What to look for when choosing a gamepad for PC
The mouse and keyboard are not the only devices with which you can enjoy games on your PC. For platformers, sports simulators, races, fighting games, a gamepad is best suited. Also, such a device is useful if you want to connect a computer to the TV and play from the couch.
There are two main options here: wired connection and wireless (via Bluetooth or via USB adapter).
Wired gamepads are the easiest to use: just plug the device into a USB connector and you're done. No need to worry about recharging the battery or batteries. In addition, such devices are lighter and cheaper than wireless controllers. But there is an obvious minus – the cables. They can get in the way on the table or get underfoot.
Wireless gamepads are much more convenient, although they require more attention. As with many other gadgets, they will have to be recharged periodically. How often it depends on the chosen model, on average, the charge lasts for 7-10 hours of play.
Today, almost any gamepad can be connected to a PC. The main thing is that he has at least one free USB port or Bluetooth support. Even exotic devices such as joysticks from the Nintendo Switch console can be connected to a computer.
It should be noted separately that the controllers from the Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles are traditionally “good friends” with computers on Windows. For their work, you do not need to install additional drivers, because both the console and the operating system are developed by Microsoft.
XInput and DInput Support
XInput and DInput (DirectInput) are technologies by which the gamepad transfers information to the computer. If the gamepad has XInput support, then almost all modern games will immediately recognize it and adjust their interface.
DInput is an older protocol. Gamepads that support only this input method are cheaper, but you need to spend time setting them up. Additional drivers must be downloaded to make the controller work in modern games.
Typically, manufacturers or online stores indicate in the product description which technologies the controller supports.
Some devices support XInput and DInput immediately. Usually they have a special button to switch between them. Thanks to this, you can use the controller in new and old games.
Location of analog sticks
włodi / flickr.com
First you need to decide if you need a controller with analog sticks. If you are not going to play new games, but want to buy several gamepads for friendly gatherings for Mortal Kombat 3, Tekken 2 and other classics, then the option with "analogs" will be just a waste of money for you. Devices without sticks are as affordable as possible. In some cases, for less than 600 rubles you can buy a set of four copies.
If you still decide to take a controller with sticks, then according to this characteristic, two main types of devices can be distinguished: with an asymmetric arrangement of sticks (like an Xbox gamepad) and symmetrical (like a PlayStation gamepad). In fact, all other manufacturers copy either one or the second.
The choice between them is completely a matter of taste and personal preference. Two gamers may have a diametrically opposed opinion about the convenience and overall ergonomics of the symmetrical and asymmetric arrangement of the sticks.
On my own I can add that I have two gamepads: from Xbox One and Genius MaxFire Blaze 5. They have different “analogs”, but despite this I’m pretty comfortable switching from one to the other.
Vibration, accelerometer and other functions
Previously, vibration in gamepads could be called a premium function and it was available only in expensive models. Now vibromotors are added to almost all devices. Their presence, according to many players, Controller vibration is one of the most important tech in gaming, and I’ve been taking it for granted, is one of the main advantages of controllers over a mouse and keyboard.
The vibration function allows you to better immerse yourself in games and feel the return from shooting or other actions. In addition, developers often use this as a game design element. For example, in the detective simulator L.A. The Noire gamepad starts to vibrate if the character is near the evidence.
The accelerometer, touch panel and additional programmable buttons can also diversify or even simplify the gameplay. But, as in the case of vibration, the developer himself must add the ability to use these functions to the game.
Up to 1,500 rubles
If you play a few hours a month and do not treat gaming as your main hobby, then it makes no sense to buy an expensive device. For such purposes, a gamepad for about 1,000 rubles is quite enough. Today, for that kind of money, it’s quite possible to buy a wireless controller that supports XInput and DInput. Yes, he will not come from a large and well-known brand and not from the most expensive materials, but he will carry out his work.
In this category I can recommend:
1. SVEN GC ‑ 3050 – from 955 to 1,200 rubles
Wireless gamepad with support for DInput and XInput, copying the design of Sony DualShock 4. The rating on Yandex.Market is 4.5.
2. SVEN GC ‑ 2040 – from 850 to 990 rubles
Also works wirelessly and supports DInput and XInput. It differs from the older model in fewer buttons and a body shape. Rating on Yandex.Market – 4.
3. CBR CBG 920 – from 540 to 780 rubles
The most affordable device in the selection. It works wirelessly, but does not support XInput. The shape of the case is a complete copy of Sony DualShock 3. The rating on Yandex.Market is 4.
From 1,500 to 4,000 rubles
Devices from this category are the choice of most gamers. These gamepads are usually made of better materials and better assembled. Therefore, they will last longer than their cheaper counterparts. Also, all controllers in this price range support XInput and DInput.
If you want to find a middle ground and buy a device that will delight you for a long time, then here you are.
In this segment, I advise you to purchase:
1. Microsoft Xbox One Controller – from 2,999 to 4,990 rubles
Gamepad from the latest Microsoft console. Supported out of the box in all modern games. The rating on Yandex.Market is 4.5.
2. Xbox 360 Wireless Controller – from 1 650 to 2 990 rubles
An accessory from the Xbox 360. Despite the fact that 14 years have passed since the console was released, many gamers still consider this gamepad to be the best choice. The rating on Yandex.Market is 4.5.
3. Logitech F710 – from 2 695 to 4 127 rubles
If you do not like the asymmetric arrangement of the sticks, but want to get a high-quality and convenient controller, pay attention to this device. The rating on Yandex.Market is 4.5.
From 4 000 rubles
Crème de la crème from the world of gamepads. They use the most expensive and high-quality body materials. In addition, some models have the ability to quickly change the cross and sticks to select the appropriate configuration, as well as configure additional buttons. The main thing – do not tell your wife, husband or parents how much you spent on them.
In this category I recommend:
1. Microsoft Xbox Elite – from 9 838 to 12 490 rubles
The upgraded version of the usual gamepad from the Xbox One. The device has additional keys. It also supports a quick change of sticks and crosses. The rating on Yandex.Market is 4.5.
2. Razer Wolverine Tournament – approximately 11 915 rubles
The form is completely repeats the controller from the Xbox. The device is aimed at professional gamers, therefore, it uses a wired connection to reduce output delay (“input lag”). Rating on Yandex.Market – 4.
3. SteelSeries Stratus Duo – from 6,758 to 7,721 rubles
Like Logitech, the SteelSeries controller is an alternative for those who want to buy an expensive device with a symmetrical stick layout. The rating on Yandex.Market is 4.5.
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