You take your phone or tablet everywhere so you want the home gaming experience to come with you. For that, a Bluetooth game controller for Android devices will give you the same look and feel as a home system.
Why Use A Controller For Android Gaming?
Better Button Command Responsiveness
The undeniable popularity of Android gaming quickly ran into a brick wall for many users. Virtual on-screen controls aren’t nearly as much fun as mashing your thumbs on a real button, and the games were limited by the responsiveness of the controls. Emulators for classic games brought a hint of nostalgia to Android gaming, and people remembered how simple and fun games used to be. One of the most enjoyable details about using old school devices like a Gameboy was a simple button layout with instantaneous reactions to your commands on the screen. Android controllers bring back fast, accurate commands.
Take Back Screen Real Estate
In addition to being less responsive than physical buttons, on-screen controls take up precious pixels on your smartphone’s display. Most Android gaming takes place on a screen that’s only about 5.5 inches wide, and wasting a good portion of that on virtual control buttons makes a small machine even smaller. Game designers accustomed to working on consoles once had unlimited room for taskbars and navigation buttons, and when they had to adapt to the demands of tiny handheld devices, they found it’s just easier and better to add stand-alone buttons outside the screen. Dedicated controllers give users back 100 percent of the screen instead of having to obscure a large portion of it with your thumbs.
More Physical Feedback From Controls
Virtual command buttons have more problems than just taking up space on the screen. There’s no sensation from pressing a virtual control, and virtual buttons feel exactly the same whether you’ve successfully pressed them or not. If you introduce any lag whatsoever, you can’t tell if you’ve pressed a button once or ten times, or if it’s been pressed at all. Virtual buttons really put a damper on anything but turn-based, slow-paced online games. Android game controllers have the same layouts as familiar console controllers so gamers can simply plug and play they way they always have, and get real tactile feedback from the controls.
Top Bluetooth Game Controllers for Android
Since this article was first published, there have been many new good controllers available in the market. So I don’t plan to keep introduce only 6 bluetooth controllers. Here are the best Android game controllers:
With Android and Windows compatibility, this gaming controller allows three major connections- Wired and wireless connection with dongle and Bluetooth. As the design is attractive and ergonomic, you may operate the device very efficiently. You can play games with joysticks and D-pad. The intensity of vibration is adjustable and it enables you in dealing with various scenes, related to the games.
Luxmo iPega PG9057 Gun Controller
This is the first game controller that is designed like a gun, which makes you feel cool holding it. I can see that it is optimized for shooter games. A phone can be attached to the gun by plug it at the end of the gun and you move the gun to controller in-game character’s movement.
This well-designed and ergonomic gamepad works well with Android mobile, tab and Samsung Gear. The skid-proof feature is much convenient to the users. MCU chip is also highly sensitive and responses fast to gratify you with a wonderful performance. The battery may retain its power for almost five to eight hours while you play the device continuously.
Nyko Playpad Pro
Nyko’s Playpad Pro comes complete with the company’s Playground app for Android that allows you to customize the layout of the controller to fit with older game titles. You can also use the app to download keyboard profiles for older games meaning a simple press can set your controller up perfectly for the game you want to play. Additionally, the controller has an optimized HID protocol for the popular Tegra Android games, which is the feature that makes it one of the best bluetooth game controllers. The controller has two thumbsticks, directional pad, buttons and two triggers.
- Find Nyko Playpad Pro on Amazon
The GameKlip controller is a standard Sony Playstation controller with Bluetooth connectivity. It features a hard shell case attached to the top of the controller for holding your Android phone. It features all the the sticks, buttons and triggers you are used to and is also compatible with Android-powered tablets. It is also lightweight, weighing less than two pounds and comes complete with its own USB charging cable to keep its Lithium-ion battery charged. Once charged, the controller is good for up to 15 continuous hours of gaming.
- Find GameKlip Controller on Amazon
The SteelSeries Free controller is one of the most accurate representations of your home controller. It features dual analog sticks, front buttons, triggers, buttons and full size grips. It runs on a built-in rechargeable Lithium-ion battery and comes packaged with a USB charging cable so you’ll never be without juice. While it does not have an extendable locking mechanism for your phone, it does have a maximum Bluetooth range of 30 feet, meaning gameplay is possible from an array of positions.
- Find SteelSeries on Amazon
Moga Mobile Gaming System
Moga Mobile Gaming System is the most popular controller for Android devices.
What you get:
– Get a free game, PAC-MAN by Namco.
– MOGA Pivot App which lists all MOGA-compatible games.
– MOGA Mobile Gaming Controller’s design is similar to a game console’s controller. it has shoulder triggers, 4 action buttons and dual analog sticks.
– Includes MOGA Controller, MOGA Pivot App and MOGA Soft Case.
The controller works with Bluetooth enabled Android 2.3+ smartphones and tablets. It uses 2 AAA batteries so remember to buy them separately.
The Gametel Bluetooth controller works with Android-enabled devices and features a stand that gives you the option to place your phone securely above the game controller for easy game play. The stand supports Android phones as large as 5.5 inches. The Gametel runs on a built-in lithium battery that is good for 9 hours of continuous gameplay once charged. The controller also comes with a USB charging cable that plugs into a standard electrical outlet. If you choose not to use the built-in stand, maximum range of the Bluetooth controller is 26 feet.
- Find Gametel Controller on Amazon
Phonejoy Bluetooth Game Controller for Android and iCade
While most Android gaming controllers have opted for mounting your mobile phone above a dedicated controller, Phonejoy has come out with an innovative design that slides open in the center to accommodate smartphones up to 6.1 inches wide, including the popular Samsung Galaxy Note III.
For gamers weaned on handheld games instead of consoles like the Xbox, having controller buttons on either side of the screen is the preferred layout. Unlike many other controllers that mimic console controllers, you don’t have to modify your phone with glue-on clips. Having the screen in between the controller buttons allows more room for using the four shoulder buttons than other controllers, too. The Phonejoy is Bluetooth compatible with both Android and iPhone handhelds and has over 200 games currently supported on the device.
- Find Phonejoy on Amazon
Other Potential Android Controllers
MOGA Ace Power
MOGA is one of the first to recognize the limitations of virtual onscreen buttons and offer aftermarket Android game controllers. They’ve got a lot of different designs, and the Ace Power might be their best. It’s another extendable controller that holds your iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone5, and iPod Touch if they’re using IOS 7 or later and other latest Android smartphones such as OnePlus One, Nexus 5, HTC One M8. The smartphone goes between the dual analog sticks, navigation buttons, D-pad, and four full shoulder buttons.
It’s got a “Smart Lock” switch to make sure your mobile doesn’t come flying out of the controller when the gameplay really gets going. A built-in rechargeable 1800 mAh battery keeps both your controller and your phone charged for extended play. Unlike many other controllers, there’s a ton of familiar names available for the device at the App Store, like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty.
The G910 Gamepad Controller is the closest thing to a real Xbox 360 controller you’ll find for Android or IOS gaming. It has an extendable flip-up clip to hold even larger sizes of smartphones, or you can flip it down and use the Bluetooth signal to play on any screen that’s compatible.
It charges by a familiar micro USB connection, updates by USB when hooked to a PC, supports many emulators, and has a wide array of games available for either Android or IOS platforms. The controller has four different modes for supporting different devices or operating systems, so it’s bound to work with your rig.
With its built-in Lithium-ion battery supplying hours of Android gameplay, the Ipega is built for people that just want to get playing quickly and play for a long time. Clip your phone on the unit’s telescopic holder or use the Bluetooth signal for a device up to 25 feet away. It’s compatible with iPod, iPhone, an iPad as well as Android phones and devices.
The controller buttons are arranged compactly on an ergonomically laid out slab, but they’re not cramped, and they’ll stand up to robust use. It’s a solid controller for a low price.
The Green Throttle is yet another configuration for Bluetooth controllers. It does away with any attempt to attach a screen directly to the controller, and simply supplies a robust and ergonomic Xbox 360 style controller that works with Bluetooth wireless technology to let you play Android games on any compatible screen.
You can download the Free Green Throttle Arena App and additional games at the Amazon App store to achieve true multiplayer arena fun for Android games. It is perfect for multiplayer fun on a Kindle or other tablets in the back seat of a car or in a hotel room.
The iControlPad game controller is rechargeable and features four different operation modes for Android including joystick, mouse, keyboard and combination. The name doesn’t suggest that it is an iOS game controller. Like your home controller, it features all the buttons and triggers you are accustomed to including two thumb pads, directional buttons and triggers. It also features a solid retention bracket that slides up from the back of the controller to securely hold your phone above the unit. Featuring comfortable rubber grips on the side, the iControlPad also comes with a USB charging cable so there’s never a worry that your batteries will die on the road. The 2nd version is being outsourcing on Kickstarter.
The iControlPad 2’s features:
• Fully user programmable microcontroller, running open-source software
• 55 key keyboard – Shoulder buttons – Twin analogue nubs – High-quality Dpad
• New swivel clamp for easier phone handling
• Works as a standard HID (keyboard, joystick, iCade etc) for anything with either bluetooth or USB connections (Mac, PC, Phones, Tablets, PS3 etc.)
• Lasts for 14 hours of active use on a single charge
• Works with the OUYA.