Best gamepads under $100 from AliExpress
When buying a TV-Box, people mostly look at the ability to play streaming services (like Toutube, Netflix, Megogo…), IP-TV and torrenting. But, it turns out that almost all set-top boxes can also play games. After all, in most cases, it’s the android. Some simple games like chess, arkanoid or PacMan can be played with the included remote, but you can not play races or shooters. On the one hand, you can get a gamepad from PlayStation. But buying a mouse that is three times the price of the console itself is kind of weird, isn’t it? But you shouldn’t buy cheap knockoffs from a Chinese basement for less than $20 either – You will not get pleasure from playing games. What to look for when choosing a gamepad:
- Price: up to $100, but not cheaper than $25.
- Sticks blind spots. This is the amount of angle to which you have deflected the stick and the game has not yet responded in any way. No one measures with a protractor, only a subjective feeling.
- More buttons.
- Ease of grip, materials, design.
In addition, we will pay attention to compatibility with different devices: PC, smartphone, various consoles (such as Nintendo Switch). While not the goal of this text, you might want to play with a touchpad on more than just a set-top box.
Let’s start with the old IPega PG-9118. It is now very cheap (about $25), almost to the point where a gamepad is not worth buying below. Nevertheless, it is a very good touchpad, worthy of consideration. Sticks have virtually no dead spots. There is an interchangeable overlay on the crossbar, pretty good and comfortable buttons and triggers. 10 hours of gaming on a single charge. Of the drawbacks, given the price, perhaps only that there is no dongle to connect to the PC.
Inexpensive entry level touchpad, now costs about $30. It has excellent compatibility. Wide body, comfortable to hold, especially for men’s hands. Minimum of dead spots. There is a connectivity mode indicator. 8 hours of active play on a single charge. The disadvantage is «Inexpensive» performance quality.
GameSir T4 Pro
A pretty good touchpad for about $40. Extended multiplatform, almost all popular gaming platforms are supported and the dongle supports set-top boxes, which reduces the lag, compared with the connection via Bluetooth. Transparent beautiful case with backlighting. 4 additional buttons that you can «hang» missing actions. Bracket to mount your smartphone is mounted separately, which can be an advantage or disadvantage. The GameSir T4 Pro features a six-axis gyro, which flight and racing pilots will be happy about. Virtually no blind spots and over 10 hours of active play on a single charge will also appeal to everyone.
Flydigi Apex 2
This is a fresh and relatively expensive ($80) touchpad model. Flydigi Apex 2 is compatible with virtually all platforms. Very well made. Comes with quality carrying case. Interchangeable sticks included with different heights, 3 pairs. Grippy rubberized grips. 6 additional buttons, two of them near the triggers, a great solution for shooters (for example, next to the trigger of a firearm, you can put a button to throw a grenade). Movable XYB block on the device, which duplicates the stick’s work (e.g. you can press X and go on «swivel your head»). Naturally, a relatively expensive touchpad has a six-axis horoscope. Great candidate to buy if you are satisfied with the price.
GameSir G4 Pro
Great design and build for $50. Comfortable grip. Reconfigurable buttons with neodymium magnets, you can swap A, B, X, Y buttons as you’re used to or depending on what you hooked the touchpad to. Also has 4 additional buttons. Adjustable trigger. Has a six axis gyroscope. Asymmetric motors add to the realistic «recoil». Separate screenshot button. Large battery lasts more than 20 hours of active gameplay on a single charge, which is indicated by the LED level indicator. The disadvantages are the weak button illumination and lack of air mouse mode.