The Greatest Controllers for Android Smartphones and Tablets

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Lengthy gone are the times when Tetris clones, Farmville knock-offs, and Pac-Man lookalikes populated a lot of Android’s burgeoning Google Play retailer. Now, Google’s working system boasts a various video games library that rivals that of some residence consoles. Geometry Wars three, Minecraft, Fortnite, and remastered titles from the Grand Theft Auto collections are the cream of the present combine’s crop — a listing that appears to develop longer on daily basis. However should you sport in your telephone, you could want probably the greatest Android sport controllers.

Not all titles work equally properly with touchscreens. Few triple-A Android video games truly require third-party peripherals, however remastered titles like Tomb Raider and Geometry Wars three — which had been designed with a controller in thoughts — reply a lot better to bodily buttons. As anybody who has roamed the streets of Vice Metropolis or the hallways of Croft Manor can let you know, analog joysticks, D-pads, buttons, and triggers ship infinitely extra precision than massive, meaty fingers on greasy smartphone glass.

Fortunately, there is no such thing as a scarcity of third-party Android gaming peripherals to select from. Relying in your worth vary and preferences, you may decide up a mannequin that can serve you properly for years to return, or one which you’ll really feel completely high-quality stuffing right into a backpack or shoulder bag. Right here is our record of the perfect controllers for Android tablets and smartphones. When you’re at it, try our favourite gaming telephones too.

A notice about controller compatibility

Earlier than you select a controller to make use of along with your Android smartphone or pill, you will need to know in regards to the compatibility points you would possibly encounter.

Android gadgets working Android Ice Cream Sandwich (or Android three.2 Honeycomb) or newer assist sport controllers natively. You aren’t essentially out of luck should you’re caught on older software program — most controllers will pair to older Android gadgets — however you may count on them to work unpredictably, unreliably, and typically in no way.

Even when your machine runs a more moderen model of Android, it’s not at all times clean crusing — some video games don’t make the most of Android’s controller API, and so don’t reply correctly to gamepads. However fortunately, there’s a workaround within the type of Tincore Keymapper, a third-party app that permits you to remap the capabilities of keys, buttons, and extra. Word: You want a rooted machine to take full benefit.

GameSir G4s

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Don’t fear, you don’t want a high hat and monocle to make use of this controller — only a penchant for the best cellular gaming. The GameSir G4s has just about all the things you want in an Android controller. It has a lovely design, with chrome accents alongside the Begin and Choose buttons, lit-up keys, and a joystick structure that will probably be acquainted to most. The ergonomic handles are coated in rubber for consolation in these lengthy periods, and the central part folds out right into a bracket that matches smartphones between three.5 and 6 inches. We hooked up the Purple Magic Cellphone and it match simply.

You may join the controller to USB gadgets by means of the MicroUSB charging twine, however the principle technique of management for smartphones would be the Bluetooth connection. The G4s even has a small Bluetooth dingle hidden beneath the machine bracket to hook up with gadgets with out Bluetooth. There’s an inner battery that’ll want recharging sometimes, however there’s an simply learn battery meter on the top-left of the controller so that you’ll at all times know when it’s time to recharge.

It additionally appears the GameSir G4s received’t want guide remapping to work with many mainstream 3D video games. We linked it and booted up Shadowgun: Legends and we had been gunning away with out the necessity to arrange the controller. It’s just a little expensive at $43, however that is completely probably the greatest decisions in your cellular gaming.

Rotor Riot USB-C Controller

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One other controller with a really acquainted design, Rotor Riot’s gamepad is a superb selection should you’re on the lookout for a wired controller with an non-obligatory telephone bracket. There’s no Bluetooth connection, because it connects to gadgets with its USB-C connection. That clearly means there’s no inner battery, a bonus should you don’t wish to maintain a number of gadgets charged — however it does imply the controller pulls energy out of your telephone to perform, which might impair your battery life. Because it makes use of the USB-C port, that additionally means you may’t cost your machine whereas gaming, and in case your machine lacks a headphone jack, it means you may’t connect headphones both.

These minor negatives apart, it is a nice controller. The plastic construct is strong and feels good within the hand, and though it lacks the ergonomic additions of the GameSir controller, it wasn’t uncomfortable to carry for lengthy intervals of time. It additionally labored immediately when plugged into our Purple Magic Cellphone, and didn’t require any remapping within the video games we examined. Sadly, the Rotor Riot controller is at the moment solely obtainable as an Amazon Renewed product, however that does imply you get it for $30, which is one thing of a steal for a controller this good.

8Bitdo SF30 Professional Controller

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8BitDo’s retro assortment is very wanted, and it’s simple to see why. The NF30 controller is predicated on the look and elegance of the SNES controller, and it invokes sturdy nostalgic emotions at a look. However there are some additions for contemporary gaming, with shoulder buttons and the 2 joysticks being the obvious. It’s a flexible piece of package, and may use Bluetooth to hook up with quite a lot of gadgets, not simply Android smartphones. It’s smaller and fewer ergonomic than fashionable controllers although, so you’ll have points utilizing it over lengthy gameplay periods. It’s additionally fairly costly for what it’s at $41. Nonetheless, should you love the retro look, then it’s most likely definitely worth the cash.

iPega PG-9083S

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One thing of a novel design the place sport controllers are involved, the iPega gamepad stretches round your Android smartphone or pill, giving a Nintendo Change-like expertise in your gaming time. As such, it’s suitable with all kinds of gadgets, and is without doubt one of the few controllers to work properly with pill gaming. It connects by means of Bluetooth, and iPega claims the interior 380mAh battery can final for as much as 20 hours of gameplay. At $37, you’re getting a whole lot of controller in your buck, however remember the fact that it may not work with each Android sport, and you could must obtain a particular app to remap key performance.

SteelSeries Stratus

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The SteelSeries Stratus boasts a plethora of buttons and options. Right here, you discover twin joysticks with textured surfaces, a four-way directional pad, 4 motion buttons, a four-LED array, triggers and shoulder buttons, and three front-facing buttons that may be mapped to Android’s residence and again buttons. But it surely’s not excellent. The Stratus doesn’t have a built-in stand — you’ll have to discover a wall to prop your telephone towards. And it lacks a chargeable battery. But it surely does assist Bluetooth pairing, and it makes up for the battery gaffe with energy effectivity — two AA batteries ship as much as 40 hours of gaming, in response to Stratus. At simply $27, that is an absolute discount.

PowerLead Wi-fi Controller

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At $33, Powerlead’s wi-fi controller is without doubt one of the cheaper Bluetooth-enabled sport controllers on the market, and an excellent selection should you’re seeking to sport on a funds. It’s constructed within the now-classic model of gaming controllers, with twin joysticks and buttons set out in an Xbox 360-style. Some welcome additions are arrayed alongside the correct facet of the controller, and can be utilized to pause and skip any music you’ve got taking part in.

It makes use of a Bluetooth connection to hook up with your smartphone, and you need to use the fold-out bracket to carry your telephone when you’re taking part in. A sequence of LEDs exhibits which mode the controller is in, in addition to its cost stage whereas plugged in. Sadly, there doesn’t appear to be any method to see your cost stage throughout use, which is inconvenient. Nevertheless, PowerLead claims the controller’s battery will last as long as 20 hours on a single cost.

Matricom G-Pad XYBA

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The Matricom G-Pad XYBA will not be as trendy as its rivals, however it checks most different containers. It’s extremely configurable, extensively suitable, and lasts hours on a single cost. The Matricom’s buttons embrace two joysticks in parallel (like Sony’s DualShock structure) and a four-way directional pad within the left-hand nook. Filling out the controller’s proper and middle are 4 motion buttons, together with a begin button, choose button, energy button, and an LED energy button. Two bumper buttons and two triggers spherical issues out.

Considerably uniquely, the Matricom options suggestions motors that pulse in response to what’s taking place on display. If there’s a main draw back, it’s the shortage of smartphone stand — there’s no simple method to prop up your smartphone when you’re utilizing the Matricom controller. However contemplating it’s a paltry $19, that’s a comparatively minor setback.

Razer Serval

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It’s not too stunning that Razer, the pedigree model behind high-end RGB keyboards, gaming laptops, and the Razer Cellphone 2, makes a reasonably respectable Android controller. It’s referred to as the Serval, and it boasts a uniquely textured grip designed to maintain it from flying out of your arms throughout intense gaming periods. The Serval’s button structure is typical. Located on the left are a joystick and a directional pad, and on the right-hand facet is a secondary joystick and 4 motion buttons. Two shoulder buttons and two set off buttons occupy the again, together with two programmable front-facing buttons and bodily again and residential buttons that correspond to Android’s software program navigation buttons.

The Serval doesn’t have a chargeable battery — it takes two AAs. But it surely does have an adjustable smartphone clip and each a wi-fi (through Bluetooth) and wired (through MicroUSB) mode. And in contrast to most different Android controllers on our record, it remembers as much as 4 distinctive machine configurations, making pairing it to a number of smartphones a breeze. Nevertheless, it’s the costliest choice on the record at a sky-high $97.

Satechi Bluetooth Wi-fi Gamepad

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Satechi’s Android sport controller might not win factors for its utilitarian, nondescript design, however it’s properly put collectively, and at $30, it’s one of many cheaper controllers of this class. The Satechi’s button configuration consists of 14 buttons complete, laid out like an Xbox controller. The joysticks are offset — the one on the left is positioned greater than the one on the correct — and the controller’s 4 right-hand motion buttons characteristic fonts and colours just about similar to the Xbox One’s. However considerate touches like devoted mode buttons and a spring-loaded telephone grip elevate the Satechi above the extent of a mere copycat.

One shortcoming is the interior battery which, at 220mAh, is just a little on the small facet. However Satechi claims that with the controller’s battery-saving mode enabled, it may final greater than 10 hours on standby.

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