The Best Android Controller

How to Find the Best Android Controller?

There is a growing number of Android Controllers on the market and the list of games supporting bluetooth gamepads is growing as well. Some manufacturers have been around and building Android Controllers for longer than others. There are also some "no-name" bluetooth game controllers coming out for Android and iOS devices. It isn't easy to go through all the information out there and find the best Android Controller. I doubt it is even possible to clearly identify the best Android Controller. But it is possible to provide a clear and concise listing of the Android Controllers that are available and help you find what would be the best Android Controller for your mobile gaming needs.

But first, what are some good questions to ask when you're looking for your perfect Android gaming pad?

  • There are multiple protocols and control types.HID and iCade are the two most popular bluetooth game controller standards for iOS and Android. Does the controller support either? Does it also emulate mouse or keyboard?
  • Is the controller built solidly? Do the buttons press easily and do the analog sticks work well?
  • What is the expected battery life for a single charge?
  • Is the controller easy to pair over bluetooth with my device?
  • Are there visible indicators for bluetooth connectivity and battery life?
  • What kind of range does the bluetooth signal have?
  • How many games are supported?
  • Can I also pair the controller with my Mac or PC?
  • How many buttons does it have? Does the controller have a start or select button? What about triggers?

For most people, the most important factor is probably how many games does the Android Controller support? For many of the gamepads available, the selection is quite limited unfortunately. Additionally, many of the AAA titles don't have native gamepad support. I think this is going to change significantly, but for the time being, it is what it is. That said, many mobile gamepads have attempted to support as many protocols as possible (iCade and HID, for example). Many of them also attempt to emulate mouse and keyboard for even more support. Unfortunately the mouse or keyboard emulation only goes so far. Fortunately most controllers are supported in many of the emulators. If you're a fan of some retro console games (Neo-Geo, NES, Genesis, SNES, etc) and you manage to score some of your favourite ROMS, then virtually any of the game controllers will support most of those games

The next most important factors for an Android Controller are probably related to build quality and also bluetooth signal range, how much lag there is and, of course, battery life. These are important factors and definitely should be taken into account when you purchase an Android Controller.

As with any new purchase, one of the best ways to conduct research before laying out some cold hard cash is to analyze reviews from others on Amazon.com. Amazon is a great spot to see reviews and comments from other people. Two key items are the number of reviews and the average rating. Obviously you want to look for the highest average rating, but if that rating is only from half a dozen people, it probably doesn't have as much power as a marginally lower rating from hundreds or people.

We have created a comparison chart of the best Android Controllers, here.

Compare Android Controllers