What gaming controller do I need?
From console-style gamepads to driving wheels, flightsticks and fightsticks. We help you choose the right controller for your style of PC gaming.
You don’t always have to use a mouse and keyboard combination for gaming. Some games actually work best with a separate controller that you add on to your PC.
We take a look at the different types of controller and the style of game they work best with.
For console games on the PC
Do you want to play the same games that your mates are playing on their consoles?
Most of these games are designed to be played with a pad – so mouse and keyboard controls won’t give you the same gameplay experience.
Instead, go for a console controller that connects to your PC. These have features like trigger buttons and a directional pad for making specific commands you can’t get on a regular set up – as well as analogue sticks to make moving around easier.
The Xbox One PC controller is considered one of the best for playing all the different genres of console game – and you can plug it straight into your PC’s USB port.
It’s been redesigned with larger triggers and bumpers for smoother gameplay. The new D-pad is ultra-responsive so it registers even when you tap it gently.
Get immersed in the action with the rumble triggers – and feel the controller vibrate as you play. It’s great for action games as it feeds back every time you fire a weapon or tackle your opponent.
Or if it’s a wireless option you’re after, the Xbox 360 controller gives you a similar gaming experience without the hassle of trailing cables getting in the way.
For first-person shooters or online role-playing games
Do you get lost in the action of first-person shooters or the strategy of online role-playing missions?
These games rely on mouse movements – so opt for a specialist gaming mouse to get the high level of accuracy you want.
The Razer DeathAdder Chroma mouse is more sensitive than a regular mouse to give you precision control over your aim.
You can customise it by programming the 5 buttons to trigger different controls, giving you optimum game setup.
To improve your accuracy, it tracks your stats as you play. You can then use this data to adjust the mouse to your gaming style.
For racing games
Do you play a lot of driving simulator games?
Gaming wheels make gameplay more realistic by replicating the look and feel of a real wheel. It’s the difference between playing a video game and actually feeling like you’re driving.
For realistic racing simulation, the Logitech G920 is a good choice.
Just like driving a real car, you can feel your weight shift as you turn round corners with a built-in force-feedback motor.
The wheel and pedals are locked in for precision steering. Get even more accurate control over your movements with the added gearstick and shifter.
For flight simulators
If you prefer flight simulators, a flightstick is the controller of choice to steer your aircraft with complete accuracy.
With a flightstick you can customise the controls to your own specifications – so it responds like a real aircraft, whether it’s for a modern fighter, single or multi-engine plane.
The Saitek X55 Rhino flight control system lets you adjust the stick for extreme control over your flight. Increase or decrease the stiffness to match your aircraft spec by changing the springs.
The controls are modelled on a real-life fighter plane, with twin throttles that are great for flying twin engines. Or you can use throttle lock to convert them into a powerful single unit.
For fighting games
Are you seriously into fighting games? To get the most out of arcade-style fighters, there’s no match for a fightstick.
They’re built for fighting games and are designed to make it much easier to pull off tricky moves and combos than on a normal controller.
The button layout is the same as an arcade machine – so it’s easier to navigate for faster gameplay. You can use it to tap out specific commands and tackle your opponent with complex move combinations.
PC Gaming in your living room
For a totally different gaming experience, look out for the new Steam Controller.
Steam Machines are special gaming computers that combine the features of a console with the power and customisation options of a PC.
The custom controller has a unique design for playing games on your TV. High-precision touchpads give you more control than regular analogue sticks and can be programmed to adjust to the type of game you’re playing.