The best Android gaming controllers in 2022

the-best-android-gaming-controllers-in-2022

Android is an excellent platform for playing video games, thanks to a plethora of quality titles on the platform. Add on top cloud gaming through services like Google's Stadia and Nvidia's Geforce Now, and a quality controller can indeed come in very handy.

No matter what genre you enjoy, there's no shortage of options available on the Play Store. Unfortunately, not all of them are easy to play using the touch screen. Of course, many games offer controller support, which is why we've rounded up the best controllers for Android devices.

It can be tough to know which controllers work best with the platform or what features they offer, and with so many options available, it can be easy to pick the wrong one. Don't worry; this guide will help you find the best controller to suit your needs. Whether you want something portable, something premium, or something middle of the road, AP has you covered.

Editors choice

1. SteelSeries Stratus+

8.50 / 10

The Steelseries Stratus+ replaces the Stratus Duo as our Editor's choice. This is a new model, similar to the last, though the bump to USB-C support is appreciated.

Whether you prefer to play cordless or with the least amount of delay possible, it is an extremely capable product for an everyday device since you can connect it to Android over Bluetooth as well as USB-C. The controller feels weighty in the hand, clocking in at 244g, bordering on a premium feel, with thumbsticks that are side by side, just like a Playstation controller.

Between the affordable $60 price, the versatility of its connections, and the fact it feels great in hand is precisely why the Steelseries Stratus+ is AP's Editor's Choice. It's a sturdy and reliable controller that won't break the bank, and you can even use it to play Stadia and Geforce Now, thanks to its low latency when corded, making it a perfect choice for the Android ecosystem.

  • Brand: SteelSeries
  • Platform: Android, Windows
  • Battery: Lithium-ion (90+ hours)
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, WiFi, USB-C
  • Headset Support: No
  • Programmable: No
  • Extra Buttons: No
  • Versitile connectability with bluetooth, wifi, and USB-C support
  • Good build quality, feels sturdy
  • Easy to switch from bluetooth to wifi
  • Comes with phone clip
  • Built-in battery won't be easily replaced
  • Center thumb sticks may not be for everyone
SteelSeries Stratus+

The Razer Kishi has been a fan-favorite controller for phones since its release. It offers a standard console-like layout, with all the triggers and buttons needed to play modern games. The beauty is that the controller folds out to fit plenty of different phones, though you will be limited to devices that contain a centered USB-C port. Like a Nintendo Switch, this controller sits on each side of your phone in landscape, offering all the controls you would expect for modern gaming. The buttons are responsive, though if you have a large phone, your hands will be spread far apart. That can be uncomfortable if you don't enjoy holding wide devices. Best of all, no setup is needed; just pop your phone in there, and it's time to game.

The USB-C port is precisely how the controller offers low latency controls, as the controller is wired to your device. The good news is that you aren't locked out of charging your phone since there is a pass-through USB-C port on the bottom of the controller. This means you can charge and play simultaneously. The controller is very lightweight, and since it folds, it's easily carried around. More or less, Razer's Kishi is an excellent controller that's responsive and extremely portable, making it an outstanding choice for on-the-go-play.

  • Brand: Razer
  • Platform: Android, iOS
  • Battery: None
  • Connectivity: USB-C
  • Headset Support: None
  • Programmable: No
  • Extra Buttons: No
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Ability to fit many phone sizes
  • Buttons feel great and are incredibly responive
  • Low-latency gaming thanks to USB-C
  • USB-C in for passthrough charging
  • Some phones are too large to fit
  • Price is too high
  • Can't program the buttons
Razer Kishi
Best value

3. HyperX Clutch Wireless

8.00 / 10

The HyperX Clutch Wireless, not to be confused with the HyperX Clutch, is an Android and Windows controller that offers many similarities to the SteelSeries Stratus+, but it's often on sale. That makes it a perfect choice for our Best Value in today's guide. Beyond the $50 retail price that often drops to $40, this is a solid controller that offers Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and USB-C connections. So whether you're interested in playing native Android games over Bluetooth or are looking to cut down on latency for game streaming on GeForce Now and Stadia, the HyperX Clutch Wireless has you covered.

So if you enjoy an Xbox thumbstick layout and are looking to save a bit of cash compared to the features you get with the SteelSeries Stratus+, the HyperX Clutch Wireless is pretty comparable for less money.

  • Brand: HyperX
  • Platform: Android, Windows
  • Battery: 600mAH (19 hours)
  • Connectivity: WiFi, bluetooth, USB-C
  • Headset Support: No
  • Programmable: No
  • Extra Buttons: No
  • Familiar Xbox layout
  • Affordable
  • Choice of connection options
  • Built-in battery
  • D=pad is stiff
HyperX Clutch Wireless

GameSir offers many controllers, but the F7 Claw is easily one of the weirdest. This controller is designed for tablets, and it's advertised as a controller for FPS fans, though it's also handy for tons of other games where you wish you had a few physical buttons at your disposal. You can use your thumbs on the screen like any touchscreen game since there are no thumbsticks, and this controller offers handy grips with a few extra buttons on the rear. Each side of the controllers' handles helps to displace the tablet's weight for comfy gaming. They attach with suction cups anywhere on the back, so the size of the tablet doesn't even matter.

Of course, the star of the show is the L2 and R2 buttons on the rear of each grip, which you can easily hit with your middle fingers. There are also two turbo triggers available, out of the way but easily tapped with your index fingers, on the rear of each grip. You can program L2 and R2 buttons, and set them up to control needed moves, like a reload button or a button for switching weapons. So yes, the F7 Claw is fairly purpose-built. It won't be for everyone since it doesn't offer any thumbsticks, but it's definitely a handy controller if you play a lot of games on tablets, especially if they're competitive.

  • Brand: GameSir
  • Platform: Android, iOS
  • Battery: 90mAH
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Headset Support: No
  • Programmable: Yes
  • Extra Buttons: Yes
  • Pretty cheap at $40
  • Easily attached to any tablet
  • Works well for shooters
  • Rear buttons are easily accessible
  • No thumb sticks
  • Clamps touch the screen
  • Not enough buttons
GameSir F7 Claw

Rotor Riot may not be a household name, but if you're looking for a wired controller, the RiotPWR ESL is a capable device. It's all plastic, and it's light in hand for those long gaming sessions. Plus, a phone clip is included, and the lightweight offers a counterbalance to a heavy phones. The lighter the controller, the better! What's nice about the clip is that it's easy to use, thanks to the inbuilt slot to attach it to the controller.

You don't have to use the clip, but it sure is handy since the controller is corded. Even better, the built-in USB-C cord is bent at 90 degrees. So, you won't have a cord sticking too far out as you play. If latency is a concern, say if you're playing on Stadia a lot, then the RiotPWR ESL is a solid choice.

  • Brand: Rotor Riot
  • Platform: Android
  • Battery: No
  • Connectivity: USB-C
  • Headset Support: Yes
  • Programmable: No
  • Extra Buttons: No
  • Light, easy to hold
  • Headphone jack
  • Passthrough charging over USB-C
  • Expensive for a corded controller
  • No color variety
RiotPWR ESL

When it comes to premium controllers, there aren't many options out there. Microsoft has taken the lead in this niche with its Xbox Elite line, with the second generation as the latest option. Not only did Microsoft fix a few issues with the old Elite (like the pealing rubber), the company also added an internal battery while shifting to a darker metal for its shoulder buttons, sticks, and d-pad. Overall, it's a sleek-looking controller that looks premium, and better yet, feels premium. Of course, Android support is why we are here, and the controller will work over bluetooth as well as USB-C. There's a headphone jack built-in, which is great if your Android device does not contain one, and the controller comes with its own case to easily tote the controller around. So even though this is the most expensive controller in today's buyer's guide, you often get what you pay for, and frankly, if you require the cream of the crop, the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 should be at the top of your list.

  • Brand: Microsoft
  • Platform: Android, iOS, Windows
  • Battery: 2,050mAh (7.79Wh) Lithium Ion
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB-C
  • Headset Support: Yes
  • Programmable: Yes
  • Extra Buttons: Rear paddles
  • Premium feel
  • Good battery life
  • Interchangeable metal d-pads and thumb sticks
  • Optional rear paddles
  • Programmable profiles (PC or Xbox needed)
  • Comes with a case
  • Wireless charging dock
  • Very expensive
  • It's heavy
  • Built-in battery
Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2

A few controllers out there offer similar candybar clamp designs, including devices from Gamevice and Razer, and the GameSir X2 also fills this niche. What sets it above the competition is the fact that its clamps can fit anything that's 167 mm wide, and since this particular X2 is the USB-C version, the USB-C is port adjustable up to a 51-degree angle, which means you can easily insert or remove a phone without risking scratches as you clamp and de-clamp. Oh, and since the device connects over USB-C, latency isn't a concern, making it a prime candidate for cloud gaming. All of the required buttons for console ports and cloud gaming are included, and even though this controller can be wide (when playing on a large phone), it's incredibly ergonomic, which is why it feels great in hand.

  • Brand: GameSir
  • Platform: Android
  • Battery: No
  • Connectivity: USB-C
  • Headset Support: Yes (but only through USB-C)
  • Programmable: No
  • Extra Buttons: No
  • Reasonably portable
  • Comes with its own case
  • The USB-C port swivels for easy insertion
  • Expensive when it's not on sale
  • No wireless connectivity
  • Covers headphone jack
GameSir X2 USB-C Gaming Controller

The PB Tails CHOC is a stunning device, no doubt about that. Its sharp edges and clean lines make for something that looks pretty modern, and thankfully the sharp edges are more comfortable than you would think. Sure, this isn't an ergonomic device, no doubt about that, but it is highly portable, and it comes with its own cute little shiny carrying case, so you can easily throw the controller in a bag. You can connect the device over bluetooth as well as USB-C, and even though it doesn't look like it, all four shoulder buttons are available, but only on a single row. For a controller that started as a Kickstarter project, not only has it successfully come to fruition, it's a capable little input device that you can tote around with ease that offers all of the buttons required for modern console games as well as mobile offerings. Plus, the controller works on Windows as well as the Nintendo Switch, along with Android, so it's pretty versatile, too, if you happen to game on multiple systems.

  • Brand: PB Tails
  • Platform: Android, Windows, Nintendo Switch
  • Battery: 480mAh
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C
  • Headset Support: No
  • Programmable: No
  • Extra Buttons: No
  • Small and portable
  • Comes with a case
  • Good build quality
  • Sharp edges
  • Small battery
  • All four shoulder buttons are on a single row
PB Tails CHOC

The KeyMander 2 Mobile isn't a controller, but it is a handy device for connecting PC peripherals to your Android phone or tablet. Essentially, the KeyMander 2 Mobile exists so that you can play mobile games with a mouse and keyboard, much like you would play games on a PC. Not only does mouse input in a game allow for greater accuracy, but the KeyMander 2 Mobile also offers custom key mapping and mouse sensitivity settings to dial in your preferred controls. There's even macro support. Of course, this all adds up to a clear advantage for those using the Keymander, which may border on cheating, but there's no denying the ability to use a mouse and keyboard with Android games is a novelty in and of itself.

  • Brand: IOGEAR
  • Platform: Android, iOS
  • Battery: No
  • Connectivity: USB-C, USB-A
  • Headset Support: No
  • Programmable: Yes
  • Extra Buttons: No
  • You can use a keyboard and mouse with any game
  • Portable
  • Custom key mapping with macro support
  • Cumbersome to set up
  • Expensive
  • Build feels cheap, it's all plastic
  • Confusing packaging doesn't mention Android, but it supports the platform
KeyMander 2 Mobile

The best Android gaming controllers

With all of these options, you should definitely find the right controller to serve your gaming needs. Whether you're taking it on the go or using it for long sessions, there's something here for every use case. The Steelseries Stratus+ is an excellent everyday controller that works well across Android, consoles, and PC, making it a great starting point. Of course, the Razer Kishi and GameSir X2 are perfect for portable play, thanks to their ability to attach to a phone while remaining portable. Of course, if you prefer playing on tablets, GameSir's F7 claw is a wonderful way to add a few extra physical controls to just about any game.

No matter the genre of game or platform you prefer, there are plenty of options to choose from. We will continue updating this post with new listings as we personally test more and more mobile-friendly controllers. So until the next update, feel free to mention your favorite's in the comments below, especially if there's something you'd like to see added to the list.

We hope you like the items we recommend and discuss! AndroidPolice has affiliate and sponsored partnerships, so we receive a share of the revenue from some of your purchases. This won’t affect the price you pay and helps us offer the best product recommendations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

how-to-download-youtube-videos-on-any-device

How to download YouTube videos on any device

motorola-ma1-review:-so-good-it’s-no-wonder-it’s-always-sold-out

Motorola MA1 review: So good it’s no wonder it’s always sold out

Back to Top
Send this to a friend