Gaming on Android typically requires you to settle for using touchscreen controls. However, some gracious game developers take the time and effort to add support for Bluetooth gamepads — and we love them for it. Since so few games provide this feature, we’ve taken the time to test as many as we could. Here is our list of the best games that let you play with the best Bluetooth controller in your hands.
We’d also recommend getting a Style Ring or PopSocket, which can help prop your phone up at a good angle for gaming.
You might recognize some of these games from the best Android games roundup, and for good reason. But you’re here for the best games with controller support, after all, so here I present to you the best you can find on the Play Store.
Call of Duty Mobile
Simply put, Call of Duty Mobile is one of the best Android games ever made. It offers an authentic experience for long-time fans of Call of Duty with a full suite of multiplayer modes to choose from. While the Call of Duty franchise has featured some really awesome single-player campaigns, Mobile focuses exclusively on multiplayer and manages to hit it out of the park by delivering the exact style of action fans have come to know and love.
A big reason why the game plays so well is due to the involvement of Tencent Games. They’ve owned the mobile shooter space with PUBG Mobile, another game that’s featured on this list, and fans of that game will recognize the familiar user interface and surprising gameplay performance that’s been perfectly optimized for mobile. And unlike PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty Mobile was quick to receive full support for Bluetooth controllers, which makes everything that much more awesome!
The game features the core team deathmatch modes that Call of Duty is known for, along with the Battle Royale mode that was introduced in the main franchise with CoD: Black Ops 4. They could have easily just stuck with the team deathmatch and still had a great game on their hands, but the inclusion of a 100-player battle royale mode and the fan-favorite zombie mode just adds that much more value to this free-to-play game.
I’ve been playing CoD Mobile since the beta, and it has been one of my go-to games whenever I’ve got a couple of minutes to kill. Because the game is so damn popular, it’s super quick to jump into a match, whether you want to play with casuals or go up against more veteran players in a ranked match. There’s a “premium” Battle Pass, and the game tries to push its in-app purchases on you as often as possible, but you don’t have to spend any money to enjoy this excellent mobile shooter.
There have been some great racing games released on Android, but few offer the depth of gameplay and brilliant graphics found in GRID Autosport. Developed by Feral Interactive, GRID offers the most authentic racing experience you can play on your mobile phone with full support for Bluetooth controllers.
GRID feels like a console-quality game for your phone, featuring console-quality graphics and realistic physics and vehicle damage. There are over 100 cars to drive with an equal number of tracks to burn rubber down. And it’s not just circuit racing that’s available. GRID features an incredible selection of race types across a wide range of disciplines — from open-wheel and touring circuits to street drag races and even chaotic demolition races.
There’s a career mode available with great production value and pre-race animations that lets you rise from the ranks to become the best professional driver, but I’m partial to the great selection of one-off races that include a great mix of pure simulation races like endurance races and drag races along with arcade modes like eliminator races (where the racer in last place is eliminated each lap), checkpoint races where you’re racing against the clock, and drift races where you earn points for pulling off smooth powerslides through each corner.
GRID Autosport gives you full control over all the settings so that you’re never frustrated with it being too easy or too difficult. There’s scalable difficulty that starts out with braking assists and other features for an easier and more arcade-style experience for casual gamers, or you can ramp up the difficulty and set things to simulation settings for fans yearning for a pure racing experience. The inclusion of Bluetooth controller support is just another reason why this is one of the absolute best racing games for Android and absolutely justifies the premium price.
Tesla vs Lovecraft
Tesla vs. Lovecraft is an intense top-down twin-stick shooter that plays well enough just on your phone but really shines with a Bluetooth controller in hand. You play as Nikolai Tesla, who is feuding with H.P. Lovecraft, who, as it happens, has figured out how to open up portals to release grotesque occult monsters upon the world.
Fortunately, Tesla has a huge collection of upgradeable weapons, including standard fare like pistols, machine guns, and shotguns to more futuristic weaponry from Tesla’s personal armory, including the pièce de résistance Tesla mech suit that can cut through waves of enemies in seconds. Weapons spawn randomly around the level, and you need to collect all five pieces of the mech suit before it becomes available to you for a brief amount of time.
Each level takes place in a closed arena where monsters spawn at random, and your goal is to take out all the monsters and destroy any Cthulu spawning pools that pop up. There are also boss levels peppered in that feature a gigantic that needs to be destroyed along with the endless swarms of other monsters. Those levels are particularly challenging, and you’ll need to make good use of the Perks you unlock by collecting XP.
That’s where the game makes wonderful use of rogue-like elements, which ensure that each playthrough of a level is unique. As you shoot at enemies, you collect XP. Fill your XP bar, and you’re able to unlock a new Perk, which is typically some sort of character or weapon upgrade that will help you to survive longer or be more efficient at killing monsters, but the perk only lasts for that playthrough, and you lose all perks whether you succeed or fail.
There are over 30 levels to play, each of which has three different “planes” (or difficulty levels), with the higher planes offering up bigger challenges for better rewards. There’s also a survival mode that tests how long you can last against literally endless waves of enemies and an optional DLC pack that adds more weapons and enemies to the mix.
Evoland 2 is one of those premium games for Android that you just don’t want to put down. Initially released in 2015 on Steam, Evoland 2 is a fantastic sequel to the first Evoland and follows suit with graphics and gameplay that evolve as you progress through the story.
I thoroughly enjoyed the first Evoland game for Android, and one of my few criticisms of the game was that the story was a bit short. That’s not the case with Evoland 2, which features over 20 hours of gameplay.
While the first game in the series explored the evolution of RPGs, Evoland 2 has expanded its nostalgic scope by incorporating even more gaming genres. It starts out as a pretty typical action RPG, but as you progress through the story, both the graphics and gameplay take dramatic shifts that work wonderfully to keep the game feeling fresh.
Evoland 2 will have you laughing as it constantly breaks the fourth wall, and there are more gaming and pop culture references than you can shake a stick at. This is another great game for fans of RPGs and video game culture and well worth the cost to play. Best of all, there’s support for both Bluetooth controllers and Android TV, including the NVIDIA Shield TV.
Horizon Chase World Tour
Horizon Chase is a fun retro-style racer with gameplay reminiscent of the classic 80s arcade racer Pole Position. Featuring bright and colorful retro graphics over 70 tracks spanning 32 cities, there’s plenty of fun to be had here. You start each race from the back of a 20 car pack and must weave your way past your opponents to take the crown. Keep winning to upgrade and unlock up 16 available cars.
Horizon Chase offers support for Bluetooth controls, and while the touchscreen controls are alright, I’ve always found that a physical controller is way better for the fine touch required in racing games.
You get to play the San Francisco tracks but then must pay to unlock the full game. Given how beautiful and fun this game is, we bet you will.
Riptide GP: Renegade
Harkening back to memories of games like Jet Moto or Wave Race 64, Riptide GP: Renegade features a story-driven career mode alongside options to run a quick race or battle against online opponents. The graphics are top-notch, with water and motion blur effects really giving the game a good sense of speed.
There’s plenty to unlock and upgrade as you play through the career mode, and the AI is excellent, providing a real challenge compared to other racing games. You’re also able to pull off tricks that power up your boost for whipping past the competition down straightaways. While this game is over almost four years old, it still looks and plays great on Android with full support for Bluetooth controllers.
Modern Combat 5: eSports FPS
Originally released as Modern Combat 5 Blackout, this trend-setting first-person shooter for Android has been re-branded to take advantage of the eSports movement. Now, I’d love to be proven wrong, but I’m pretty sure it’s never going to take off as a prominent eSports game. Having said that, it’s still a solid mobile FPS with dazzling graphics and options to play through the solo campaign or take it online — and you can get an edge on your competition with a proper controller in your hand.
It’s pretty clear that this game was trying to rub some shine off of the Call of Duty franchise when it was first released. Now that Call of Duty has a proper release, gamers might feel like there’s less incentive to play this legacy mobile shooter, but if you’ve never checked out Modern Combat 5, it’s still well worth your time.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas represents the pinnacle of Rockstar’s fantastic series on the PlayStation 2. Set in a fictionalized version of Los Angeles and the surrounding area, it was an absolute masterpiece when it was released back in 2004 and still manages to hold up in 2020.
Rockstar released San Andreas onto the Google Play Store in 2013, and it’s one of those mobile games that’s infinitely better to play with a Bluetooth controller — if only for the muscle memory we all have for those classic GTA console controls. You’re able to go in and tweak the graphics to improve the look and flow of the game as needed for your device, and the game plays pretty well outside of the occasional glitch. Relive all the adventures of CJ and your Grove Street Family as you cause havoc on the streets of San Andreas.
Oceanhorn is an action RPG that is unapologetically inspired by the Zelda franchise, so if you love the look and feel of those kinds of games, you’re in for a real treat here.
Originally launched on Steam, Oceanhorn is a premium title on the Google Play Store which means you’ll pay once and get to enjoy an ad-free game with no in-app purchases or weird progression stuff — you know, how games were meant to be played. The gameplay features a mix of platforming and battling alongside challenging puzzles, and the game plays as well as it looks. Grab your favorite Bluetooth controller and have a blast with Oceanhorn.
Unkilled is another very polished first-person shooter that fully supports Bluetooth controllers and offers over 150 missions in the single-player campaign, along with multiple online multiplayer modes to choose from. You get to choose your preferred character class for online play and then upgrade your skills and weapon load-outs with points you collect as you play.
And again, using the Bluetooth controller should give you a distinct advantage against the AI zombies as well as your online opponents. Simply sync your controller with your phone, and it’ll automatically work when you load up the game.
Skateboard Party 3 Pro
Do you find yourself staring longingly out the window thinking about how great Tony Hawk Pro Skater was back in the day? Me too.
While it’s almost criminal that no one has posted any of those classic games to Android (Tony Hawk’s Skate Jam does not count), Skateboard Party 3 delivers the most comparable experience along with support for Bluetooth controllers. It’s a little finicky and takes some time to get used to, but if you’ve been jonesing for a great skateboarding game to play on the go, this is it.
The full version is available for $3, but if you’d prefer to try before you buy, you can try out the lite version to see if it’s worth investing in the full game.
Do you remember the final scene in the 2001 Jet Li movie The One? Something tells me the developers of Only One did, as the game basically plays like the final scene in that mostly forgettable action flick.
The premise is pretty simple: you stand alone on the top of a tall column with a magical sword as you fight off wave after wave after wave of enemies. The graphics are delightfully retro, and the difficulty progressively as you progress through the levels. Best of all, you can connect your Bluetooth gamepad and play with more precise control. It’s a free game, but you will be pestered to
cheat upgrade via in-app purchases.
Pew Pew 2
Keeping with the retro theme, Pew Pew 2 is a classic arcade-style top-down shooter that’s absolutely perfect for quick gaming sessions along with great depth and variety of gameplay. Unlike its free-to-play predecessor, this sequel is a paid title, but here you get nine unique game modes to play, including a campaign mode with three levels of difficulty.
The game plays well enough with touch screen controls, but playing with two physical thumbsticks really makes a big difference for games like this that demand precise controls for dodging and destroying wave after wave of enemies.
Gaming is always more fun with friends, and BombSquad is an action-packed collection of mini-games with multiple ways to join the game. With fun and cartoony graphics, you’ll be able to choose from eight different game modes.
Bluetooth controllers are supported, or you can get your friends to download the BombSquad Remote app and use their phones to control their character. This game is available for most Android devices, including Android TV, which means you and your friends won’t need to crowd around a tablet or — even worse — smartphone to play.
Sega Forever titles
Sega deserves praise for its Sega Forever program, which has been porting the best gems from its vast game library to the Google Play Store. Whether you’re a huge fan of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (arguably the best Sonic game ever released) or Dreamcast titles like Crazy Taxi or Super Monkeyball — they’re all available as free-to-play titles with ads, or can be unlocked with no ads for just $1.99.
There are more than 20 games currently available, with more added on a monthly basis. All of them can be played with touchscreen controls or with a Bluetooth controller, which is another great move by Sega because these games were designed to be played with a controller in your hand.
Talking about one of my favorite games on Android, Grimvalor is a superb action platformer with slick combat, beautiful visuals, and a general sense of intrigue that keeps you playing for hours on end. While the touchscreen controls are great and some of the best I’ve played with, they can’t stand up to the precision of a controller.
If you like hack-and-slash games, then Grimvalor is one you have to try. The developers give you the first act for free to let you try it out, and then you can decide if you want to purchase the whole thing after that. As soon as I got through the 1-2 hour Act 1 freebie, I knew I had to buy the rest, and I haven’t had a moment of regret since.
So pair up your controller and give Grimvalor a try; it doesn’t cost you a thing. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Source: Google Play Store
When Symphony of the Night came to the Play Store out of nowhere, I was in joyful shock. This was one of my favorite games as a kid, right there with Ocarina of Time and Super Metroid, and seeing it on mobile was so exciting. It has had a massive impact on gaming as we know it, and for very good reasons.
Traverse the mysterious castle as you progress through the excellent story. I don’t want to spoil anything for those of you who never had the chance to play this classic, so I’ll stop there. Symphony of the Night holds up extremely well in today’s gaming landscape, surprisingly well now that I think about it, and the port is quite well done. There are touchscreen controls that are okay, but playing with a controller is where it’s at.
One of the best parts is that the game is only $3. That’s chump change for such a great addition to your library, especially since it’s easily replayable and contains a new achievement system to keep you chasing after new accolades.
Oddmar is an excellent game from the developers of Leo’s Fortune. Some of you diligent readers might recognize this as one of our longer-standing best games for Android. Its gamepad support, of course, means that it earns a spot here on this list.
You play as Oddmar, an exiled Viking who never quite lived up to his warrior ancestors. A magical fairy grants you special powers, and the rest is up to you. Overall, the level design is pretty linear but never feels stale thanks to the good variety of enemies, unique obstacles, and some quick puzzles to solve.
Oddmar also supports cloud saves and achievements through Google Play Games. And, like Grimvalor, you get a free demo to try out before committing to the full game.
Stardew Valley needs little in the way of introduction. It’s a farming sim with RPG elements and, though it might not be to everyone’s liking, it’s loved by many. It’s a game meant to be calming, offering you the opportunity to create and grow your farm. There’s plenty of busy work to do if that’s your thing.
All told, Stardew Valley offers a lot for you to sink your time into. It’s insanely popular, and this version features mobile-exclusive features like autosave, auto-select, and auto-attack to make it easier to play on a touchscreen. But this being a list of games that support gamepads, you’ll be happy to know that Stardew Valley supports external controllers.
There’s also new endgame content to keep you entertained, so while the price tag may seem steep for a mobile game, Stardew Valley is a great value.
Bridge Constructor Portal
If you like both Bridge Constructor and Portal, why not give the expertly named Bridge Constructor Portal a try? It blends the gameplay of both, but ultimately, it’s still a Bridge Constructor puzzle game. Portals and more are thrown in for fun (or a challenge), but it’s still a good time. And it has controller support!
If you like puzzle games, this fan-favorite is one of the best. You’re limited by your own creativity as you solve the various puzzles. There’s a lot of Aperture Science shenanigans at your disposal, and you’ll even see some familiar characters. It’s seriously a joy to play and great for killing some time.
As one of the rare puzzle games with controller support, Bridge Constructor Portal is a must-have in your Play library. Pay the $5 once, and you get a full game with no ads or additional IAPs. The game also supports achievements through Google Play Games.
Dead Cells released on Android a little while ago, and it was worth the wait. This game is one of the best indies of the last decade. It mixes tough, brutal combat that many compare to Dark Souls with a rogue-like to ensure every death hurts. Each time you fail, you get back up again from your cell, start over, learn from your mistakes, and try to do better this time around.
Controller support comes standard, and it’s the best way to play the game. The touchscreen controls are quite good but if we’re honest, it’s pretty hard to beat an external peripheral. You’ll need all the help you can get to survive this game, and even with the controller, it’s a brutal challenge. But that’s the BEST part of Dead Cells.
One of the most popular games in the world came out for Android a while ago and, after a brief stint on the Play Store, became the center of a legal battle. Luckily, it’s still available outside of Google’s storefront if you want to play it. Samsung users can install the Epic Games app directly from the Galaxy Store. If you have another Android device, you can grab the file directly from Epic, which will be linked below. You will then need to sideload the Epic Games app in order to play it.
Love it or hate it, Fortnite is a behemoth. It’s a cultural phenomenon, unlike any other game before it. Though not the first battle royale, Fortnite popularized the genre to the point that we’ve seen several clones in the years since.
Fortnite comes with controller support, and, honestly, you’re going to need it if you want to stand a chance in battle. This isn’t a mobile version of Fortnite, like Call of Duty or PUBG, but the full experience. You can play on your PC or console, then play more on the go. You’ll have access to everything, including progress on your Battle Pass.
Dandara is a beautiful and incredibly engaging Metroidvania. As you might expect from the genre, there’s plenty of solitary exploration as you work to make our heroine more powerful for the trials ahead. Dandara tells the story of a woman who fights to stave off her world’s impending collapse. Travel throughout it, meet interesting characters and survive against the challenges that await you. Defy gravity as you explore a unique world and discover its mysteries.
The Trials of Fear expansion is a free addition. It adds new power-ups, a boss, and areas to explore. If you like Metroidvanias, Dandara is a must-play. Though I like the touchscreen controls, the controller support just makes this game even sweeter. You get a lot of game for just a few bucks, and it’s worth adding to your library.
Limbo is a classic in the indie genre, both for its aesthetic and creepiness — and it’s a really, really creepy game. Arachnophobes may have a hard time here, but if you can push through your fear, you’ll find a fantastic side-scrolling adventure.
Limbo is instantly recognizable with its shadowy, dark look. Controller support is here, too, and you’ll be able to see everything coming at you. The developers even give you the option to try things out for free first with a separate demo.
Source: 2K Games
NBA 2K20 is like finding a needle in a haystack when it comes to modern sports games. It’s a big “AAA” title that costs a bit upfront but doesn’t harass you with microtransactions, loot boxes, or other nonsense. It can’t be overstated how much of a rarity this is in the mobile gaming space.
There are a boatload of modes to choose from, multiplayer matches to win, and just a lot for basketball fans to enjoy. The touchscreen controls are fine, but that’s not why you’re here. Yes, NBA 2K20 features external controller support, giving you precise control over your gameplay.
Another popular game that made its way to mobile, Terraria, is an open sandbox platformer with a focus on exploration. The world is procedurally generated, so you’ll have a different adventure every time. You get three basic tools to start, one for digging, one for combat, and one for cutting wood. Then, you go off on a relaxing adventure with some combat involved.
Otherwise, you’ll explore and try to find resources, which can either be discovered in caves or dropped by enemies. Think Minecraft in 2D, with your time spend wandering, crafting, and building.
Terraria for Android was rebuilt from the ground up for mobile, including a new UI and controls, but it hasn’t lost any of the charms that made it so popular. You get all of the same features as the PC version with the added bonus of being able to play it anywhere.
I’m pretty sure you know what Minecraft is at this point. It’s a cultural phenomenon, beloved the world over by gamers of all ages. It’s an extremely robust game and popular for many good reasons, notably for its simplicity. Though many years old at this point, it’s a game that’s still going strong, and it doesn’t show any signs of stopping.
Feature-rich and fully supported, the Android version of Minecraft is as complete as any other. It sports full cross-play with Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Switch, Windows 10, and iOS. It also gets the latest updates, so you can enjoy everything your friends on other platforms can.
You can unleash your creativity in Creative Mode or go hardcore in Survival Mode, where you’re forced to delve deep for resources to craft protection. Minecraft truly is a mind-boggling game in its scope and execution. Plus, you get that oh-so-sweet controller support to make your gameplay all the better!
Called by some a Dark Souls for Android, Pascal’s Wager is an action RPG with several Souls-like hallmarks. It takes place in a moody medieval setting, where combat is difficult, there’s stamina management, and respawning enemies when you stop at a checkpoint. You get the idea.
Pascal’s Wager does a good job imitating Dark Souls on a phone. It’s also quite fun on its own merit. Despite some iffy voice acting, this game oozes personality. It departs somewhat from the Souls-like formula by not locking you into a specific build. You instead switch characters and use the different playstyles therein. Think of it kind of like Mortal Shell.
It’s also a premium title, costing a bit upfront for several hours of gameplay. There’s also a DLC for it. My biggest recommendation, however, is to use a controller to play. The touchscreen controls lead to certain death.
Doom & Doom II
Where do I even begin? I’m going to assume that you know about Doom and its sequel because even almost 30 years later, they’re still instantly recognizable. The Android ports themselves are very good, with support for controllers and higher framerates for 90Hz and 120Hz displays.
For your money, you get all of the original content, which represents hours of intense gameplay. Both games have aged incredibly well and still play nicely with modern peripherals or touchscreen controls. The latter isn’t too bad if I’m honest, but I definitely prefer a controller.
Do yourself a favor and pick up these gems of gaming history. They’re great for everyone, even if you’ve never played them before. Veterans will feel right at home.
Frequently likened to Super Smash Bros, Ubisoft’s Brawlhalla is one of the best fighting games you can play on mobile right now, and it also happens to be one of those games that gets a serious quality of life improvement by using a compatible controller. As with most fighting games, you’ll need precise inputs to hone your skills, which can be more challenging when using touchscreen controls. But with a solid controller in hand, this shockingly feature-packed game can suck up hours and hours of your time.
Brawlhalla boasts a huge roster of playable characters, dozens of stages, 1v1 and 2v2 smackdowns, spectating, match recording, and so much more. There are 5 main modes you can play, like casual matchmaking, ranked, and Brawl of the Week, but in addition to those, there are a slew of other fun options like Kung Foot, BeachBrawl, Showdown, and many more beyond that. You can even create custom lobbies and tweak the settings to design exactly the kind of gameplay you’re looking for.
Brawlhalla is free-to-play without ads but includes in-app purchases for premium content like cosmetics. Make no mistake, though, this game is not pay-to-win, and you can have a great time without ever paying a dime. If you want to have a fun time and punch your way to the top, you just have to give Brawlhalla a try!
Sky: Children of the Light
From the makers of Journey and Flower comes Sky: Children of the Light, a social adventure game set in a stunning open world. In Sky, you’ll explore the seven realms of a once prosperous kingdom using an enchanted cape that allows you to fly. How far you can go depends on your cape’s level, and players will be able to upgrade their gear and continue exploring further by encountering spirits and gaining “winged light” through helping them. The social aspects of Sky are strongly encouraged, and players are meant to make and play with friends to get the complete experience.
The graphics in Sky are truly gorgeous, and it would be a shame to cover that beauty up with your thumbs, so the controller support here is a welcome feature. There are also many unlockable and purchasable cosmetic items and a variety of in-game currencies you’ll need to collect them all. Combined with a lovely soundtrack and solid gameplay loop, Sky: Children of the Light is easily one of the better mobile games available right now. If you’ve missed the boat on this one, it’s not too late to jump in, spread your wings, and fly!
Update June 2021: Added Sky: Children of the Light to our list!