Video Game Controllers | Gamepads

Video game controllers, also known as gamepads, are handheld input accessories used to interact with video game consoles. Consisting of varied sets of buttons with specific functions and complexities suited for each generation of gaming, game controllers typically include a directional button (D-Pad) for the left thumb, buttons for the right thumb, shoulder buttons (bumpers or triggers) for additional fingers, and assistive ‘Start’, ‘Select’, and ‘Home’ buttons at the center of the input. Since the introduction of early video gaming joysticks and paddles, video game controllers have evolved over time with new features such as additional buttons, additional analog thumbsticks, wireless capabilities, and three-dimensional sensors and accelerometers for an increased level of interaction—as seen in the Wii Remote.

Who invented the video game controller?

The first appearance of video game control can be traced to the switches and toggles used in the 1962 game ‘Spacewar!’, which would lead to the development of arcade machines with similar button-based controls. The first home-based video game controller were the pair of dial controllers included with the 1972 Magnavox Odyssey.

How do you use a video game controller on PC?

While not all video game controllers are cross compatible with out-of-box use on the PC, more modern controllers, those with Bluetooth and wireless connectivity, can be paired to the PC device by accessing your operating systems ‘System Preferences’ and ‘Bluetooth Accessories’ and selecting the discovered controller to be paired.

What is the best video game controller?

Though there isn’t a ‘best’ controller, many gamers have preferences for their favorite gaming controllers. Sony’s most recent DualShock 4 is often considered to be the most comfortable video game controller to hold, while Microsoft’s Xbox One Elite controller may be preferred for their responsive triggers and joysticks. Other gaming controllers have famously helped change the industry by adding innovations like the freedom of the Wii Remote, joystick of the N64 Controller, and feedback of the original Dualshock Controller.

Video Game Controllers Guides
Browse through our curated Video Game Controllers Guides for additional categorizations, tips, details, variations, styles, and histories of Video Game Controllers. Guides provide additional insights into the unique properties and shared relationships between elements.

Video Game Controllers

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5” | 127 mm
4” | 101.6 mm
4” | 101.6 mm
8.8 oz | .25 kg
1977
Atari CX40 Joystick
12.700
10.160
10.160
0.250
1977.00
1700
3D
Atari CX40 Joystick
6” | 152 mm
5.8” | 147 mm
3.4” | 86 mm
10.6 oz | .3 kg
1999
Dreamcast Controller
15.200
14.700
8.600
0.300
1999.00
9000
3D
Dreamcast Controller
4.2” | 106 mm
6.3" | 160 mm
2.6” | 66 mm
9.87 oz | 280 g
November 12, 2020
DualSense Controller
10.600
16.000
6.600
0.280
2020.00
18000
3D
DualSense Controller
3.74” | 95 mm
6.18” | 157 mm
2.16” | 54.9 mm
7.4 oz | .21 kg
2000
DualShock 2 Controller
9.500
15.700
5.490
0.210
2000.00
1400
3D
DualShock 2 Controller
3.78” | 97 mm
6.2” | 160 mm
2.2” | 55 mm
6.7 oz | .19 kg
2006
DualShock 3 Controller
9.700
16.000
5.500
0.190
2006.00
4100
3D
DualShock 3 Controller
3.94” | 100 mm
6.34” | 161 mm
2.24” | 57 mm
7.4 oz | .21 kg
2013
DualShock 4 Controller
10.000
16.100
5.700
0.210
2013.00
17000
3D
DualShock 4 Controller
4” | 100 mm
5.5” | 140 mm
2.5” | 65 mm
7.1 oz | .2 kg
2001
GameCube Controller
10.000
14.000
6.500
0.200
2001.00
82000
3D
GameCube Controller
2.096” | 53.2 mm
4.86” | 123.4 mm
.6875” | 17.5 mm
2.6 oz | .07 kg
1983
NES Controller
5.320
12.340
1.750
0.070
1983.00
18000
3D
NES Controller
6.01” | 152.6 mm
6.3” | 160 mm
2.625” | 66.7 mm
10.6 oz | .3 kg
1996
Nintendo 64 Controller
15.260
16.000
6.670
0.300
1996.00
10000
3D
Nintendo 64 Controller
4.01” | 102 mm
9.40” | 239 mm
.547” | 13.9 mm; 1.13” | 28.7 mm (Total)
.88 lb | .4 kg
2017
Nintendo Switch
10.200
23.900
2.870
0.400
2017.00
2100000
3D
Nintendo Switch
3.66” | 93 mm
5.83” | 148 mm
2.1” | 53.3 mm
4.7 oz | .13 kg
1994
PlayStation Controller
9.300
14.800
5.330
0.130
1994.00
19000
3D
PlayStation Controller
2.4” | 61 mm (Estimated)
5.67” | 144 mm (Estimated)
.6” | 15 mm (Estimated)
2.8 oz | .08 kg (Estimated)
1990
SNES Controller
6.100
14.400
1.500
0.080
1990.00
24000
3D
SNES Controller
3.86” | 98 mm (Estimated)
6.5” | 165 mm (Estimated)
1.6” | 40.6 mm (Estimated)
5.6 oz | .16 kg (Estimated)
1988
Sega Genesis Controller - 3 Button
9.800
16.500
4.060
0.160
1988.00
6200
3D
Sega Genesis Controller - 3 Button
3.39” | 86 mm
6.1” | 155 mm
1.8” | 45.7 mm
9.6 oz | .27 kg
1995
Sega Saturn Controller - Model 2
8.600
15.500
4.570
0.270
1995.00
3900
3D
Sega Saturn Controller - Model 2
6.3” | 160 mm
1.43” | 36.2 mm
1.21” | 30.8 mm
3.2 oz | .09 kg
2006
Wii Remote
16.000
3.620
3.080
0.090
2006.00
13000
3D
Wii Remote
5.3” | 13.5 cm
10.2” | 25.9 cm
1.6” | 40.6 mm; 1.98” | 50.2 mm (Total)
17.3 oz | .49 kg
2012
Wii U GamePad
13.500
25.900
5.020
0.490
2012.00
11000
3D
Wii U GamePad
4.13” | 105 mm
6.05” | 154 mm
2.41” | 61.3 mm
9.5 oz | .27 kg
2005
Xbox 360 Controller
10.500
15.400
6.130
0.270
2005.00
44000
3D
Xbox 360 Controller
5.5” | 139.7 mm
7” | 177.8 mm
2.7” | 68.6 mm
19.4 oz | .55 kg
2001
Xbox Controller
13.970
17.780
6.860
0.550
2001.00
90000
3D
Xbox Controller
4.01” | 101.9 mm
6.02” | 152.9 mm
2.4” | 61 mm
9.9 oz | .28 kg
2013
Xbox One Controller
10.190
15.290
6.100
0.280
2013.00
141000
3D
Xbox One Controller
DualShock 4 Controller

The DualShock 4 Controller is an eighth-generation video game controller manufactured by Sony. It has similar features to its predecessor, DualShock 3, and is meant for PlayStation 4’s controller but can also work with PlayStation 3 via Micro-USB cable. Its top of the game features three LED light bars designed by PlayStation VR used to identify players and provide enhanced feedback.

The light bar works with a PlayStation Camera judging movement and position of the players. Other features include support for motion detection, built-in two-point capacitive touchpad, and pressure-sensitive buttons, which is not available in other DualShocks and video game competitors like the Wii and One Xbox.

The DualShock 4 Controller has a height of 3.94” (100 mm), width of 6.34” (161 mm), depth of 2.24” (57 mm), and approximate weight of 7.4 oz (.21 kg).

Dimensioned drawings of the DualShock 4 Controller with height, width, and depth labeled in elevation views
The DualShock 4 Controller is an eighth-generation video game controller manufactured by Sony. It has similar features to its predecessor, DualShock 3, and is meant for PlayStation 4’s controller but can also work with PlayStation 3 via Micro-USB cable.

The DualShock 4 Controller has a height of 3.94” (100 mm), width of 6.34” (161 mm), depth of 2.24” (57 mm), and approximate weight of 7.4 oz (.21 kg).

Dimensioned drawings of the DualShock 4 Controller with height, width, and depth labeled in elevation views
DualShock 4 Controller
Height:
3.94” | 100 mm
Width:
6.34” | 161 mm
Length:
Depth:
2.24” | 57 mm
Weight:
7.4 oz | .21 kg
Area:
Designer
Sony
Released
2013

Drawings include:
DualShock 4 Controller front elevation, top, side

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PlayStation Controller

The PlayStation Controller is Sony’s first video game controller released in 1994 as an input device for the PlayStation home video game console. The PlayStation Controller succeeded the Dual Analog controller having a second shoulder button for the middle finger and grip handles to provide a more stable grip while shifting the middle finger.

The controller moved away from the traditional use of the numbers and letters to use geometric shapes as the label actions on its buttons, which later became the Playstation’s trademark. It was then discontinued in 1998 and replaced with the DualShock Controllers.

The PlayStation Controller has a height of 3.66” (93 mm), width of 5.83” (148 mm), depth of 2.1” (53.3 mm), and approximate weight of 4.7 oz (.13 kg).

Collection of drawings of the PlayStation Controller with height, width, and depth dimensions
The PlayStation Controller is Sony’s first video game controller released in 1994 as an input device for the PlayStation home video game console. The PlayStation Controller succeeded the Dual Analog controller having a second shoulder button for the middle finger and grip handles for stability.

The PlayStation Controller has a height of 3.66” (93 mm), width of 5.83” (148 mm), depth of 2.1” (53.3 mm), and approximate weight of 4.7 oz (.13 kg).

Collection of drawings of the PlayStation Controller with height, width, and depth dimensions
PlayStation Controller
Height:
3.66” | 93 mm
Width:
5.83” | 148 mm
Length:
Depth:
2.1” | 53.3 mm
Weight:
4.7 oz | .13 kg
Area:
Designer
Sony
Released
1994

Drawings include:
PlayStation Controller front elevation, top, side

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DualShock 2 Controller

The DualShock 2 Controller is a sixth-generation gamepad and a successor of the DualShock Controller. It was released into the market in 2000 as a video game controller for Sony PlayStation 2. The DualShock 2 Controller is also forward compatible with original models of PlayStation and backward compatible with PlayStation 3 through the third party peripheral connecting the controller and the console via a USB port.

Noticeable features of the DualShock 2 Controller include stiffer analog sticks, a blue DualShock logo at the top of the controller, and pressure-sensitive analog values. It also cannot work with games that require Sixaxis functionality.

The DualShock 2 Controller has a height of 3.74” (95 mm), width of 6.18” (157 mm), depth of 2.16” (54.9 mm), and approximate weight of 7.4 oz (.21 kg).

Dimensioned drawings of the DualShock 2 Controller with height, width, and depth labeled in elevation
The DualShock 2 Controller is a sixth-generation gamepad and a successor of the DualShock Controller. It was released into the market in 2000 as a video game controller for Sony PlayStation 2. The DualShock 2 Controller is also forward compatible with original models of PlayStation.

The DualShock 2 Controller has a height of 3.74” (95 mm), width of 6.18” (157 mm), depth of 2.16” (54.9 mm), and approximate weight of 7.4 oz (.21 kg).

Dimensioned drawings of the DualShock 2 Controller with height, width, and depth labeled in elevation
DualShock 2 Controller
Height:
3.74” | 95 mm
Width:
6.18” | 157 mm
Length:
Depth:
2.16” | 54.9 mm
Weight:
7.4 oz | .21 kg
Area:
Designer
Sony
Released
2000

Drawings include:
DualShock 2 Controller front elevation, top, side

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SNES Controller

The SNES Controller, also called Super Nintendo Entertainment System controller, is a gamepad designed for SNES console and subscribers to Nintendo Switch Online. It succeeded the NES Controller. The SNES controller for Nintendo Switch is wireless, added two shoulder buttons, AB and XY, and is extremely sensitive for precise control.

Since the controller is plug and play, it requires no extra drivers, and perfect for playing retro games. The only drawback is that it works only with classic Nintendo titles. There are other versions like the 8Bitdo SF30 Pro Controller and 8Bitdo SN30 Pro Controller that you can pair with Windows, Mac, and Android systems.

The SNES Controller has an estimated height of 2.4” (61 mm), estimated width of 5.67” (144 mm), estimated depth of .6” (15 mm), and approximate weight of 2.8 oz (.08 kg).

Set of dimensioned elevation drawings of the SNES Controller measured with estimated height, width, and depth
The SNES Controller, also called Super Nintendo Entertainment System controller, is a gamepad designed for SNES console and subscribers to Nintendo Switch Online. It succeeded the NES Controller. The SNES controller for Nintendo Switch is wireless, added two shoulder buttons, AB and XY.

The SNES Controller has an estimated height of 2.4” (61 mm), estimated width of 5.67” (144 mm), estimated depth of .6” (15 mm), and approximate weight of 2.8 oz (.08 kg).

Set of dimensioned elevation drawings of the SNES Controller measured with estimated height, width, and depth
SNES Controller
Height:
2.4” | 61 mm (Estimated)
Width:
5.67” | 144 mm (Estimated)
Length:
Depth:
.6” | 15 mm (Estimated)
Weight:
2.8 oz | .08 kg (Estimated)
Area:
Designer
Nintendo
Released
1990

Drawings include:
SNES Controller front elevation, top, side

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DualShock 3 Controller

The DualShock 3 Controller is a seventh-generation gamepad compatible with PlayStation 3 and the successor of the DualShock 2 controller, and the Six-axis announced at the Tokyo games show in 2007.

The DualShock 3 Controller has identical features to the Six-axis but with a force feedback capability and the ability to communicate with the console via USB cable when connected to a USB and not via Bluetooth. There were two public releases of the DualShock 3, slim model PS3 and DualShock 3 (A1), which removed the additional plastic brackets and included slightly revised color schemes.

The DualShock 3 Controller has a height of 3.78” (97 mm), width of 6.2” (160 mm), depth of 2.2” (55 mm), and approximate weight of 6.7 oz (.19 kg).

Collection of drawings of the DualShock 3 Controller with height, width, and depth dimensions
The DualShock 3 Controller is a seventh-generation gamepad compatible with PlayStation 3 and the successor of the DualShock 2 controller. The DualShock 3 Controller has identical features to the Six-axis but with a force feedback capability and the ability to communicate via USB cable.

The DualShock 3 Controller has a height of 3.78” (97 mm), width of 6.2” (160 mm), depth of 2.2” (55 mm), and approximate weight of 6.7 oz (.19 kg).

Collection of drawings of the DualShock 3 Controller with height, width, and depth dimensions
DualShock 3 Controller
Height:
3.78” | 97 mm
Width:
6.2” | 160 mm
Length:
Depth:
2.2” | 55 mm
Weight:
6.7 oz | .19 kg
Area:
Designer
Sony
Released
2006

Drawings include:
DualShock 3 Controller front elevation, top, side

Details & Downloads

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