It is kind of amazing how you can get your favorite games from most consoles running on your big 4K TV with an Android TV box. You can play Sonic for Sega, Donkey Kong for Nintendo, and Street Fighter from the arcade, all from the comfort of your couch.
As any serious gamer will tell you, though, the controller makes the game! You need something that is responsive, feels good in your hands, and has your favorite button configuration for whatever you are playing. Those are not features that come with your TV or your Android TV box remote controls.
Thankfully there are lots of great Bluetooth gamepads and game controllers on the market that you can buy to upgrade your TV gaming experience. Read on as we take you through our recommendations for the 5 best Bluetooth gamepads for playing with an Android TV box.
Our Top Picks
#1 GameSir T4 Pro Wireless Game Controller
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#2 8Bitdo SN30 Pro+ Wireless Bluetooth Game Controller
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#3 8Bitdo SN30 Pro Bluetooth Gamepad
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#4 SteelSeries Stratus Duo Wireless Gaming Controller
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#5 PowerA MOGA XP5-A Plus Bluetooth Controller
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5 Best Bluetooth Gamepads For Android TV Box
If your favorite gaming configuration is the Xbox controller, then you won’t find a better option on the market than this wireless controller from GameSir. It actually looks better than your average Xbox controller, as it matches a semi-transparent casing with RGB backlighting for a funky experience.
- Xbox configuration
- Bluetooth/Wi-Fi/Wired Connection
- Android/iOS/PC/Nintendo Switch
- Rechargeable Battery
- Asymmetric vibration
The controller is compatible with most machines on which you might want to play including your PC and your Android TV box. You can even connect with your iPhone or Android phone, and there is a phone bracket to keep the screen in place for ideal visibility.
You can connect via Bluetooth 4.0, 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, or via an included 10 meter cable. As well as powering your connection, the rechargeable battery supports an asymmetric vibrating motor that has five different feedback speeds to differentiate your experience. There are also four programmable buttons, ideal for personalizing to use with your Android TV box.
This controller comes with lots of bells and whistles, but it is also a relatively affordable option to get started with.
- Playstation configuration
- Android/iOS/Mac/PC/Steam/Nintendo Switch/Raspberry Pi
- Six-axis motion sensors
- Adjustable buttons and sensitivity
- Rechargeable battery with 20 hour life
This remote is built to be highly versatile and is compatible with pretty much everything, from a high-powered PC to a basic Raspberry Pi.
The remote is highly sensitive and highly modifiable. It uses six-axis motion sensors, so the remote knows just what you are doing, and you can modify the triggers and even the sensitivity of the joystick. Modify the vibration to get exactly the feedback that you want.
The rechargeable battery gives you up to 20 hours of game time, so it is unlikely to let you down during an important moment in the game.
Don’t worry Nintendo fans, we haven’t forgotten you! You will love this classic Nintendo-style controller that looks like the original Nintendo controller but with a lot more sensitivity and functionality.
- Nintendo configuration
- Bluetooth/Wi-Fi/Wired Connections
- PC/Nintendo Switch/Android
- Three-axis gyroscope and triaxial acceleration sensors
- Dual vibration feedback
- Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
This controller is compatible with PC, Nintendo Switch, or your Android device, including your Android TV box. Connect via Bluetooth 4.0, 2.4G wireless, or a USB Type C cable as you prefer.
The controller itself has a three-axis gyroscope and triaxial acceleration sensors for optimum responsiveness. It has a fast-charging lithium-ion battery, so there is no waiting, even if you are in a heavy gaming season.
Friends may well think that this is an original controller when they see it sitting on the coffee table.
- Dual joystick configuration
- Bluetooth with 10m range
- Rechargeable battery
This controller is compatible with most of the devices on which you want to game, and it has an easy setup process. It should be automatically detected by most game simulators.
What is attractive about this controller, aside from its configuration, is that it is affordable and easy to use. That means fewer bells and whistles than other options, but arcade controllers also aren’t known for their extra features.
This controller is ideal if you want to be able to game with the same options on both your big screen and your small screen. If you want to use the same controller for your Android TV box and your Android phone, then you will appreciate this one.
- Phone Bracket
- Key customization
- Rechargeable battery
This controller works with both Android and iOS, offering you the option to connect by Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or cable. Once set up, you can customize all of your keys depending on your gaming preference, and you can play for 12 hours continuously before your battery needs recharging.
What is great about this controller is that it works equally well if you are sitting in front of your 4K TV and if you are sitting with your smartphone in front of you in the bracket. This means that when you play on the road you can pick up where you left off on the big screen at home. No need to worry about switching controllers or changing your settings.
Looking for an Android TV box that’s good for gaming? Find our recommendations for the best Gaming Android TV boxes here.
Most of the wireless controllers that you will encounter these days are compatible with Android, which means that they should work nicely with your Android TV box. Once you have confirmed that, how do you choose the best Bluetooth gamepad for you?
Game controllers have slightly different configurations, and you will probably have a preference based on your gaming history. If you grew up with a Nintendo, you probably won’t feel that comfortable with a Playstation remote in your hands. If you are an arcade game junkie, you’ll want something with dual joysticks, rather than an Xbox configuration.
Choose your preferred configuration first to narrow down your options.
There is no denying that a wired connection will be faster and more reliable than anything wireless, but those long cables are a pain. When it comes to wireless, we prefer Bluetooth as it is more reliable and there is less interference than with Wi-Fi, but it is nice to have Wi-Fi as a backup.
At a minimum, then, you should get something with a Bluetooth 4.0 connection. If it also comes with Wi-Fi and wired options, all the better.
Most controllers these days will come with an internal rechargeable battery. Gone are the days of changing AAA batteries on a regular basis. Look for a battery life of a minimum of 10 hours; some will claim to offer up to twice as long, but more than 10 hours is unlikely if you are continuously gaming.
Fast charging is always a good option as it means that you can quickly recharge your battery while you take a break or get something to eat.
Sensors And Feedback
While the wireless remotes you buy may look like classic console remotes, they tend to be much more sophisticated. Most will have multiple sensors on six axes so that they know exactly what you are doing with the remote. There will also be vibration feedback, so you can feel it in your hands when your character runs into a wall or falls off of a cliff.
Look for six-axis sensors and a minimum of two vibration speeds for feedback.
Most modern controllers will let you program a few of the buttons to do what you want. This can be very useful with an Android TV box because you don’t necessarily want to be switching between remotes every time you are doing something like switching between game simulators.
This is more of a “nice to have” benefit than a necessary option, but is certainly something to look out for.
Looking for a bluetooth air mouse to better control your system? Check out our recommendations here.
You can install game simulators on your Android TV box that let you play games from all your favorite consoles on your big screen, but it’s not much fun unless you have a good remote control.
There are many wireless Bluetooth remotes on the market that are ideal for using with Android TV, so we have shared our top 5 choices for 2021 with you.
Your first consideration when choosing your ideal remote should be your configuration. Do you want a classic Playstation remote, something that feels like an arcade controller, or something else? Once you make that decision, it is just a matter of marking off essential features and finding something in your price range.
What remote do you like to use for Android TV gaming? Share your recommendations with the community in the comments section below.