Portability and accessibility are very important for gamers who are always on the go. As technology progresses, having a smartphone controller is all you’ll ever need. You can leave your big and bulky consoles at home as you go about your day. So it’s time to get yourself something you can lug around everywhere. All you need now is your phone and smartphone controller. Whether you are looking for an Android controller or one that is compatible with iOS devices, here is a guide to help you.
Top Picks for Smartphone Controllers
Best Overall: Razer Raiju Mobile
In choosing a new gadget, not everything great comes with a hefty price tag. But this isn’t the case with the new Razer Raiju Mobile controller as it can range from $150 to $170. That’s pretty hefty for a smartphone controller. But when you look into its features and capabilities, you’ll know where your money is going. This device features a comfortable grip and familiar design. Sharing is easier with this controller; by connecting it to two phones at once! Whether it’s wired or wireless, multiplayer connectivity is possible.
You also get uninterrupted game time with its 20-hour battery capacity. Charging is a breeze with both USB-A and USB-C.
The best part is that its phone mount is easily adjustable, so you can enjoy your gaming experience at any angle. The only drawback, aside from the price, is that it may block your phone’s volume buttons. Check out the Razer Raiju Mobile now and have a competitive edge against your friends.
Best-Looking: Wee Adjustable Controller 2
If aesthetics are a big thing for you, then take a look at the Wee Adjustable Controller 2. Its design is one of the sleekest and most portable you can find in the market today. You can bring this nifty little thing with you anywhere you’d like to play games and feel like a true gamer.
When used, it feels comfortable and looks like the PlayStation Vita, though it is on the expensive side. With its price tag, you can already buy yourself an actual gaming device. But you are paying for its design and portability after all, so if that’s your cup of tea, then go for it! Check out the Wee Adjustable Controller 2 now on Amazon and play your games minus the hassle.
Best Value: Beboncool Android Wireless Game Controller
Want a controller but you’re on a budget? Then give the Beboncool controller a look! It only runs for about $30 in most tech stores and it looks pretty good with a nice build for a low-cost controller. You can use it for 8-10 hours on a single charge. It even comes with its very own companion app which includes 145 free games, so you’re sure to have fun with it!
The only downside to it is that it’s only compatible with selected Android devices. It might not be compatible with LG G2/G3/Optimus F7 and Sony Xperia T phones because of connection issues.
Best Battery Life: SteelSeries Stratus XL
Who would want to run out of batteries when you’re in the middle of a video game, anyway? The SteelSeries Stratus XL gives you 40 hours of uninterrupted gameplay. All you need are two AA batteries. It features an ergonomic build with a thumbstick, so you know you’re not gonna have a hard time using it.
The downside to this is that you need to change the batteries after 40 hours of continuous use. You may feel that having to keep restocking AA batteries can get costly. You also have to buy a phone mount separately. If you’re looking for an iOS-compatible controller or for both OS, you can check the Nimbus and Stratus Duo on Amazon today.
Things to Consider When Buying a Smartphone Controller
Before you get yourself a smartphone controller, you must consider first a few things:
How much are you willing to shell out for a smartphone controller? Do you consider getting a budget gadget or you’re good at any price? Then it’s good to consider different price points and get the best value for your money.
What style or look do you want in a smartphone controller? Sleek and portable devices are very handy and they look quite nice, too! Get the best-looking gadget that you’re never gonna want to put down.
How long would you like to use your smartphone controller? If you want to play all day long, then consider different types of batteries, either rechargeable or replaceable.
Connecting Your Smartphone to Your Controller
There are different ways to connect your smartphone to your controller.
Connection via Bluetooth is the easiest method. All you need is to turn on the Bluetooth on your smartphone, then pair it with your controller. Voila! You can already start playing!
Another way to connect your controller to your smartphone is via Wi-Fi. Turn on the Wi-Fi feature on your controller. Then, on the app of the controller on your phone, select the Wi-Fi connection. The best part about Wi-Fi enabled connection is that it’s less likely to lag as long as your connection is sufficient.
The last method is old-school. But this also guarantees a less lag and a smoother game-play, via USB-OTG connector. All you do is connect your controller to your smartphone using the cord and that’s it, you’re ready to play!
History of Game Consoles and Smartphone Controllers
Handheld game devices and game consoles have come a long way since its conception.
First Popular Handheld Game Device
Handheld game consoles became a thing even before 1983. That year, Nintendo released the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). It featured all controls and buttons in one panel. It didn’t have a joystick but introduced the very first directional pad (D-pad) which was easier to use.
The Sega Genesis came next with almost the exact design as the NES. But it had one main button added to it in the middle for the start. There wasn’t much improvement from the previous NES to the Sega Genesis. Nintendo then came back with Super NES with left and right shoulder buttons. This was a lot more useful for gamers because it gave them more control over the game.
Unconventional Design and Responsive Features
The Nintendo 64 (N64) came next with a different design that looked like a trident. Its design and shape were not the most practical because a lot of buttons were not easily accessible. It featured all the buttons from the NES with a D-pad as well as the joystick altogether. All this granted the player full control over the game.
Nintendo later introduced an upgraded version of the N64. This one had a vibrating feedback feature called the “Rumble Pak.” PlayStation also released its version with the same vibrating feature called “Dual Shock.”
With technology and games progressing, gamers demanded portability and accessibility. The most popular handheld device released in 1989 was the Game Boy. After the first Game Boy, other companies released their versions of the device. But most of the new releases had the same design and features. Some screens have only become more high-definition and had color.
In 2004, Nintendo released the first dual touchscreen handheld device. The PlayStation Portable (PSP) followed in the same year. The PSP was the most advanced of its time. It was capable of large memory capacity and high definition graphics. it was also able to connect to the internet via Wi-Fi so you could play online with other players.
Games on Mobile Devices
Early Nokia mobile phones included stock games on their devices. One of the most played mobile games that Nokia popularized was Snake. Other mobile phone companies followed with their stock games. Complex games were more accessible as the smartphone was developed.
Smartphones Taking Over
With the rise of smartphones, came accessories to go with it. Controllers for smartphones give the feel and experience of an actual gaming console. Gamers could play dozens of different games without having to carry a big and bulky device.
The Future of Smartphone Controllers
As technology and human beings progress, so will the gaming methods of many gamers. Devices like controllers are a necessity for any video game player out there. The many upgrades of devices reflect the demands of consumers. The rise of multiplayer mobile games pushed controllers to be cross-platform compatible. There is a lot of potential for mobile games and more high-tech gaming devices targeted for mobile use.
With the rise of phones with the capacity of projecting images, this could well be the next big thing for gaming devices. Controllers may be able to project the games on walls and connect to other players. By projecting in high definition quality in a theater-like mode, dozens of people can play all at once.
Best Places to Get a Smartphone Controller
The best way to canvass for prices is to check online and compare prices from different sellers. Amazon is one of the best places to get a smartphone controller if you prefer online shopping. They sell new and used devices at different price points. GameStop.com also sells legit controllers ranging from different brands and price points. Another site to look at when buying a mobile controller is BestBuy.
These are just a few of the shops out there. But these are the most reliable shops that have proved to sell legit gaming products.
Whatever it is you’re looking for in a controller, there will always be a product that’s perfect for you. Always take into consideration what’s most important for you and make it a priority. Scout for different sellers online and in physical stores to get the best deals. It’s also good to look into other features that you could still deem as useful for you.
We have wrapped up the best devices for gamers with different preferences. But at the end of the day, it will still be up to you which one you should buy.