The NVIDIA Shield TV (2019) and Shield TV Pro may have radical new tube designs, but it still holds the crown as the best streaming device running Android TV. It's also a capable gaming console that can access games from the Google Play Store or from NVIDA's GeForce NOW game streaming device. For all of that, you'll need a controller. Luckily, NVIDIA offers solid support for Bluetooth controllers, which means that you've got a slew of options to choose from.
- Specially designed by NVIDIA: NVIDIA Shield Controller
- Retro gaming bliss: 8Bitdo SNES30
- The latest from SteelSeries: SteelSeries Stratus Duo
- Best option for Sony fanboys: DualShock 4 Wireless Controller
- A great controller for Android: SteelSeries Stratus XL
- Microsoft's best controller: Xbox One Wireless Controller
The NVIDIA Shield controller is designed to take full advantage of all that the NVIDIA Shield can do, with a built-in microphone for Google Assistant and headphone jack, along with dedicated volume and Android system controls. Unlike other controller options, it connects via Wi-Fi, so there are no latency issues to contend with.
The 8Bitdo SNES30 controller offers a familiar controller with some modern improvements such as dual thumbsticks and a second pair of shoulder buttons. It essentially maintains the same form factor as the classic Super Nintendo controller while updating it with all the functionality of PlayStation's DualShock. It connects wirelessly via Bluetooth and can also be connected via USB-C.
The SteelSeries Stratus Duo is a wireless controller that lets you connect to your NVIDIA Shield or Android phone via Bluetooth, or can be connected to a PC using the included USB Wi-Fi dongle. It's an exceptionally comfortable controller with a rechargeable battery that won't let you down during a marathon gaming session.
Sony's wireless controller for the PlayStation 4 can also be connected to the NVIDIA Shield. Put the controller into pairing mode and it should come up as an available Bluetooth accessory in the Shield settings. Powered by a rechargeable internal battery with a charging cable included, there's a good reason why Sony has stuck with the DualShock controller design for multiple console generations.
The Stratus XL is still one of our favorite Bluetooth controllers for Android phones, so it absolutely deserves a mention as a great accessory for our favorite Android streaming box. It has dedicated controls for controlling Android devices and pairs up quickly and reliably. It does require AA batteries.
Not all Xbox One controllers will work with the NVIDIA Shield — the controllers released since the Xbox One S include Bluetooth functionality for connecting to other devices. This iconic controller is available in a wide range of colors and styles and is a great option that you may already own if you game on Xbox.
Is it worth it to buy the NVIDIA Shield controller?
You really can't go wrong using NVIDIA's own gaming controller, which was redesigned in 2017 the last time NVIDIA refreshed the Shield TV. It's a comfortable controller that easily pairs with the new NVIDIA Shield TV (2019) and offers features like a touch sensitive slider for controlling volume and a headphone jack for full immersion while you game. You can also use it for gaming on other Android devices, which is cool.
NVIDIA used to offer a gamer's bundle that includes a gaming controller with older models of the Shield TV, but so far there's no such bundle available for the NVIDIA Shield TV (2019) or the Pro model. Instead, the controller is sold separately and, unfortunately, it's among more expensive controller options available for the Shield TV.
This is unfortunate because frankly, as nice as the controller is, it can be hard to justify the price when there are other options available that will work just as well, with
You may already own a controller that will work just fine
While there are some advantages to using NVIDIA's own controller, it's just as easy to connect pretty much any other Bluetooth controller that you already own. That includes compatible PS4 or Xbox One controllers that run on Bluetooth.
However, if you're looking add an new Bluetooth controller to your collection, I'd recommend the SteelSeries Stratus Duo. It's a really well-designed controller that can be used with the NVIDIA Shield TV (2019), your Android smartphone or tablet, and even your PC using the included USB Wi-Fi dongle. It's powered by a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery that offers over 20 hours of battery life so you can get your game on across all your favorite Android devices.
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