Designed for creative pros, these modular controllers let you build your own custom control scheme. In addition to the base module, there are keys, sliders, dials, and an “Orbiter” that combines tilt, spin, and pressure inputs. They work with popular creative apps on Mac and Windows and can be fully programmed to your workflow.
This robust input device for music production and live performance packs not one but four fully configurable and independent sequencers, with LFOs, loopers, arpeggiators, and more. Each supports up to 128 steps, with auto-harmonization capabilities. It connects via MIDI, CV, or Bluetooth.
The Mad Noodle’s 8-key mechanical keyboard is fully programmable. It has Cherry MX switches, an knurled encoder knob, and RGB LED accent lighting in its baseplate. Outfit it with custom keycaps and make it your own. It runs QMK firmware for ease of configurability. They also make a special Star Trek edition.
Italy’s Enth Creations builds these unique handmade game controllers from Iroko wood, a dense African timber. They feature authentic Sanwa arcade joysticks and buttons set into custom-cut plexiglass and 3D-printed PLA bezels. They also make all-button hitboxes for fighting games.
Have a spare game controller lying around? Its tactile buttons and joysticks are great for fidgeters. Pilpoc’s Fidget Controller Pad is a fidget toy based on the same idea, but in a pocketable size. It has eight functions to keep fingers and brains occupied, yet measures just 2.8″ x 1.4″ x 1.0″.
LEDclaw makes all kinds of geeky lights, including this wall light inspired by game controllers. The 20″ wide light is made from wood and cast acrylic and backlit with colorful LEDs. The design is based on the Xbox controller, though the buttons and thumbstick have been reversed. And that’s an upside-down Dreamcast logo on top.
This tiny gadget is small enough to hold between your thumb and index finger, but it looks mighty versatile. At its center is a tiny clickable 360º trackball, surrounded by directional buttons. The wireless controller offers air mouse, media, and keyboard modes, and is ideal for presentations.
Joystick-based controllers are great for casual gamers, but hardcore players prefer a mouse and keyboard for precise control. Tech Yesterday shows off a custom-made gamepad with a thumb-driven optical sensor to bring mouse-like precision to a handheld controller thanks to a miniature optical circuit. (Thanks, Lambert!)
This controller’s mix of programmable buttons, a D-pad, knobs, and a smooth-turning scroll wheel complements your mouse, trackpad, or tablet in creative workflows. It works with Mac and Windows apps, including Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, Final Cut, Premiere, and more. Save another $10 with code CREATE10.
Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass cloud gaming service lets you play more than 100 Xbox games on Android devices. To get the most out of mobile gaming, you need a proper controller. Nacon will offer two designs – the tablet-style MG-X, and the MG-X Pro, which looks like a stretched-out Xbox controller. Both models drop in early 2021.
The guys behind the excellent Loupedeck+ photo/video console are back with a controller for live streamers. Loupedeck Live offers integration into streaming tools like Twitch, Streamlabs, and OBS Studio for quick source switching, on-the-fly replay recording, and the ability to customize its buttons based on your workflow.
Love to play arcade games on your PC, but don’t have room on your desk for a big controller? Thnikk’s Fightboard is a compact keyboard designed just for gaming. It features low-profile Kailh Choc switches, with eight remappable keys and RGB LED lighting. It can also be used with some consoles using adapters.
After bringing a distressed, 20-year-old PSone console back to life, Odd Tinkering figured he’d need a controller to go with. Watch as he takes a nasty, yellowed old DualShock controller and miraculously makes it look good as new after a piece-by-piece disassembly, a soap scrub, and a hydrogen peroxide bath under UV light.
Sensel’s versatile multi-touch panel can be used as a custom controller for just about any creative tool. Swap out tactile overlays for musical performance, video editing, music production, typing, and more – or create your own custom interfaces using the bundled software. Sold with one overlay, or in a special musician’s bundle.
Like a real harmonica, Lekholm’s musical tech senses its player’s breathing both in and out, but it outputs those modulations as MIDI signals for controlling synthesizers. The example performance is Cole Porter’s You’d Be So Nice to Come Home to, using a Yamaha VL70-m acoustic sound module.
The Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 is even more comfortable, durable and customizable than its predecessor. It has a profile switch button, the option to program a button to act as a Shift key to map more commands, and an internal battery that lasts up to 40h per charge.
SCUF Gaming’s pro Xbox One controller is customizable. It comes with two pairs of thumb sticks, four programmable and removable paddles, adjustable triggers, and a battery that lasts up to 30h per charge. You can also order faceplates and thumbsticks in different colors.
You may not have heard of Pwnage, but their ALTIER Pro 3360 optical gaming mouse can keep up with the big boys. Its sensor can track up to 12,000 dpi, it has 7 programmable buttons, and RGB lighting. Save an extra 15% in The Awesomer Shop with code WEEKEND15 through 5/29/19.
Like the Phantom Black controller, Microsoft’s latest controller features a semi-translucent shell, which allows you to see the components inside. It has a textured grip, remappable buttons, and wireless connectivity. Compatible with all Xbox One consoles and Windows 10.
SteelSeries’ Stratus Duo is a multi-platform wireless controller. It can connect to Android devices as well as standalone virtual reality headsets via Bluetooth. It also connects to Windows PCs via 2.4 Ghz wireless and a USB dongle. It lasts up to 20h per charge.
Astro’s high-end controller for the PS4 adapts to your way of gaming. It features a couple of swappable sticks and d-pads, and you can switch the positions of the left stick and the d-pad as well. It also has two programmable buttons and can work wired or wireless.