Android phones aren't the only devices that mobile gamers play on. While some games are designed to take advantage of smaller screens, others are decidedly not, especially those that are streamed over the cloud with Xbox Game Pass. That's where people like to bring a tablet into the fold. Android tablets offer larger screens to view the action, but the downside is that it can be difficult to find the perfect compatible controller.
There aren't too many controllers designed specifically for tablets since their screens are often over 7 inches diagonally. Most of the best game controllers for Android aren't compatible with tablets. And the few controllers that are built for tablets tend to be a bit lackluster. That being said, these are the best controllers we've found for tablets, whether that means turning your device into a Nintendo Switch of sorts or propping it up on a stand for tabletop play.
The best controllers for Android tablets
Why you can trust Android Central
This two-in-one design is the complete package. The PowerA Moga XP7-X Plus works as an excellent phone controller, but it also has a tabletop stand included for tablet play. Plus, the stand easily slides in and out of the controller for easy transport. Its excellent textured thumbsticks and battery indicator are just the cherries on top.
Its haptics may not work on Android, but that doesn't stop the DualSense from being a great choice for tablets. Aside from using a traditional console controller design that more people may be comfortable with, it has the added bonus of working wonderfully with PC as well. Those who use PlayStation consoles and Android will feel right at home.
Microsoft nearly perfected the controller design with the Xbox wireless controller, and thankfully, it's compatible with just about every device imaginable through Bluetooth. It doesn't get much better than this, but its biggest downside for tablet gaming is that you'll need to find a separate tabletop stand to prop up your device.
Designed for tablets
This is one of the few controllers designed for tablets that's actually pretty good. It can comfortably fit phones and tablets up to around 8 inches. It uses a Bluetooth 4.0 connection and is supported by devices running Android 6.0 or later.
Sometimes a retro build is what's best for you, and that's something 8Bitdo excels at. Its SN30 Pro controller is perfect for sidescrollers and boasts a long battery life that'll keep you gaming on your tablet for hours on end. Like most other controllers, you'll want to pair it with a separate tabletop stand.
Versatile tabletop stand
If you don't have a tabletop stand, you'll want to get one if you play games frequently. This adjustable and foldable model supports tablets in landscape and portrait modes. It can hold devices from 4.7 inches all the way up to 13 inches, making it a wonderful and affordable stand to use while gaming.
Gaming on tablets made easy
Because tablets are larger and heavier than most phones, it's probably a good idea to use a regular Xbox or DualSense controller and then prop up the device with a tabletop stand. Very few products like the iPega PG-9083S can actually cradle a tablet between the grips due to their size, and most aren't worth the money you'd have to spend on them.
Likewise, it'd be nearly impossible to use a controller clip with a tablet because most aren't designed for large devices; it would also be incredibly uncomfortable to hold with it being so top-heavy. Though there are tablet grips and claws on the market designed for gaming, this is another case where the quality just isn't there most of the time.
The PowerA Moga XP7-X Plus is especially great because it includes a tabletop stand with the controller and it works with other mobile phones perfectly. If you don't already have an Xbox or DualSense controller to use and you aren't looking for a PC controller, that's probably the way to go for tablets.
Be an expert in 5 minutes
Get the latest news from Android Central, your trusted companion in the world of Android
Jennifer Locke has been playing video games nearly her entire life. You can find her posting pictures of her dog and obsessing over PlayStation and Xbox, Star Wars, and other geeky things.
- Nick RansbottomFreelance writer, VR/AR