Best Controller for Fortnite - The Ultimate Guide
It's often said that one of the main advantages of playing on a PC is that it's so much easier to aim with a mouse and keyboard setup than it is to aim with a controller. That's definitely true, if you're used to it, but some people still prefer to use a controller for gaming and the beauty of gaming on a PC is that you can do just that if you want to.
You might think that only 'casuals' opt for a controller, but that's not really true. When looking at our analyzed professionals we can see that around three percent are using a controller despite playing on a gaming PC. That's not that much, obviously, but it's still a surprising little statistic.
In this article we'll go over the controllers that these professionals are using and give you a brief rundown of their features to help you select one for yourself, so whether you're a console gamer looking for the best available device or a PC gamer who is more comfortable playing with the old thumbstick setup; we've got you covered.
What makes a controller good for Fortnite?
Fortnite is a game where you'll need to be able to do a lot of things in the blink of an eye. If you get jumped you'll want to quickly build your way out of trouble, so you're gonna want to have some crucial skills at your fingertips so that they're ready to go at any given time.
Standard issue controllers (i.e. the ones that come with consoles) usually don't have a whole lot of buttons and features, so third party manufacturers have been designing full-featured controllers, complete with extra buttons and paddles, adjustable triggers, configurable thumbsticks, and so on.
Companies such as SCUF have been in the business of making upgraded controllers for a while, but Microsoft also came out with a decked out version of their official Xbox controller (called the Elite) a couple of years ago, proving that there's definitely a market for these more competitive-focused gamepads.
There's also the fact that if you want to be competitive in any shooter with a controller it's of critical importance that you let go of your thumbsticks as little as possible. If you suddenly find yourself in an intense close range firefight and you have to take your thumb off of the thumbstick to select your shotgun you're not going to be tracking your enemy while you're switching weapons, for example. This might seem extremely minor (quickly pushing a button doesn't take that long) but losing track of your enemy in an engagement can obviously lead to a lost fight, even if you just lost track momentarily.
Back in the days where these custom controllers weren't as common pro players would solve this by holding their controllers in a different way and remapping their buttons (Halo's famous Bumper Jumper setup immediately comes to mind here) so that their thumbs almost never had to leave the stick in a firefight. This style of holding a controller (called 'claw grip') doesn't work out for everyone though, and it requires quite a bit of adaptation before it starts to feel natural (doubly so if you've been using controllers 'the regular way' for a long time) so that's where these decked out pads come in real handy.
If you're a claw gamer these types of controllers aren't as necessary, but extra options are always welcome so it's worth it to take a peek at what's on the market.
In essence: these gamepads with all sorts of extra levers and functions might seem gimmicky but in reality they are anything but.
Most used controller
SCUF Infinity4PS PRO
Xbox Elite Wireless
Xbox Wireless Controller
1. SCUF Infinity 4PS Pro
Compatible with PS4 and PC
Decked out DualShock
The SCUF Infinity 4PS Pro is a controller that's made for the PS4 (as the name gives away) and PC and it's based on the famous DualShock design.
On the front the Infinity 4PS pro might look like a regular aftermarket controller, but this one has a number of very interesting features that you can add to it. On the bottom of the controller you get two paddles which can be used for important actions (such as building, for example) so that you never have to take your thumb off of the sticks during intense fights. This alone is an incredibly useful addition over the regular DualShock controller and can greatly improve your performance, but it doesn't have to end there.
The 4PS Pro comes with a whole variety of customizable features. If you order on SCUF's website you can pick your own color for the buttons, thumb sticks, and shell, but you can also add custom triggers that you can tune so that they actuate at just the right point for you, add a grip shell to the back of the pad, choose between concave or domed thumbsticks, and so on and so on.
All of these extra features can add up to a very expensive controller (though the paddles, which are arguably the most useful addition, are standard) but it is pretty cool to be able to buy a controller that's made to your exact personal specifications so we can see why this is one of the most popular aftermarket controllers out there.
2. Xbox Elite Wireless
Compatible with Xbox One and PC
When Microsoft saw there was a demand for customizable premium controllers they didn't want to stay behind the curve and thus the Xbox Elite line of controllers was born.
It's got the shape of a standard Xbox One controller but it comes with a carrying case, a set of four modular paddles (which attach to the bottom of the controller, giving you that all-important extra control without having to use your aiming thumb), three different sets of thumbsticks and two different kinds of D-pad.
This gives you a fantastic set of customization options straight from the box so that you can set up your controller exactly how you like it, but Microsoft also includes a rubberized grip, Hair Trigger Locks (which stops trigger movement after you actuate the trigger so that you don't waste any time 'overextending' the trigger) and a full app for customizing your thumbstick sensitivity, button mappings, and all that jazz. You can even store two different profiles on the controller itself and switch between them on the device so that you can easily share this device with a sibling or your significant other, for example.
The Xbox Elite Wireless truly is an elite controller, and it's one of the best options out there if you want a customizable controller with a bunch of extra features that are included in the standard package.
3. SCUF Impact
Compatible with PS4 and PC
The SCUF Impact shares many features with the SCUF 4PS Pro, but the Impact ups the ante by adding four paddles to the bottom of the controller instead of two. Aside from that it's obvious that the Impact is based upon the design of the Xbox controller (whereas the 4PS Pro is based upon PlayStation's DualShock 4) but it is made for use with the PS4 (and PC) so be aware of this in case you're an Xbox gamer.
Being a SCUF product this can be customized almost entirely (though many features will come at a price premium) but the four paddles are standard on every Impact controller, which makes this a great choice if you like what SCUF are offering but you're a fan of the Xbox shape.
If you're not sure on what kind of custom features you want on your controller you can also go for the Xbox Elite Wireless. That one offers a bunch of custom options straight out of the box, though SCUF definitely offers a lot more different configurations if you already know what you want.
4. DualShock 4
Compatible with PS4 and PC
These days Sony's DualShock is probably one of the most recognizable gaming peripherals out there. This design has been used since the days of the PS1 and while there have been subtle changes to the curves and overall design it's still, in essence, the same old controller as the one that many of us held in our younger PS1, PS2, or PS3 days.
Most gamers will be intimately familiar with this product, so there's not much to say here. The DualShock 4 is a very decent and reliable controller, but it obviously lacks the customization options and performance-focused features of the other controllers on this list. That does mean that it's a very budget friendly option, so if you're strapped for cash or you just want to try out gaming with a controller then this could be worth looking at.
5. Xbox Wireless Controller
Compatible with Xbox One and PC
That other classic
The Xbox Wireless controller (which is the standard Xbox One controller) is yet another classic design, but this one hasn't been around since basically forever like its PlayStation counterpart. The controller that came with the original Xbox was a very bulky and difficult to use gamepad, so the foundations for this design weren't laid until the Xbox 360 came out. The Xbox One controller is a little different than the older Xbox 360 pad, but it does share much of the same design cues.
As far as features go this is another pretty bare-bones controller if you're comparing it to the other entries, but that's not to say that it's a bad piece of kit. It's got a comfortable design with all the basic features that you need (though we would argue that extra paddles are almost a necessity if you're mainly gonna be playing Fortnite) and it comes at a very modest price. This, along with the DualShock, is a good option for the budget-minded individual.
Are Kontrol Freeks Worth It?
If you've been following console/controller gaming for a while you might've heard of Kontrol Freek. It's a company that's mainly known for producing 'performance thumbsticks,' which are basically extra grippy 'extension pieces' that you can put on your default thumbsticks. If you're buying a fully customized SCUF controller you can already sort of choose your own thumbsticks, but these things can come in handy if you're gaming on a regular controller, or if you just don't like the height or grip of the sticks on your aftermarket pad.
Kontrol Freek produces these thumbsticks in a large variety of sizes, shapes, and heights so it's an affordable way to get yourself custom fitted thumbsticks without having to buy an entirely new controller. They are extremely easy to install and remove plus they don't damage the default sticks underneath them, so it's definitely an option to use a certain pair for Fortnite and then another pair for other games, for example.
More than half of our analyzed controller users are currently using (or have been known to use) some variety of the Kontrol Freeks, so we'd definitely suggest checking them out if you don't like your default sticks.
Fortnite Controller Binds
Default binds are usually a good starting point to work on your own personal settings, but most gamers do fiddle with the settings a bit to get to a setup that works for them.
If you've got a controller with paddles or extra buttons it's a good call to spend some time to think about your binds. In general you'll want to make sure that your thumbs have to leave the sticks as little as possible so binding certain actions that you'll use during combat (jump, for example) to those paddles can give you that extra edge during battles because you'll be able to keep tracking your enemy at all times.
Binds are personal and you should configure your controller so that it's comfortable for you personally, but you can take a look at players such as Nickmercs to see how they do it as a starting point. He's got jump and edit bound to the two paddles on the back of his 4PS Pro controller.
Conclusion: The best controller for Fortnite
We said it in the intro: you will want to make sure that your thumbs (almost) never have to leave the sticks if you want to have the most consistent aim possible, and in a game that can get as hectic as Fortnite you would do very well to get a controller with a few extra paddles or buttons to achieve that.
A premium controller will not only feel more comfortable and grippy (for those hot summer sessions) but the extra features and paddles will improve your performance, so it's a good idea to look towards the more customizable options on this list first if you're asking us. You don't have to go all out (a SCUF controller with all optional extras is definitely gonna cost you a pretty penny) but extra paddles and a nice and comfortable gripping material can already go a long way in making your experience and gameplay better from the moment you jump out of that bus to that last frame where you see the Victory Royale screen pop up.
Thanks for reading!