9 Android games you can play with a controller

Play mobile games with a controller for a console-like feel. Here are my favorite Android games with controller support.

9 Android games you can play with a controller

Key Takeaways

  • Mobile gaming popularity has increased due to convenience and accessibility, resulting in more high-quality games on Android.
  • For the best gameplay experience, choose games with built-in controller support on Android devices.
  • Play popular titles like Fortnite, Call of Duty, and Minecraft on Android using a controller for competitive advantage.

Ever since the app and Google Play stores introduced a cheap and convenient way to play tons of games on your mobile device, smartphones have become the most popular gaming system by default. There's a good chance any random person you see on the street won't have a PS5 or Xbox Series X, but you can say with near certainty that they will have either an iPhone or Android device in their pocket. With that larger audience, more and better games started appearing on platforms such as Android to capitalize.

While the convenience of getting a console-quality game on your phone is great, you don't always get a console-quality experience playing with the touch screen. Some games are designed around it, but others clearly intend for you to use a physical controller. There are a few games where you can force controller support, but not everyone has the time or energy to jump through the hoops to get that to work. Instead, pick one of these fantastic games that have controller support from the start.

9 Android games you can play with a controller

1 Fortnite

Be the last person standing

Fortnite

Released July 25, 2017 Developer(s) Epic Games Publisher Epic Games Genre(s) Battle Royale See at Epic Games Store

Fortnite's presence on mobile devices has fluctuated over the past five years or so due to numerous lawsuits, but you can at least still get it on your Android device without too much hassle. Considering it is the biggest game in the industry, I don't think many people will pass up the chance to play it on the go. That said, people play this game to win, and touch controls just won't keep you competitive with all the killers out there. Fortnite supports crossplay with every other platform, so any disadvantage you have could mean the difference between victory and defeat. Connect a controller and start racking up those victory royales.

9 Android games you can play with a controller

2 Dandara Trials of Fear Edition

Gravity-defying Metroidvania

Dandara Trials of Fear Edition

Release Date 2018-02-06 Genre Metroidvania Developer Raw Fury $4 at Google Play Store

There are dozens of Metroidvanias to choose from on Android, so I decided to highlight one you may not have heard of but is just as good as the bigger titles. Dandara is a game in which you play as the titular Dandara on a quest to save the world of Salt. Your primary power, and method of exploration, is the ability to defy gravity to leap from any surface to another. This makes every room, whether or not it contains enemies, a complex dance of timing, positioning, and problem-solving. When things get hectic — and they will very quickly — you will need the faster and more precise aiming of a controller to overcome the challenges. This version also includes more levels and additional lore if you become invested in the world.

9 Android games you can play with a controller

3 Brawlhalla

Epic platform fighter

Brawlhalla

Released August 4, 2020 Publisher Ubisoft Genre Fighting, 2D, platformer, party, multiplayer See at Google Play Store

Since we will never get Super Smash Bros. on our phones, Brawlhalla is here to fill that void. This excellent 2D platform fighter features a roster of dozens of characters, both original and from other franchises. Sure, there's no Mario or Link, but it plays just as well and is completely free. After so many years of support, jumping in now is the best possible time. You can play in tournaments, brawl-of-the-week modes, and ranked modes for teams or free-for-all matches with other fighters online. This game is hardcore enough to host high-stakes tournaments, so you can bet your best opponents will be using a controller.​​​​​​​

9 Android games you can play with a controller

4 Call of Duty Mobile

Answer the call

Call of Duty Mobile

Release Date 2019-09-30 Genre First-person shooter Developer Activision See at Google Play Store

Even though the console Call of Duty games still manage to be one of the best-selling games of the year every year, it's clear that the quality of each release has been on a downward trend for the last handful of entries. Call of Duty Mobile, on the other hand, has only been getting better with age. Instead of making a new game each year, Mobile just keeps updating and adding more content to the base game to keep improving it. If you know CoD, then you already know what to expect here. That means fast, tactical gunfights that require twitch reflexes to dominate. Not only is that almost impossible with touch controls, but you will also be blocking a significant portion of your screen with your hands and limiting your vision.​​​​​​​

9 Android games you can play with a controller

5 Minecraft

Build in comfort

Minecraft

Release Date 2011-06-15 Genre Sandbox, Simulation Developer Mojang $7 at Google Play Store

You know what Minecraft is. If everyone from my mom to my three-year-old nephew knows what it is, then it's safe to say I don't have to explain the basics of it. Still, the ideal way to play remains the tried and true controller. It isn't impossible to get by with touch controls, but everything will just take a little too long. With a controller, you can much more easily swap between blocks, organize your inventory, and fight off any pesky mobs with ease. The last thing you want is to be fumbling with the touch controls when a Creeper shows up and starts hissing next to that cozy little hut you've spent the past two hours crafting.

9 Android games you can play with a controller

6 Dead Cells

One more run

9 Android games you can play with a controller

Dead Cells

Dead Cells is a great time, and you'll definitely get sucked into trying just one more run each time you play.

Release Date 2020-06-02 Genre Roguelike Developer Motion Twin $9 at Google Play Store

In a similar vein to Metroidvanias, there is a wealth of roguelikes to find on Android, so picking one was a tough call. In the end, the visual style and satisfying gameplay loop of Dead Cells wins out in my opinion. Each run is different, but you can never get too far beyond the basic mechanics to feel out of control of your character. The only way that can happen is if you stick with the touch controls. You need to be fast on your feet in Dead Cells, especially if you are going for those speedrun doors. A controller is the only way to go and is well worth bringing along if you invest in the amazing DLCs released post-launch, including the latest Castlevania expansion.​​​​​​​

9 Android games you can play with a controller

7 Alien: Isolation

Steady hands needed

Alien: Isolation

Release Date 2021-12-16 Genre Survival horror Developer Creative Assembly $11 at Google Play Store

In space, no one can hear you scream. In reality, you will scream if you try to play this game with the touch controls. This is the first game on the list that is directly a port of a console game that wasn't initially intended to be played without a controller or keyboard and mouse. While the touch controls it adds are about as good as they could be, there's no comparison to the controller experience. The alien isn't going to go easy on you just because you are using touch controls, and it is out for your blood. Horror games are tense enough without the risk of you dropping your phone while trying to escape from the alien.

9 Android games you can play with a controller

8 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge

That classic arcade feeling

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge

Release Date 2022-12-15 Genre Beat-’em-up Developer Tribute Games See at Google Play Store

Who doesn't love the Turtles? If you're old like I am, you probably cut your teeth on the TMNT arcade games back in the day. You only need to look at Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge to know it's for you. Even if you never touched an arcade cabinet, this modern beat-'em-up looks, sounds, and plays perfectly. You have a large roster of playable characters, plenty of special moves, and the ability to juggle your opponents into oblivion with careful timing and planning. Well, unless you're playing without a controller, which would be like playing with one hand tied behind your back.​​​​​​​

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9 Android games you can play with a controller

9 Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Back in the life of crime

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Release Date 2013-12-19 Genre Open world action Developer Rockstar $7 at Google Play Store

With all the hype building for GTA 6, even though it's still at least a year away, why not go back to one of the classics on your Android? San Andreas is considered by most to be the best of the PS2 trilogy of games and holds up marvelously today. This version is completely remastered with better graphics, lighting, and, most importantly, better controller support. The original didn't really know how to properly utilize dual analog sticks, and touch controls aren't much better. Even if you've visited San Andreas before, going back with these new controller options makes it feel like a brand-new experience.

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