4GHz wireless band to connect gadgets (computers, smart-home accessories, smart speakers) to the internet, so there may be some congestion.
SteelSeries says the Stratus Duo lasts about 20 hours per charge, and can be used while it’s plugged in. It’s compatible with PCs, Android devices, or VR headsets like the Oculus Go.
If you like the feel of modern game controllers, but find their button layout hurts your hands, SteelSeries’ Stratus Duo may be the solution you’ve been looking for.
Buy SteelSeries Stratus Duo $49.77
4. Sony DualSense Controller
For a wireless controller that packs style and performance, you’ll like the Sony DualSese. This sleek pick features upgraded haptics and adaptive trigger resistance for a more tactile and receptive gaming experience — you’ll feel every major action sequence reverberating through your palms.
It’s also a sure upgrade from the DualShock 4 with a directional pad that pushes further and a built-in microphone so you can easily chat with your friends during games. The control itself is also slightly meatier, giving you more room to easily grip the handles as you play.
Similar to the Xbox’s share button, you’ve got a ‘create’ button that will let you share content from your favorite games. It also has a built-in battery (lasts around 10 hours on a full charge) that can be easily recharged through a USB-C cable.
The only con? This console was built with PlayStation 5 users in mind which means a lot of the advanced features we talked about may not work that well for certain PC games. Also, the DualSense is not compatible with the PlayStation 4, which might be a letdown to some players (though you can connect it to the PlayStation 3).
Buy PlayStation DualSense Controller $69.00
5. Xbox Microsoft Elite Series 2
If you’re always struggling to customize your gaming controller to your liking, get the Xbox Microsoft Elite Series 2. There are interchangeable thumbsticks for adjustable tension, four rear paddles, and an extra directional pad if you need to swap yours out. Basically, you can tweak almost every part of this nifty accessory.
It’s compatible with your new Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One and Windows 10/11 devices. You can connect this console either via Bluetooth or with the included USB-C cable depending on which one you prefer.
The battery life is as great as the Xbox Wireless, lasting about 40 hours on a single charge. You’ll be able to game for days without the need to recharge. You’ll even get a carrying case included with your investment so you can take this controller on the go.
It’s slightly pricier than most other options on this list but it’s a luxury worth your investment, and you’ll understand the price tag once you start gaming continuously with it — trust us.
MLB Livestream 2023: How to Watch Baseball Online Free
- Baseball livestream
A Greener Clean: The Best Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products for Your Home
- SPRING CLEANING SEASON
Courtroom Spectacle: Gwyneth Paltrow's Glasses Go Viral During Ski Crash Trial
- ALL EYES ON GWYNETH'S (GLASSES)