While most Android games are designed for touch control, the reality is that in many gameplay situations it is much more convenient to use an additional controller. This applies mainly to games ported from consoles, as well as emulators. The situation is similar with projects where the touchscreen simply cannot be used in any way – namely, with VR games in which the smartphone is strapped to your face. Fortunately, today for the OS Android there are many game controllers of various shapes and sizes.
Firstly, it's worth noting that in this list I tried to focus on five models that have the best workmanship, ergonomics and functionality.
Steel Series Stratus XL
The Stratus XL has been on the market for a few years now, but it's still more than a worthy purchase. This device is distinguished by convenient and thoughtful control, and a stylish appearance with an emphasis on gray and orange colors, moreover, it is quite heavy (in moderation), which creates the feeling of a high-quality and durable device. At first glance, the design of the Stratus XL resembles an Xbox controller, but in terms of button placement it is still a little closer to the PlayStation controllers. There are two sticks, an overlaid d-pad and two triggers on the back.
The battery life of the Stratus XL is at a more than decent level, on not the most capacious AA-batteries, the device can last at least 8 hours of intense gaming. The undoubted advantage of the device is its compatibility with both Android and PC. The only drawback of this model is its focus on tablet and PC games: due to the lack of a holder for a smartphone, the portability of this accessory is questionable.
Of course, you can purchase a case in which you can place your smartphone horizontally on a table, but that will not be right. However, if you're looking for a high-quality, great-looking mobile gaming controller, then the Steel Series is a must-have.
Mad Catz GameSmart C.T.R.L.
C.T.R.L. from the renowned manufacturer of gaming peripherals Mad Catz was created for use with both Android and PC. However, if in the first case everything works extremely stably, then with the computer there are some problems like problematic pairing, lack of trigger support in some projects and a couple of minor bugs (which, in principle, and not surprising, the accessory was created to work with mobile devices) .
In terms of design and arrangement of elements, C.T.R.L. identical to the Xbox 360 gamepad. Unlike the Stratus XL, the left stick and D-pad are swapped, but otherwise everything is almost the same: two triggers, buttons A, B, X, Y and buttons responsible for pause, return to the previous menu, volume and music controls.
With great optimization for long enough distances, Mad Catz is great for mobile gaming on a smartphone connected to a TV via HDMI.
Another interesting difference from competitors is the presence of various operating modes, switchable by a three-position slider on the device body. So, on the left, the standard mode is turned on, serving to work with OC Android; by moving the switch to the middle, you enable PC compatibility mode and Android, which provides the ability to control a full mouse cursor using the analog stick; Well, in the extreme right position, the mode is optimized for PC games.
This controller uses replaceable AA batteries for power, which can provide it with a nominal 40 hours of battery life. Those who want to purchase Mad Catz GameSmart C.T.R.L. for use with a smartphone, they will be glad to have a removable mount, which, when disabled, leaves a conspicuous hole on the controller itself. However, this small flaw is absolutely not critical, and should not influence the final purchase decision in any way.
Moga Pro Power
Despite the fact that Moga Pro Power has been around for quite some time, this gamepad is still one of the leaders in the mobile game controller market. Of course, this gadget feels a little cheaper than the two models described above, but the presence of a built-in battery and a phone mount makes this model an ideal choice for those who like to play anytime, anywhere.
The main controls of the Power Pro are two pressable sticks, triggers, 4 main keys (A, B, X, Y) and a selection confirmation button. Battery life does not break records, but unlike the Stratus XL and GameSmart C.T.R.L. here it is possible to connect a microUSB cable and recharge the gamepad while playing.
Moreover, Moga Power Pro can recharge a smartphone connected to it, although this will reduce the life of the controller itself. A mini version of this model called Hero Power is also worth mentioning. In terms of functionality, it is almost identical to the Pro-analog, but it differs in noticeably smaller size and weight.
8BITDO Zero Wireless Game Controller
Would you like a game controller for your Android smartphone that fits on a keychain instead of a keychain? This fantasy is brought to life by a device called 8BITDO Zero Wireless Game Controller. It weighs just 50 grams, but houses a d-pad, four main action buttons, and Select and Back buttons.
The dimensions of this kid are 73x35x13.7 mm, and the capacity of the built-in battery is 180 mAh, which should be enough for at least 8 hours of very active play, and in the event of a discharge, Zero Wireless is able to recharge directly from your smartphone or tablet via microUSB. This toy can work with devices based on Android, iOS, Windows and MacOS. Perhaps the most pleasant thing here is the price: for example, for Amazon they ask for 17 bucks for this device.
8BITDO SNES Wireless Bluetooth Controller Dual Classic Joystick
This is another product from the Japanese company 8BITDO, which compares favorably with most competitors. This is exactly the gadget that will delight experienced gamers or just connoisseurs of the classics. The design of the 8BITDO SNES Wireless Bluetooth Controller is as similar as possible to the controller for the original SNES. This means you can enjoy your favorite retro hits ported to Android with a familiar control scheme including 4 main buttons, a d-pad, Start, Select and two rear buttons.
Unlike the original, this gamepad has a Bluetooth – module, which makes it compatible not only with Android, but also with PC, Mac, iOS and even with the recent Nintendo Switch.
As a conclusion
As you can see, among all that dominance of Chinese crafts, you can find quite decent devices that will help you not only brighten up being on the subway or at school / work, but also spend this time with pleasure.