Microsoft xCloud is the latest addition to Microsoft’s repertoire of industry-leading innovations. It’s a cloud game streaming service that would allow subscribers to play Xbox titles on mobile or even carry over their playing sessions from their Xbox console to mobile. The service will be a part of the Xbox Game Pass ultimate subscription, which you can avail for $14.99/month. xCloud will first be rolled out to Android devices on September 15th and later trickle down to iOS devices.
With the basics out of the way, let’s refocus on the scope of our article: taking a look at 10 of the best controllers for the upcoming gaming service. Let’s get to it.
Controllers that are backed by Microsoft
Razer Kishi for Android-Xbox
Razer, as you might already know has a reputation for manufacturing some of the best gaming equipment on the planet. And the company’s new controller, Kishi, isn’t an exception. It has a universal form factor, 8-way D-Pad, clickable thumbsticks, L2/R2 trigger button, L1/R1 bumper buttons, USB type C connector, speaker port, a special function button, and more.
The controller is certified by Microsoft for the services but comes at a hefty premium. If you don’t care about the official branding and are fine with the generic Android navigation, you could get your hands on the regular Kishi controller for $20 less.
8Bitdo Sn30 Pro
As mentioned, the xCloud service won’t be launched until mid-September, which gives you plenty of time to go through the controllers available on the market and get the one that fits your budget and type of usage. 8Bitdo — an established third-party video game hardware manufacturer — like Razer, has partnered with Microsoft to release an officially xCloud-certified product in the month of September, which would flaunt all the bells and whistles you could hope for. The Sn30 Pro supports Bluetooth connectivity, comes with 8-way D-Pad, has a pair of triggers and bumpers each, gives you the option to remap the buttons, and more.
The product is currently available for pre-order on Amazon and is set to release on the 21st of September.
PowerA MOGA XP5-X Plus
If you’re one of the many people who are in love with the form factor of the Xbox One controllers, be sure to check out PowerA’s latest offering MOGA XP5-X Plus. It has all the buttons you’d look for in an Xbox One controller, comes with a sturdy phone grip, and can even charge your phone through USB while you game. It achieves the latter effortlessly with the help of its in-built 3000 mAh battery, which can top up any phone for good.
The XP5-X Plus will right after Microsoft’s xCloud service. The official store has declared October 1st, 2020 as the launch date, but the product is already available for pre-order on the same.
PowerA MOGA XP7-X Plus
If you’re more fond of the expandable controller signature — similar to the Razor Kishi — you could take a look at the XP7-X Plus. This controller costs $30 more than the XP5, but PowerA claims that it’d be able to accommodate almost any smartphone/tablet in the market. Additionally, it comes with a dependable grip, which can be used to place any odd-shaped device.
Like its inexpensive sibling, XP7, too, comes with reprogrammable buttons, a fully functioning D-Pad, trigger and bumper buttons, Bluetooth connectivity, audio output, and more. However, at the end of the day, what sets this controller apart is its built-in Qi-certified 2000 mAh wireless charger. It won’t be able to charge your phone to 100, of course, but it can surely work well as a top-up source.
The XP7 is set to launch in holiday 2020 and will be priced at $99.99. We’ll add a purchase link as soon as it goes live.
Other controllers that work
Now that we’ve exhausted the official xCloud-certified list of controllers, let’s take a look at controllers that will work with xCloud on Android but aren’t yet officially backed by Microsoft.
Xbox One wireless controller
From 2013, with the launch of Xbox One, Microsoft started blessing all its Xbox One controllers with the ability to connect with consoles and PC through Bluetooth. Thankfully, that connectivity option works surprisingly well with Android devices, too. All you have to do is link them and you’d be good to go. Press the sync button on your Xbox One wireless controller and look for the device by going to Bluetooth on your Android device. The controller should be listed and be ready to pair.
To make the experience complete, you should consider getting a sturdy mobile phone holder. This phone holder from Wepigeek seems to be a dependable choice for $8.99.
PS4 DualShock Controller
Google Stadia, which is Microsoft’s main rival in the segment, has done exceptionally well to make the service accessible to all users from all platforms. Microsoft, of course, has kept the business in-house by bundling xCloud with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, but it isn’t keeping users from using controllers from its biggest competitor, Sony.
As per users, Sony PS4’s DualShock controller works well with xCloud, and the trick here is similar to Xbox One: connect the two using Bluetooth. So, if you’re a PS4 gamer or have a PS4 controller lying around, all you have to do is press and hold the PS and Share button together on your DualShock controller and search for the device through Bluetooth settings. When found, simply tap on the name to pair. Be sure to get a mobile holder to get the authentic mobile gaming experience.
SteelSeries Stratus Duo
Any gamer worth their salt has heard of the famous gaming peripheral manufacturer, SteelSeries. The company takes great pride in the quality of their products, and we don’t believe it has caused any harm with the introduction of Stratus Duo.
The controller follows PlayStation’s design signature — the left joystick is situated at the bottom of the controller and not at the top like Xbox One. However, the buttons, on the other hand, are assigned similar to Xbox — Y, B, X, A — which kind of a pre-requisite for a xCloud controller.
It can be connected through WiFi, Bluetooth, and even USB. So, you’re covered when it comes to connectivity. Its standout feature, however, is the battery life. SteelSeries claims the controller can facilitate 20+ of non-stop gaming, which is arguably the best in its class.
GameSir T4 Pro wireless controller
GameSir T4 Pro is a universal controller that can connect seamlessly to PC, Android, and iOS. As the name suggests, T4 Pro is a wireless controller, meaning it uses Bluetooth as its primary mode of connection. The controller comes with RGB lighting and sports a bracket to keep your mobile device firmly in place while you fully immerse yourself in games.
It also has a vibration button — with 5 intensity levels — and the keys are programmable to give you an edge in intensive games. It supports USB C and comes with a battery capacity of 600 mAh, which is respectable for such an inexpensive controller.
Oriflame wireless controller
Oriflame isn’t officially licensed by Microsoft, of course, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive. With a “telescopic design” this controller can accommodate up to 6.5-inch devices, which is impressive for a product at this price bracket.
As the name suggests, it’s a wireless controller and connects to both Android and iOS devices through Bluetooth. The button placement is identical to the Xbox One controller, making legacy users feel right at home. There are also a few configurable buttons on-board, which come in handy in a variety of games.
iPega mobile game controller
If none of the controllers on the list seemed budget-friendly to you, you’d be happy to see what iPega has in store for you. For under $30, you get a wireless mobile controller that comes with anti-slip padding, a 10-hour+ battery life, seamless Bluetooth connectivity, programmable buttons, and more.
The build quality, of course, isn’t the best you’d find. However, for the price bracket it sits in, it’s still more than satisfactory. It has a fully programmable turbo key, which, if properly configured can give you an edge in FPS/shooting games.
So, that was it. Let us know which controller do you prefer for xCloud gaming? We would love to know your thoughts on this.