As you spend more and more time in the adrenaline-charged, gravity-defying world of vehicular soccer (RL), you’ll start to understand the importance of having the Best Controller for Rocket League.
It makes it so much easier to do aerials or to slowly ramp up for dribbles.
Irrespective of whether you are playing solo standard or chasing the hockey puck in Snow Day (oh yes, we love Snow day), a good controller improves precision and reduces latency.
Also, the customization makes it a breeze to set triggers.
Best Controller For Rocket League
If this is your maiden attempt at switching to a controller from a keyboard and mouse setup, or you are looking to upgrade the controller because you broke the old one, then finding the right one can be a tad overwhelming.
That’s cause most players have their own favorites depending on personal preferences.
Some prefer the DS4 while others like the Xbox controllers mainly due to the position of the analog stick.
How do you find one that works for you?
Here’s some help.
1. DualShock 4 Wired/Wireless Controller – Our Pick
Believe it or not, the Sony DS4 is our top pick for Rocket League, despite the lack of customization options.
That’s one of the reasons why there are a lot more pro players using the DS4 than the Xbox One. There’s Vogan, Greazy, Paschy, Jacob, Espeon, Amoney and Fireburner, that we can think of at the moment.
We are sure that there must be a lot more names in that list.
DualShock 4 Wired/Wireless Controller
When it comes to choosing between the wired and wireless ones, the wired DS4 offers excellent performance, incredibly low latency and almost zero input lag. Also, there’s native support in Rocket League, which means that you can plug it in and start playing.
But a lot of gamers prefer wireless due to convenience and aesthetics. Wireless performance isn’t too bad either, provided that you are willing to overlook the battery life, which is nothing to write home about.
Talking about the controller, it’s ergonomic, with well-spaced out buttons, perfect for long hours.
Then there’s the track pad which can be used or not, depending on your preferences.
The buttons are butter smooth with no stiffness whatsoever.
The stock dual shock 4 is good enough for most competitive gamers.
But Sony’s recent back button attachment allows you to remap the buttons completely and comes with an OLED display that reveals the current button configuration taking the guesswork out of it.
That’s an additional addon. But it’s completely worth it if you are looking for more customization from the DS4.
2. Razer Raiju Ultimate
If you have always played Rocket League with the DS4, then you’ll find the Razer Raiju Ultimate to be a worthy upgrade.
It is essentially the DS4 with a meatier form factor and four additional, customizable buttons that makes life easier for you.
Razer Raiju Ultimate
Talking about meaty, the Raiju feels hefty in comparison to almost every other controller. The casing is mostly aluminum and it feels like a premium controller all the way. If you prefer beefy controllers, this one’s right up your alley. If you don’t, then unfortunately, there’s no way to customize the heft.
Let’s talk Rocket League with the Raiju Ultimate.
The two analog joysticks sitting next to each other are a treat to use. But the thumb touches on these can be swapped for a more comfortable variety if need be.
The face buttons are Razer’s mecha-tactile action buttons which feel extremely soft to the touch, but offer great tactile feedback. Chances are that you’ll never go back to using anything else once you take an inkling to this. But some users don’t like the feedback, mind you.
So, it could be a hit or a miss.
There are four multifunction buttons, M1 & M2 which are positioned between L2 & R2, whereas M3 & M4 are positioned towards the rear of the handles.
On the bottom, you have the settings panel which lets you change button configurations and profiles on-the-fly, as well as customize the lighting.
When it comes to performance, the wired one offers better performance than the wireless.
There’s no latency or input lag whatsoever. The wireless one on the other hand does struggle with lag and latency. It’s a few milliseconds only. But it can be a lot for a competitive gamer.
With a plethora of customization options, the Razer Raiju is amongst the best controllers. At least the wired one is.
3. Xbox Elite Series 2 – Premium Pick
The original Xbox elite was one of the most well-received controllers for RL. But it was plagued by a bevy of problems like broken bumpers and peeled grips, which was a huge letdown.
The Series 2 controller is slightly wider than the original. While the metallic accents are retained, there are wrap around rubberized grips which make it more ergonomic and easy on the hands. Also, its lighter than the original Elite, which is a welcome change.
There are four paddle buttons on the underside of the controller, all of which can be remapped, removed or disabled. So, every finger barring your pinky can be put to good use.
The underside also sports the profile switch button, which lets you store and switch button profiles on-the-fly.
There are four thumb sticks, two textured one and two classic ones, two metallic D-pads and the paddles, all of which are magnetic attachments to the main controller. This means, that if one of them breaks down, you can swap it for a new one. No need to change the entire controller or make do with a damaged one.
We also like the slider button on the main hair triggers which lets you customize the sensitivity of each one. In a nutshell, you can change the extent to which each trigger needs to be pressed. Moving the slider to short reduces the input time and increasing it to long, extends it. This is a neat feature that can be very useful depending on the game that you are playing. In an FPS, the short trigger travel can be used to fire rapidly at the enemy for example. In RL, you can map it to boost.
We could go on for hours about the Xbox Elite.
It is a serious, professional-grade controller for the Xbox and PC. The only thing that could deter you is the price tag. But that’s never been a deal breaker for serious gamers, has it?
4. Scuf Vantage 2
The Scuf Vantage, which reimagined the DS4 in every possible way, was a terrific gaming controller. But it was let down by poor build quality.
At first glance, the Vantage 2 looks a lot like the Xbox Elite rather than the DS4. If you’ve always preferred Xbox One or the Elite over DS4 for playing RL, you’ll love the Vantage 2.
Just like the Elite, the customization options are manifold. You can swap the trigger styles, the joysticks and even the D-pad.
There are four paddles on the rear, which correspond to the four main face buttons. So, rather than pressing the buttons rapidly, you can just tap the corresponding paddle. In RL, you can have them mapped to air roll to the left and right.
Then there are the Sax buttons on the right and left sides of the controller which activate long-pressing any of the face buttons. That’s such an amazing addition for RL as well as FPS games like CS:GO.
The thumbstick deadzones can be adjusted to your liking and the sensitivity of the triggers can be adjusted too.
If you have used the Vantage 1, you’d be familiar with the build quality as well as the quality of the triggers and the face buttons. Everything has been upgraded. The Vantage 2 feels like a premium-grade controller and with all the possibilities, this one sure is a pro-gamers delight.
5. Steam Controller – Budget Pick
Despite a slightly unconventional design, the steam controller has remained one of the most popular options for Rocket League.
That’s because if you are willing to go through the learning curve, it can be customized and mapped to automate some of the most frequently used functions in the game.
There are bumpers and triggers along with two paddles on the rear which can be customized as well.
The construction is mostly plastic. But so are the DS4 and the XBOX controllers.
The most notable difference that users might have to get adjusted to, is to use the trackpads instead of the thumb sticks. Well, it’s not as difficult as it appears to be. The trackpads offer great sensitivity and Valve has added haptic feedback, which takes the guesswork out of it.
A lot of Rocket League users consider the Steam Controller as the most affordable, customizable controller out there especially for use with PC.
It may or may not work for you, but it definitely is one of the best choices.
How To Select The Best Controller For Rocket League
Rocket League is an extremely demanding game that will require hours of practice before you start to master the nuances.
While you can learn the game with just about any stock controller, having even the slightest advantage goes a long way in reaching tournament and champion levels.
The best controller can get you that advantage.
That said, it’s not easy to select one because there are so many differing opinions, many of them subjective.
So we’ll base our selections on some of the features that professional RL players look for while picking controllers.
Being able to customize and remap the face buttons as well as the bumpers is hands down, the most desired feature by RL players.
While the stock DS4 does offer basic customization, some of the more advanced pro-level controllers allow you to reconfigure every single button including the touchpad.
You can change the sensitivity of the triggers, you can map the face buttons to additional buttons or paddles (more on this in a bit) and this allows you to avoid using the same finger for multiple actions.
Some users for example, use boost on L1, R2 for throttle and R1 for scoreboard, which makes it a lot easier to use the face buttons for jump and slide. If you have never been able to get the aerials right, try this.
Most customizable controllers also let you swap out the buttons, thumb sticks and triggers for more comfortable options.
Additional buttons are not mandatory. But having them, especially paddles, make a huge difference to the way you play the game.
Most players who switch to a paddled controller will never be able to go back to one without paddles.
Tapping paddles is easier than pressing a face button. Also, the paddles are positioned on the underside of the controller which makes them easier to access without using your primary fingers.
Latency might be a problem while using wireless controllers for Rocket League.
Even a couple of milliseconds of delay or lag can make a huge difference in a ranked match when you are trying your best to score that improbable goal.
That said, most of the controllers in this list have low latency. We have specifically mentioned the ones that do have a problem.
By the way, latency with most controllers will be too mild to affect casual gameplay. You should only be concerned about it if you game professionally.
That’s it Rocket Leaguers. We hope that you enjoyed reading our recommendations for Rocket League
If you feel that we missed out on a controller that you swear by, then do write in the comments box.
We’d love to hear your views about it.