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 to pick up a top-quality gamepad.
While there is some debate over whether a wheel is best for racing, a controller still remains the device of choice for many sim racing fans out there.
As a result, 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.
We also discuss some of the latest controller news which we'll keep updated to ensure you stay in the loop with all the upcoming gaming releases.
Best controller for racing
- Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro
- PowerA FUSION Pro 2
- Xbox Elite Series 2
- Razer Wolverine Ultimate
- Logitech F310
- PS5 DualSense Wireless Controller
Best PlayStation controller for racing – Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro
For example, it comes with replaceable joysticks and four shortcut buttons that should provide more precision and control over your high-speed vehicles.
Moreover, it features an ergonomic design and Bluetooth connectivity so you can lay back and relax whilst racing around your favourite Gran Turismo circuit for example.
Ultimately, we feel the Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro is well worth considering, especially if you game on a PlayStation console.
Best Xbox controller for racing – PowerA FUSION Pro 2
For Xbox gamers, this PowerA FUSION Pro 2 may be better suited for your racing needs.
It comes with PowerA's mappable pro pack, featuring four programmable buttons which you can quickly customise mid-race, plus dual rumble motors and magnetic impulse triggers for added feedback from the race track.
Furthermore, you get adjustable thumbsticks which can be switched from short, tall, and even convex-capped sticks to suit your racing preference to maximise your control.
It's also worth noting the wired connectivity should provide you with zero latency to accurately capture your subtle racing adjustments during wheel-to-wheel action, and is another reason why it makes our list as one of the best.
Best PC controller for racing - Xbox Elite Series 2
As Microsoft are behind both Xbox and the majority of PC software, it makes sense to feature the Xbox Elite Series 2 as it offers a plug-in-and-play experience, ready for you to dive straight into the action.
Xbox boasts the Elite Series 2 has been made using some of the advanced controller technology around, such as shifter-like bumpers where you can adjust their pressure resistance to help you brake later into corners for a more aggressive racing style.
Additionally, with the supplied tool, you can alter the stiffness of the joysticks which should help with the precision of your turning, so you can hit every apex on games like F1 2021 with ease.
All in all, the Xbox Elite Series 2 looks to be a real powerhouse of a controller, especially for PC gaming.
Best premium controller for racing - Razer Wolverine Ultimate
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, the Wolverine Ultimate also includes interchangeable thumbsticks, plus two interchangeable D-Pads to optimise the configuration to suit your racing style.
Ultimately, we feel the Wolverine Ultimate is a good option to consider if you're on the hunt for a premium bit of kit.
Best budget controller for racing - Logitech F310
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 is definitely a great budget option to consider for gaming.
Best official controller for racing - PS5 DualSense Wireless Controller
While custom, pro controllers can be great, sometimes sticking with the original is best which is why the PS5 DualSense controller remains a popular choice.
With the PS5 DualSense you get haptic feedback and adaptive triggers which should help bring your racing games experience to life.
Furthermore, you get an ergonomic grip with a slightly rough texture designed to improve your grip, particularly when in a tense battle for first place.
It's also worth noting that it comes with a built-in mic which is great for when you want to kick pack and race with your friends online.
Latest Controller News
With so many different controllers available, and new ones arriving all the time, we've decided to discuss some of the latest news surrounding the devices so you're fully prepared for any upcoming releases.
Sony rumoured to be developing a pro PS5 controller
Sony is reportedly working on a new "Pro" iteration of its PS5 Dualsense controller.
Although not much is known about the device, the gamepad will likely feature similar technology to Microsoft's Xbox Elite Series 2, which is designed to be the ultimate controller for serious gamers.
Despite rumours the device will be revealed alongside a new INZONE line during Sony's event on 28 June, an insider states that the event will exclusively reveal INZONE. Stay tuned for further updates right here.
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 on games like FH5.
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.
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.
More racing accessories
It's important to get your setup right in order to keep ahead of your rivals. Check out some of our other top racing accessories picks right here to help you build the ultimate racing environment.
- Best headset for racing
- Best monitor for racing
- Best wheels for Xbox Series X
- Best wheels for PS5
- Best racing seats
- Best triple monitor arms for racing
- Best racing gloves
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