When it comes to mobile platforms and their quality of gaming, Android is well ahead in terms of controller support — which means there's a boatload of controllers to pick from. Choosing the right controller for your needs can be challenging when you're looking to play the best games on Android, so we've handpicked our favorites to share with the class.
If you're on the hunt for a new controller to get you through titles like Stardew Valley and Dead Cells, you've come to the right place. Not only do we have a selection of side-by-side clip-on controllers, but if you prefer something more akin to a console, there are controllers for that, too, including everyone's favorite Xbox controllers. Make sure to pick up your favorite gaming phone to pair with one of these excellent Android controllers, as you'll be gaming in no time with any of the below selections. Have fun, and dig in!
SteelSeries Stratus+Best overall
The Steelseries Stratus+ replaces the Stratus Duo as our Editor's choice and is easily one of our favorite Android gaming controllers. This is a new model, similar to the last, though the bump to USB-C support is appreciated. Whether you prefer to play cordless or with the least amount of delay possible, it is an extremely capable product for an everyday device since you can connect it to Android over Bluetooth as well as USB-C. The controller feels weighty in the hand, clocking in at 244g, bordering on a premium feel, with thumbsticks that are side by side, just like a Playstation controller.
GameSir X3 Type-CEditors choice
The GameSir X3 Type-C saw a successful campaign on Indiegogo and is in production, with orders already available on GameSir's website for $100, along with Amazon. Since the controller is a new release, we've been lucky enough to go hands on with the unit, and even though the external RGB fan may seem a little silly, it does help to keep things cool when playing demanding games. This fan does add some bulk to the controller, whereas the GameSir X2 was much slimmer, but in return, you get better performance in your games, which is a fair trade.
Razer Kishi V2Premium pick
The Razer Kishi V2 replaces the Razer Kishi, bringing a slew of new features that will appeal to mobile gaming fans. The most significant addition is that Razer has switched from membranes to micro switches, offering better direct tactility while being more responsive. This responsiveness is key since the controller connects over USB-C (no wireless), which is ideal for low latency, making the controller an excellent choice for those who play competitive games or enjoy game streaming services like Stadia and GeForce Now. Razer has borrowed heavily from Backbone's design. Instead of the folding rear of the previous model, there's a sliding tube that sits behind the phone, which is how the Kishi V2 can easily fit large phones.
HyperX Clutch WirelessBest value
The HyperX Clutch Wireless, not to be confused with the HyperX Clutch, is an Android and Windows controller that offers many similarities to the SteelSeries Stratus+, but it's often on sale. That makes it a perfect choice for our Best Value in today's guide. Beyond the $50 retail price that often drops to $40, this is a solid controller that offers Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and USB-C connections. So whether you're interested in playing native Android games over Bluetooth or are looking to cut down on latency for game streaming on GeForce Now and Stadia, the HyperX Clutch Wireless has you covered.
Turtle Beach Atom
The Turtle Beach Atom mobile gaming controller is a Bluetooth controller that can connect to any mobile device, including phones and tablets. While there is no way to connect the device over USB for better latency, the lack of a back holding the two sides together helps with portability since you can fold both together to fit it in a bag quickly. While the $100 asking price is high for a Bluetooth controller, this unit is often on sale for $75, sweetening the deal.
PB Tails CHOC
The PB Tails CHOC is a stunning device, no doubt about that. Its sharp edges and clean lines make for something that looks pretty modern, and thankfully the sharp edges are more comfortable than you would think. Sure, this isn't an ergonomic device, but it is highly portable, and it comes with its own cute little shiny carrying case. You can also connect the device over Bluetooth and USB-C. And, even though it doesn't look like it, all four shoulder buttons are available on a single row.
Xbox Core Controller
Android supports Xbox controllers out of the box, as long as you connect over Bluetooth. This means many mobile games support Xbox controllers, so you'll see better support with this controller than, say, a Razer Kishi. Several mobile games only support Bluetooth controllers despite Android's HID (human interface device) support. So if you're looking for the best compatibility and don't mind gaming over Bluetooth, the Xbox Core Wireless Controller is an excellent choice across a handful of retail stores.
Rotor Riot may not be a household name, but if you're looking for a wired controller, the RiotPWR ESL is a capable device. It's all plastic, and it's light in hand for those long gaming sessions. Plus, a phone clip is included, and the lightweight offers a counterbalance to heavy phones. The lighter the controller, the better! What's nice about the clip is that it's easy to use, thanks to the inbuilt slot to attach it to the controller. You don't have to use the clip, but it sure is handy since the controller is corded. Even better, the built-in USB-C cord is bent at 90 degrees. So, you won't have a cord sticking too far out as you play. If latency is a concern, say if you're playing on Stadia a lot, then the RiotPWR ESL is a solid choice.
The best Android gaming controllers are easier to find than ever
The above selections are some of the best Android controllers around. Whether you're a fan of USB controllers that offer as little latency as possible or require a Bluetooth gamepad to play on a range of larger Android devices like tablets, you'll be prepared to play any of Android's best games that offer controller support.
Of course, which controller will suit you depends on where you plan to use it and with what types of games. For example, if you often stream your games through services like of Nvidia Geforce Now, you'll want a low-latency controller that connects over USB. But if you often play native Android games on your phone, you may be much better off with the GameSir X3 Type-C.
Even if you're a penny pincher, there are cheap options. Just make sure to read through the pros and cons of each to settle on which device is best for your needs. As more controllers come to market, AP will be here to diligently compare and contrast to keep the best controller guide u- to-date and relevant.