The best mobile controller for gaming 2022

More people are on the look out for the best mobile controllers at the moment due to the burst in cloud-based gaming. The ability to stream PC and console games straight to your phone allows you to play your favourite titles even if you’re on the go – and you’ll need a solid set of buttons to make the most of this emerging tech.

You’ll find that the best mobile controllers really do pack a punch, with some of them providing features that you’re unable to find even on pro level console gamepads. However, if you’re after a more budget option you can still find some amazing quality mobile controllers at a lower price point. You can also find the best deals available for each controller further down the page so you know you’re getting the best price. 

Some of these mobile controllers are also the best PC controllers due to their wide range of compatibility. Being able to use your new gadget with different devices really allows you to get the best bang for your buck so it’s worth keeping your consoles in mind when you’re on the hunt for a new set of thumbsticks. 

Most mobile controllers are designed to work with a specific operating system. There are a wide range of gamepads available for Android but it can be harder to find ones which work with iPhone. This guide contains options for both systems.

The best mobile controllers

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1. HyperX Clutch Wireless Controller

Best mobile controller overall – and also one of the cheapest

Specifications

Wireless: YesPowered by: Rechargeable Battery Battery Life: 19 Hours

Reasons to buy

+Wireless+Can be used on mobile and PC+Great value for money+Comes with phone clip

Reasons to avoid

-Not compatible with Apple’s iPhone

The HyperX Clutch Wireless controller is now my go to controller on both mobile and PC. For a MRSP of $50 you are getting a gamepad which can be used wirelessly and also be plugged in if the battery is low or if you want zero latency. It’s slightly smaller and lighter than a standard controller which contributes to the portability, however it is definitely not the most portable option on this list. 

It is only compatible with Android and connects easily via Bluetooth. Included in the box is also a 2.4G connector which allows for wireless connectivity when using the controller with PC. When testing the HyperX Clutch Wireless controller I found it such an easy experience to connect it to my phone or computer – something which can be extremely complicated and fiddly with other controllers. You receive a removable mobile clip in the box too. 

We also regularly see deals on this controller, often making it even better value for money. The fact you get a fully wireless controller with some great features like clickable joysticks, a sturdy mobile clip and an ergonomic grip all in one controller for such a good price point puts this controller at the top of our list. 

Read more: HyperX Clutch Wireless review

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2. SteelSeries Stratus+

Best mobile controller with extra features

Specifications

Wireless: Mobile – Yes, PC – NoPowered By: Rechargeable BatteriesBattery Life: 90 Hours

Reasons to buy

+Great value for money+Works with Android phones and PC+Wireless (when used with mobile)+Very extensive battery life

Reasons to avoid

-Can’t be used with iPhone-Wired when used with PC

The Steel Series Stratus+ comes with some extra features which you might not find on other mobile controllers on the market – especially at the MRSP of $70. The battery life on this controller makes it really stand out against the crowd. 90 hours of gameplay in one charge is something extremely hard to find in wireless gamepads. 

The SteelSeries Stratus+ is compatible with Android but not iPhone so Apple users beware. It is also compatible with PC but has to be used wired in order to take advantage of this. This is a little disappointing considering it comes in at a higher price point than the HyperX Clutch, which can be used wirelessly both ways. This gamepad also comes with a removeable mobile clip in the box, which isn’t as sturdy as the one that comes with the HyperX Clutch, but still works perfectly fine. 

One of the great features on offer with this mobile controller include clickable joysticks – which are industry standard with console gamepads but much harder to find on mobile versions. Another feature is the hall-effect triggers, a new trigger design which allows for your inputs to be picked up faster and for longer periods of time until full release. 

Read more: Steel Series Stratus+ Review

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(Image credit: Razer)

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3. Razer Kishi

Most portable mobile controller

Specifications

Wireless: Technically yesPowered By: Phone batteryBattery Life: N/A

Reasons to buy

+Small and lightweight+No charging required+Razer Nexus app allows you to stream PC and Console games to your phone

Reasons to avoid

-Doesn’t provide the familiar console controller feel and layout-Not compatible with iPhone

The Razer Kishi is a great mobile controller which is extremely portable due to its size and lack of battery. It requires no charging and runs off of the battery on your phone – meaning you’ll never have to worry that you’re carrying around a dud with no battery. When testing this controller I also found that the battery depletion on my phone wasn’t any different than normal meaning it must use such a minimal amount of power that it’s not noticeable. 

This is a particularly small, lightweight gamepad – if you have sizeable pockets then it could probably go straight in. It can be used with any Android phone that has a USB-C charging port. The bridge adjusts in size to accommodate for even the larger phones. 

The Razer Nexus app allows you to stream PC and Console games right to your phone – allowing you to go above and beyond regular mobile gaming.

The only potential downside to the Razer Kishi is the fact that it doesn’t provide you with that familiar controller shape and feel that you may be used to if you play on console. Instead, it is shaped like a Nintendo Switch controller when it is attached to your phone – screen in the centre and controllers on the side. This may be something to consider if you’re on the look out for something more regular.

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4. Backbone One

Best mobile controller for iPhone

Specifications

Wireless: Technically yesPowered by: Phone batteryBattery Life: N/A

Reasons to buy

+Amazing build quality+No battery or charging required+Comes with three months of Game Pass Ultimate

Reasons to avoid

-Not compatible with Android-Higher price point 

The Backbone One is revolutionary when it comes to gaming on an iPhone. So many mobile controllers on the market are not very considerate of Apple users.

At a slightly higher price point compared to other options on this list, the Backbone One is well worth the cost. It has many different features such as a built in headphone and charging port, a screenshot/recording button and a shortcut button to open the Backbone app. The device also comes with three months of Game Pass Ultimate to set you off on the right foot. 

We found that when using the Backbone, it felt superior to other competitors on the market, from the Backbone software right down to the actual feel of the buttons on the controller. 

This gamepad currently doesn’t have an Android version, however there are plenty of options for the mobile gamers who don’t have an iPhone. The most similar to the Backbone is the Razer Kishi.

Read more: Backbone One Review

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(Image credit: RiotPWR)

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5. RiotPWR ESL Mobile Gaming Controller

Best console style iPhone mobile controller

Specifications

Wireless: NoPowered By: Phone BatteryBattery Life: N/A

Reasons to buy

+Wired feature means less/no input lag+Simple plug and play – no pairing required+No battery/charging

Reasons to avoid

-Not the most aesthetically pleasing colours-Cannot be used wirelessly

The RiotPWR ESL mobile controller allows you to play on your iPhone while still having that familiar controller feel which you may miss out on when using devices like the Backbone One. Its asymmetrical so would be best suited to the gamers who are used to playing with an Xbox controller. It comes with a removeable phone clip so you can mount your phone. 

You can also find that it uses a wired connection which can be both a blessing and a curse. This means that you can play without any input lag and there is no need to charge the controller, however it also means that you need to take a wire with you if you plan to play on the go. 

The one element which may not appeal to the masses is the colourway – this mobile controller only comes with a white base with neon green and yellow accents. If you can look past this then this mobile controller is a great option for iPhone users who want to play with the familiar console feel. 


How we test mobile controllers

We test our mobile controllers by putting them through vigorous testing. Please be aware that we have not tested all of the controllers which have made it onto our buying guides. You can find information on reviews underneath each controller in the guide.

In brief, every controller that we have had our hands on is used in a series of different video games to accommodate most genres. This means that we’ll test the responsiveness of the sticks, face buttons, bumpers, triggers, and any other additional features found on the unit. If a controller is wired or relies on rechargeable batteries, then the duration of the lifespan is tested, too. The same can be said for any specialist software, such as drivers, that may be included with the gamepad as well. 

For more on how we test controllers at GamesRadar+ check out our full article, and for something more representative of our holistic approach to the latest gear, check out our Hardware Policy


If you’re on the lookout for other ways to play then you can take a look the best steering wheels for PC. And if you’re looking for a chance to upgrade from mobile gaming then take a look at our best gaming laptops

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