Best Game Controllers for Chromebooks Android Central 2021
So you already have a list of the best games to play, but what about finding the best of the best Chromebook game controllers? The good news is you might already own a controller that will work, and there are great controllers available to buy that'll also work great. But we've found the best options so you can pair the best game controller with the best Chromebook.
- A retro-styled classic: 8Bitdo SN30 Pro
- Straight from Google: Google Stadia Controller
- It really does it all: Razer Raiju Mobile
- Grab your microUSB cable: PS3 Dualshock 3
- Get the upgrade: Sony DualShock 4
- Long gaming sessions: SteelSeries Stratus Duo
- Just like the Pros: Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
- Ultra-portable gaming: Nintendo Switch Joy-Con (L/R)
- That familiar feeling: Xbox Wireless Controller
The 8Biitdo SN30 Pro is a perfectly portable controller that's designed to work with Android, Windows, and even Nintendo Switch. I would still stick with the wired version here because it's more reliable and Bluetooth connections are fraught with issues.
Google launched its Stadia game-streaming service late in 2019 and released a new gaming controller alongside it. Since this comes directly from Google, you know you are just about guaranteed to get this controller paired up to your Chromebook for those intense gaming sessions. Plus, there are three different colorways to choose from if you want something other than the traditional white option.
The Razer Raiju is designed to let you connect your phone easily using Bluetooth or a wired connection — and it's that wired connection that we're after for Chromebook gaming. Use the extra-long USB-A to USB-C cable included with the controller for the best results. The Raiju Mobile is the best gaming controller for Android so it's good to know it works well here, too, but at this price, you're going to want to use this thing for all your mobile gaming needs.
I've tried and tested the DualShock 3 controller connected via USB to a Chromebook and it works really well. If you've already got a DualShock 3 laying around, you're good to go. If you don't have one of these controllers, we'd recommend this third-party version rather than shelling out $60 or more for one from Sony.
An obvious upgrade from the DualShock 3, the DualShock 4 is a fan favorite for gamers everywhere. And when you pair this control with the included Micro-USB cable, you'll be able to get up and running on your Chromebook. Some have even stated that the DS4 will even work when paired via Bluetooth.
Originally released with Android, Windows, and VR in mind, the SteelSeries Stratus Duo works great with Chromebooks. The controller offers over 20 hours of battery life, or you can pair it via the included cable for a more reliable connection. Additionally, the Stratus Duo includes a 2.4GHz dongle in the box for a better overall connection.
An update to ChromeOS brought support for the Switch Pro controller to be used with Chromebooks. Now, you can take your favorite Switch controller and play your favorite games on the Chromebook. Although we do warn that not all of the features (i.e. Motion Control and HD Rumble) may work when paired.
Along with the Switch Pro Controller, updates to ChromeOS brought support for you to use Nintendo's Joy-Cons. You can pair both controllers, or just one, and use the buttons on the inside of the Joy-Con to play your favorite games. The portability of this cannot be understated as you can throw a Joy-Con in the bag and not much space will be taken up.
Earlier this year, an update arrived for many Chromebooks that made it possible to pair those Xbox One controllers. If your Xbox controller is from the original Xbox One, then you'll need to upgrade to the version with the built-in Bluetooth chip. Turn everything on, pair everything up, and get gaming.
What's are the best Chromebook game controllers?
Recent updates have started opening the possibilities of what you can do with gaming on Chromebooks. In some instances, the experience is still not as seamless as pairing a controller to your Android phone or PC, but the experience has improved some.
Having said that, we've tested and connected controllers to a Chromebook but not reliably enough to recommend in this space. If we had to pick just one, we would go with the 8Bitdo SN30 Pro because it's retro, works with Android and PC gaming, and is affordably priced.
Another great pick is the Google Stadia Controller as it was just released, makes Stadia gaming a breeze, and can be used for other gaming on your Chromebook. The Stadia Controller comes in three different colors, includes a USB-C cable for wired gaming, and even has a dedicated Google Assistant button. Oh, the 2,000mAh battery is bigger than that of the Sony DualShock 4 controller so you'll be able to put in some hours.
Generally, you can use console controllers like the DualShock 3 and DualShock 4 and the Nintendo Switch Pro Controllers and Joy-Cons. An update earlier this year finally made it possible to connect your Bluetooth Xbox One controllers to Chromebooks. Forget about trying to find an Xbox 360 controller in good condition, and just use the one that came with your Xbox!
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