Best Android gamepads as a Razer Kishi substitute


Razer Kishi came out recently. For US$80 [AU$117] it is on the pricey side. The good thing is there are Android gamepads in the market that do not break the bank.

Mobile gaming is at an all-time high with exciting titles continuously coming out. Some games take advantage of Android gamepads. Thus, companies like Razer continue to develop game controllers.

However, as much as the Razer Kishi looks like the perfect controller, it is expensive. $80 might be too much for some.

There are affordable Razer Kishi substitutes in the market as well. It might not be as cool looking as the Kishi but it works.

1. Steelseries Stratus Duo ($70)

Steelseries Stratus Duo - the best Android gamepads

Steelseries makes great gaming PC peripherals. This time, the Steelseries Stratus Duo joins the ranks of its top-notch peripherals.

The Stratus Duo is the latest controller offered by the company today. It connects via Bluetooth with a very comfortable grip. It has a rechargeable battery that provides hours of game time.

Steelseries offers a phone holder grip that attaches to the controller as well. It connects to the middle part of the gamepad that props up the phone for portable gaming.

This controller is not exclusive to the Android ecosystem though. It has a built-in Wi-Fi dongle that allows pairing to a computer.

2. 8Bitdo SN30 ($30)

8bitDO SN30 - retro Android gamepad

This retro-looking controller from 8Bitdo provides a great Android gaming experience. It connects easily via Bluetooth.

The 8Bitdo SN30 has a classic layout that is perfect for 2D platformer games. The classic look is also nostalgic especially for those who owned a SNES console before.

In terms of build quality, the D-pad is tactile and it works really well. There is not much input lag as well.

Another plus is its compatibility with other platforms such as the Nintendo Switch, Windows, and macOS.

3. Moga Hero Power ($20)

Moga Hero Power

This Xbox controller look-alike has a built-in stand that makes it a portable solution. The Moga Hero Power follows the button layout of the Xbox controller in a very small form factor.

The Moga Hero Power has a rechargeable battery unlike other controllers with AA batteries. This makes it easier to work with as most power banks are able to charge this gamepad.

It is also compatible with most PC games. However, it is better to be used on mobile phones as the phone stand is its standout feature.

If the Moga Hero Power is too small, there is the Moga Pro Power that works the same but with better ergonomics.

4. Steelseries Stratus XL ($35)

Steelseries Stratus XL

The Steelseries Stratus XL is the best from the company’s lineup until it was dethroned by the Stratus Duo.

This gamepad controller has a phone attachment as well. But its main takeaway is its large frame and ergonomic grip.

It has the same design as the Xbox controller but with added weight for rigidity. However, the button layout is the same as the PlayStation controller. It might be a good thing or a bad thing depending on personal preference.

The only downside with this controller is it is battery operated. Rechargeable batteries are quite expensive as well. Going the disposable battery route will also drain a hole in the pocket.

5. MadCatz GameSmart C.T.R.L.R ($30)


Last on the list is another gamepad that is reminiscent of the classic Xbox controller look. The MadCatz GameSmart C.T.R.L.R shares the asymmetric layout of the Xbox.

It has added media controls on the top of the layout making it easier to access Android commands. The device connects via Bluetooth.

There are three game modes available in the “GameSmart” feature. The first mode is for Android games. The second mode adds a cursor that may be used on the smartphone. The last game mode is for PC connectivity.

It has the same downside as the Stratus Duo. Power is provided by the AA batteries. It is fine though as it is rated for 40 hours. However, it may easily burn through its power when played regularly.

This one is quite heftier than other Android gamepads though. It is better used for home use.

Images used courtesy of Stratus Duo, 8Bitdo, MadCatz, Steelseries Stratus XL, Moga/Amazon, Steelseries 

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