Not all Android games work well with virtual onscreen buttons or touch-based controls. Some games are meant to be played with game controllers. It makes things a lot easier. If you’re serious about Android gaming, a game controller should be a priority. For Apple Device Controllers, check out our List Of Best iPhone Controllers.
Here are the best Android game controllers that you can buy right now.
The SteelSeries Stratus XL is a full-fledged game controller built specifically for Windows and Android. It is a Bluetooth-equipped wireless game controller obviously based on traditional console controllers. SteelSeries advertises it as being based on both the PS4 and Xbox One controllers.
That description is spot on. It looks just like an Xbox One controller – but with the button placement of a PS4 controller. Meaning, the d-pad is located on the left side opposite the action buttons as opposed to being placed next to the right analog stick.
The Stratus XL features a “floating” d-pad with all four buttons joined together. This makes it excellent for fighting games. The action buttons are marked X, Y, A, and B similar to an Xbox One controller. It has two shoulder buttons and two trigger buttons.
All buttons are very responsive to input, though the placement of the d-pad and action buttons is a little too close to the edges of the controller. Pressing the left button and the B button can be a bit awkward at first. But don’t worry, you’ll get used to it.
The dual analog sticks have excellent grip, which is a godsend for sweaty hands. The middle of the controller features Home and Back buttons, with a LED indicator sitting above them. The Stratus XL can be fully customized. For example, you can adjust the sensitivity of the analog sticks or the responsiveness of the trigger buttons.
The Stratus XL is powered by two AA batteries, which can provide more than 40 hours of juice. You will rely exclusively on batteries to make this game controller run as SteelSeries inexplicably decided to exclude a wired mode.
Due to it being a full-sized game controller, the Stratus XL isn’t the most portable game controller for Android devices. SteelSeries placed more focus on ergonomics and function rather portability, making it more suited for home use. The lack of a smartphone holder is another sign that it’s not meant for on-the-go use.
Overall, the Stratus XL is an excellent game controller for Android devices. It has great build quality with responsive and clicky buttons. Connecting it with compatible devices is hassle-free and the customization options are really neat. If you want a dedicated game controller for Android gaming at home, the Stratus XL should be your first choice.
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Analog sticks have excellent grip
- Very responsive buttons
- Over 40 hours of battery life
- Great customization options
Bummed out that the SteelSeries Stratus XL isn’t built for on-the-go use? Say hello to the Moga Hero Power, a game controller for Android smartphones made specifically with portability in mind. With this game controller, you can take Android gaming literally anywhere – even in the most disgusting locations.
Featuring a button layout that is a dead-ringer for the Xbox One controller, the Moga Hero Power is a Bluetooth-enabled wireless game controller. It connects seamlessly with compatible devices and reliably holds a lag-free connection, which ensures that all inputs are read with zero latency.
It has all the standard buttons seen in console controllers: Four action buttons (marked as X, Y, B, and Y), a d-pad, two shoulder buttons, two trigger buttons, and Start and Select buttons. It has dual analog sticks as well, which are positioned in an Xbox One format. The buttons don’t feel sloppy and cheaply designed.
Compared to the SteelSeries Stratus XL, the Moga Hero Power has a slimmer profile, making it more lightweight and easier to carry around. You can easily put it inside a jacket or backpack pocket. Just be mindful of the analog sticks when pulling it out.
The Moga Hero Power features a built-in smartphone holder, which flips out from the middle of the controller. The holder has a very secure lock, capable of holding smartphones even while you’re moving around. (For safety reasons, we suggest that you refrain from doing that.)
Powered by an internal battery, the Moga Hero Power can also charge a docked smartphone. Basically, it functions as a secondary power supply similar to portable external battery packs. Don’t rely on it to fully recharge a smartphone, though. It’s not built for that kind of thing.
The Moga Hero Power is hands down the best Android game controller for on-the-go use. It has a slim and lightweight frame and a built-in secure smartphone holder. The ability to charge a docked smartphone is just the icing on the cake.
The buttons and the clickable analog sticks are responsive and the ergonomic design never feels uncomfortable even during extended sessions. If you’re looking for a high-quality portable game controller for Android smartphones, the Moga Hero Power is for you. It has all the features needed by on-the-go gamers.
- Slim build for maximum portability
- Responsive buttons with zero lag
- Analog sticks are clickable
- Built-in smartphone holder with secure lock
- Charges a docked smartphone
The GameSir G4s is another portable wireless game controller compatible with Android. It is infinitely more stylish and good-looking than the Moga Hero Power. The trade-off is that it also comes with a heftier price tag.
The G4s looks similar to the Xbox One controller – but with a rubberized and textured grip. It has a d-pad, two analog sticks, four action buttons, two shoulder buttons, and two trigger buttons. The d-pad and the left analog stick are interchangeable, which is really useful when switching from, let’s say, fighting games to shooters.
The four action buttons – marked as X, Y, A, and B similar to the SteelSeries Stratus XL and Moga Hero Power – are equipped with bright LED lights. This helps tremendously when gaming in total darkness as it prevents incorrect or accidental button presses.
Aside from the smaller Start and Select buttons, the G4s also includes a Turbo button and a Clear button, which are both hidden beneath the built-in smartphone holder. The former activates the auto-fire feature while the latter deactivates it. The auto-fire feature can be adjusted by holding down the Turbo button and pressing the up or down button on the d-pad.
All the buttons are responsive, with the shoulder and trigger buttons especially notable for working flawlessly in racing and shooter games. This is due to them being designed ergonomically to provide efficiency and better grip. Speaking of which, the analog sticks also have excellent grips, making sure that even sweaty hands don’t slip.
Like the Moga Hero Power, the G4s has a built-in smartphone holder. The sturdy bracket holds a smartphone securely in place, though larger models and ones coated with a thick case can barely fit. The angle of the smartphone holder can be adjusted to either 110 degrees or 150 degrees.
The battery can run up to 30 hours with minimal power usage. Monitoring the battery is really easy as the controller also includes four tiny LED lights near the Select button. Each LED light represents 25 percent of the battery. This allows you to quickly see when the controller is running out of juice. To top it all off, it also has a power-saving sleep mode.
If you’re willing to cough up more money for an Android game controller, we really recommend that you check out the G4s. It aces form and functionality and comes with really cool extra features, which also includes vibration feedback.
- Easily pairs with Android smartphones
- Interchangeable d-pad and left analog stick
- Includes Turbo feature and vibration feedback
- Built-in smartphone holder with adjustable angle
- Action buttons have LED lights
If you prefer an Android game controller that looks more like a PS4 controller, then the Matricom G-Pad XYBA wireless controller is for you. Compared to all the other products in this list, the G-Pad XYBA is the most subdued in terms of style. The matte finish had a huge hand in that.
The button layout of the G-Pad XYBA is similar to a PS4 controller. It has a d-pad, four action buttons, two shoulder buttons, two trigger buttons, and Start and Select buttons. A Turbo button and a Clear button, which cancels the Turbo feature, are also included.
Though the button layout is modeled after the PS4, the d-pad and the action buttons still resemble the d-pad and action buttons on the Xbox One controller. Meaning, the individual directional buttons aren’t separated and the action buttons are still designated as X, Y, A, and B.
At the center of the controller lies a Mode button. The Mode button is used to switch between Android mode, PC or PS3 mode, and mouse emulation mode. For Samsung Gear VR, the controller must be switched to Android mode. If you only play games on Android smartphones without VR headsets, you won’t find much use for the Mode button.
The G-Pad XYBA has a really great and comfortable grip, courtesy of its ergonomic design. All the buttons are responsive and easily reachable. Unlike the SteelSeries Stratus XL, the d-pad and the action buttons aren’t awkwardly sitting near the edges. The analog sticks also have a nice grip, which is really useful when playing movement-heavy games such as platformers and shooters.
This Android game controller is mainly powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The battery has lots of juice, capable of surviving extended gaming sessions. However, unlike the SteelSeries Stratus XL, the G-Pad XYBA also comes with a micro USB cable for a wired mode. When the battery is in critical, simply plug it in and continue playing normally.
The G-Pad XYBA isn’t exactly the most head-turning game controller in this list. But when it comes to getting the job done, it does not disappoint. It has a great ergonomic design with very responsive buttons. It has sensitive analog sticks with excellent grip. And best of all, it comes with a really friendly price tag.
- Terrific ergonomic design
- Responsive and well-placed buttons
- Turbo feature included
- Can function as a wired controller
- Excellent battery life in wireless mode
The BEBONCOOL Wireless Game Controller is another ultra-portable game controller for Android smartphones. At first glance, it looks like a cheap toy made for six-year-olds. But upon closer inspection, you will immediately realize it is a well-made product that can compete with the top-tiers.
Similar to the Moga Hero Power, this game controller is built for on-the-go use. It is small enough to easily fit in a pocket. It also comes with a built-in smartphone holder, which can easily secure smartphones. The holder is a bit flimsy when not in use, though. But when a smartphone is docked, it holds it firmly in place with zero chances of slipping out.
The BEBONCOOL Wireless Game Controller features a button layout similar to the Xbox One controller. Originally, it only had L1 and R1 buttons. But the manufacturer has since updated the model with additional L2 and R2 triggers. All the buttons feel nice and are very responsive to input. The dual analog sticks are also really sensitive.
The d-pad feels a bit mushy, however. But it doesn’t hurt its responsiveness. The overall design is comfortable, though people with large hands will likely find this game controller a little awkward to use. We recommend going for the GameSir G4s or SteelSeries Stratus XL instead if you have unusually large hands.
The battery life isn’t comparable to the other products in this list. It can only run up to around eight hours. If you mainly play games while commuting or during work breaks, the unimpressive battery life shouldn’t bother you. On the bright side, it automatically shuts down when left unattended for five minutes in order to conserve power.
The BEBONCOOL Wireless Game Controller is an excellent alternative to the Moga Hero Power. It certainly isn’t the flashiest product in this list. But when it comes to portability, it earns top marks. An overall great pickup, with responsive buttons, a secure smartphone holder, and excellent grips.
- Super portable
- Responsive and lag-free buttons
- Safe and secure smartphone holder
- Great hand grips
- Connects easily with Android smartphones
Choosing which Android game controller to buy largely depends on how you play games. If you mainly play at home and treat Android gaming like traditional home console gaming, the SteelSeries Stratus XL is the best option. But if you mainly play games on-the-go, well, you can just flip a coin and choose between the Moga Hero Power and the GameSir G4s.