Whether for Fortnite, an emulator or the latest game streaming services, a controller is essential to play in good conditions. A brief overview.
There are more and more games on mobile cross-plateform, like Fortnite. Unfortunately, the handling of an FPS (or certain other types of games) on a touch surface remains frankly poor.
Add to that an explosion of game streaming services like Google Stadia that don’t even support touch screens and the controller is becoming more essential than ever for those who want to play on their smartphone.
What are the best Android and iOS controllers? Discover our selection.
New Xbox controller: our recommendation
If there is one controller that has had a major impact over the past fifteen years, it is that of the Xbox 360. If it has not revolutionized anything, it has established itself as the benchmark meter in the sector both in terms of ergonomics than compatibility. And the new version of the controller accompanying the release of the Xbox Series X is no exception.
Microsoft does not change a winning formula and this controller therefore retains the shape of its predecessor, with however the measurements very slightly revised downwards. Microsoft has obviously learned from its high-end Elite Series 2 controller since we find a more effective grip and a redesigned D-pad. The triggers are also capable of vibrating, although you shouldn’t see it on a smartphone.
But the big highlight of this controller is its almost universal compatibility: it works without a hitch on Windows, iOS, Android, Chromecast or your Nvidia Shield TV. It is hardly that on PS5 that it will not work… If you have the budget, one does not do better for the moment. And if you are curious, find our test of the Xbox Wireless Controller.
If you are more PS4 …
On a related note, if you prefer the symmetrical sticks of the PS4, the Sony controller will also work. The PS4 controller is still a very good controller on its own and, if you already have a PS4 it is definitely a better choice than the Xbox controller. Note, however, that the PS4 pad is more readily subject to recognition issues in certain games. We explain how to connect your PS4 controller with your phone in our dedicated tutorial.
The PS4 controller is generally available for less than 60 euros.
SteelSeries Stratus duo : l’alternative
Controllers for smartphones with symmetrical sticks are not legion. However, SteelSeries has succeeded in delivering a product that meets this demand with the Stratus Duo. Compatible with Android smartphones (and also PCs), the SteelSeries Stratus duo is one of the best alternatives to the Xbox controller for playing on Android.
It has two joysticks on the bottom and a directional pad. Its 4 LEDs allow you to know the battery level, or indicate your player number if you are playing a multiplayer game. The Stratus Duo has a rechargeable battery and is WiFi compatible (via supplied USB adapter) for PC gaming with lower latency. It works with Android, but not iOS.
Razer Raiju Mobile : l’option luxe
Razer’s reputation is well established in terms of gaming peripherals. The firm has launched a mobile version of its Raiju controller. It differs from other models by the presence of a support intended to accommodate your smartphone which will connect with or without wire.
Razer emphasizes its many buttons and their quality, and we can trust them on that. These can also be easily remapped via the Razer app. Finally, there is the possibility of adjusting the stroke of the triggers for even more reactivity. All in a beautiful setting.
Its biggest flaw is its price, launched at 149 euros, it can sometimes be found around 135 euros, that’s a lot for a smartphone controller. Also note that it is only compatible with Android. If you have an iPhone, go your way.
The Razer Raiju Mobile controller is available at 150 euros.
Razer Kishi: de faux airs de Switch
If the concept of controllers on the edges of the phone appeals to you, the Razer Kishi may interest you. As long as it respects the maximum dimensions (145.3 – 163.7 mm (height) x 68.2 – 78.1 mm (width) x 7.0 – 8.8 mm (thickness)), your smartphone will come therefore nestle between the two parts of the controller.
If the comfort is at the rendezvous, we must specify that the machine is above all designed for the titles supporting the pads. It also fully supports the various streaming services. In the radius of regrets, however, we will note plastics that would have deserved to be better given the price charged. Find our full review of the Razer Kishi.
8bitdo controllers: old-fashioned and a little cheaper
As we said in our guide to the best PC controllers, we have a soft spot for 8Bitdo controllers. The firm is updating several iconic models of our old home consoles, but with modern technologies, there are therefore sticks and triggers in addition to a Bluetooth connection.
This is a good option for those who love old-fashioned designs while still being able to enjoy them on modern games. They all work with Android, but also PCs or even the Switch. However, they are not compatible with iOS. It is also a generally slightly cheaper option.
If you want to know more, we tested the SN30 Pro + from 8bitdo.
There are many versions of 8Bitdo controllers. We like it a lot the Super Nes inspired version at 41 euros.
What about cheap Android controllers?
You will find on Amazon many “cheap” Android controllers from unknown brands, often directly from Shenzhen. In general, these products are of poor quality, it is often better to pay an additional twenty euros for more reliable controllers. If, however, your budget is really tight, you can opt for the MadCatz LYNX 3 and its very particular style. MadCatz is a rather famous brand in the segment, it is she who inspires the most confidence. Count around thirty euros.
Bluetooth ou USB ?
Both technologies have their advantages and disadvantages. Bluetooth has for him the simplicity and the possibility of moving away a little from his phone. In return for its wire on the leg, a USB controller avoids the latency induced by Bluetooth. A point to keep in mind if you are mainly thinking of playing fast tracks or requiring perfect respect for timings.
What if I want to play streaming games?
With the arrival of Google Stadia, Microsoft xCloud or GeForce Now on smartphones, investing in a controller is a very good idea. The vast majority of titles are indeed designed to be played on the pad. Among the current services, it is especially xCloud from Microsoft that catches our attention. With a very extensive catalog and availability on all platforms, it seems set to establish itself as the Netflix of video games. If you are already buying your PC games, don’t hesitate to take a look at Nvidia’s GeForce Now, which is cheaper and also very efficient. For a more complete overview, do not hesitate to read our file on the subject.