The best budget controllers for PC and Xbox in 2023

by MaddOx
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In today’s gaming landscape, having a good controller is essential for an immersive gaming experience. While high-end controllers can be expensive, there are many budget-friendly options that offer great performance at a fraction of the cost. In this article, we will be exploring the best budget controllers for PC and Xbox that come under a budget of £40, so you can get the most out of your gaming experience without breaking the bank.

Whether you’re a casual gamer or a seasoned pro, these budget-friendly options are sure to deliver a satisfying and responsive gaming experience. So, let’s dive in and explore the best budget controllers available on the market today for under £40.

The 5 best budget controllers for PC and Xbox

Nacon Pro Compact

The Nacon Pro Compact controller is an impressive addition to the budget controller market. With its premium design and functionality, it delivers a satisfying gaming experience at a fraction of the cost of some of the more expensive controllers on the market today. Retailing at just under £40, the Nacon Pro Compact is well-priced to deliver excellent value for your money.

One of the standout features of the Nacon Pro Compact is its customisation options. With its companion app, users can remap buttons, adjust sensitivity settings, and even create macros, giving gamers a competitive edge in their gameplay. And with its compatibility with both PC and Xbox, the Nacon Pro Compact is a versatile option for gamers who switch between platforms.

While the cable may be a bit clunky, it’s a minor issue considering the value that the Nacon Pro Compact delivers. Its ergonomic design ensures comfort during long gaming sessions, making it an ideal choice for gamers who are looking for an affordable yet high-quality controller.

Nacon Pro Compact Budget Controller Colorlight

PowerA Spectra Infinity

The PowerA Spectra Infinity controller is a wired gamepad that delivers reliable performance for PC and Xbox gamers. Its standout feature is an attractive light show gimmick that can enhance your gaming experience (because what’s a real gamer without some RGB lighting?). Although it is a wired budget controller, the light show feature may be appealing enough for some gamers to overlook the cable.

At a similar budget to the Nacon Pro Compact coming in at just under £40, the PowerA Spectra Infinity may be considered a bit pricey for a wired controller, especially since it lacks any app-based control for customisation. However, the rear buttons and lighting effects can be manually programmed to suit your preferences, which can make up for the lack of app-based control.

Despite these limitations, the PowerA Spectra Infinity feels as good as a standard Xbox Wireless Controller that retails for nearly £20 more, which is high praise for any third-party gamepad. So, if you’re willing to spend a bit more for the light show gimmick and don’t mind dealing with a cable, the PowerA Spectra Infinity is a reliable option that delivers solid performance for both PC and Xbox gamers.

Turtle Beach REACT-R

The Turtle Beach React-R is a solid budget controller that delivers good value for its price point of around £25. While it has some drawbacks, it is difficult to find a more reliable controller at this price range.

One of the standout features of the Turtle Beach REACT-R is its textured triggers and grips, which offer a comfortable gaming experience even during long sessions. Additionally, the customisable back buttons are simple and convenient to use, making it easy to configure the controller to your preferences.

However, the wire and light weight of the REACT-R may make it feel less premium than some of its more expensive counterparts. While it may not replace your main Xbox controller, it can serve as a great second option for local multiplayer games. It’s definitely not the type of budget controller that you would give to a friend to dominate in a game, but it delivers solid performance and reliability.

Turtle Beach REACT-R budget controllers in black and white


The PDP REMATCH is a well-constructed budget controller that feels solid and comfortable in the hands. The buttons are slightly stiffer than the official controller, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. The finish of the REMATCH is also finer and smoother than that of official controllers, particularly on the thumbsticks, which are so light that they are almost unnoticeable.

One of the standout features of the REMATCH is its durability. The thumb stick grooves on official controllers often wear away over time, but the Rematch is designed to withstand heavy use and is less likely to wear down quickly. This is great when it is a fraction of the cost, retailing for between £25 and £30 depending on the design you go for.

The only drawback of the REMATCH is that the D-pad feels spongy when pressed, which could be an issue in games that require quick and precise movements. However, this is a minor issue and may not be a deal-breaker for many gamers.

The official Xbox wireless controller

And finally, we have a wireless controller after all the others on the list are wired. And wouldn’t you know it, this budget controller is actually the official Xbox wireless controller. However, there is a catch with this, because it only comes in under budget occasionally on places like Amazon, and only in Black or White. Any other colour can cost you up to £20 more.

The Xbox wireless controller actually has an updated design and has been meticulously crafted to provide a more comfortable gaming experience. The controller features sculpted surfaces and refined geometry that fit perfectly in your hands, while the textured grip surface and hybrid D-pad help you stay on target during intense gaming sessions.

One of the standout features of the Xbox Wireless Controller is its ability to be customized to suit your individual needs. Using the Xbox Accessories app, you can easily assign buttons and create custom profiles to make your gaming experience truly your own. In addition, the Xbox Wireless Controller features a 3.5 mm stereo headset jack that allows you to connect compatible headsets and headphones for a more immersive gaming experience.

The controller is also equipped with Xbox Wireless and Bluetooth technology, which enables wireless gaming on supported consoles, Windows 10 PCs, Android smartphones, and tablets. This allows you to enjoy your favourite games without being tethered to a specific device. The downside is, at this price, it requires AA batteries which can provide up to 40 hours of battery life. So if you want a rechargeable battery pack, this will end up breaking the budget.

Official Xbox Wireless Budget Controller

Closing thoughts on the best budget controllers

Finding the perfect budget controller for PC and Xbox can be a daunting task, but the five controllers discussed above offer different options for gamers on a budget.

The Nacon Pro Compact delivers premium features such as customizability and functionality for an affordable price of around £40. The Power-A Spectra Infinity controller, though wired, is reliable and comes with an attractive light show gimmick. The Turtle Beach React-R is a solid device with textured triggers and grips that make long gaming sessions comfortable. The PDP Rematch offers a well-constructed design and a fine finish on the thumb sticks, although the spongy d-pad can be a downside. And the official Xbox wireless controller stands out with its updated design and wireless connectivity.

Regardless of your preference, these budget controllers offer great value for their price point and are worth considering for your gaming needs.

For even more best of articles like this one on budget controllers, check out our Opinion Pieces section.

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