Jump To Top


Best Project XCloud Controller: Elite-Style Controllers, Retro Pads, And More

Xbox’s Project xCloud preview has come to an end to make way for the official launch on September 15. Starting then, anyone with an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription will be able to play Xbox games on their Android smartphone or tablet. However, you’ll need a controller if you want to experience gaming over the cloud, and there are a lot of different choices to consider, from official pads that require mobile controller clips to third-party ones that don’t.

Thankfully, a lot of these options are quite good, providing unique but great experiences between each other. If you’re looking for something akin to console and PC gaming, then there are a number of pads that provide that experience. However, there are also a couple that can turn your Android smartphone into a handheld like the Nintendo Switch, making portability easy and fun. That’s why we’ve tested and identified the best controllers for use with xCloud on our Android phones.

We’ll keep this article updated as we test more controllers, clips, and devices, but in the meantime, read on for our current overview of the best xCloud controllers out there. Please note that the prices listed below indicate the regular price and don’t reflect any current discounts or fluctuations. Amazon tends to discount products regularly, so you may be able to snag any of these controllers for a great price if you’re patient.

Quick: the best Project xCloud controllers

  • Xbox One controller — $60
  • Xbox One Elite Series 2 controller — $180
  • Razer Raiju Mobile — $150
  • Razer Junglecat — $100
  • Razer Kishi — $80
  • 8Bitdo SN30 Pro — $45

The best standard controller

Xbox One controller

The Good

  • All of xCloud’s games are designed with this controller in mind
  • Affordable price
  • Long battery life powered by two AA’s

The Bad

  • Requires a controller clip

The Xbox One controller is probably the most obvious choice for Project xCloud, though you will need a controller clip for the best experience. All of xCloud’s games were designed with the Xbox One controller in mind, meaning it will work perfectly with every title, including those that utilize the analog triggers like racing games. A big bonus is that if you’re an Xbox Game Pass subscriber, you likely already own an Xbox One controller and are good to go.

The best premium controller

Xbox One Elite Series 2 controller

The Good

  • Premium build quality
  • Comfortable hand grips
  • Remappable back paddles
  • Interchangeable thumbsticks
  • Adjustable analog stick tension
  • Up to 40 hours of battery life

The Bad

  • Expensive
  • Interchangeable parts may be easy to lose

The Xbox One Elite Series 2 controller has the most premium feel of any controller out there with its incredible build quality, clicky home button, and excellent hand and trigger grips. It features two different trigger stop positions, a number of interchangeable back paddles and parts, and adjustable analog stick tension–perhaps my favourite aspect of the controller is the included Xbox 360-size thumbsticks. The Elite Series 2 pad also features three profiles that you can save your back paddle’s mappings to, making it easy to change on the fly when you switch between games.

Unfortunately, it can be easy to lose the interchangeable thumbsticks, making it a risky option for bringing with you on the go. Despite this, the Xbox Elite Series 2 controller is one of the best controllers I’ve ever used, and thanks to its Xbox Series X compatibility, it’s one that’s well worth buying. You may just not want to bring it with you on your commute.

The best all-in-one controller

Razer Raiju Mobile

The Good

  • Full-sized controller that works great with all games
  • Remappable back and shoulder buttons
  • Built-in adjustable phone clip
  • Satisfying, tactile buttons
  • Also works with PC
  • Up to 23 hours of battery life

The Bad

  • Expensive
  • Incompatible with Xbox consoles

Razer’s Raiju Mobile is an Elite-style controller that has a phone clip built into its chassis. The clip is adjustable and holds your phone in place while the Raiju Mobile connects via Bluetooth. This is an excellent all-in-one option that feels solid enough to survive commutes and road trips. The controller works well on PC, and it’s just as delightful when connected to a mobile device.

In addition to the basics, you’re able to customize the included back paddles and extra shoulder buttons. You can remap any function on the controller to these buttons, making it easy to keep your thumbs on the sticks when you need to reload or perform another action. You can also activate the trigger stops to shorten the throw of the Raiju Mobile’s triggers.

The best portable controller

Razer Junglecat

The Good

  • Attractive Nintendo Switch-like design
  • Very portable
  • Satisfying, clicky buttons
  • Quick and easy Bluetooth connection
  • 100+ hours of battery life

The Bad

  • Phone cases only compatible with a limited number of phones
  • Digital trigger buttons aren’t great for some games
  • Small size can take some getting used to
  • Incompatible with Xbox consoles

The Razer Junglecat is the closest thing you’ll get to the Nintendo Switch with your Android phone. The Junglecat controllers clip into the side of its phone case–much like the Switch’s Joy-Cons–then connect via Bluetooth. And after the first time you connect them to your phone, it’s quick and easy to reconnect them.

The controllers also feel very similar to Joy-Cons, especially the analog sticks that resemble what we see on the Switch. The D-pad is more similar to the DualShock in shape, though it is segmented into four different buttons. These buttons are satisfyingly clicky, as are the bumpers and triggers. They’re a little tricky to get used to when playing Xbox One games–and unfortunately, the triggers aren’t analog–but once you become accustomed to the smaller size, they’re an incredible portable controller option.

While the Junglecat controllers can connect to any compatible device, they only come with cases that fit a limited number of phones. At the moment, Razer sells Junglecat cases for the Razer Phone 2, Huawei P30 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S10+, and Galaxy Note 9.

The best Android controller

Razer Kishi

The Good

  • Great-feeling analog sticks
  • Analog triggers work great with all games
  • USB-C connection allows for low-latency play
  • Compatible with most Android phones
  • Doesn’t require charging
  • Features a USB-C port for phone charging

The Bad

  • USB-C port doesn’t work with USB-C headphones
  • Mushy buttons make it feel less premium than other Razer controllers
  • Incompatible with Xbox consoles

Razer’s latest mobile controller is similar to the Junglecat in that it turns your phone into something that looks more like a Nintendo Switch. However, it is compatible with a larger number of phones, making it much easier to recommend. While Razer’s other two mobile controllers connect via Bluetooth, the Razer Kishi plugs directly into your phone’s USB-C port. All you need to do is adjust the strap, plug your phone into the Kishi, and start playing. The Kishi doesn’t require charging and runs off of your phone’s battery. Thankfully, it has a USB-C port of its own that allows for the charging of your phone while you’re playing.

As a controller, the Kishi has the same capabilities of a regular Xbox One controller, including analog triggers. The buttons and D-pad aren’t as satisfying to press as the Junglecat, feeling a little mushy, but they still work well with every game. The analog sticks also feel more similar to a standard Xbox One controller than the Junglecat, making them a bit more accurate and comfortable. With everything considered, the Razer Kishi doesn’t feel as premium as Razer’s other controllers, but it’s still a great pad for xCloud gaming.

Best retro controller

8Bitdo SN30 Pro

The Good

  • SNES design is a classic for a reason
  • Great-feeling analog sticks and shoulder buttons
  • Up to 16 hours of battery life
  • Features remapping and customization via software
  • Comes with controller clip

The Bad

  • Incompatible with Xbox consoles

8Bitdo makes excellent pads, including some of our all-time favourite controllers. All of its Bluetooth controllers are compatible with Android phones and will work with xCloud, but the retro controller company is planning to release a controller made specifically for Xbox’s streaming service.

The special Xbox SN30 Pro features the same design as 8Bitdo’s standard SN30 Pro, which resembles a SNES controller. Adding on to the SNES’s classic layout, it features triggers, analog sticks, and the Xbox One’s menu buttons. It also comes with a controller clip that makes using this controller with your phone much easier. If you’re a fan of the SNES controller’s iconic shape, then the 8Bitdo SN30 Pro surely won’t disappoint. The Xbox version releases September 21.

Best controller clips for mobile phones

8Bitdo mobile gaming clip

PowerA MOGA mobile gaming clip

Wepigeek mobile gaming clip

Jovitec mobile gaming clip

More Tech Picks From GameSpot

  • The Best Nintendo Switch Controllers You Can Buy
  • The Best VR Headsets In 2020
  • The Best Budget Monitors Under $200
  • The Best Gaming Laptops In 2020
  • The Best Gaming Keyboards In 2020

Source: Read Full Article