The 7 Best Gaming Controllers for Every Kind of Player

Years ago, third-party gaming controllers were dirt cheap and notorious for their poor craftsmanship—especially the eggshell-plastic MadCatz knockoffs. Every household had one. It was reserved for kid siblings and houseguests you maybe didn’t like that much. Those kinds of controllers gave third-party gamepads a bad name—one that persists to this day.

In recent years though, companies like Scuf and Astro have donned their armor and unfurled their banners on a quest to rebuild the reputation of “off-brand” gamepads, one controller at a time. We’ve tried a bunch of them in the past couple of years, and these are our favorites. Here are the best gaming controllers, official and unofficial, for the Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox (One and Series X/S), and PC.

Be sure to read our guides to the Best Gaming Headsets, Best Gaming Mouse, and Best Gaming Laptops for more recommendations.

Updated March 2021: We adjusted pricing throughout this guide, wrote some tips on how far to sit from your TV or monitor, and added the PS5 DualSense controller. 

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