Best Controller For Rocket League

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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 slowly ramp up for dribbles.

Regardless 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.

IMAGE PRODUCT SPECIFICATION  
Best Overallgminge-table__image DualShock 4 Controller
  • Native support with RL
  • Incredibly low latency
  • Perfect for long hours
View On Amazon →Read Our Review
Premium Pickgminge-table__image Xbox Elite Series 2
  • Metallic construction
  • Tons of customization
  • Very little latency
View On Amazon →Read Our Review
Budget Pickgminge-table__image Steam Controller
  • Completely customizable
  • 2 paddles on bottom
  • Budget-priced
View On Amazon →Read Our Review
Most Customizable Pickgminge-table__image Razer Raiju Ultimate
  • Aluminum construction
  • Beefy, roomy controller
  • Great ergonomics
View On Amazon →Read Our Review
Pro Pickgminge-table__image Scuf Vantage 2
  • Pro-grade controller used by 90% of eSports Pros
  • Upgraded build quality
  • 4 paddles on the underside
View On Amazon →Read Our Review

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 One 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 Controller

Pros

Cons

Extra Buttons: No | Compatibility: PlayStation 4, Windows, Mac | Weight: 12 ounces | Connectivity: Wireless | Color: Glacier White, Gold, Green Camouflage, Jet Black, Magma Red, or Midnight Blue

Believe it or not, the Sony DS4 is our top pick and the best PS4 controller for Rocket League, despite the lack of customization options.

That’s one of the reasons why there are a lot more Rocket League pros using the DS4 than the Xbox One controller. There’s Vogan, Greazy, Paschy, Jacob, Espeon, Amoney and Fireburner, that we can think of at the moment.

There are a lot more names we could add to that list, but I think you get the point.

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 actual feel of the controller, it’s ergonomic, with well-spaced-out buttons, perfect for long hours.

Then there’s the trackpad which can be used or not, depending on your preferences.

The buttons are butter smooth with no stiffness whatsoever.  

The stock dualshock 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

Most Customizable Pick

Pros

Cons

Extra Buttons: 4 Extra Multi-Function Buttons | Compatibility: PlayStation 4, Windows 7 and Above| Weight: 13.12 ounces (without cable)| Connectivity: Wireless & Wired | Color: Black With Razer Chroma | Battery Life: 11 Hours of Battery life

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 make life easier for you. If you are looking for a PS4 controller with some extra customization options this is the controller for you.

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 of 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 controller 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 controller 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. Having to worry about battery life is also an issue. 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

Our Premium Pick

Pros

Cons

Extra Buttons: 4 Paddles On The Back Of The Controller | Compatibility: Xbox Series X, Xbox 1, Windows 10| Weight: 345g (+/- 15g)| Connectivity: Wireless & Wired | Color: Black | Battery Life: Up To 40 Hours

The original Xbox elite was one of the most well-received controllers for playing Rocket League. But it was plagued by a bevy of problems like broken bumpers and peeled grips, which was a huge letdown.

Microsoft is back with the upgraded, revamped version of the Elite called Series 2. Along with Bluetooth connectivity, there’s a host of customization options on offer, which makes it a worthy contender.

The Series 2 Xbox 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, it’s 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 depending on what rocket league controller settings you want to use.

There are four thumb sticks, two textured ones 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 Rocket League, you can map it to boost.

We could go on for hours about this Xbox One controller.

It is a serious, professional-grade controller for the Xbox One and PC. Unfortunately, it can not be used as an Xbox 360 controller. The only other 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

Pros

Cons

Extra Buttons: 4 Interchangeable Rear Paddels and 2 Removable Side Action Buttons | Compatibility: Playstation 4, Windows 7 and Above| Weight: 7-10oz| Connectivity: Wireless & Wired | Color: Black

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.

The Vantage 2 addresses the tiny problems that plagued the original and gives you an amazing, customizable controller that will give you a distinct advantage in Rocket League.

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 Rocket League, 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

Our Budget Pick

Pros

Cons

Extra Buttons: 2 Rear Paddels | Compatibility: Windows, Linux, Mac, SteamOS | Weight: 19.2oz| Connectivity: Wireless & Wired | Color: Black | Battery Life: Up To 80 Hours

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.

At first glance, the Steam Controller looks like the Xbox One controller with the large trackpads in place of the analog sticks. The sole analog stick is positioned at the bottom half of the controller, flanked by the four tiny face buttons.

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 One controllers.  

The most notable difference that users might have to get adjusted to, is to use the trackpads instead of the thumbsticks. 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.

Buying Guide

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.

Customization

Being able to customize and remap the face buttons as well as the bumpers is hands down, the most desired feature by Rocket League 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 the 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, thumbsticks, and triggers for more comfortable options.

Additional Buttons

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

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is it better to play Rocket League with a controller?

A: While ultimately it does come down to preference, most people prefer and recommend a Rocket league Controller over keyboard and mouse. The mechanics of the game are much better suited to a controller overall. If you are just getting into the game we highly suggest you learn how to play the game on a controller.

Q: Do pro Rocket League players use a controller?

A: Yes, the vast majority of pro players use a controller. There are a few pros like Lauty and Genocop that use keyboard and mouse though.

Q: Should I switch to controller from keyboard and mouse?

A: Even though the best players use a controller it doesn’t mean you have to. If you are comfortable with keyboard and mouse you can keep playing that way. You can absolutely be a top-tier player using keyboard it just might be a little harder to get there. If you do want to make the switch though you will need to put the time in to learn how to play with a controller. Switching to a controller won’t make you a better player overnight.

Q: How do I connect my controller to PC to play Rocket League?

A: For most controllers, all you have to do is plug your controller into your PC via USB. After the driver’s install, you are ready to play. If you want to use a wireless controller to play make sure your computer has some kind of Bluetooth connectivity and then connect the controller to the PC via Bluetooth.

Q: Can you play Rocket League on Mac?

A: Sadly, The March 2020 update was the final update for both Mac and Linux. This means that these operating systems are no longer supported by Rocket League. If you want to play on these operating systems it won’t be as simple as just downloading the game. If you are still interested in trying to play on Mac or Linux you can try some of the suggestions listed in Rockets League’s support article on this topic.

Closing Thoughts

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.

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Luke Kline

Luke Kline

Hi, I'm Luke Kline and I've been a gamer my whole life. When I was 13 years old, I built my first gaming PC from scratch to compete with the kids on the block. Since then, I have built dozens of other gaming PCs for various friends and family members and found a love for many PC games too. Most notably, League of Legends where I have worked to become a platinum player for many seasons. That led me to earn my bachelor's degree in cyber security and technology, which eventually culminated into what you see today: a gaming expert who has hands-on experience with hundreds of gaming and tech products. I have been writing reviews, how-to articles, streaming gameplay, creating YouTube videos, and have extensive knowledge about everything gaming!