Long gone is the era where mobile phones were used primarily as a device for making calls and sending messages. Mobile phones have been improved significantly to become smarter and smarter with new features coming out annually. Existing features of mobile phones have also improved significantly where they are almost as powerful as a laptop computer. This has made them capable of playing much more graphically intense games as there are more and more titles that are being released for the mobile platform.
Android devices, in particular, have the edge as far as mobile gaming is concerned as they do support wireless controllers for gaming. This delivers an almost console like experience for gaming on your Android device. Looking for the best Android controller for gaming? Here are some of the best Android gaming controllers that you can buy.
Things To Consider When Looking For The Best Android Controller For Gaming
These days the game offerings for Google’s Android operating system have become pretty impressive. The Google Play Store now offers a wide assortment of game options that would be the pride of many home console systems, and the list grows daily. The latest Android gaming options are as complex and as challenging as any game you might play on a console or through PC gaming, and as such, they require the proper hardware in order to fulfill their potential in the hands of today’s wireless gaming crowd.
In all fairness, the majority of Android games can be played without a special gaming controller at all: they are designed to work on any decent smartphone or Android device, without third-party peripherals. But many instances of the latest generation of Android games are titles that have been retrofitted and remastered from popular game console franchises. Those games were originally designed to be played with advanced, multi-button controllers that were particular to their original console system. Those games provide a much more fulfilling gaming experience with actual physical action buttons, ABXY buttons, shoulder buttons, analog sticks, D-pads, and dedicated triggers capable of delivering far greater precision than cramped virtual controls under smartphone glass.
And that’s not all
Fortunately, there are now many third-party Android gaming peripherals available to suit the tastes of even the most demanding mobile gaming enthusiast, earning respect as an elite wireless controller. However, one must be cautious when considering compatibility issues: any controller you use with Android smartphones or tablets will be subject to certain compatibility issues, especially when used with older Android devices. The latest versions of Android will natively support most game controllers (though not always flawlessly or without tweaking) — but there is always the chance that older systems will work unreliably, if at all. There are apps that are designed specifically to enable full compatibility between third party gaming peripherals and Android, but they require a rooted phone to function flawlessly.
Things You Should Look For In Android Game Controllers
When seeking the best game controller for Android phones (or specifically the best Bluetooth game controller for Android devices) there are a few features of which you need to be aware.
- Battery Life
Is the battery internal, or will the unit regularly require replacement cells? Are the unit’s batteries rechargable?
Is the unit easy to handle? Can it be gripped firmly and steadily?
- Button Layout
Is the button and trigger configuration and selection to your liking? Are the buttons programmable?
Is the unit too heavy to be held for lengthy periods? Is it too light, or flimsy?
- Bluetooth Capability
Is it a Bluetooth gamepad with native pairing? Is the Bluetooth game controller universally discoverable and compatible?
- Stand for Phone
Does the controller have a built-in stand or attachment to hold the Android phone in place during play?
Does the controller have any kind of built-in feedback mechanism? The latest Android OS offers support for DualShock controllers.
eTTg G9023 Bluetooth Controller
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Why we like it: The G9023 from eTTg offers a different design compared to the generic designs that controllers usually use. It may not offer much in portability however since it comes in a very wide size due to the hollow space in the center for mounting your mobile phone. It offers compatibility to most Android devices that are running on Android 3.2+ and also to iOS devices running on 4.3+. The connection method used by the device is the Bluetooth 3.0 wireless transmission, through which you can use the controller from distances of up to 8 meters away from the mobile device it is connected to. The telescopic stand of the controller is able to support devices that are up to 10 inches in screen size, so this will include most tablets as well. Apart from the standard analog sticks, D-Pad, and trigger buttons, the controller also has multimedia keys for performing tasks such as Play/Pause or controlling the volume. This unit may be the best Bluetooth gamepad for Android.
Nyko Smart Clip Game Controller
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Why we like it: The Nyko Smart Clip Game Controller is a stylish controller that you can use for your Android phone or even on your iPhone. It offers compatibility with a lot of the popular Android and iPhone devices. The Bluetooth controller features a stand that can hold your phone if it is less than 6 inches. You can also switch between using the Bluetooth connection to a wired connection by connecting it via the USB port. You can use the USB to connect it to the PC without the need for having to install additional drivers. The controller also comes with easily accessible buttons and ports that will make this a worthy purchase. This is an excellent game controller for Android and iPhones.
PowerLead Gapo PG-9037
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Why we like it: The PowerLead Gapo is very similar in design when compared with the MOGA Power A series controllers. This Android game controller has the dual analog sticks aligned similar to the Xbox controllers and also comes with a retractable stand for holding your mobile phone or tablet. The controller features a Bluetooth 3.0 connection which you can use to play this Bluetooth gamepad wirelessly for up to 8 meters away from the mobile phone it is connected to. The controller is also compatible with Windows, so you can use it to game on your PC as well without the need for installing any drivers. The built-in Lithium battery of the controller allows you to get long hours of gameplay after which you can recharge the battery while still using it to play. The compact size of the controller makes it extremely portable and you can even fit it in your pocket to take it wherever you go.
8Bitdo Bluetooth NES Controller
Why we like it: If you’ve been a gamer since the 90s then you will be familiar with the popular Nintendo NES 30. This controller by 8Bitdo comes with a very retro design that bears likeness to the NES 30 controller that was used for the Nintendo game console. However, it is built for smartphones and PCs as it is compatible with Android, iOS, Windows and Mac. Another interesting aspect of the controller is that the firmware is upgradeable, meaning if there are improvements or newer features introduced later on, you can upgrade the firmware to receive them. You also get full programmability with the keys so you can assign them however you prefer according to the game that you are playing. The build quality of the controller looks premium and it comes with a good quality Xtander stand that you can use to hold your mobile phone or tablet while gaming.
POWER A MOGA Hero Power
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Why we like it: Although not as popular and powerful as the MOGA Pro power, the MOGA Hero Power is also a great option if you are looking for a controller with a smaller budget. The Hero Power is fully portable and comes with a built-in stand which can fold from the center of the controller. What’s best with the MOGA controllers is their wide compatibility with several games both new and old. The Hero Power comes with a 1800mAh battery which is rechargeable. Even if the battery does run out of charge, you can continue using the controller while it is charging at the same time. The controls offer precision with the lag-free response times of the buttons as well as the dual analog sticks. You will also receive a Micro-B charging cable and MOGA Boost charging cable along with the controller itself. The controller offers compatibility with all the latest Android devices that are running on OS versions greater than 3+.
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Why we like it: GameSir tops this list with its other model, the T1s. The controller can be used for about 8 hours of continuous gaming after which it will require a recharge. The battery is built into the controller so it is not detachable. The T1s also has a 32 bit MCU which provides smooth response time and sensitivity of the controller. You can connect the controller using three different methods, which are using the 2.4GHz emitter, Bluetooth 4.0 or you can even use the USB cable for wired nonstop gameplay. It is compatible with most Android devices and also features a stand that you can place your phone on while you game. Apart from this, it is also fully compatible with the Sony Playstation 3, similar to the Gamesir G3s. The design and orientation of the buttons are quite compact making it easily portable.
HappyCell Ti-582 Bluetooth Gamepad
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Why we like it: The HappyCell Ti-582 controller is another good value for money pick. The controller design is quite stylish and its slim form factor makes it small enough to carry around in your pocket. The controller also features a stand which can hold your smartphone while you game. The stand can also be used to hold a tablet if it is a model with 10 center or less screen size. It is fully compatible with almost all Android devices, including the Samsung Gear VR headset. Apart from this it also supports the iPhone 6 plus and later models. The controller has a range of about 7 meters when connected through its Bluetooth 3.0 connection mode. You will be able to get a good 20 hours or so of continuous gameplay with the Lithium rechargeable battery for the controller. You also receive a 30-day money back guarantee and also a one-year warranty.
Matricom G-Pad BX
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Why we like it: Probably one of the cheapest Bluetooth game controllers on the list would be the Matricom G-Pad. Don’t underestimate its features based on the low cost, however, as it provides almost all of the features that a controller. The design of the controller is quite stylish with individual direction buttons on the D-Pad compared to the single directional button in most controllers. The analog sticks come with a rubber texture to ensure a good grip while gaming. Furthermore, this controller also supports iOS apart from Android. The controller operates on a rechargeable ion battery which can be used for plenty of hours before being depleted. However, you can charge and game at the same time which is a neat feature of the Matricom G-Pad. The build quality of the controller is quite fantastic as it is made of high-quality ABS plastic which should be able to last for a long time even with regular usage.
GameSir G3s Bluetooth Wireless Controller
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Why we like it: If you were looking to get the best value for money when choosing a controller, then the GameSir G3s is one of the best options you can go for. The build quality of the controller is exceptional. It is made of a high quality plastic and the D-pad and analogue sticks have perfect responsivity. Additionally, the four main buttons are well lit so you can easily identify them even when gaming with no light. The controller features a 32-bit high speed chip that ensures good response time and sensitivity of the controller. Apart from just supporting android phones, it is also compatible with Windows OS and also PS3. The battery supports 18 hours of continuous gameplay after which you can simply put it to charge again. The controller also features dual shock vibration for more immersive gameplay. You can connect the GS3 using Bluetooth or the wired connection if you prefer.
Beboncool Game Controller
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Why we like it: The Beboncool game controller comes in a stylish black and red design and offers compatibility with both Android and Windows operating systems. The controller supports most of the popular games that come integrated with using a controller as an input method. You will also receive a phone stand that can comfortably hold your phone while you game. The stand is supported for phones that are a maximum of 3 inches in width, which might be a problem if your phone is wider than that. The controller uses Bluetooth to connect to your device center so it is completely wireless. Furthermore, it also comes with a separate wire connection which you can use to connect the controller to your PC with full compatibility. This cable can also be used for charging the controller’s battery. The controller uses a built-in 400mA battery which can deliver about 7 hours of continuous gameplay before requiring a recharge.
POWER A MOGA Pro Power
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Why we like it: Arguably the most popular brand for mobile game controllers is the MOGA series of controllers. There are two versions in the POWER A series, those being the Pro Power and Hero Power, with the Pro Power being the superior model of the two. What’s best about the MOGA controllers is that they are designed exclusively with mobile phones in mind. The controller comes with a build in stand which you can retract and place your phone for comfortable gaming on the go. Additionally, you also receive a tablet stand in the box in case you want to game on your tablet. Apart from this, the package also includes a Micro-B charging cable and the MOGA Boost charging cable. You can enjoy countless hours of gaming with the rechargeable 2200mAh battery which can be topped up to full charge within a matter of minutes. The orientation of the joysticks follows that of the Xbox controllers which could be an advantage based on your preference.
SteelSeries Stratus XL
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Why we like it: SteelSeries is one of the most popular brands when it comes to gaming and you are more than likely to have heard the name if you are a hard-core gamer. As expected, they produce some of the finest accessories for gaming such as this wireless game controller for mobile phones. Apart from being fully compatible with Android devices, it is also compatible with Windows. The orientation of the joysticks follows that of the Play Station controllers as the left and right joysticks are next to each other. There is both a home and back button on the controller to get out of the game without having to touch on your device. Since it also has compatibility with Windows, you can use it on your laptop or PC as well, if you get the Bluetooth dongle adapter which center separately. The controller has all the necessary buttons to ensure that you receive enjoyable gameplay.