The Best Gaming Controller for a Macbook Laptop


best macbook gaming controller header

Are you a gamer who is looking for a way to play your favorite games with ease? Macbooks are laptops that offer a lot of value and options for users, primarily due to their variety of features. Macbooks are highly recommended among the gaming community and even offer cutting edge professional graphics cards to enhance the gaming experience.

You can play games in high resolution to get the best experience possible with a versatile Macbook. You will also benefit from Macbooks' solid-state drive, which makes it a leader among laptops. Not only can you play with enriched graphics, but you can get the power you need when you need it most.

You may be surprised to know that there are numerous controllers to choose from for your Macbook. Whether you are more focused on price, compatibility, design, or quality, you have options. Here is a review of some of the leading gaming controllers on the market.

Microsoft Xbox One Controller

This gaming controller is one of the easier ones to set up and gets extra points because of how versatile and compatible it is. You can customize the Xbox One Controller so that it fits your needs and allows you to switch between controls for different games. It gives you the same controls that you are used to when playing other consoles (like the Xbox One!) and is available with an attached USB cable or it can be used wirelessly.

Xbox Wireless Controller - Black
16,703 Reviews
Xbox Wireless Controller - Black
  • Compatible with Xbox One X, Xbox One S, Xbox One, Windows 10
  • Includes Bluetooth technology for gaming on Windows 10 PCs and tablets
  • Stay on target with textured grip
  • Get upto twice the wireless range compared to previous Xbox One controllers (tested using the Xbox One S console)
  • Experience the enhanced comfort and feel of the new Xbox wireless controller

Steam Controller

This is one of the most advanced, compatible, and user-friendly gaming controllers that works on games for all different consoles and games that require just a mouse and keypad. You can get precise controls with its dual-stage triggers and trackpads. It comes built with HD haptic feedback, grip buttons, and fully-customizable control schemes to meet your needs and preferences.

Steam Controller
4,058 Reviews
Steam Controller
  • Experience a new level of precise control for your favorite games. The Steam Controller lets you play your entire collection of Steam games on your TV-even the ones designed without controller support...
  • Features dual trackpads, HD haptic feedback, dual-stage triggers, back grip buttons, and fully-customizable control schemes. Find your favorite mappings in the Steam Community, or create and share...
  • Dual trackpads allow for 1:1 absolute position input via virtual controls like a trackball, adaptive centering joystick, or steering wheel
  • Dual-stage triggers can be used as analog, digital, or both types of input at the same time. Put your iron-sights on the sweep-in, and then fire with the reliable feel of a tactile switch, all on the...
  • Each of the Steam Controller's input zones and buttons has been positioned based on frequency of use, required precision, and ergonomic comfort.

Sony DualShock 4 Wireless Controller

This controller connects to your laptop with ease thanks to its wireless connectivity options utilizing Bluetooth. It can also be wired via a Micro-USB cable. It fits in averaged sized hands comfortably and allows you to traverse the controls without thinking about it. The DualShock 4 also comes equipped with haptic feedback so you can really get into the game you are playing. On the flip side, this controller is not very compatible and does not work with most games on OSX, macOS, or your Mac. Even though, this is still an affordable controller that can complement your setup and allow you to play comfortably for hours.

DualShock 4 Wireless Controller for PlayStation 4 - Gold
70,861 Reviews
DualShock 4 Wireless Controller for PlayStation 4 - Gold
  • The DualShock 4 Wireless Controller for PlayStation 4 defines this generation of play, combining revolutionary features and comfort with intuitive, precision controls
  • Enhanced analog sticks and trigger buttons offer unrivaled control across all titles
  • Innovative features like the touch pad, integrated light bar, built in speaker enable exciting ways to experience your games
  • Note: Kindly refer to the user manual provided as a PDF manual in the product description section

Logitech F310 Gamepad

Logitech is one of the top tier brands when it comes to tech equipment such as mice, keyboard, and of course, controllers. The Logitech F310 is a wired controller (USB), which is one of the best in the Logitech controller’s lineup. It features a "traditional" controller layout which is similar to your regular Xbox or PS4 controller layout. It also has excellent compatibility with a lot of games, and even goes well with games on your Android TV. You also have the option to bind keys to customize and adapt it to your liking. The Logitech F310 Gamepad is a perfect product for the price.

Retro - Bit 8Bitdo RB8 - 64 Wireless Bluetooth N64 Styled Controller

If you want to game in style with a more retro, traditional controller from the popular Nintendo64, consider using this model that is widely compatible with different consoles and devices. It has a 6-foot cable and supports Bluetooth and USB connections to keep you connected and playing with ease. This model offers dual mode options where you can play with a joystick or touch screen simulator to be more interactive with your games for an affordable price.

8Bitdo SF30 2.4G Wireless Controller Double-Pack Bundle with Bonus Carrying Cases - NES, SNES, SFC Classic Edition
53 Reviews
8Bitdo SF30 2.4G Wireless Controller Double-Pack Bundle with Bonus Carrying Cases - NES, SNES, SFC Classic Edition
  • Exclusive Geek Theory Bundle.
  • Play your NES, Super SNES and SFC Classic Edition wirelessly with 8Bitdo’s new 2.4G controllers for Nintendo’s SNES and SFC Classic Edition consoles. Plug and play. No lag. Rechargeable lithium...
  • Includes 2x 8Bitdo SF30 2.4G Classic Wireless Game Controller with 2x Classic Receiver Adapter & 2x Geek Theory 8Bitdo Carrying Case!
  • Compatible with NES, SFC & SNES Classic

GameSir G3s Bluetooth Wireless Controller

There is no controller on the market quite like this multi-platform model that is highly compatible with your favorite devices so that you can access your games anywhere. It offers high sensitivity and accuracy so that you don't miss a second of your game and even utilizes a 32-bit MCU chip that has a peak computing power of up to 48 million times per second. The Realtek Bluetooth solution allows you to automatically connect and jump right into your game with ease.

GameSir T1s Gaming Controller 2.4G Wireless Gamepad for Android Smartphone Tablet/ PC Windows/ Steam/ Samsung VR/ TV Box/ PS3 - Android
827 Reviews
GameSir T1s Gaming Controller 2.4G Wireless Gamepad for Android Smartphone Tablet/ PC Windows/ Steam/ Samsung VR/ TV Box/ PS3 - Android
  • Compatible with 2.4Ghz Wireless / wired USB connection, working great with Android 4.0/Windows 7 and later versions, applicable to Android smart phones/ tablets/ TV BOX, Windows PC, Steam, PS3
  • Pressure sensitive D-pad; 360-degree without- dead zone analog joysticks of high sensibility; unique design of triggers R2 / L2
  • Realistic vibration and striking, each hit, crash and explosion can be vividly felt; Turbo function enables to have more efficient gaming experience, relieve fatigue of your hands.
  • Built-in bracket with two adjustable angles (Multi-Angle, 110 degrees & 150 degrees) can be used as an individual mobile holder for 3.5~6-inch smartphones.
  • Support MOBA/PUBG games via download the latest version of GameSir world from our official website or purchase GameSir A2 remapper tool on android phone, improve your gaming experience on mobile...

Thrustmaster T-Flight Hotas X Flight Stick

There are many user-friendly features that were built into this gaming controller with avid gamers in mind. It has a rotating handle, wide hand-rest, and high-precision joystick for your comfort and is highly programmable with 12 buttons and 5 axles. You can get the best out of your games with this detachable, realistic sized ergonomically-designed controller with a throttle control for high-intensity gaming.

Thrustmaster T-Flight Hotas X Flight Stick (PS3 & PC)
5,166 Reviews
Thrustmaster T-Flight Hotas X Flight Stick (PS3 & PC)
  • Wide hand-rest for optimal comfort
  • Programmable: the 12 buttons and 5 axles are entirely programmable
  • Dual-system aerodynamic control: by rotating handle (with integrated blocking system) or by progressive tilting lever
  • Internal memory: to save all of your programming, even with the joystick disconnected
  • High-precision joystick with adjustable resistance

Retro-Link Wired NES Style USB Controller

Have fun playing your favorite games while reliving the olden days with the NES experience that you have been longing for. You can connect this gaming controller to any computer, Mac, or USB port and all of the buttons can be configured to your playing preferences. It has a simple yet comfortable design that lets you access all the buttons at your leisure.

Retro-Link Wired NES Style USB Controller
76 Reviews
Retro-Link Wired NES Style USB Controller
  • Play on any PC or MAC with a USB port
  • All buttons can be configured
  • relive the NES experience on today's games.

Choosing the Best Gaming Controller

When you want the best bang for your buck when gaming on your Mac, you can choose between all of the added features of these game controllers to find exactly what will meet your needs. Whether it is design, price, or compatibility, you will find that these game controllers give you the flexibility that you demand at a modest price. With this being said, you can compare features, prices and identify what you need to advance your gaming to the next level.

If you are willing to spend a bit more money, the Apple MFi Certified Bluetooth Gamepad is ideal for you because it provides the control you dream of to play games smoothly. However, if you are going for strictly price and design, you will enjoy the simple yet durable NES style USB controller, modeled after the classic NES console. The choice of what game controller will best complement your games and gaming style is solely up to you as the power is literally in your hands.

Mike Roberts

Hi, my name is Mike and I made this site to document all the helpful tips and tricks that I've discovered using various Apple Macs and other Apple products over the years, as well as to provide more general guides in relation to using the internet. I've been obsessed with Apple products ever since I could afford my first iPod, and am somewhat of a fanboy (you might have guessed). For me, the simply work without any fuss, issues or errors. I can rely on their products. The build quality is excellent and I even have several, several-year-old Macbooks in my wardrobe that are still humming along fine (just a bit slower). You can contact me personally using the form on this page.

8 Comments

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  1. I have a couple of the retro SNES controllers and they are awesome when emulating old games. As for a traditional controller, I’m torn between the Xbox and Steam controller. I’m not sure if I’d enjoy the Steam controller without the traditional analog sticks. If only I could try before buying.

  2. I wanted to love the Steam controller but I just can’t get used to it. I’ve been using the PlayStation controller since I was a child and I guess I’m just too used to it, the button layout is simply better than anything else on offer. I do recommend getting an older style controller if you want to play older games, though.

  3. The Steam controller can be quite jarring at first but after a while you get used to it. Actually, it’s really nice to game on and now I don’t miss the traditional analog sticks at all. It’s my most used controller and I only switch to a NES for N64 controller when playing games on those consoles.

  4. I’ve always liked using the Xbox controllers, I just never bought official one. The cheaper knock-offs work well despite feeling less well built. I’m waiting for a cheaper Steam controller to come out, I had a chance to use it at a friends house and it’s really quite good. Very ergonomic design.

  5. I’ve always loved the Xbox 360 controller, it’s ergonomically perfect in my opinion. The Xbox One controller is step down as far as analog sticks are concerned. Also, that Thrustmaster stick looks really nice! I want to get into flight simulators so I’ve been keeping an eye out for something like that.

  6. The best gaming controller is probably the one you grew up with unless it was an N64 controller! Those were terrible. My personal favorite has always been the Super Nintendo controller. It works really well for the games I play which are usually older titles from the 90s. For more modern games with simple control schemes, it’s also great.