How to choose a gamepad

It’s much more convenient to play with a gamepad than with a keyboard and mouse. However, not all games support control with such a controller.

How to choose a gamepad for PC: what to look for

How to choose a gamepad for PC

Let’s face it – no price or specifications of a gamepad determine its compatibility with games. It depends on the software, including drivers and emulators.

But the technical characteristics can improve the gaming experience. So when choosing a gamepad you should pay attention to the following parameters:

  1. The presence of a wire;
  2. Number of buttons;
  3. The number of analog sticks;
  4. Vibration response;
  5. Case Materials.

But the most important characteristic of a gamepad is the ease of use: how well it lies in your hands, how heavy or light it is, etc.d. Unfortunately, it is very subjective – all people have different hands, as well as finger length. So you will have to “try on” the model in the store – if, of course, it is possible.

The presence of a wire

wire availability

Gamepads, as well as many other external controllers for PC, come in two types – wireless and wired. And each of them has all the same advantages and disadvantages as, for example, mice.

So, wired gamepads have two very important advantages – high speed of response and no need to recharge. Their disadvantage is that they restrict gamer’s freedom. No more jerking and jumping around the room.

Wireless gamepads offer a slightly slower response time and require regular recharging. For example, Sony Dualshock 4 has only 6 hours of battery life. But they provide full freedom of action and movement.

You should choose the type of gamepad first of all according to your own preferences and the way you play.

Number of buttons

Buttons are not the main control element in gamepads. Still, you can “hang” all the necessary functions and actions for the game.

However, the number of buttons should not be too large. When there are more than 10-12 sticks it is uncomfortable to play. And there is almost no space left on the gamepad. But if there are less than 10 buttons, you can get into an unpleasant situation when you need to do something in the game, but the button is missing on the controller.

So 10-12 buttons is the optimal number of buttons on a gamepad.

The number of analog sticks

analog sticks

Analog sticks are the most convenient controls for gamepads. They provide full freedom of action in games and excellent experience.

The optimal number of analog sticks should be determined based on your preferences. Many gamers only need one under their right thumb while their left thumb rests on the crossbar. Others require two and a crossbar.

Stick characteristics are also subjective. So, a controller with 8 degrees of freedom will provide the same gaming experience as one with full 360-degree sensitivity. But for fast-paced games, we recommend a stick with maximum sensitivity.

Vibration response

Vibration response is a nice feature of gamepads. It provides a deeper gaming experience and allows you to recognize some events within the game before they are displayed on the screen (or as sounds).

Of course, controllers with vibration response are more expensive than without it, and they run out of power faster (if they are wireless), but they are strongly recommended to buy.

case materials

case material

Materials of the case determine the usability of the controller. Of course, most of these devices are made of plastic. However, this material can be supplemented with rubberized elements, textures, and other additions that make the gamepad more practical.

For example, rubberized grips and textured back surface won’t let your controller slip from your hands and will ensure comfortable long-term gameplay.


gamepad manufacturers

Among the manufacturers of gamepads for PC we can distinguish three companies – Logitech, Thrustmaster and Microsoft.

  1. Logitech makes pretty low-priced models. They sometimes lack important features like vibration response, but are well suited for entry-level devices. Then this gamepad, once you get used to the brand-new expression, you can replace it with something else.
  2. Thustmaster – manufacturer of mid-range devices. They produce ergonomic gamepads that are suitable for a variety of games. Almost all models of this company have reassignable buttons, sticks with more degrees of freedom and other useful features.
  3. Microsoft produces some of the best gamepads for the PC (Valve with its one and only device, which also costs more than 5 thousand rubles as of the third quarter of 2017, can not be taken into account). They have everything – and vibration response, and the optimal number of buttons, and allow you to do without the emulator software technology, and even a long battery life. But they also cost quite a lot.


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