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7 Reasons I Would Always Buy A Wireless Gaming Controller (And Which Are Best)

Man playing video games with joystick on computer. Player using controller and wearing headphones to play online game on monitor. Modern person using gaming equipment to have fun.

7 Reasons I Would Always Buy A Wireless Gaming Controller (And Which Are Best)

In the world of gaming controllers, there is no shortage of options. Between products directly from Sony, Microsoft, and third-party manufacturers, you quite literally have dozens to choose from. As someone who only uses wireless gaming controllers, I can unequivocally say they should be the preferred gaming controller choice for most people. 

Sure, you can make the argument that corded controllers have less lag, but unless you are sitting there with a stopwatch, most people will never know the difference. Whether you are playing on a PC or through a console, wireless gaming controllers offer you freedom, features, and versatility. These are three important features I don’t think you can easily replicate with a corded controller. 

It’s with this in mind that I’ll give you the reasons why I am confident you should buy a wireless gaming controller today.

Freedom of Movement

Young Man Spending Time at Home, Sitting on a Couch in Stylish Loft Apartment and Playing Arcade Car Video Games on Console. Male Using Controller to Play Street Racing Drift Simulator.
Not having any cables connected to a game makes you free to move around a room.

This is undoubtedly the single best reason in my eyes as to why anyone would choose to use a wireless gaming controller. Having the ability to get in and out of a chair without worrying about a cable’s length or getting twisted in a cable is a huge benefit. I can’t tell you the number of times I have been frustrated with cable length and felt restricted in how and where I can sit while gaming. Yes, I can get an extended cord for any controller, but it always felt very unnecessary. 

Instead, I have the choice from dozens of different wireless gaming controllers out there to choose from. As soon as I started down the wireless path, I knew there would be no turning back. Once you experience complete freedom of movement while playing it’s hard to go back to feeling restricted. Whether you want to sit on a sofa, a chair, or a beanbag, going wireless will be the best way to make any of these seating arrangements happen.

Easy Connectivity 

Press and hold the Pair button to enter Pairing Mode.
Connecting a wireless gaming controller is very simple often requiring a single button press.

As easy as it is to plug and play with a wired gaming controller, wireless isn’t all that tedious. Setting up Bluetooth connectivity is usually no harder than a touch of a few buttons. Realistically, with a wireless gaming controller, you should be set up and ready to go within a minute, if not less.

The best thing is that once you have set up your controller the first time, your PC or gaming console should continuously remember the connection. Even if you pick up a new wireless controller down the road, you should still be able to follow the same seamless setup process and play in no time.

Long Battery Life

Gamer holding Gamepad, Controller or Videogame Joystick Console in hands. Close up, game concept
Long gone are the days of wireless gaming controllers having too short a battery life.

Say goodbye to the days when battery life complaints were a big disadvantage for wireless gaming controllers. As someone who uses the PlayStation 5 and uses the included wireless gaming controller, I can tell you I charge up maybe once every 3-4 weeks. Now, I am not someone who plays for hours on end every day, but as a casual gamer, I can say I am very happy with battery life. For my Xbox Series X, maybe we changed the batteries once a month. 

Again, only casual gaming was taking place but battery life was never a huge concern. Yes, wired controllers don’t often have to worry about batteries at all, so it is an advantage. However, battery life has become so good on wireless controllers, that extended gaming sessions are now the norm and not the exception.

Great Features

DualSense Controller
Wireless gaming controllers are stacked with features like software mapping and custom buttons.

When it comes to things like haptic feedback or customizing buttons, it’s the wireless gaming controllers that feel the most advanced feature-wise. What I find with my DualSense Wireless Controller is that Sony was able to bring about some of its great features, like its dynamic triggers, because of its wireless capability. 

For my 8Bitdo Ultimate, its ability to wirelessly connect to my iPad and change controls based on what retro gaming system I am emulating on a PC is just wonderful. I don’t see this as being quite as enjoyable with a wired controller. 

I don’t even move the 8Bitdo out of its dock when I want to make shortcut changes, I just make the change wherever I am sitting. This goes right back to my favorite reason to use a wireless gaming controller with freedom of movement.

Co-Op Chaos

Cheerful group of friends playing video games together at home, leisure and entertainment concept
The next time friends are over you won’t ever have to worry about someone tripping over a controller cable.

There are too many great games out right now that beg to be played with friends in the same room. Playing co-op is such a great way to spend some downtime trying to complete a game in one sitting.

Of course, trying this co-op activity with cables can quickly become a nuisance and a tangled mess. With wireless gaming controllers, you don’t have any issues as everyone is free to move around a room.

If someone needs a bathroom break, it’s not a problem. This person just puts the controller down and then comes right back. You don’t need to worry about tripping over cables or accidentally pulling a cable out of a console. Everything about using a wireless controller in this situation makes it safer and easier for everyone.

Customization Options

Starfield Xbox Controller
Companies like Xbox allow you to really customize your wireless gaming controllers.

Another great aspect of wireless controllers is the ability to customize. One of the most prominent customization options is the Xbox Design Lab. It’s here that you can customize the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 in any number of ways. 

The thing is, this controller is only available wirelessly, so if you want to customize it, it’s wireless or nothing. I love how well Xbox has tackled this subject. By giving console owners an easy way to customize the look and feel of this specialized controller, it’s winning fans. There is just something special about having 16 colors to choose from. The sheer number of color combinations is fantastic.

This is before you get to the triggers where you have an even larger number of color options. Yes, I know it will cost you to customize a controller but this controller should last for years. As long as you keep the controller around, I think it’s a worthwhile expense. However, it’s only something you can do with a wireless gaming controller so it’s time to become a convert.

Wireless Updates

xbox one platformers
Wireless updates for gaming controllers can help fix bugs or improve battery life.

Another big vote in favor of wireless controllers is their ability to receive periodic software updates from their manufacturer. I speak from experience when I was unable to get an Xbox controller to connect to my son’s PC earlier this year. A quick Google search told me I needed to update the software on my controller. A few minutes later, his Xbox Series X controller connected to his PC on the first try.

This was a super simple solution and one that would have been impossible if not for wireless connectivity. Instead, I would have either had to purchase a new controller entirely or given up on gameplay altogether. Now, he’s been playing on his gaming PC more than his Xbox for the last 6 months and I have a console I no longer need. That is a story for a different article though!

Best Wireless Gaming Controllers

#1 Best Overall: PlayStation DualSense Wireless Controller

Best Overall
PlayStation DualSense Wireless Controller
$70.95
  • PC/Mac/tablet compatible
  • Outstanding built-in microphone
  • Features excellent haptic feedback
  • Comes with adaptive triggers
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/10/2024 11:26 pm GMT

There is no doubt in my mind the best overall wireless gaming controller on the market today is the PlayStation DualSense Wireless Controller.  

Everything from its adaptive triggers, 3.5mm headphone jack, and PC/Mac/tablet compatibility makes it an easy winner in this space. The built-in microphone is outstanding to use and you simply feel more immersed in your games while playing. The haptic feedback is second-to-none and you can feel the vibrations in your hand every time. The adaptive triggers force you to choose just the right amount of tension needed based on what game you’re playing. It’s an excellent way to make you play smarter. 

Best Runner-Up: 8Bitdo Ultimate Controller

Most Customizable
8Bitdo Ultimate Bluetooth Controller with Charging Dock
$69.99
  • Can easily update how different buttons are mapped
  • Easily create more precision with the joysticks
  • Compatible with Switch and Steam Deck
  • Comes with rumble vibration
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/10/2024 11:16 am GMT

One of the things I most love about the 8Bitdo Ultimate Controller is how easily you can customize button combinations. 

Available as part of its downloadable software tool, 8Bitdo has created a gaming controller you can customize in many ways. With the software, you can easily update how different buttons are mapped to controls in a game. You can also adjust vibration, trigger tension, and create more precision with the joysticks. To say this is one of the most customizable wireless gaming controllers available today would be putting it mildly. 

Reasons I Would Always Buy A Wireless Gaming Controller Summary

RankReasonDescription
#1Freedom of MovementMoving around a room without worrying about tripping over a cable is a real bonus. 
#2Easy Connectivity Connecting a wireless gaming controller should only take a few seconds. 
#3Long Battery LifeBattery life on wireless controllers has vastly improved from years ago. 
#4Great FeaturesGreat features like button mapping is a huge bonus. 
#5Co-op ChaosPlaying with friends or family in the same room with a bunch of cables is asking for trouble. 
#6Customization OptionsXbox offers over 16 different colors to create your own funky controller style. 
#7Wireless UpdatesWirelessly updating controllers is a great way to fix bugs over time. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the number one reason to buy a wireless gaming controller today?

The number one reason to buy a wireless gaming controller is freedom of movement. 

Is it true that wireless controllers have bad battery life?

This is a misnomer from years ago as today’s wireless controllers can last for 30 hours or more. 

Can I only use a wireless controller with one system?

Not at all! Some controllers can be used with multiple systems like PC, Mac, tablets, and consoles. 

How much should I spend on a wireless gaming controller?

The good news here is that you don’t have to spend a ton as you can find great options for under $50. 

Does it matter if you pick up a third-party option and not from Xbox or Sony?

Absolutely not! Some third-party wireless gaming controllers are incredible. 

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