Best Controller For Racing 2023

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

Finding the best controller for racing can be tricky at times, especially with the wide variety of devices to choose from making it hard to know how much you need to spend or what features to look out for.

Fortunately, we've put together a list of our top picks based on price, user reviews, and any features that make these top gamepads stand out from the crowd.

While there is some debate over whether a wheel is best for racing, we appreciate that a controller still remains the device of choice for many sim racing fans out there.

In fact, controllers are perhaps better suited than ever for racing. Take the DualSense Edge, for example, which comes with adjustable joysticks and adaptive triggers to give you greater precision and control on the track.

So, if you're looking for a PlayStation controller that's available now, like the Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro, or an Xbox gamepad, like this Xbox Elite Series 2, we've got everything you need right here.

We've also answered some of the most commonly asked questions surrounding controllers to help you figure out which is the right device to upgrade your setup. For now, though, let's dive into our list...

Best controller for racing

  1. Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro
  2. PowerA FUSION Pro 2
  3. Xbox Elite Series 2
  4. Razer Wolverine Ultimate
  5. Logitech F310
  6. PlayStation DualSense Edge
Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro product image of a black PS4-style controller.
click to enlarge
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Credit: Nacon

1. Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro

Best PlayStation controller for racing

Brand: Nacon
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.

Read More: Best monitors for racing games

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

2. PowerA FUSION Pro 2

Best Xbox controller for racing

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

If you're on Xbox looking for an enhanced racing experience, the PowerA FUSION Pro 2 controller might be a perfect fit.

With the inclusion of a mappable pro pack, this controller offers four programmable buttons that can be easily customised on the fly, allowing you to optimise your performance mid-race. Additionally, it features dual rumble motors and magnetic impulse triggers, providing you with immersive feedback from the race track.

Another standout feature is the adjustable thumbsticks, which can be switched between short, tall, and convex-capped sticks, enabling you to tailor the controller to your specific racing preferences and maximise control.

Furthermore, the wired connectivity ensures zero latency, allowing for precise capturing of your subtle racing adjustments during intense wheel-to-wheel action. This feature contributes to its recognition as one of the best controllers available for racing enthusiasts.

Read More: Best racing seats

Xbox Elite Series 2 product image of a black pro gamepad.
click to enlarge
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Credit: Xbox

3. Xbox Elite Series 2

Best PC controller for racing

Brand: Xbox
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 and Forza Horizon 5.

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.

Read More: Best racing gloves

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

4. Razer Wolverine Ultimate

Best premium controller for racing

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

If you're serious about racing games, then it may be worth spending that little bit more to get a real showstopping device like this Razer Wolverine Ultimate.

What we like about this controller is that it comes with a slew of extra buttons, including remappable multi-function bumpers, four multi-function triggers, and a quick control panel for faster access to some of your most-used controls.

Like with the previous entries, this gamepad also includes interchangeable thumbsticks, plus two interchangeable D-Pads so you can optimise the configuration to suit your racing style and for when you're switching to other titles such as Warzone or Fortnite.

Ultimately, we feel the Wolverine Ultimate is a good option to consider if you're on the hunt for a premium bit of kit.

Read More: Best headsets for racing games

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

5. Logitech F310

Best budget controller for racing

Brand: Logitech
Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB
Compatibility: PC

From a high-end device to a cheaper alternative, this Logitech F310 could be one to contemplate if you're a slightly more casual racer.

In terms of the design, it's more akin to a PS4 controller, so should suit those who prefer the PlayStation layout, and is also slightly smaller than most modern controllers which should be ideal if you're not a huge fan of the bulkier designs.

On the whole, this aesthetically charming budget controller includes all the necessary features for you to race with.

So, if you're not using one of Logitech's best racing wheels for PS5 or Xbox, why not give this relatively inexpensive controller a try instead?

Read More: Best budget racing equipment

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

6. PlayStation DualSense Edge

Best official controller for racing

Brand: Sony
Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB
Compatibility: PS5, PC

The DualSense Edge is Sony's answer to the Xbox Elite Series 2, packed with an array of incredible features that can give you a competitive advantage on the track.

One standout feature is the inclusion of three different types of thumbsticks: high, low, and half-dome. These thumbsticks prioritise your comfort without compromising on grip. These varying stick heights can also enhance your precision while turning by providing a more suitable stick height for your needs.

Additionally, the stick modules themselves are replaceable, ensuring the longevity of the controller. The DualSense Edge also boasts mappable back buttons, allowing you to assign frequently used in-game controls for convenient and swift access.

However, the true highlight lies in the adjustable trigger lengths. Both the left and right bumper can be manually set to your desired travel distance. This feature enables you to shorten the time it takes to reach full throttle or brake, making the DualSense Edge an exceptional choice for racing games.

Read More: Best triple monitor arms for racing games

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 I 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.

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 PC?

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 in order 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.

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.

Can you use a PS5 controller on PS4?

No, you cannot use a PS5 controller on a PS4 console. The PS5 controller uses a different type of wireless connection and has additional features that are not compatible with the PS4.

However, it's worth noting that the PS4 controller can be used on the PS5 for playing backward-compatible games. But if you want to use a PS5 controller on your PS4, you would need to wait for Sony to release a firmware update that adds compatibility, something which looks unlikely to be added any time soon.

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