Play Game Pass games and mobile shooters with one of the best battery-powered options on the market. Built for hardcore gamers. A tougher option than most mobile-friendly models.
Takes AA batteries with no plug-in charging.
Offers advanced tactile feedback from built-in motors similar to other models. Wired connection eliminates the need for constantly recharging any batteries. USB cable is 6.5 feet long.
Made of cheap plastic that can flex and bend during heavy gameplay.
Includes 3 cases to perfectly fit your smartphone. Companion app for customizing button layouts. Supports wide range of games. Over 100 hours of battery life. Bluetooth connection.
Pricier than competitors.
Buyers laud the comfortable grip, the bargain price, and the reliability from a trusted brand. Product also works on PCs.
AA battery-power could be a nuisance for those who prefer charge-and-play models. Doesn't work on Xbox.
Unique design with a similar concept to the Nintendo Switch. Users laud the comfort, portability, and included carrying case. USB-C power means that gamers can charge their phone while they're still playing.
Make sure that it fits your particular model, as some complain that their phone didn't work.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Whether you’re a high-level gamer or someone who enjoys playing smartphone app games, having a separate controller can make or break your gameplay experience. Playing games on an Android phone without a gaming controller can make your hands cramp, become frustrating when the touchscreen buttons are too touchy, or just not feel like you’re really gaming.
An Android-compatible gaming controller offers an at-home gaming experience wherever you may be, whether that’s taking a long road trip, waiting at the doctor’s office, or even lounging outside on a beautiful day. A gaming controller has easy-to-use buttons, is more ergonomic for your hands, and gives you better overall control of the game.
Some Android gaming controllers have wireless connectivity, usually in the form of Bluetooth. Controllers that use Bluetooth must remain in a certain range of the Android device you’re using, and this range should be large enough to game at a comfortable distance from your Android phone.
Gaming controllers for Android with a cord will connect either to the charging port of the smartphone or the headphone jack. If you’d like to connect the controller and it doesn’t have a cord, there are various adapters available.
Wraparound gaming controllers for Android connect to both sides of the smartphone, similar to how the Nintendo Switch controllers work. That way you’re still holding your phone as normal, but you have additional controller and button options for each hand.
Almost every Android gaming controller is compatible with the Android operating system version 4.0, which is also referred to as “Ice Cream Sandwich.” The well-integrated technology allows you to use a compatible controller to operate your smartphone, whether it’s while playing a game or just doing daily tasks.
Some Android-compatible gaming controllers are also compatible with other systems. However, these systems do not include Apple iOS because of licensing issues. The most common compatible alternative systems are different versions of PlayStation, Wii, and PC operating systems.
It’s important to know which software version your Android smartphone is currently running. If the version is older than 4.0, it doesn’t mean that the gaming controller won’t work. However, a controller may be unpredictable and glitchy with an older system. On the other hand, the most recent version of Android can sometimes cause problems with an Android gaming controller because it is too advanced. There are apps that can be downloaded to remap the buttons in order to have the best compatibility possible with your Android gaming controller.
Some Android gaming controllers come with a bracket to hold your smartphone while you play. This bracket will fit standard Android smartphones, but make sure to compare the bracket’s dimensions with your smartphone first.
Gaming controllers for Android are outfitted with rubber and padding to increase their ergonomic handling. Handheld gaming becomes a problem when your hands start to cramp and your fingers start to ache from being bent at the same angle for so long. Eliminate this problem by ensuring your gaming controller for Android has ergonomic features.
There may be LED lights placed behind the buttons or behind the button layout on the Android gaming controller. The buttons may always be lit up, or they may only light up when pressed. Another common feature is a back panel light that lights up when the gaming controller is in use.
The button layout differs among gaming controllers for Android, but there’s often an available feature to map the buttons to your preferences. All controllers should feature the standard buttons, such as joysticks, a D-pad, right and left triggers, and home or menu options. Changing the button layout will give the buttons different functions, which may be useful depending on what game you’re playing.
Inexpensive: For $15 to $25, you can get a simple gaming controller for Android. It most likely won’t include any astounding features, and it probably won’t boast an ergonomic design. The controller will work for your gaming needs, but it may wear out after vigorous use.
Mid-range: If you spend between $30 and $50, you can find a reliable Android gaming controller. The button layout will be similar to what you’re used to, and the controller may have a wireless or wired connection.
Expensive: For $60 or more, you’ll find gaming controllers for Android with all the bells and whistles. These high-end controllers are ergonomic, offer Bluetooth connectivity, and have other special features, like a carrying case, a smartphone stand, or a separate charging cord.
Q. How do I charge my Android gaming controller?
A. Most gaming controllers for Android come with a charging cord. The cord will most likely be USB-compatible or micro USB-compatible.
Q. How does a gaming controller for Android stay charged if it doesn’t have an internal battery?
A. Controllers without internal batteries pull charge from the battery life of your smartphone. Once the controller is connected to the phone (usually via a wired connection), it begins to draw on the battery life of the phone to maintain its power.
Q. If I get a new Android phone, can I still use my old Android gaming controller?
A. Absolutely. The controller should be able to pair up with any Android phone as long as the system version is compatible.