Best Controller for Rocket League

Playing rocket league with a dedicated controller is an entirely different experience, period. Just like pretty much every racing game in existence, rocket league is more suited for controllers than a keyboard and mouse combo.

In this guide, we’ll help you pinpoint the best controller for rocket league.

At a Glance:

  1. PlayStation 5 DualSense – Best Overall
  2. Xbox Core Controller – Runner-Up
  3. Steam Controller – Best for Steam Users
  4. Nintendo Switch Pro Controller – Best Design
  5. Razer Raiju Ultimate – Best Customizability
  6. Xbox One Controller – Value Pick
  7. Razer Wolverine – Best Controls
  8. Elite Series 2 Controller – Premium Pick
  9. DualShock 4 – Budget Pick

The 9 Best Rocket League Controllers in 2021

1. PlayStation 5 DualSense – Best Overall

The Sony PlayStation 5 DualSense controller has all the bells and whistles you could ask for in a controller, especially for rocket league. 

The latest generation DualSense controller boasts adaptive triggers that let you feel the varying force and tension levels, like when you hit the brakes. And with haptic feedback, you get responsive feedback to the in-game environmental changes, thanks to the dual actuators.

On top of that, the DualSense controller is equipped with a microphone and headset jack, allowing you to chat with your friends and teammates online. You can either use the built-in mic or connect your own headset to chat.

We also love the “Create” button that enables you to take in-game screenshots and videos. Plus, you can change the faceplate into a different-colored one whenever you feel like it!

What We Like

  • Excellent haptic response feedback 
  • Built-in mic and headset jack
  • Adaptive triggers
  • Interchangeable faceplates
  • Allows for easy screenshot and video capturing

What We Don’t Like

  • A bit heavy
  • Battery endurance isn’t that impressive

Bottom Line

If you want to play Rocket League while also getting a feel of the latest generation console from Sony, the PlayStation 5 DualSense controller would be an excellent choice for you. This is hands down the best controller for rocket league.

2. Xbox Core Controller – Runner-Up

The Xbox Core’s design is one of our favorites. The directional pad, coupled with the textured bumpers, triggers, and back-case, provides a tremendous grip and a genuine feel.

One of the features that make the Xbox Core controller stand out from the crowd is its extra-long battery life. This controller can give you up to 40 hours of playing time on a single charge, meaning that you can comfortably use it for a week or so without having to charge it.

Additionally, the Core controller has a “Share” button that enables you to capture and share your greatest rocket league moments easily. Not to mention, it has a built-in 3.5mm headphone jack for in-game chatting.

It’s also worth noting that the Xbox Core controller offers the best compatibility for Windows 10 computers since, well, both products are made by Microsoft. In addition, connecting it to your computer will be a breeze using the built-in Bluetooth driver.

You can also download the Xbox Accessories App for custom button remapping.

What We Like

  • Excellent battery endurance
  • Looks and feels nice
  • Has a “Share” button
  • Excellent compatibility with Windows PCs
  • Rubberized grips

What We Don’t Like

  • Limited customization

Bottom Line

The good old Xbox Core controller that we all love and cherish makes a great controller for rocket league. 

3. Steam Controller – Best for Steam Users

This Steam Controller is designed specifically for the games available on Steam. You can use it to control any game on the platform, even those that don’t have native controller compatibility. 

The design and button placements of the Steam controller are different from controllers used in popular consoles like PlayStation and Xbox, so it’ll probably take a while for you to get used to it. 

Nevertheless, we appreciate the button placements as they’re positioned based on the required precision, frequency of use, and comfort.

This controller has unique dual trackpads that enable you to input accurate 1:1 race directions in Rocket League with a virtual adaptive centering joystick, trackball, or steering wheel. 

What’s more, the Steam controller is equipped with digital and analog dual-stage triggers. You can even use both at the same time. 

The cherry on top is the exceptional battery that provides you with up to 70 hours of continuous playtime on a single charge. 

What We Like

  • Dual trackpads with virtual controls
  • Great battery life
  • Ergonomic design

What We Don’t Like

  • Button placement may take a while to get used to

Bottom Line

With excellent button placements, dual trackpads, and universal support, the Steam controller makes a great controller for rocket league. 

4. Nintendo Switch Pro Controller – Best Design

If there were an award for the coolest controller design, we’d give it to the Nintendo Switch Pro controller. This badass controller comes in two color options: black and a special Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Edition. The Xenoblade version features a black and red color scheme with unique artwork from the game on the faceplate. 

The button placement and overall shape of the Switch Pro controller aren’t that different from the Xbox Core controller. This is a good thing if you’re used to the Xbox controller. 

The analog sticks are asymmetrical, but they definitely feel great when playing Rocket League. You’ll be able to steer your vehicle precisely with the left analog stick and nail every corner of the track.

And just like other controllers from Nintendo, the Switch Pro integrates motion controls for games that support them.

The buttons are raised a bit high, but surprisingly, responsiveness isn’t affected at all. All it takes is a slight press, and your commands will be translated into in-game actions right away.

The Switch Pro has a built-in rechargeable battery that can provide you with up to 40 hours of gameplay. That’s quite impressive, considering that some controllers out there last for around 10 hours.

Charging the controller takes around 6 hours, so you can leave it charging overnight and wake up with a fully-charged Switch Pro. 

What We Like

  • Stylish and durable design
  • Great thumbsticks
  • Good battery endurance
  • Excellent responsiveness

What We Don’t Like

  • A bit overpriced for what it offers

Bottom Line

The Nintendo Switch Pro is a cool-looking controller for rocket league with the top-notch build quality and unmatched responsiveness. 

5. Razer Raiju Ultimate – Best Customizability

The Razer Raiju Ultimate is a PlayStation-certified controller that has an Xbox-like design. The handles are thicker and shorter, but the entire footprint of the controller is larger. It’s a good choice for those who are used to the Xbox controller but own a PlayStation or like the PlayStation controller button layout. 

Additionally, it flaunts Interchangeable thumbsticks, a D-pad, and a quick control panel that you can customize to your liking. It also has a set of mecha-tactile action buttons with a soft cushioned touch.

One thing that makes the Razer Raiju an attractive option is its enhanced App configuration options that allow for advanced customization. Plus, the Raiju can be used wirelessly or wired, giving you the best of both worlds.

Further, it has an RGB chrome strip to immerse you into the game. As for endurance, the Raiju’s battery has enough juice for up to 11 hours of continuous gameplay, which should be enough for a full day of gaming. 

What We Like

  • Chrome lights
  • Configurable buttons
  • Wireless or wired gaming
  • Mecha-tactical action buttons
  • Ergonomic design

What We Don’t Like

  • Battery endurance could be better

Bottom Line

With lots of personalization choices, the Razer Raiju Ultimate can be a Rocket League gamer’s best friend. 

6. Xbox One Controller – Value Pick

The Xbox One controller is the standard controller that comes with the Xbox One, and while it has no special features, it’s an excellent choice for anyone who wants a controller that just works.

This controller is textured, and it feels great to hold. So you can play games for many straight hours without straining your hands. 

Another noteworthy feature is the extended wireless range that goes up to 40 feet. So you can sit in another room and still be able to control your vehicle in Rocket League, provided that there aren’t any big obstacles between the controller and the computer or console.

What’s more, the Xbox app allows you to map the buttons as you like for the ultimate customization.

Also, the analog sticks aren’t placed next to each other, just like many of the recent Xbox controllers. But we do think that this placement works great with Rocket League.

When it comes to battery, almost all Xbox One controllers offer around 30 hours of continuous gameplay time. This should be enough for most gamers as you can easily let it charge overnight whenever it’s about to disconnect.

What We Like

  • Textured grip
  • Long wireless range
  • Great battery 
  • Custom remappable buttons with the Xbox Accessories app
  • Ergonomic design and button placement

What We Don’t Like

  • Noisy D-pad
  • Awkward shoulder buttons

Bottom Line

The Xbox One controller boasts excellent battery longevity, versatile button customization, and an impressive wireless range. 

7. Razer Wolverine – Best Controls

The Razer Wolverine is yet another Xbox gamepad alternative that has many tricks up its sleeve for Rocket League players. This customizable controller integrates four remappable multi-function buttons, allowing you to customize it according to the game and your style of play. You also get a set of Mecha-Tactile action buttons. 

Moreover, the Wolverine wireless controller is equipped with trigger stops. You can use the hair-trigger mode to reduce the travel distance for the ultimate competitive advantage. You’ll also be able to execute commands with a very slight press on the stop switches. After all, every millisecond matters when you’re trying to claim first place in Rocket League. 

The Non-Slip Rubber texture provides a fantastic grip, ensuring that you never miss a button press. Oh, and if cool RGB lights are your cup of tea, the Wolverine controller integrates a Chrome Lighting strip on the top panel to complement your gaming rig. 

As for battery life, the Wolverine controller’s endurance rating is comparable to the original Xbox controller. So you can easily get a few days of gaming out of it on a single charge. 

And just like all Microsoft-certified controllers, the Wolverine pairs nicely with Windows computers. You won’t spend a long time figuring out how to connect or configure it. 

What We Like

  • Stylish design with chrome lighting
  • Has trigger stops for maximum sensitivity 
  • Good grip
  • Comfortable button layout
  • Four multifunctional buttons
  • Good battery life 

What We Don’t Like

  • Slippery analog sticks

Bottom Line

It’s hard not to recommend the Razer Wolverine controller with its ergonomic button layout, premium materials, and trigger stops.

8. Elite Series 2 Controller – Premium Pick

The Xbox Elite Series 2 wireless controller is an upgrade over the basic Xbox Core controller, with a premium build that complements its excellent functionality. Both models share many similarities, like custom button mapping. 

However, the Elite Series 2 kicks it up a notch by bringing in lots of new additions. For instance, it features interchangeable paddles that you can switch between depending on the game. It already comes with four extra paddles in the box: two mini and two medium ones.

Aesthetics is another area where the Series 2 controller shines. It has a rubberized grip, which adds up to the experience. The overall shape and contour of the controller are ergonomically pleasant. You can play games for hours without straining your fingers or hands. 

Another notable feature is the built-in rechargeable battery. Unlike previous generations of Xbox controllers, this controller doesn’t require the Xbox One Play & Charge Kit or AA batteries. Instead, you can conveniently recharge it with the USB port or a charging dock. 

The cherry on top is that the Elite Series 2 controller comes with swappable components, taking your customization game to the next level. 

What We Like

  • Interchangeable paddles
  • Durable design
  • Swappable components 
  • Comfortable grip
  • Built-in rechargeable battery

What We Don’t Like

  • Gets dirty quickly
  • Somewhat expensive

Bottom Line

If conventional Xbox controllers seem too basic for you, the Xbox Elite Series 2 customizable controller leaves little to be desired with lots of customization options. 

9. DualShock 4 – Best Budget

We couldn’t finish off this guide without including the classic DualShock 4. This PlayStation 4 controller can be paired up with Windows computers easily via Bluetooth or USB. However, you need to use a third-party software, like “DS4Windows,” for button mapping.

Setting that aside, the DualShock 4 has two analog sticks for handling your vehicle in Rocket League. Plus, the lower triggers enable you to control the vehicle’s speed with variable travel distances. 

What’s more, it has a multitouch touchpad that gives you more ways to control your vehicle in the game. You can even use it as a mouse on your Windows computer. Plus, the controller is equipped with a built-in speaker and a headphone jack. There’s also a “Share” button that lets you take screenshots and record gameplay footage with minimal effort.

The only downside of this wireless controller is battery life. Its battery lasts a maximum of 7-8 hours on a single charge, which is considered below average.

What We Like

  • Affordable
  • Familiar button placement
  • Haptic feedback
  • Share button for easy content capturing and streaming
  • LED light bar

What We Don’t Like

  • Poor battery life
  • Limited customization

Bottom Line

While the DualShock 4 was succeeded by the new DualSense controller, it’s still the best controller for those on a tight budget. 

How to Pick the Best Controller for Rocket League?

Here are some tips and tricks that you need to take note of when shopping for rocket league controllers: 

Grip

Controllers come in a wide variety of shapes, which change how they feel in hand. If you’re used to a specific controller design, like the Sony DualShock controller, you might want to stick to controllers that have the same size and button placements.

Customization and Additional Buttons

Having the opportunity to customize your controller to your style of play can give you a competitive edge over your opponents. 

There are various levels of customization, but many customizable controllers at least allow you to remap the buttons, while others improve on this with swappable components and interchangeable trackpads. 

Battery Life

If you prefer wireless controllers, you need to consider battery endurance. Most modern controllers can last you at least one day, but of course, the longer the battery life, the better. It’d be super frustrating for your controller to keep disconnecting out of the blue because it’s run out of charge. 

Latency

In competitive games like Rocket League, every millisecond can make a big difference, which is why controllers with low latency can make you a better player. 

So, when comparing controllers, try to pick a controller with low input lag and fast response time for the best performance. 

Durability

If you’re a hardcore gamer, you probably know the value of a durable controller more than we do. It’d be horrible if you got yourself a brand new controller, only for it to start getting flimsy within a few months. 

You won’t be able to tell how long your controller will last, but things like premium materials and sturdy thumbsticks can be indicators of its durability and build quality.

Wired vs. Wireless Controllers

Wireless controllers have been around for quite a while now, but a good portion of players are still OK with using a wired controller. Some players even prefer to use wired controllers because they don’t have to worry about recharging. 

But of course, wireless controllers are more convenient, so it all comes down to your personal preference.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Rocket League Pros Players Use a Controller?

Yes, most pro Rocket League players use a controller to compete. Many use the DualShock 4 controller, but they’re slowly moving to the latest generation DualSense controller. 

How Do I Connect a Controller to My Computer to Play Rocket League?

There are multiple ways to connect a controller to your computer. If it’s a wired controller, then all you have to do is connect it with a USB charging cable, and you’re ready to go. However, keep in mind that you might need special software for the controller to work properly. 

On the flip side, your computer must have Bluetooth connectivity so you can connect your wireless controller. But once you pair the two devices, the rest will be a piece of cake. 

What Are the Best Rocket League Controller Settings?

There are various ways to set the controller settings for rocket league. Just make sure that making the following combinations is easy:

  • Jump + Boost + Air roll
  • Jump + Boost + Powerslide

For instance, if you’re using an Xbox Core controller, one good method to set the controls is:

  • Powerslide: L1
  • Throttle: Square
  • Air Roll: L1
  • Jump: Cross
  • Ball Cam: Triangle
  • Boost: R1
  • Break: L2
  • Air Roll (Left): Circle
  • Air Roll (Right): –

Can You Be Good at Rocket League With Controller?

Yes, using a controller for Rocket League can definitely improve your performance. However, you still need to play lots of games to gain enough experience.

Final Verdict

That’s all for this roundup! This is our two cents when it comes to the best rocket league controllers. 

Can’t decide on a controller yet? Well, we understand that it can be hard to make a choice, but we can give you a few hints to facilitate the process. 

If you want a modern controller with responsive haptic feedback and easy sharing options, get the PlayStation 5 DualSense controller. This will give you the best Rocket League gaming experience, period.

On the other hand, if swappable components are what you seek, go for the Elite Series 2 controller.

Finally, if you’re on a tight budget, consider opting for Dualshock 4. It has many of the features of the DualSense controller, but it’ll cost you considerably less.

And remember, even if you use the best controller for rocket league, it ultimately boils down to your skills!

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