It’s amazing how you can get your favorite games from classic consoles running on your big 4K with gaming simulators for Android TV. You can play Sonic for Sega, Donkey Kong for Nintendo, and Street Fighter from the arcade, all from the comfort of your couch.
But, as any serious gamer will tell you, the controller makes the game! You need something that’s responsive, feels good in your hands, and has your favorite button configuration for whatever you’re playing.
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 seven best Bluetooth gamepads for playing on an Android TV box.
Spoiler Alert! Our top pick is the 8Batido, which has options for both Playstation and Nintendo setups. If you are looking for a professional-level Bluetooth controller, consider the Flydigi Vader. For an affordable option for fun social gaming, consider SUNOVO.
7 Best Bluetooth Gamepads For Android TV
This is our personal gamepad rating, which is based on personal experience, no thanks. )
If Playstation is your preferred configuration, then check out this top-quality but highly affordable PS-style Bluetooth controller from 8Bitdo.
- 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 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 you want.
The rechargeable battery gives you up to 20 hours of game time, so it’s unlikely to let you down during an important moment in the game.
2. 8Bitdo SN30 Pro Bluetooth Gamepad
Don’t worry Nintendo fans, we haven’t forgotten you! You’ll love this classic Nintendo-style Bluetooth 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 a 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’s no waiting, even if you are in a heavy gaming season.
3. GameSir T4 Pro Wireless Game Controller
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 device. You can even connect with your iPhone or Android phone, and there’s a phone bracket to keep the screen in place when using a handheld screen for mobile gaming.
You can connect via Bluetooth 4.0, 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, or an included 10-meter cable. As well as powering your connection, the rechargeable battery supports an asymmetric vibrating motor that has five feedback speeds to differentiate your experience. There are also four programmable buttons, ideal for personalizing to use with your Android TV box.
4. PowerA MOGA XP5-A Plus Controller
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 and your Android phone, then you’ll appreciate this one.
- Xbox configuration
- 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. You can even charge your phone from the controller while you’re playing.
What’s great about this controller is that it works equally well if you are sitting in front of your 4K TV as it does if you’re 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.
5. SteelSeries Stratus Duo Wireless Gaming Controller
If you like classic arcade games like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, then you need a controller with two joysticks in order to play properly. This Stratus controller gives you just that.
- 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.
We like that this controller has a home and menu button included, so if you do need to use any of your Android TV controls outside of the game simulator, it’s relatively easy.
6. Flydigi Vader 2 Wired Game Controller
Flydigi markets their Xbox-based controller as being for professionals and cyberpunks alike. It is one of the more expensive options on this list, but that’s because the personalization and feedback options are top quality.
- Xbox configuration
- Configurable buttons
- 6-axis motion sensors
- Asymmetrical feedback
You have multiple options for how to connect this controller to multiple devices. Use the included wire, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth to connect to your Android TV device, PC, or other gaming system.
There are four modes of customization including button mapping, joystick curve adjustment, motion sensing adjustment, and macro combo programming.
The motion sensors are sophisticated for better responsiveness, including 6-axis gyro sensors that allow for fly mouse mode and precise aiming.
The internal feedback motor is asymmetrical for more sensitive feedback on your gaming. It also uses a Japanese ALPS rocker with a metal ring and POM sheet combination for more realistic feedback.
7. SUNOVO Wireless PC Controller
For players looking for the most affordable gaming options, and interested in multiplayer to play with friends, the SUNOVO is an excellent choice.
- Playstation configuration
- D-pad directional control
- Supports Multiplayer
Based on a Playstation configuration, this controller also has a circular D-pad for directional control, which is ideal if you want to play PC games on your TV screen.
It is easy to use with a simple plug-and-play setup, and you can connect more than one controller at the same time if you want to get into fun games with family and friends.
You will need AA batteries to get these working, and there are no wired connections if you have no batteries on hand. Connect via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
This is a great choice for casual gamers since they are affordable, easy to use, and you can connect more than one for social gaming.
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 you will encounter these days are compatible with Android, which means they should work nicely with your Android TV device. 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’re 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’s 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’s less interference than 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 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 device because you don’t necessarily want to be switching between remotes every time you’re 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.
How To Connect A Gamepad To Android TV
The setup for each gamepad might be slightly different, but the process is generally the same for most options.
First, make sure you have power in your gamepad (either through a charged battery or connecting via wire to your TV box) and hold down the power button for 3-5 seconds to turn it on.
Now grab your TV remote and go to the Settings menu and choose Remote & Accessories. Here you should be able to find your gamepad under your available Bluetooth or Wi-Fi-connected devices. You should be given the option to pair the gamepad with your device.
This should be all you need to start using your gamepad with your device. But if you want to take advantage of advanced features such as button personalization, you may need to download a complimentary app from the app store to program your controller.
What controllers work with Android?
Most standalone gaming controllers will work with Android since it is one of the most prevalent operating systems. Android TV accepts connection via Wi-Fi (connect via the same network) or Bluetooth. They will often also come with a USB connection, but it depends on whether you have a free USB port on your device. If you choose a more sophisticated controller that has programmable buttons, you may need to download a separate Android app to take advantage of those features. Also, remember that the CPU capacity of your box will influence how well the controller works. Lightweight boxes might struggle.
Where to buy a Bluetooth controller for Android?
Many of the latest gaming controllers that are compatible with Android are available via major online sellers such as Amazon. All of our recommended gamepads are available on Amazon (links provided).
How to use a mobile gaming controller?
If you want to play some of the games on your smartphone using a controller, look for an option with a bracket to hold your phone screen in the correct position. You’ll connect the controller to your phone via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. The simplest controllers will connect automatically and you’ll be able to control the game with either your touchscreen or the controller. If you want to access more sophisticated features, there may be an accompanying app to download.
What is a gamepad for PC?
A gamepad is a separate gaming controller that you can connect to your PC or other device to interact with a game. They are often based on classic controllers from heritage devices such as the Nintendo or PlayStation.
How much does a Bluetooth controller cost?
The most affordable Bluetooth gamepad controllers for Android TV will start at around $15-20. If you are looking for a more sophisticated option, expect to pay between $50-80.
You can install game simulators on your Android TV box that lets 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 controllers on the market that are ideal for use with Android TV, so we have shared our top 7 choices for 2022 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.
Our top recommendation is the 8Batido, which has options for Playstation and Nintendo setups. If you are looking for a professional-level controller, consider the Flydigi Vader. For an affordable option for fun social gaming, consider SUNOVO.
What remote do you like to use for Android TV gaming? Share your recommendations with the community in the comments section below.