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8 gamepads for Android phones

Gone are the days when Tetris clones, FarmVille and Pac-Man were at the top of the Google Play Store. Today, Google's operating system boasts a large game library that rivals some home consoles. Geometry Wars 3, Minecraft, Hearthstone and remastered versions of games from the Grand Theft Auto collections are what you can now install on your smartphone. And if you're playing on a phone, you might want to use a gamepad for that. We will talk about them today!

Not all games work equally well on touch screens. Controller-inspired remastered versions of Tomb Raider and Geometry Wars 3 respond much better to physical buttons. Any gamer who has wandered the streets of Vice City or the corridors of Croft Manor will tell you that analog sticks give immeasurably more accuracy than fingers on a smudged smartphone screen. We have prepared a list of the best gamepads for smartphones. All of them cost around 2500 rubles.

Moga Hero Power

Let Moga Hero Power and not the cheapest of gamepads for Android devices, but it has undeniable advantages. This full-size gadget boasts a rounded, ergonomic design with a nice texture that provides a firm grip without feeling flimsy like some of the competition.

The navigation layout is typical of a dual analog design, with a start + select button on the front and two sticks, one above the other to make room for the D-pad. On the right are four action buttons in a diamond-shaped layout, on the back are two shoulder buttons and two triggers.

Perhaps the biggest plus of Moga Hero Power is the built-in 2200 mAh battery that connects to your phone via a Micro USB cable and charges it while you play. This solution is not unique, but this model is the owner of the largest battery among all known competitors.

Pyrus Telescopic

In contrast to all-in-one console solutions desperately trying to cram every button, trigger, and joystick into one device, the Pyrus Telescopic comes in two pieces: one attaches to the left side of the smartphone, the other to the right. The end result looks like a Nintendo Switch hybrid console, only on a larger scale.

Despite the relatively small surface area, the Pyrus Telescopic controller is quite functional. The two-piece gamepad is packed with launch and selector buttons, two joysticks (one on each side), a D-pad and four action buttons.

The Pyrus Telescopic sliding mechanism accommodates smartphones up to 6.1" in size, and its 350 mAh battery lasts up to 8 hours on a single charge when connected via Bluetooth. But one of the nicest things about the Pyrus Telescopic is its built-in mode switch: with the click of a button, you can switch button configurations between gamepad mode, keyboard input, and arcade mode.

8Bitdo Zero

gamepads of the Super Nintendo era. 8Bitdo Zero gracefully complements the retro aesthetic with a matte gray finish, a stylish protective case, and holds all the programmable buttons that a retro rpg lover could possibly need.

However, this gadget is not suitable for everyone. It's a little small (about the size of a keychain) and weighs only 18 grams, has navigation that includes a D-pad, Start and Select buttons, four action buttons and two trigger buttons.

8bitdo comes with a snap-on bracket that easily attaches to most Android and iOS devices, and a built-in 180mAh battery that can last 18 hours on a single charge.

iPega PG-9017S

iPega PG-9017S allows you to connect tablets up to 10”, and its 380 mAh battery charges connected smartphones between gaming sessions. The gamepad works via Bluetooth at a distance of up to 8 meters. A special battery saver mode that activates when the controller is not in use provides up to 100 hours of standby time or 2 hours of active play.

The layout of the controls on the iPega is not to everyone's taste. Two parallel joysticks are short and not the best shape. However, iPega has one indisputable argument in its favor - an acceptable price. If you close your eyes to some cons, then $ 20 is a small price to pay for such a compromise.

The SteelSeries Stratus XL

The SteelSeries Stratus XL boasts a great control system. Here you'll find dual textured joysticks, a D-pad, four event buttons, a four-LED array, triggers and shoulder buttons, and three front-facing buttons that can be mapped to Android's home and back navigation.

However, the gamepad is far from perfect. The Stratus XL does not have a built-in holder - you will have to look for a support to rest your smartphone on. It doesn't have a battery either. Communication is maintained via Bluetooth. The absence of a built-in battery is compensated by energy efficiency: on two AA batteries, according to the manufacturer, the device will provide up to 40 hours of play.

Matricom G-Pad XYBA

Matricom G-Pad XYBA does not look as stylish as its competitors, but in many other ways points he wins. It is very easy to set up, compatible with most devices and can run for hours on a single charge.

Matricom navigation includes two joysticks in a parallel layout (similar to Sony's DualShock), a D-pad in the left corner. The space on the right and in the center is occupied by four action buttons, including the start, select, power off buttons and the LED power indicator button.

Quite unique to the Matricom is the presence of feedback motors that pulse in response to what is happening on the screen. If there are negative points, then this is the lack of a stand for a smartphone. However, given the price-performance ratio, this disadvantage can be considered a minor disadvantage.

Razer Serval

Not surprisingly, Razer has released a pretty decent gamepad for Android. We are talking about the Serval model with a unique textured handle and thoughtful design that prevent the gadget from flying out of your hands during especially intense gaming sessions.

The controls are traditional, with a joystick and D-pad on the left, and a secondary joystick + four action buttons on the right. Two shoulder and two trigger buttons occupy the rear space along with programmable front and physical back and home buttons.

Serval does not have a rechargeable battery - it runs on two AA batteries. But it has an adjustable clamp for a smartphone, as well as two modes of operation: via Bluetooth and Micro USB. Unlike most gamepads on our list, it can store up to four unique device configurations in memory, which makes it very easy to connect multiple smartphones to it.

Satechi Bluetooth Wireless Gamepad

Satechi's controls are represented by 14 buttons arranged like the Xbox. The joysticks are offset: the one on the left takes a higher position than the one on the right. Located on the right side are four action buttons with fonts and colors strongly reminiscent of the Xbox. There are special control modes and a clip for a phone on a spring.

But there is one drawback - its internal battery is only 220 mAh, although Satechi claims that with the battery saver option enabled, it can last more than 10 hours in standby mode.

About connecting gamepads

Devices running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and later support game controllers by by default. However, that doesn't mean you're out of luck if you have an older version. Most gamepads will install on earlier devices quite well.

However, even if the phone has the latest version of Android, it does not mean that you will not encounter problems. Some games do not take full advantage of the API that the controller is connected to and therefore do not respond properly to buttons. Fortunately, there is a third-party application Tincore Keymapper that allows you to remap the functions of keys, buttons and much more.