Players’ gameplay experiences are tied to how difficult it is to utilize controls within a game.

Gamepad controllers have been around with us since the dawn of the NES and Sega Genesis platforms. Over the past several years, Android and iPhone games have gradually become more mainstream alongside their PC and console counterparts. While they won’t have full features such as 4k high-resolution gaming and other traits relative to triple-A titles, they do give gamers the option to play while on travel in a plane or bus ride.

And then there’s the issue of the controls themselves. Some games like Fortnite and PUBG typically require a controller for optimal play. Emulated classic titles from the NES and Genesis consoles that are ported to the smartphones necessitate the need for controllers to play correctly.

Related: Can you use a normal office chair as a gaming chair?

What Are Your Options?

Android controllers are peripheral devices that are available in abundance just like the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Logitech controllers. It ultimately boils down to what your personal preferences are, specifically your price limits and comfort in terms of handling. For Android devices, the only way to interface the controllers to them directly is via a Bluetooth connection. We explored and tested some controller options across hundreds of titles, making them viable investments for you to play your portable games with:

Gamevice – $39.95: A flat peripheral device that interfaces seamlessly on the top and bottom sides of your Android device, allowing you to play your games horizontally. The pad is connected by a robust and rubberized band that holds the two halves together. It’s taut but not too tight to the point where the band would split off easily and gives off the appearance your phone and pad are one complete device. It might feel a little small, but it gets the job done.

Clash Royale

– DualShock 4 w/ smart-clip – $59.99: The primary controller for the PlayStation 4 is compatible for play with Android devices due to its Bluetooth capability. All you need to do is purchase a smart clip to snap on your controller so that you’ll be able to hold your phone’s screen in place and adjust it accordingly until you’re comfortable with it.

– Serval – $96.99: Razer’s reputation in laptops and peripherals. Considering the price tag of the devices that are in the company’s catalog, the price point for the Serval is moot compared to the benefits it offers. Its layout is similar to the Xbox controllers, so you’ll be at home if you ever played any Xbox games in your lifetime. The pad is also more sleek-looking due to its all-black, shiny appearance with its trademark company logo on the right and green markings on the buttons and D-pad. It also comes with Android home and back buttons and is capable of USB and USB 1.5 wired play across multiple systems.


Are Android controllers worth buying? If you’re the kind of player that plays sidescrolling and shooting games with a gamepad, Android controllers are the perfect solution for those that find it awkward playing Android games via the screen controls. They’re also small enough to pack so that if you have that urge to play on your phone, all you need to do is break out your device with your gamepad and go.

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