Xbox VS PlayStation: Which controllers are better for PC gaming?

Are you an avid PC gamer looking for a controller to take your gaming to the next level? Whether you’re buying a console or it’s just the controller you’re after, we’re here to help you find the best controller for your PC gaming needs! Here are the best PC controllers from the Xbox and PlayStation families and how they compare with each other.

In this blog:

What controllers are PC-compatible?

When it comes to PC gaming, compatibility is paramount, and both Xbox and PlayStation controllers have made significant strides to cater to the diverse needs of gamers. Most of the later Xbox and PlayStation consoles use controllers that are compatible with PC gaming, but here are the main ones to check out:

Xbox Wireless Controller

The Xbox Wireless Controller is the standard controller for Xbox consoles, as well as a widely adopted choice for PC gaming. This controller works with the Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, Windows PC, Android and iOS.

You’ll find textured triggers and bumpers along with a hybrid D-pad to help you stay on target. The Xbox Wireless Controller also offers button mapping and features Bluetooth technology for wireless gaming on all compatible devices.

To use the Xbox Wireless Controller you’ll need some AA batteries or a rechargeable battery pack. Whichever you use, you’ll get up to 40 hours of battery life on your controller. While we’re not sure if this is the best PC controller from the Xbox family, it’s a good budget option!

PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller

If you’re looking for the cheapest option, you’ll want the PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller. This controller is wired so you won’t have the freedom a wireless controller provides, but it’s compatible with Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X, Xbox One and Windows PC.

The PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller features mappable advanced gaming buttons, a share button for screenshots and clips, and immersive dual rumble rotors – so it’s well worth the purchase if you don’t mind having a wired controller.

Elite Wireless Controller Series 2

Arguably the best Xbox controller (and one of the most expensive) is the Elite Wireless Controller Series 2. You can easily pair this controller with the Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One consoles, Windows PC and mobile devices with Xbox Wireless and Bluetooth.

This controller has wrap-around rubberised grips, shorter hair-trigger locks and interchangeable components that allow users to tailor the controller to their unique playstyle. The addition of adjustable tension thumbsticks provides a level of control that is unachievable with other Xbox controllers.

Additionally, the Series 2 comes with 40 hours of rechargeable battery life and custom button mapping. The Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 is definitely one of the best controllers for PC gaming if you’re looking for an Xbox controller to splash out on.

DualShock 4 Controller

If you’re more of a PlayStation kind of gamer and don’t want to pay over the odds, then the DualShock 4 is the best controller for PC. This controller is the standard controller for the PS4 console, so if you’re itching to get your hands on the PS5 then you might want to skip this one.

The DualShock 4 Controller features refined analogue sticks and triggers, a light bar, USB battery charging, motion sensors and built-in speakers. You’ll be able to connect this controller via Bluetooth to Android 10, iOS 13, iPadOS 13, macOS Catalina and tvOS 13 devices. For gaming on a Windows PC, you’ll need to connect your DualShock 4 controller using a USB. You can also use the DualShock 4 to play on the PS3 and PS5.

In terms of battery life, the DualShock 4 offers between four and eight hours of play per charge – admittedly not as long as the Xbox controllers, but the DualShock 4 does seem to have a few more features to compensate.

DualSense Wireless Controller

For the PS5 lovers, the DualSense Wireless Controller is a great option if you’re after a controller that will work with both your PC and your PS5. One thing to note though is that this controller is only compatible with the PS5 and PS3 consoles, so you won’t be able to use it to play on a PS4, but you will be able to use it on PC, Mac and mobile devices.

The DualSense Wireless Controller has a reimagined light bar and enhanced sticks, adaptive triggers, haptic feedback and a built-in mic – it’s similar to the DualShock 4 but with a slight design change and some enhancements.

One major improvement to this controller is the battery, as this PS5 controller battery life offers between 12 and 15 hours of playtime. While this still isn’t enough to compete with the battery life featured on the Xbox controllers, it’s the best battery life Sony has to offer for their wireless PlayStation controllers.

DualSense Edge Wireless Controller

Want the best PC controller that Sony offers? Try the DualSence Edge Wireless Controller. This is Sony’s premium controller for the PS5 console, offering all the bells and whistles that the DualSense Wireless Controller has plus some extra features.

You’ll get customisable controls with the ability to adjust triggers, stick sensitivity and vibration intensity along with remappable buttons. The DualSense Edge Wireless Controller also features haptic feedback adaptive triggers, motion control, slip-resistant inner grips and a built-in mic.

The only downside to this controller is the downgrade in battery life; while the DualSense Wireless Controller improved its battery life, the DualSense Edge Wireless Controller has reduced the battery life down to between 5 and 10 hours.

To use the DualSense Edge with a Windows PC you’ll need to use a wired connection, but if you have a Mac you’ll be able to use Bluetooth. You can also use the DualSense Edge Wireless Controller with the PS3.

Decided on what controller is best for all your PC gaming? Check out our secondhand game accessories to find cheap controllers for Xbox and PlayStation consoles. We also have great deals on refurbished games consoles if you’re looking to switch to a different device!