Which game controllers are best for Android phones?
Mobile games have come a long way since the olden days of Snake and Solitaire, and some of today’s more complex Android games require the extra button inputs, ergonomic design, and overall convenience that only a traditional controller can provide. Although there is a world of gaming controllers available for Android devices, many such devices are cheap, flimsy, and unresponsive. The best options sport impressive battery life and quick response times, making for a seamless mobile gaming experience.
To learn more about gaming controllers and to find a model that will hold up to your gaming demands, continue reading our buying guide. Our favorite is Razer’s Junglecat Mobile Game Controller, which sports an impressive battery life of more than 100 hours.
What to know before you buy a game controller for an Android phone
Would it be more convenient if your controller used a Bluetooth or wired connection to pair with your Android device? Bluetooth is a great option for putting a little distance between you and the screen, but a wired device may be your only choice if your Android device does not utilize Bluetooth. In addition, many gamers appreciate the quicker response time of a wired connection.
If carrying a traditional gaming controller alongside your Android device sounds inconvenient, a wraparound style controller would take up far less space in your pocket or bag. A good wraparound gaming controller will snugly hug your smartphone like a case, while providing you with an ergonomic control layout similar to what you would expect with a classic controller. If you’re a console gamer, you may find a traditional gaming controller more intuitive and comfortable.
Since there are many versions of Android available and each Android gaming controller is specifically designed to work with certain versions, it is important to find out whether a model is compatible with your device before you buy. For example, if a controller claims to be compatible with Android Oreo devices and newer models, your Android Pie smartphone would definitely work with that controller.
What to look for in a quality game controller for an Android phone
The best mobile controllers sport an ergonomic design that will cradle your hands and fingers, allowing you to comfortably play for as long as you want without discomfort. A streamlined shape, rubberized grips, and additional padding are indications of a well-designed Android controller.
While not essential, LED-backed buttons are a fun addition to an Android controller. More importantly, some controllers support handy LED lights that indicate if your device is connected via Bluetooth or if it needs to be recharged.
If you want to play Android games that were originally released on console or PC, it is vital to buy an Android controller that features a similar button layout so your preferred playstyle will seamlessly transfer to the mobile version. In addition to the layout, check to see if the device supports button remapping, so you can personalize your gaming as needed.
How much you can expect to spend on a game controller for an Android phone
You tend to get what you pay for when it comes to gaming controllers. While the top-tier Android gaming controllers with the most beneficial features and comfortable controls are priced for $60 or more, you can find a solid model for sale anywhere between $30-$50.
Game controller for an Android phone FAQ
Will my Android gaming controller work on iOS devices, too?
A. Probably not. These controllers are optimized to run on Android devices, and models that also support iOS devices are fairly rare.
How do I learn if an Android game supports controllers?
A. The best way to find out if a game in your Android collection or a game you may want to purchase supports controller play is by reading its description in the official Google Play store.
Although there isn’t a universal icon or way to confirm this at a glance, the game description should clearly note whether or not it can be played with a controller.
What are the best game controllers for Android phones to buy?
Top game controller for an Android phone
Our take: Between how it perfectly fits your mobile device, its comfortable design, and long-lasting battery life, Razer’s Junglecat sets a new standard for Android gaming controllers.
What we like: Offers 100-plus hours of battery life per charge. Ergonomic design. Windows compatible. Bluetooth connection. Companion app provides extra customization.
What we dislike: It’s no surprise that the best Android controller is also the priciest.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top budget game controller for an Android phone
Our take: Xbox fans are going to appreciate the familiar design of this controller, and mobile gamers will like its plug-and-play connectivity, immersive vibration feedback, and low price.
What we like: Affordable. Turbo button. Compatible with Windows PC. Ergonomic design with rubberized grips. Lightweight. Backlit home button.
What we dislike: This is not the sturdiest Android gaming controller out there.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Our take: This Bluetooth device feels like the best of a PlayStation and Xbox One controller combined, yet its smartphone clip and 10-hour battery life makes it great for mobile gaming.
What we like: Compatible with a wide range of Android devices. Moderately priced. Auto-sleep mode conserves battery life. Vibration feedback. Retro-styled turbo button.
What we dislike: Its companion clip cannot hold a smartphone wider than 6 inches.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Arnold Carreiro writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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