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Best controller for Starfield gameplay – our picks for PC, budget, and overall

Last Updated on February 6, 2024
Best controller for Starfield gameplay - our picks for PC, budget, and overall. Image shows the text "Best controller for Starfield gameplay - our picks for PC, budget, and overall" next to the Starfield PC box and the Xbox Starfield controller with a pink and red question mark above it. The images are shown on a blue green gradient background.

Pilot your intergalactic battles with ease with our picks of the best controller for Starfield.

Exploring the cosmos and venturing into the unknown are experiences best enjoyed with the tactile precision of a controller. For a game like Starfield, which boasts a universe replete with over a thousand planets, a joystick amplifies the joy of discovery and immersion. Recognizing the synergy between the vast expanse of space and the comfort of a handheld device, we have rounded up the best controller for Starfield gameplay. From the gamer on a budget to the aficionado seeking the pinnacle of customization, this guide ensures every commander finds their perfect companion.

Products at a Glance

How did we pick the best controller for Starfield?

Trying to find the right controller for a versatile game such as Starfield can be tricky, especially with such a mix of open world exploring and fast-paced spaceship dog fights throughout the RPG.

Our selection process for the best controller is thorough, putting emphasis on real-world testing and extensive feedback from avid gamers. We ensure that every controller on our list has been put through its paces, not just in controlled environments but also in extended gaming sessions where nuances in performance and comfort become evident. Some of the features a good controller should have include an ergonomic shape and a textured grip, a balanced overall weight, and tactile and responsive buttons. Your controller is the medium through which you interact with the in-game world, so for a more realistic experience, you’re going to want a precise controller that you can customize to suit your gaming style. 

Beyond hands-on trials, we dive deep into user reviews, expert opinions, and the reputations of manufacturers. Recognizing that one size does not fit all, we aim to cater to a broad spectrum of preferences, ensuring there’s something for everyone. In this case, we have a budget controller, a PC controller, and a highly customizable controller. The long-building hype surrounding Starfield has caused many gamers to consider upgrading their gaming rigs in preparation for the first game from Bethesda Studio in over 25 years. In addition to finding the perfect controller, why not further optimize your experience of Starfield by choosing the best gaming monitor for your adventures, as well as the ideal CPU and GPU

 

Our Recommended

Product Reviews

1
PROS
  • Eye-catching Starfield-themed design
  • Multi-platform compatibility
  • User-friendly share button
CONS
  • No rechargeable battery is included
  • Slightly on the heavier side
  • Might be pricier due to its limited edition status

When it comes to immersive gameplay, the controller you use can significantly elevate the experience. The Xbox Wireless Controller – Starfield Limited Edition is a shining example of that. Compatible across Windows 10/11, various Xbox platforms, MacOS Catalina+, and even iOS and Android, this controller doesn’t just stop at versatility.

Designed with Starfield enthusiasts in mind, this controller showcases intricate details that are simply a joy to behold. A stunning metallic bronze D-pad, transparent triggers, and two-tone grips ensure that every time you pick it up, you’re reminded of the game’s vast universe. The controller design is Starfield inspired and features characteristic colors, making it look like you’re holding the remote control of a spaceship. It also features two magnificent translucent triggers that allow you to see the dramatic brass-finished mechanisms inside. Beyond aesthetics, the practicality is equally impressive.

The dedicated share button is perfect for iconic moments in the game, allowing players to instantly capture and share their latest discoveries or achievements. Whether it’s a scenic view of a new planet or a particularly tricky mission you’ve just accomplished, sharing is just a button press away. Unfortunately, the controller does not come with rechargeable batteries, meaning you will at some point have to purchase more batteries or a reusable battery pack. Overall, if you want the best all-rounder controller for Starfield, then this Starfield Xbox Wireless controller is perfect for the job.

2
PROS
  • Retro design with modern features
  • Multi-device compatibility
  • Long-lasting battery life
CONS
  • Might not be for everyone aesthetically
  • Initial setup can be a bit intricate

8Bitdo has steadily established its reputation in the gaming world by combining the nostalgic feel of retro designs with modern gaming requirements. The 8BitDo Ultimate Controller is no exception.

Designed to be compatible with Windows, iOS, and Android via Bluetooth, as well as with the Switch through various connections, this controller is an embodiment of versatility. With the added flexibility of connecting via a 2.4g adapter or USB cable, gamers have a plethora of options to choose from based on their preference. The sturdy build quality feels premium despite its lower price tag, and this is a controller built to last. Although it’s not easily customizable, the 8BitDo Ultimate does have back paddles that you can remap with any button on the controller, or it can be used to make a macro through the 8BitDo software on your PC or phone. 

The multifunctional charging dock is an innovative feature that stands out. Not only does it offer a stable connection, but the automatic ON/OFF switching when docking or undocking the controller is a thoughtful touch, making life just that bit easier. Additionally, there’s the Hall Effect Sensing Joystick, a patented electromagnetic stick designed to give players a drift-free experience. You can be assured that you’re making a future-proof choice that will take you smoothly through long sessions of Starfield gameplay with this budget controller that offers a lot for its price. 

3
PROS
  • Affordable price point
  • Dependable wireless connectivity
  • Comfortable ergonomic design
CONS
  • Lacks game-specific customizations
  • Battery life could be better
  • Aesthetic design is basic

Dive into the world of Starfield without breaking the bank with the Logitech F710 Wireless Gamepad. Compatible across a wide range of platforms, this controller ensures that you’re not tethered to your gaming rig. Wireless freedom and Logitech’s renowned build quality make it a budget-friendly choice that doesn’t compromise on performance. Despite its pocket-friendly pricing, this robust controller offers everything you need to have a smooth gaming experience, including a four-switch D-pad for precise control. 

The F710 is ergonomically designed, ensuring that even during those marathon gaming sessions, comfort won’t be an issue. The D-pad, action buttons, and triggers feel responsive, giving gamers the tactile feedback they need when navigating the expansive universe of Starfield. There’s also dual-motor vibration feedback, which gives the controller a more premium feel.

While it might not have all the bells and whistles of the high-end options, its reliability is unquestionable, and the gamepad’s design is appealing with an elegant combination of grey and black. When you’re in the heat of an in-game battle or simply admiring the stunning vistas of a newly discovered planet, the last thing you want is for your controller to let you down. The F710 won’t. If you’re interested in considering more options for a PC controller upgrade, check out our top picks of the best controller for PC in 2023.

4
PROS
  • Extensive remapping options
  • High degree of customization
  • Multiple profile setups
CONS
  • Pricey compared to others
  • Might have a learning curve for new users
  • Some might find it overly complex

Customization is a big game-changer, and the SCUF Instinct Pro Performance has that as its specialty. Compatible with Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC, and Mobile, this controller offers a broad spectrum of adaptability. With both wired and wireless options available, and weighing in at a manageable 269 grams, it seamlessly blends convenience with functionality.

SCUF’s focus on customizability is evident, offering up to 16 remappable functions. There are four reprogrammable paddles at the back alone, allowing you to tweak controls precisely to your liking. The interchangeable thumbsticks mean you can find the perfect fit for your playstyle. Whether you’re hopping between planets or engaged in tense shootouts with outer-space enemies, the dedicated profile switch ensures you always have the right control setup at your fingertips. With Starfield’s complex mechanics and a vast array of actions, having a controller that allows for personalized button mapping or offers extra programmable buttons can be a game-changer.

Aside from customization, SCUF has also focused on comfort with a rubberized back panel and non-slip grips so you can cruise the galaxies in comfort. On the whole, if you are looking for a premium controller with a variety of remappable buttons to customize your gameplay, the SCUF Instinct Pro could be the Starfield co-pilot you’ve been looking for.

Features and Considerations

The ideal controller for Starfield should not only be comfortable to hold for extended sessions but also boast a responsive and intuitive layout. After all, venturing through space requires precision and quick reflexes. Gamers should pay attention to the build quality, stick tension, button feedback, and even the weight of the controller. Here are a few of the key considerations to keep in mind when choosing the right gaming controller for you. 

Ergonomics

Ultimately, you want a controller that is ergonomic. When something is ergonomic, it is designed to be both comfortable and effective, allowing the user to reach a higher potential. For a controller, it means that it will feel good to hold for long periods of time due to its shape and the positioning of triggers and buttons. It also includes the texture and finish of the controller, as rubberized finishes make sure you don’t lose your grip and can game comfortably for hours.

Customization

A customizable controller can offer tangible competitive advantages, and can give you a gaming experience that you just might not get from standard controllers. Arguably, one of the best advantages to have while gaming is having inputs that are specifically tailored to your preferences. Being able to remap button functions allows you to think outside of the box and experience a new and freeing kind of gaming.

Wireless or wired

It’s important for gamers to consider if a wireless or wired controller is better suited to how they game. Both options have advantages and disadvantages. Having a wireless controller means you have the freedom to move about, with less lag time and latency, but with the potential for signal interference and short battery life. Having to constantly replace batteries isn’t the most economical or environmentally friendly option, unless you invest in a rechargeable battery pack. Overall, wired controllers offer a faster response time, are unaffected by interference, and have no battery problems. However, you will have a bit more of a limited range of movement due to the wire, and there can sometimes be issues with latency. It’s an ongoing debate over which option is better, but you can get both wired and wireless controllers to get the best of both experiences.

Can you play Starfield with a controller?

You can play Starfield with a controller. In fact, many gamers prefer the immersive experience a controller offers, especially in expansive RPGs like Starfield, where exploration and comfort over long sessions are crucial.

Is Starfield Xbox controller worth it?

The Starfield Xbox controller is worth it, especially for dedicated fans of the game. This limited edition offers unique aesthetics catering to Starfield enthusiasts and also provides the renowned performance and comfort associated with Xbox controllers. If you’re seeking a blend of form and function, it’s a worthy investment.

Our Verdict

Final thoughts

In the grand cosmos of gaming, the right controller can significantly amplify the experience. As Starfield promises to be a thrilling voyage through the stars, having the right tool in hand becomes even more paramount.

From the authentic feel of the Starfield Xbox controller to the retro charm of the 8Bitdo, our list provides an array of options tailored to varied preferences. Each controller brings its unique strengths to the table, ensuring that gamers, regardless of their choice, will have a remarkable journey within the expansive universe of Starfield.