Best Controllers For Racing 2024

Someone in a black headset with green details holding a black, wired Razer controller, also with green details.
Credit: Razer

Someone in a black headset with green details holding a black, wired Razer controller, also with green details.
Credit: Razer

Choosing the best controller for racing can be a daunting task, given the wide array of options available on the market, all coming in at different price points and including unique sets of features. Fortunately, we've put together a list of top recommendations to help you out, taking into account factors like price, user feedback, and any gaming characteristics that give these controllers the edge over their competition.

While many would opt for a top-tier racing wheel instead, it's important to acknowledge that controllers continue to be the preferred choice for many simulation racing enthusiasts. In fact, controllers are perhaps better suited than ever for racing titles like Forza Motorsport. Take the DualSense Edge, for instance, which comes with adjustable joysticks and adaptive triggers to give you greater precision and control on the track.

Features like these help make certain gamepads great for racing games and viable options up against full-on sim racing wheels. Controllers usually have more to offer than just that though, so let's take a closer look at some of the best...

Best controllers for racing

  1. Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro - best PlayStation gamepad
  2. PowerA FUSION Pro 2 - a great alternative for Xbox
  3. Xbox Elite Series 2 - an Xbox device that works great on PC
  4. Razer Wolverine Ultimate - a pricey choice but great for features
  5. Logitech F310 - best budget option
  6. PlayStation DualSense Edge - the best official controller out there
Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro product image of a black PS4-style controller.
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Credit: Nacon

1. Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro

Best PlayStation controller for racing

Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB
Compatibility: PC, PS4

In our previous list of the best controllers for F1, we highlighted the Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro as an excellent choice to enhance your racing experience. This controller possesses a range of features that can elevate your gameplay to new heights.

One notable advantage is the inclusion of replaceable joysticks, allowing you to customise your control preferences for optimal precision and handling of your high-speed vehicles. Additionally, the presence of four shortcut buttons grants you increased control and fine-tuning capabilities during intense races.

The device also boasts an ergonomic design that ensures comfort during long gaming sessions. With Bluetooth connectivity, you can enjoy the convenience of wireless gameplay, enabling you to recline and relax while navigating your favourite circuits and courses.

Considering all these features, we believe the Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro is a compelling choice, particularly for PlayStation console gamers. Its impressive functionality and design make it a controller worthy of serious consideration for racing enthusiasts looking to enhance their gaming experience.

Reasons to buy:

  • It's incredibly customisable to suit your preference and different racing games
  • Offers both wired and wireless connectivity

Read More: Best racing game deals

PowerA FUSION Pro 2 product image of a black, Xbox-style, wired controller.
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Credit: PowerA

2. PowerA FUSION Pro 2

Best Xbox controller for racing

Connectivity: USB
Compatibility: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X

If you're looking to elevate your racing experience on Xbox, look no further than the PowerA FUSION Pro 2 controller.

Equipped with a customisable pro pack, this controller boasts four programmable buttons, empowering you to tweak your strategy on the fly and gain an edge mid-race. You can feel every turn and acceleration too thanks to its dual rumble motors and magnetic impulse triggers, immersing you deeper into the heart-pounding action of the track.

One of its key highlights is the adjustable thumbsticks, offering versatility with short, tall, and convex-capped options to suit your racing style perfectly, granting you unparalleled precision and control.

Moreover, its wired connectivity ensures instantaneous response times, capturing every nuanced input during those nail-biting moments of wheel-to-wheel action, thus making it a top choice for Xbox.

Reasons to buy:

  • It's a relatively cheap Xbox controller
  • It comes with multiple thumbsticks for different types of precision

Read More: Best deals on sim racing equipment

Xbox Elite Series 2 product image of a white and black Xbox controller.
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Credit: Xbox

3. Xbox Elite Series 2

Best PC controller for racing

Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB
Compatibility: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X

Given that Microsoft is responsible for both Xbox and the majority of PC software, it makes sense to feature the Xbox Elite Series 2 controller here, which offers a convenient plug-and-play experience for immediate immersion in gaming. This controller incorporates advanced technology, such as shifter-like bumpers that allow you to adjust the pressure resistance, enabling more aggressive racing manoeuvres by braking later into corners.

Moreover, the included tool allows you to customise the joystick stiffness, enhancing the precision of your turns and ensuring seamless navigation around every apex.

Overall, the Xbox Elite Series 2 controller is a formidable gaming accessory, particularly well-suited for PC gaming, which is why it has earned a spot on our list of the best controllers for Gran Turismo 7 as well.

However, it's worth keeping an eye out for the rumored arrival of the Xbox Elite Series 3 in the future, as it appears to be an impressive piece of equipment for both gaming and racing enthusiasts.

Reasons to buy:

  • Instantly compatible with Windows PCs
  • The accompanying tool allows you to alter it until your heart's content

Read More: Best racing seats

Razer Wolverine Ultimate product image of a black gamepad with multi-coloured backlit buttons.
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Credit: Razer

4. Razer Wolverine Ultimate

Best premium controller for racing

Connectivity: USB
Compatibility: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X

Although relatively expensive, the Razer Wolverine Ultimate stands out as a showstopper. Its extensive array of extra buttons, from remappable bumpers to multi-function triggers, offers unparalleled customisation. And, with a quick control panel for swift access to crucial functions, this gamepad caters to your most-used controls, perfect for serious racing enthusiasts.

What sets the Wolverine Ultimate apart even further is its adaptability. You can fine-tune your setup to match your racing style with interchangeable thumbsticks and two D-Pads. And it's not just for racing – you can seamlessly switch configurations for games like Warzone or Fortnite too.

Ultimately, its surplus of customisable buttons, quick control panel, and adaptable components make it an ideal choice for those seeking a premium gaming experience, whether in racing games or transitioning to other titles.

Reasons to buy:

  • Built for competitive gameplay
  • It comes with interchangeable modules to suit different games

Read More: Best monitors for racing games

Logitech F310 product image of a retro-style grey gamepad.
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Credit: Logitech

5. Logitech F310

Best budget controller for racing

Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB
Compatibility: PC

The Logitech F310 is a viable alternative if you're a more relaxed racer seeking a budget option. It mirrors the PS4 controller's design, catering to PlayStation layout enthusiasts, and boasts a slightly smaller build compared to modern controllers, ideal for those who dislike bulkier designs.

This aesthetically pleasing budget controller encompasses all essential features for an enjoyable racing experience. Despite not utilising Logitech's best racing wheels for PS5 or Xbox, this relatively inexpensive controller is worth a shot as a viable substitute.

Reasons to buy:

  • It's incredibly cheap
  • Its retro design will be familiar to older gamers

Read More: Best budget racing equipment

PlayStation DualSense Edge product image of a white and black gamepad featuring blue lighting.
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Credit: Sony

6. PlayStation DualSense Edge

Best official controller for racing

Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB
Compatibility: PS5, PC

Sony's DualSense Edge rivals Xbox's Elite Series 2 with a host of features designed to elevate your gaming performance, particularly in racing games. It stands out for its trio of thumbstick options - high, low, and half-dome - which prioritise comfort and grip without compromising precision. These varying stick heights cater to individual preferences, enhancing control during turns and manoeuvres.

Notably, the controller ensures durability with replaceable stick modules and introduces mappable back buttons, allowing for personalised in-game control assignments for quick access. Yet, its standout feature remains the adjustable trigger lengths. Both left and right bumpers can be manually adjusted to customise the travel distance. This capability significantly reduces the time it takes to reach full throttle or brake, granting a competitive edge in racing scenarios.

The DualSense Edge's greatness shines through its adaptable thumbsticks, durable build, and customisable triggers. Its emphasis on comfort, precision, and swift accessibility of controls makes it a game-changer, especially for racing enthusiasts seeking an edge in their gameplay.

Reasons to buy:

  • Officially made for PS5 gameplay
  • Adjustable trigger lengths help speed up reactions

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When it comes to finding the right controller for gaming, there are usually a few questions that pop up, but we're here to answer some of the more common queries.

How much should you spend on a controller for racing?

This really depends on your budget and what you're looking to get out of a controller for racing games.

You can pick up a relatively inexpensive third-party controller in the traditional layouts popularised by Xbox and PlayStation, however, you may miss out on some useful features like remappable buttons that can take your ability to the next level.

A pro controller will likely be a bit more expensive, but they all typically come with adjustable bumpers, buttons, and joysticks which can give you more control, accuracy, and precision whilst racing.

Is a controller better for racing than a wheel?

In our opinion, there's more to gain from using a wheel for racing games than a controller, especially once you get used to the mechanics.

This is due, in part, to the added control and realism you get from a wheel for racing with the addition of force feedback or direct drive device.

You also get a ton of extra information through these additional simulation techniques. If you want to find out more, check out our guides on force feedback and direct drive right here.

Having said that, a controller offers a greater degree of versatility away from racing, so you may find picking up a great gamepad more useful if you're a more casual sim gamer.

How long does a wireless controller last?

The answer to this question will vary from controller to controller and on how often you use the gamepad

When it comes to the official PlayStation controllers though, a DualSense PS4 device is said to last somewhere up to 8 hours on a single charge.

The PS5 controller goes one better with a battery life ranging from around 9 to 15 hours.

At the top end of the scale, the Xbox Elite Series 2 is quoted as having up to a 40-hour battery life which is perfect for multiple racing sessions.

Most third-party wireless devices should fall within this range as well, so you'll be able to enjoy plenty of racing with whichever controller you choose for your setup.

Are all controllers compatible with PCs?

Most officially licensed Xbox controllers are immediately compatible with Windows PCs as Microsoft is the manufacturer behind them both.

Unfortunately, PlayStation controllers will likely require additional software or adapters to plug in and play.

However, if you play your racing games through Steam, then you can connect a PS5 DualSense by going to Steam > Settings > Controller > General Controller Settings and selecting PlayStation configuration when you plug in your device.

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