9 Best Bluetooth Controllers: The Ultimate List

bluetooth controller

(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 touchscreen.

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

Controllers aren’t just important for gaming performance either. In fact, a recent study published in the Journal of Ergonomics suggests that video game controllers are far healthier to use than traditional input devices like remote controls and touchscreens.

In other words, we should be using video game controllers for even more than gaming. 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. Other key differences emerge in the way of portability, button layout, and price.

Take a moment to figure out what you’re looking for a controller, then read on to browse our picks for the best Bluetooth controllers for mobile gaming and more.

What Are the Best Bluetooth Controllers in 2019?

bluetooth controller, android controller, gamepad android, mobile gamepad, bluetooth controller android, game bluetooth Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Grippy joysticks
  • Customizable
  • 40-hour battery life
Price: $33.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
bluetooth controller, android controller, gamepad android, mobile gamepad, bluetooth controller android, game bluetooth Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Multi-platform
  • Compact
  • 18-hour battery life
Price: $55.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
bluetooth controller, android controller, gamepad android, mobile gamepad, bluetooth controller android, game bluetooth Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Cheap
  • 6-hour battery life
  • Vibration
Price: $17.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
bluetooth controller, android controller, gamepad android, mobile gamepad, bluetooth controller android, game bluetooth Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Compact
  • Full action buttons
  • Cuztomizable
Price: $60.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
bluetooth controller, android controller, gamepad android, mobile gamepad, bluetooth controller android, game bluetooth Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Smartphone mount clip
  • Long battery with USB charge out
  • Customizable
Price: $47.81 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
bluetooth controller, android controller, gamepad android, mobile gamepad, bluetooth controller android, game bluetooth Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Lightweight
  • PlayStation compatible
  • Easily available
Price: $46.96 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
bluetooth controller, android controller, gamepad android, mobile gamepad, bluetooth controller android, game bluetooth Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Smartphone clip mount
  • 18-hour battery life
  • Vibration
Price: $30.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
bluetooth controller, android controller, gamepad android, mobile gamepad, bluetooth controller android, game bluetooth Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Cheap
  • Smartphone clip mount
  • Compact
Price: $25.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
bluetooth controller, android controller, gamepad android, mobile gamepad, bluetooth controller android, game bluetooth Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Smartphone bracket mount
  • Compact
  • Solid battery life
Price: $38.59 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. SteelSeries Stratus XL

    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
    • Cheap plastic

    The SteelSeries Stratus XL is a Bluetooth controller that opts for ergonomics over portability, with its 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 headset.

    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.

    Click here to view a YouTube review of this controller by BeginnersTech.

    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, it is for firmware upgrades only.

  2. 2. 8Bitdo N30 Pro Bluetooth Controller

    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
    • Small shoulder buttons

    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 makes the controller more portable. It 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.

    Click here to view a YouTube review of this controller by DinoZambas2.

    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 works on a large variety of gaming platforms, then this is the one for you. Especially if you like retro flair.

  3. 3. Matricom G-Pad BX Pro Game Pad

    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

    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.

    Click here to view a YouTube review of this controller by The Review Pre.

    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.

  4. 4. SteelSeries Free Mobile Wireless Gaming Controller

    Pros:
    • Compact and durable design
    • Full action buttons and joysticks
    • Engine app for custom key mapping
    Cons:
    • High price tag
    • No smartphone clip mount
    • Not every controller-compatible game works with it

    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.

    Click here to view a YouTube review of this controller by Xperia Gamer.

    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 Bluetooth controller. But if it is a pocket-sized controller you’re after, you likely won’t find a better one.

  5. 5. Moga Hero Power

    Pros:
    • Built-in smartphone mount and included tablet stand
    • Massive 18000mAh 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

    The Moga Hero Power 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 smaller hands.

    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 Power’s battery life is where this controller really shows off its quality. This controller has a massive 1800mAh 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.

  6. 6. PlayStation DualShock 4 Wireless Controller

    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

    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. However, some games will have incorrect button mapping.

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

    Click here to view a YouTube guide on how to set this up by Gadget Hacks.

    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.

  7. 7. GameSir G3s Bluetooth Wireless Controller

    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

    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.

    Click here to view a YouTube review of this controller by YourTechGuide.

    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.

  8. 8. Beboncool Wireless Bluetooth Game Controller

    Pros:
    • Low price tag
    • Built-in smartphone clip mount
    • Compact and pocketable design
    Cons:
    • Only one set of L/R triggers
    • So-so build quality
    • Segmented D-pad has too much travel

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

    Click here to view a YouTube review of this controller by Levi Neely.

    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.

  9. 9. Bounabay Wee Wireless Telescopic Bluetooth Controller

    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

    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 compatiiblity, 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.

See Also

10 Best Wireless Keyboards with a Touchpad

3 Best Docsis 3.1 Modems: Your Buyer’s Guide

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