PC gamepad controller options: what’s on offer?
What options do PC gamers have when looking for a reliable gamepad?
While the never-ending war between console and PC gamers rages on, there are some merits to each camp’s control scheme.
Some PC gamers will be looking for a great gamepad or controller option to play that upcoming racing or sports title, but what options are available?
Xbox 360 controller for Windows
First and foremost, the most natural decision for a game controller would be to go with the beloved control option from Microsoft, the Xbox 360 controller for Windows.
The control isn’t specifically built for PCs, but is rather a normal console controller. Thanks to Microsoft’s love of cross-platform hardware, a wired USB version will work on any PC, or the wireless version with the help of a dongle.
Razer Nostromo Gaming Keypad
While not necessarily a controller in the traditional sense, the Razer Nostromo offers a viable alternative to the conventional mouse-and-keyboard setup.
The keypad features a 16-button key layout for familiar PC gaming use, while also housing an 8-way directional thumb pad, which can be used for movement or modifier keys.
The Nostromo is fully customisable and can be mapped.
Logitech Wireless Gamepad F710
Logitech’s Wireless Gamepad is a pretty good option for those looking for the usability of a PC gaming controller at an affordable price.
Looking like the love-child of a PS3 and Xbox 360 controller, the F710 is wireless, supports rumble and has customisable mapping options.
The F710 is currently compatible with Windows XP, Vista and 7.
Playstation 3 controller
Although it’s not built for PC use, the PS3’s dual-shock 3 is a favourite amongst gamers, and can be easily used on the desktop platform.
Chinese company Motion in Joy put together a great client that allows your PC to pick-up and configure your Sony controller for any PC game.
Saitek P3600 Cyborg Force Rumble Pad
If you can’t decide whether you like your left analogue positioned higher or lower on the controller (like the Xbox 360 or PS3 controller respectively), the Saitek Cyborg Force Rumble Pad comes with a reversible directional pad and analogue stick which can be rotated to fit any gamer’s need.
It also comes with Saitek’s FPS button, which instantly programs the gamepad with keyboard and mouse commands used in First Person Shooters. The only downside is that the controller isn’t wireless.