10 game controllers for smartphones and tablets
If you're a gamer, you're probably familiar with the Razer brand name, and Raiju is the company's premium mobile controller, meant for those that take their smartphone gaming really seriously. It connects to your Android device via Bluetooth and provides a whole host of buttons — two triggers, two shoulder buttons, two analog sticks, a D-pad and four additional buttons that you can map to whatever you want. It even has a home and back keys to get you through the Android UI quicker. The adjustable clip lets you attach a smartphone to the gamepad for unbeatable convenience.
If you're looking for the tactile feel of real buttons but don't want to carry around a full-sized controller, than the 8BitDo Zero is the way to go. It's super-tiny, super-light and great for the on-the-go gamer. It says it supports iOS, but that means iCade only.
Sony DualShock 4
This controller needs no introduction. Chances are you have one laying around your house. While the DualShock 4 Wireless is meant for the PlayStation 4, it can just as easily be used with your phone, as long as it's running Android, that is. Quality build, familiar button layout and a touch pad for some extra-precise controls: what more can you want?
A good-looking joypad with glowy lights and rubbery grips, it supports Android and Windows, though, you will have to play wired if you want to use it with your PC. Its buttons are solid, with a nice clicky feedback, and it even has press-able analog sticks for L3 and R3 controls — something that you don't see often on a mobile device controller.
SteelSeries Stratus XL
Another controller that comes from a well-known maker of gaming peripherals. The Stratus XL is the one you should take a look if you're a hardcore mobile gamer. It gives you tons of clicky-feely buttons, great response over a Bluetooth connection, and about 40 hours of use per pair of AA batteries. You don't seem to be getting a clip for your phone, however.
The SteelSeries Nimbus is here to give iPhone owners the superior gaming controls they need. It might not be as stylish looking as the Stratus XL, but is just as comfortable to hold thanks to its full-sized grips. Besides the premium buttons you've come to expect from a SteelSeries controller, this model has a rechargeable battery, far more convenient than looking for double As all the time.
The Steelseries Free comes with 12 buttons, dual analog sticks, Bluetooth connectivity, and built-in rechargeable battery that can last up to 10 hours on a single charge. And at only 54 grams, this is one of the lightest, full-fledged game controllers that need no wires to work. However, if you're using an iOS device, then you should be getting another model, in this case the SteelSeries Stratus.
8BitDo SF30 Pro
If you're fan of the Nintendo aesthetic, but want the convenience of analog sticks, then the 8BitDo SF30 Pro is the controller for you. It has a compact, retro design, but sports a full set of buttons, including two triggers on each side. There's a phone clip available, but you have to buy it separately, which is a bummer.
The GameSir M2 is another good option for those who prefer iOS devices. It's well-built, with nice big triggers and has a bit of a heft to it. Thanks to its large 800 mAh battery it should last a lot longer than the one on your phone will allow you to game. The design is not very subtle, but younger gamers will probably like it nonetheless. What's more likely to make you think twice about getting this device is its price. Apple certification doesn't come cheap, it seems.
PowerA MOGA Hero Power
Another good choice if you're not sure if the whole dedicated controller thing will work out for you is the PowerA MOGA Hero Power. In its compact form factor the MOGA Hero Power is packing everything you're already used to see: two analog sticks, two sets of trigger buttons and a clip for your phone. What makes this controller unique is it's 1800 mAh battery which will not only keep your controller running longer, but can even be used to give your smartphone some extra juice to take you through the day.