Top 10 Best Bluetooth Controllers for Android Gaming 2017

bluetooth controller, android controller, gamepad android, mobile gamepad, bluetooth controller android, game bluetooth

(Razer)

Mobile gaming on both Android and iOS phones has become a rather serious affair.

If you stick with the app store’s regular selection of shooters, RPGs, puzzle games, and platformers, you’ve probably been able to get by with just your phone’s touch screen.

However, as more high quality console emulators and VR platforms like the Samsung Gear VR and the Google Daydream emerge, more mobile games now require some sort of controller.

That’s why we’ve taken on the task of rounding up the best wireless Bluetooth controllers for mobile gaming, with a particular focus on Android compatibility.

Many of these controllers are compatible with PC and iOS as well, allowing you to use them for an even wider selection of games.

But other key differences will emerge in the way of portability, button layout, and price.

So take a moment to figure out what you’re looking for a controller, then read on to see our favorite picks.


1. Moga Hero Pro

bluetooth controller, android controller, gamepad android, mobile gamepad, bluetooth controller android, game bluetooth

(Amazon)

The Moga Hero Pro is a wireless Bluetooth controller that is specifically designed with Android in mind.

This controller easily makes up for its minimal PC support and utter lack of iOS support with easy Bluetooth pairing and unmatched compatibility with Moga-ready games.

This controller is well constructed and provides ample palm grips for players with larger hands.

Those wanting a smaller controller of the same high quality should consider the Moga Hero Power, which earns just as much praise as its larger counterpart.

It has a standard setup of a set of ABXY buttons, two clickable joysticks, a floating D-pad, and shoulder buttons and triggers. The buttons feel responsive and well built, even though the L2 and R2 trigger buttons seem slightly stiff.

Another awesome feature is the built-in smartphone clip to mount your phone onto while you play. If you usually game on a tablet, the Hero Pro has you covered as well. It comes with a tablet stand to match.

The Hero Pro has a free Moga Pivot app for assisted Bluetooth connection, as well as custom key mapping for games with generic 3rd party HID settings.

The controller has a Mode A/B switch, which should be toggled to B when custom mapping controls to emulator software or 3rd party apps.

The A mode can be used for apps listed as Moga compatible through the Pivot app, though the list is not always correct, which can be frustrating.

The Hero Pro’s battery life is where this controller really shows off its quality. This controller has a massive 2200mAh battery, which is enough to provide well over thirty hours of use.

On top of this, the controller has a Mobile Boost USB port to plug your phone in and recharge it while you game. Aside from some vibration for haptic feedback, there isn’t much more you could ask for out of a wireless controller.

Price: $34.98

Buy the Moga Hero Pro here.


Pros:

  • Built-in smartphone mount and included tablet stand
  • Massive 22000mAh battery can recharge your phone while you play
  • Moga-compatible game library through Moga Pivot app

Cons:

  • Moga-compatible game list is not always accurate
  • No vibration
  • Trigger buttons are stiff

Find more Moga Hero Pro information and reviews here.



2. SteelSeries Stratus XL

bluetooth controller, android controller, gamepad android, mobile gamepad, bluetooth controller android, game bluetooth

(Amazon)

The SteelSeries Stratus XL is a Bluetooth controller that opts for ergonomics over portability, sporting a large and comfortable XBox-style design.

This controller garners extra attention for being the top-recommended controller by Oculus to use with their Gear VR.

In addition to its Android compatibility, this controller can also be connected to a PC for use with games on Steam or other platforms. There is an iOS version of the Stratus XL as well.

The Stratus XL uses a traditional control layout that is easy to rely on when in a VR headset. Its buttons and triggers are responsive, and its large floating D-pad is hard to miss.

My favorite part about this controller are the grippy joysticks, which are fantastic if your hands get sweaty when you game. And mine most certainly do.

Once you connect the Stratus XL to a PC (which may require a Bluetooth dongle), you can adjust the trigger and joystick sensitivity using the free SteelSeries Engine 3 software. The software can’t remap buttons or do anything particularly advanced, but that is usually taken care of within an individual game anyway.

The controller gets about forty hours of battery life from two included AA batteries. Sadly, it cannot be hardwired should you want to go battery-less.

This is only frustrating because the controller has a micro USB port, its just for firmware upgrades only.

Price: $48.49 (19 percent off MSRP)

Buy the SteelSeries Stratus XL here.


Pros:

  • Grippy joysticks and responsive buttons
  • Software to customize joystick and trigger responsiveness
  • 40 hour battery life

Cons:

  • No smartphone clip mount
  • No wired connection option

Find more SteelSeries Stratus XL information and reviews here.



3. 8Bitdo N30 Pro Wireless Bluetooth Controller

bluetooth controller, android controller, gamepad android, mobile gamepad, bluetooth controller android, game bluetooth

(Amazon)

8Bitdo is best known for their Bluetooth replicas of classic game controllers, but their Pro version of the N30 controller ups the ante with two joysticks for modern games as well.

Because it is a retro controller first and foremost, it has a plush D-pad that is perfect for emulators of your favorite 8-bit games.

However, the joysticks work great for modern games as well. They are just as smooth and responsive as the controller’s D-pad, shoulder buttons, and ABXY buttons.

The control spacing can be a little tricky if you have larger hands, but this also lends to a portable design. The controller even comes with a case for this purpose.

When connecting, the N30’s Bluetooth 4.0 technology works flawlessly. The N30 connects to Android devices quickly and without any problems.

The device can also connect to Windows and iOS devices. It can even act as a controller for the PS3, Nintendo NES Classic, or Nintendo Switch.

The N30 charges via Micro USB port, and get about eighteen hours of playtime off of just two hours of charging.

If you are looking for a controller that will work on a large variety of gaming platforms then this is the one for you. Especially if you like retro flair.

Price: $42.99

Buy the 8Bitdo N30 Pro Wireless Bluetooth Controller here.


Pros:

  • Compatible with a large number of platforms
  • Compact and durable
  • 18 hour battery life

Cons:

  • Control layout is tricky for large hands
  • No smartphone clip

Find more 8Bitdo N30 Pro Wireless Bluetooth Controller information and reviews here.



4. Matricom G-Pad BX Pro Game Pad

bluetooth controller, android controller, gamepad android, mobile gamepad, bluetooth controller android, game bluetooth

(Amazon)

The Matricom G-Pad BX is a budget wireless controller that provides tight gameplay for under $20. The G-Pad has a surprising amount of heft to it considering its price, and a nice rubberized finish as well.

The controller isn’t as sturdy as an XBox One controller, but its buttons certainly are. The G-Pad sports a traditional control layout with an added turbo feature and two high precision joysticks.

The joysticks are plenty grippy, and the buttons have just the right amount of travel. The separated D-pad style doesn’t work well with fighting games, though, as it can be hard to quickly roll your thumb across different directions.

This game pad has various compatibility modes to ensure fluid use on any platform. There is an Android mode, an iOS mode, and a mouse emulation mode, which basically covers every Bluetooth-compatible gaming option.

The controller delivers vibration feedback where compatible, which is a nice touch. Speaking of compatibility, this controller has button combos to switch between three different modes for maximum functionality.

The Android Mode works for most mobile games, and the mouse emulation mode works for quite a few PC games. But the iOS mode does basically nothing.

the G-Pad’s internal battery offers about six hours of battery life, which can be extended for quite a while longer thanks to pass-through charging.

One downside is that it charges with a mini USB cable, which is far less common than micro USB. And you never know when you might need to, especially since there is no LED battery indicator.

For the price, the G-Pad is hard to beat. Some real iOS support would really raise the value of this controller, but it is still a great controller for Android gamers.

Price: $21.95 (63 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Matricom G-Pad BX Pro Game Pad here.


Pros:

  • Low price tag
  • 6 hour battery life with pass-through charging
  • Solid vibration feedback

Cons:

  • Charges with mini USB cable
  • Segmented D-pad has too much travel
  • iOS mode basically doesn’t work

Find more Matricom G-Pad BX Pro Game Pad information and reviews here.



5. SteelSeries Free Mobile Wireless Gaming Controller

bluetooth controller, android controller, gamepad android, mobile gamepad, bluetooth controller android, game bluetooth

(Amazon)

SteelSeries’ Free Controller is a palm-sized alternative to their larger Stratus XL controller. The Free is made from the same high quality materials, but it has the same high-end price tag as well.

The front face has a full array of controls, including two joysticks, one of the nicest D-pads I’ve used, an ABXY set of buttons, and two center buttons to change modes.

The joysticks and buttons are slightly recessed into the remote, but this allows them to be full size without significantly impacting the slim profile of the controller.

The L2 and R2 triggers, however, should be replaced with clicky shoulder bumpers to help maintain its pocketable design. These aren’t the best if you play a lot of FPS games, but they’ll work in a pinch.

Not every HID-supporting game is instantly compatible with this controller, but you can always use the SteelSeries Engine app to remap buttons as you need.

Speaking of compatibility, the device is compatible with Android, PC, and iOS, but as usual, 95% of iOS games will require an MFi certified device. The Free gets about a ten hour battery life with a rechargeable battery.

Unfortunately, because of its compact size, the Free cannot support a phone mount, and you are left on your own to prop your phone up while you game.

All in all, the SteelSeries Free is pretty pricey for a portable controller. But if it is a pocket-sized controller you’re after, you likely won’t find a better one.

Price: $69.95

Buy the SteelSeries Free Mobile Wireless Gaming Controller here.


Pros:

  • Compact and durable design
  • Full action buttons and joysticks
  • Engine app for custom key mapping

Cons:

  • No smartphone clip mount
  • Not every controller-compatible game works with it
  • High price tag

Find more SteelSeries Free Mobile Wireless Gaming Controller information and reviews here.



6. PlayStation DualShock 4 Wireless Controller

bluetooth controller, android controller, gamepad android, mobile gamepad, bluetooth controller android, game bluetooth

(Amazon)

The DualShock 4 is considered to be one of the best controllers of all time. The classic PlayStation button layout hasn’t changed since 1994, and the formula is still imitated by dozens of other brands.

If you already own a PlayStation 4, you can simply connect your DualShock controller to an Android device by simultaneously pressing the Share and PS buttons.

Once the light bar flashes white, you can find the controller in your phone’s Bluetooth settings and get started from there.

Whether or not you’ll be able to use the DualShock 4 on a game depends on if it supports third party HIDs. If they do, there is a good chance you’ll have no problems. But even then, some games can have incorrect button mapping.

If this is the case, you can use something like this Multilanguage Keymap Redefiner app to remap the keys.

As for the benefits of this controller, I don’t need to say much about its quality. As one of the big three consoles out there, PlayStation currently sets the bar for quality in hardware and software.

Its buttons, joysticks, triggers, bumpers, and its D-pad are all top quality, and will last for years before they start to show any wear at all.

You will not be able to take advantage of the controller’s extra features, like the touchpad, the headphone jack or the built-in speakers while using with Android. Though, with some tweaking, you can map clicking the touchpad to another function.

Considering that these items help justify this controller’s almost $50 price tag, this is a blow to the value of the controller.

But again, this is really only a viable choice if you already have a PS4 or can find a controller for cheap.

The controller still performs with accuracy and precision, and it gets about eight hours of battery via micro USB charging. So as long as you don’t need a clip for your phone, the DualShock 4 won’t disappoint.

Price: $43.86 (27 percent off MSRP)

Buy the PlayStation DualShock 4 Wireless Controller here.


Pros:

  • Lightweight and durable
  • 1:1 compatibility with PlayStation emulators (and the PS4)
  • You might already own one

Cons:

  • Have to enable 3rd party controls
  • No smartphone clip
  • Buttons can only be remapped by a 3rd party app

Find more PlayStation DualShock 4 Wireless Controller information and reviews here.



7. GameSir G3s Bluetooth Wireless Controller

bluetooth controller, android controller, gamepad android, mobile gamepad, bluetooth controller android, game bluetooth

(Amazon)

The GameSir G3s is a Bluetooth controller that can connect to just about anything. It comes with a wireless 2.4 GHz dongle to connect to non-Bluetooth equipped PCs, and includes a free app that allows the Android-oriented controller to work on iOS devices.

Its wireless connectivity can be spotty at times, and you might have to deal with a couple failed connections on either Bluetooth or 2.4 GHz wireless before you get a solid connection.

This rarely gets bad enough to interfere with gameplay, though.

The controller has a standard button setup with handy LED illumination behind the ABXY buttons. There is a turbo button and a clear button in the middle, in addition to the standard start and select buttons.

The different control clusters are well separated, and the floating D-pad allows you to easily discern between the eight compass points.

Its triggers are analog, and respond to pressure sensitivity. This is nice, as you can depress them halfway in sensitive situations.

Gamesir sweetens the pot further with double shock vibration and a detachable smartphone clip mount. These both enhance gameplay greatly, although if your phone is larger than six inches, you might have to settle for leaning it on something.

The G3s offers a solid eighteen hours of play time from a single battery charge. It can recharge to full via micro USB in only about three hours.

Overall, this controller delivers a lot of promising features for a fairly reasonable price. It has a couple minor issues that set it back, but a firmware update will ultimately make for smooth gaming.

Price: $30.99 (61 percent off MSRP)

Buy the GameSir G3s Bluetooth Wireless Controller here.


Pros:

  • Detachable smartphone clip mount
  • 18 hour battery life
  • Double shock vibration

Cons:

  • Firmware updates are required for best performance
  • Wireless connectivity can be spotty sometimes
  • Poor manual documentation

Find more GameSir G3s Bluetooth Wireless Controller information and reviews here.



8. Razer Serval Controller

bluetooth controller, android controller, gamepad android, mobile gamepad, bluetooth controller android, game bluetooth

(Amazon)

PC gaming company Razer brings a PC Master Race kind of vibe to Android gaming with its Bluetooth Serval Controller, which is of course compatible with PC as well as Android.

This Serval will immediately feel different to console devotees, as they have a short key travel with mechanical switches underneath.

As a primarily PC gamer myself, I am plenty comfortable with this button style, and actually prefer it to a lot of other controllers.

The controller interface has more universally agreeable elements as well, including a nice illuminated LED array, and springy joysticks with interchangeable. It even has two Android macro keys, back and home.

The one low point of the control scheme is the sunken D-pad.

The four directional buttons are simply too far apart and have too much travel to navigate with any dexterity, hurting this controller’s potential for use with 8-bit games.

The Serval comes with an adjustable and detachable smartphone clip mount, and it is weighted to feel balanced and light even with a phone attached.

The controller runs on two AA batteries, and based on the power draw of this controller, it should last you through months of use before you have to swap them out.

Pairing is quick and painless, as the controller can be paired to up to four devices at once without having to do a longer first time pair. The controller also supports a wired mode using a micro USB port on the controller.

The only thing that really sets the Serval back is its hefty price tag. The controller has historically sold for its full price tag of $80.

However, it is currently under $40 on Amazon, and hopefully it stays that way. Even if it doesn’t, this is still the best pick if you want the clickiest, most responsive buttons.

Price: $37.40 (53 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Razer Serval Controller here.


Pros:

  • Responsive mechanical switch buttons
  • Detachable smartphone clip mount
  • Solid battery life

Cons:

  • High price tag
  • Bulky form factor
  • Segmented D-pad has too much travel

Find more Razer Serval Controller information and reviews here.



9. BEBONCOOL Wireless Bluetooth Game Controller

bluetooth controller, android controller, gamepad android, mobile gamepad, bluetooth controller android, game bluetooth

(Amazon)

The Beboncool Wireless Bluetooth Game Controller is considered by many reviewers to be the best value in the portable wireless controller department.

For under $20, you have a solid controller with a portable form factor that is reminiscent of the $50 SteelSeries Free. The palm grips are practically nonexistant, yet the controller is as comfortable as you would expect from its size.

In terms of controls, the Beboncool peripheral has two full-size joysticks, an ABXY button array, and an Android-specific home/reset button next to its start and select buttons.

The shoulder buttons are limited to a single set of bumpers, which is manageable but certainly not ideal for PlayStation emulation. The D-pad is quite mushy, though, and is definitely a low point for the controller.

At the center of the controls, the built-in smartphone clip mount unfolds to reveal the mode switch and a micro USB port for charging its battery. The mount itself is a handy addition to the controller, but it reveals that the build quality of the Beboncool controller could certainly be better.

The mode switch ensures best compatibility with whatever system you are connecting to, be it Android, PC, or iOS. As usual, iOS support is always a little more unreliable without an official MFi certification from the product.

This controller has a rechargeable battery that lasts for about twelve hours of play time before it needs to be recharged. Considering its price, this controller provides some serious value, and definitely shouldn’t be overlooked unless you have undeniably large hands.

Price: $19.99 (51 percent off MSRP)

Buy the BEBONCOOL Wireless Bluetooth Game Controller here.


Pros:

  • Low price tag
  • Built-in smartphone clip mount
  • Compact and pocketable design

Cons:

  • Only one set of L and R triggers
  • So-so build quality
  • Segmented D-pad has too much travel

Find more BEBONCOOL Wireless Bluetooth Game Controller information and reviews here.



10. Bounabay Wee Wireless Telescopic Bluetooth Controller

bluetooth controller, android controller, gamepad android, mobile gamepad, bluetooth controller android, game bluetooth

(Amazon)

This Bluetooth controller from Bounabay offers a unique and compact approach to portable gamepads.

The Wee controller actually has a telescopic bracket between its left and right control clusters where you mount your phone.

It fits horizontally oriented phones with screens between 3.5 and 6.3 inches. Getting a phone to stay put in vertical orientation is a little trickier.

The build quality is underwhelming for the price, especially for the bracket itself, but the Wee makes up for it with high quality controls.

The buttons are responsive and clicky, and the joysticks have nice action. The shoulder buttons can be a little finicky, but they still work.

The controller has an excellent battery life, offering about 80 hours of idle time. It uses Bluetooth 4.0, and connects quickly to devices. Bounabay advertises iOS compatiblity, but this is basically only for a few Chinese games.

The Wee is plug-and-play for Android as long as you don’t want to do any custom button remapping.

This controller will be most appealing to those who want an ultra-compact controller that still holds your phone.

But going with the Wee also means you are getting a high quality input device.

Price: $40.99

Buy the Bounabay Wee Wireless Telescopic Bluetooth Controller here.


Pros:

  • Telescopic bracket design holds your phone
  • Very compact design
  • Solid battery life

Cons:

  • Hard to play some games with vertical screen orientation
  • Finicky shoulder buttons
  • Poor documentation

Find more Bounabay Wee Wireless Telescopic Bluetooth Controller information and reviews here.



Heavy, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon. Our product recommendations are guided solely by our editors. We have no relationship with manufacturers.
5 Comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

5 Comments

Discuss on Facebook