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The Best Steam Deck Controllers in 2023: A Comprehensive Guide

Photo: Xbox
Welcome to our comprehensive guide to the best Steam Deck controllers available in 2023. The Steam Deck, a remarkable handheld gaming console by Valve, has revolutionized the way gamers experience their favorite titles on the go. While the built-in controls are great for portable gaming, there are moments when you’ll want to elevate your gaming experience by connecting an external controller. In this article, we’ll explore a selection of top-tier controllers that can enhance your Steam Deck gaming sessions. Whether you prefer Xbox, PlayStation, or Nintendo controllers, we have you covered with our expert recommendations.

1. Xbox Wireless Controller: Editor’s Choice


The Xbox Wireless Controller stands as our top pick for the best external controller for the Steam Deck. It boasts the same button layout as the Steam Deck, ensuring seamless compatibility. Its ergonomic design and comfortable grip make it a pleasure to use during extended gaming sessions. Additionally, the Xbox Wireless Controller comes in various colors, allowing you to personalize your gaming experience.

2. Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2: Premium Pick

Photo: Xbox

For professional gamers seeking a high-end controller, the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 is the perfect choice. This premium controller features a rubberized grip and extra paddles on the back, allowing for advanced customization. With a rechargeable battery, you won’t have to worry about frequent replacements. The Xbox Elite Controller is an excellent investment for those who demand the utmost precision and control in their gaming.

3. PDP Wired Game Controller: A Great Wired Option


If you prefer a wired controller for your Steam Deck, look no further than the PDP Wired Game Controller. This officially licensed controller by Microsoft offers a layout identical to the Steam Deck’s native controls, complete with rumble support. Its plug-and-play simplicity ensures easy setup, and the comfortable fit guarantees enjoyable gaming sessions.

4. Sony PlayStation DualSense Controller: For PlayStation Fans


PlayStation enthusiasts can opt for the Sony PlayStation DualSense Controller to enhance their Steam Deck gaming experience. Although some games may require additional software customization, the DualSense Controller works seamlessly with the Steam Deck. Its unique features, such as haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, provide an immersive gaming experience that complements PlayStation first-party titles.

5. Nintendo Switch Pro Controller: For Nintendo Fans


The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is an excellent choice for Nintendo fans who love to play older Nintendo games on their Steam Deck via emulation. With its ergonomic grip and intuitive button layout, the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller ensures a comfortable and enjoyable gaming experience. Its impressive battery life of approximately 40 hours per charge is perfect for long gaming sessions.


In conclusion, the Steam Deck opens up a world of gaming possibilities, and the right external controller can elevate your gaming experience to new heights. Based on our expert recommendations, the Xbox Wireless Controller takes the lead as our Editor’s Choice due to its seamless compatibility and ergonomic design. However, if you seek advanced customization and premium features, the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 is worth considering. For PlayStation fans, the Sony PlayStation DualSense Controller offers immersive gaming experiences, while Nintendo enthusiasts will find joy in the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller’s ergonomic design and impressive battery life. No matter your gaming preferences, one thing is certain: the best Steam Deck controllers listed here will undoubtedly enhance your gaming adventures. So, choose your ideal controller, connect it to your Steam Deck, and immerse yourself in the captivating world of gaming, whether on-the-go or docked. Remember, the choice of the right controller is subjective, and the key is to f
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