Wired vs Wireless Controllers (Best Options against latency)

Developers in the gaming industry are always releasing new technology and refining the old technology to improve the gaming experience. Controllers play an important role in the gaming experience, and you have to take some time to decide if you want to use a wired or wireless controller. If you are looking for a gaming controller, you might be wondering if a wired controller is the better choice.

So, are wired controllers better? Wired controllers are better in gaming because they offer a faster response, have no battery issues, and are less likely to be affected by other devices. Unlike wireless controllers, which need to be charged after a few hours, wired controllers do not need to be recharged. Wired controllers also do not rely on wireless signals; hence, you do not have to worry about other devices like tablets and laptops interfering with your wired controller.

Gaming technology keeps improving, and console makers keep releasing gaming controllers with the best features. After purchasing a console or gaming PC, the next step is to find the best gaming controller. Read on to find out if wired controllers are better, whether they are more responsive, and whether wired controllers are better than wireless controllers.

When buying a new gaming console, one of the questions many gamers ask themselves is which controller to get. Most console developers will include a primary controller with the console, but you can change it. If you are looking for a perfect gaming controller, you might be wondering whether you should get a wired controller.

Wired controllers are better because they have a faster response compared to wireless controllers. Another advantage of using wired controllers is that you do not have to recharge them after a few hours.

Most wired controllers have cables measuring more than two meters (6 Feet); therefore, you can sit close or far from your television without straining your eyes. When setting up your gaming console, if you are using a wired controller, you do not have to worry about where it will face. You can place it behind other items, and your controller will still work.

One of the issues that most gamers worry about is latency. Latency, in gaming, is the time it takes an input signal to travel from your controller to your console and your television. Low latency is when the signal takes the shortest time, while high latency is when the signal takes a long time.

Wired controllers have a low latency because it does not rely on Bluetooth signals to send input to the console. Wired controllers are perfect for games requiring quick reactions, such as online multiplayer games like Fortnite.

In Fortnite, you will face many opponents, and you do not want to use a high latency controller. You will not survive the tournament because there are many Fortnite players with great controllers and experience.

Wired controllers are perfect because you will never have any battery issues. Wireless controllers use rechargeable batteries that require charging after a few hours of gaming. Pausing your game to charge your wireless controller will ruin your gaming experience, especially if it is an online game and the other gamers want to continue playing.

A wired controller does not need to be charged, and it uses your console or gaming PC as the power source. Wired controllers require maintenance because you do not have to buy rechargeable batteries when the ones you are using become weak.

When setting up your gaming system, you do not have to worry about other items blocking the console if you use a wired controller. You only need to place your console in a well-ventilated place for air circulation.

If you do not have enough space in your room, a wired controller is the best choice because wireless controllers will not work properly if the console is blocked. You also do not have to worry about other devices interfering with your wired controllers. Sometimes, electronic devices using Bluetooth signals can interfere with wireless controller signals ruining your gaming experience.

Using a wired controller also reduces the chances of misplacing or accidentally damaging your gaming controller. A wired controller will always be attached to your console or gaming PC unless you unplug it. Therefore, you will always find your controller next to the console.

It is very easy to misplace your wireless controller, especially when you move to a different house. It is also easy to damage a wireless controller, with accidents such as stepping on it after leaving it on the floor when you are done playing a game.

Are Wired Controllers More Responsive?

In highly competitive online multiplayer games, the more responsive your controller is, the higher the chance of winning the game. Many online gamers, especially professionals, rely on the responsiveness of a controller to win tournaments. If you are looking for a new gaming controller to play in online multiplayer games, you might be wondering if a wired controller would be more responsive.

Wired controllers have more responsiveness because the signals from the controller to the console do not face any interruptions or interference. When you press a button on your wired controller, the signal travels through the cable to the console without interference.

On wireless controllers, you might have less response because of numerous interferences or interruptions. For example, if you move too far from the console or place too many items between the console and the wireless controller, your controller might be less responsive.

The result on your television will dictate which button you will press next on your controller. If the result on your television takes a long time to appear after pushing a button on your controller, it might leave you guessing what to do next, which might cost you a win.

Playing a game with wired controllers ensures that you have a fast response; hence, it is easy to correctly predict which button to push after seeing the desired results on the screen.

Sometimes, you might be using a wired controller and still experience a high input lag when playing a game. One of the reasons why you might experience input lag on a wired controller is a fault USB cable. The cable connecting your controller to the console or gaming PC might have some issues, causing your wired controller to be less responsive.

If your wired controllers use a detachable USB cable, replace the cable with a new one. If it does not have a detachable cable, take it to the manufacturer or supplier for repair or replacement.

The slow response while gaming might be caused by incompatible frame rates on your console and television. You should also check the frame rate on your console and television and ensure that they are the same.

If your console is playing a game at 60 FPS, ensure that your television’s frame rate is also 60 FPS. You should also lower your television’s resolution to reduce input lag because most games are played with a 1080p resolution while most gamers have a TV with a higher resolution.

Are Wired Controllers Better than Wireless?

A gaming controller is among the most important gaming accessories, and, without it, you cannot even access your console’s menu. When choosing a new gaming controller, you have to choose between wired and wireless controllers. Before you decide, it is best to know if a wired controller is better than a wireless controller.

Wired controllers are not better than wireless controllers because the developers keep improving the wireless technology making gaming with wireless controllers better. Using wired controllers guarantees a fast response, no battery issues, and no signal interference. However, wired controllers restrict your movement, and the cables get damaged easily.

On the other hand, using a wireless controller means you will have the freedom to move, less lag, great design. Some of the disadvantages of using a wireless controller might include short battery life and signal interference.

A fast response is one of the reasons why some gamers prefer to use wired gaming controllers. In a game where even milliseconds count, a wired gaming controller is the better choice. For a long time, wired controllers had a fast response, but now, most wireless controllers also have a fast response.

For example, the Xbox Series X wireless controller has a fast response of fewer than two milliseconds. Compared to a wired controller, the Xbox Series X wireless controller is equal or even better in terms of input lag.

The lack of batteries in a wired gaming controller makes it perfect for gamers who can play for hours without stopping. When using a wired controller, you do not have to pause your games to recharge the controller’s battery. The developers have improved the performance of wireless controllers by increasing the battery life.

For example, the Xbox Series X battery can last for upwards of 30 hours. Very few gamers can play games for more than 24 hours without needing a break. Therefore, when you head to sleep after gaming, you can use that time to recharge your wireless controllers.

One of the drawbacks of using a wireless gaming controller is the need to charge it regularly. After gaming for a few hours, you have to get up, look for a USB cable and connect your controller to the console or gaming PC. Connecting the wireless controller to the console or gaming PC every day after gaming becomes cumbersome after a few days or weeks.

You can even forget to connect your wireless controller to the console or gaming PC, and the batteries die out when you are in the middle of an important game. If you do not want the stress of having to connect your controller to the console or PC every day, a wired controller is the best choice.

If you choose a wired controller, you do not have to worry about other electronics or items blocking or interfering with the signals. Wired gaming controllers send input signals through the USB cable, while wireless gaming controllers use Bluetooth signals.

If you are using other electronic devices with Bluetooth close to your console and wireless controller, the wireless controller might not function properly because of signal interference. You might start to experience input lag if items such as books are blocking your console.

A wireless controller gives you enough room to move around; hence, you are not confined to a small gaming area. Most wireless gaming controllers have a range of more than ten meters. You can play without any issues as long as you are within the ten-meter range and there is nothing between the console and the wireless controller.

Wired controllers have a 2 or 3 meters USB cable. Hence, you have to set up your gaming system with that distance in mind. You also cannot move further from the console or gaming PC if the light from your television is affecting your eyes.

Most of the wireless gaming controllers have a great design that fits perfectly in your hands. Wireless controllers also look great, case in point, DualShock 4 Wireless controller. The DualShock 4 has a light bar that changes color, indicating which player uses it on the console. Wireless controllers are perfect when gaming on one console with several people because there are no piles of cable on the floor, making your room look disorganized.

You should note that some wireless gaming controllers can also be used as wired controllers. When charging your wireless controller on a console or gaming PC, you can continue gaming while charging, or you can pause the game and wait for it to charge fully.

For example, if you use the Xbox One wireless controller, you can connect it to your console using a USB cable and continue gaming. You can still use the Xbox One Wireless controller as a wired controller without damaging the batteries once it is fully charged.

Wireless vs Bluetooth Xbox One controller

Choosing a controller from Microsoft or deciding to use one from a different manufacturer needs some consideration. As generic controllers can end up being less effective and suffer from latency issues, making game play difficult and unresponsive.

The wireless Xbox One controller supplied by Microsoft offers better connectivity than the non-Microsoft branded Bluetooth controllers to Xbox devices. This is because the wireless Xbox controllers supplied by Microsoft uses it’s own proprietary technology for connecting, called the Xbox Wireless protocol.

The Microsoft Wireless protocol ensures only Microsoft controllers and a selection of preferred vendors, can connect with the Xbox One consoles without any issues of latency that can plague other generic controllers. Compared to Bluetooth technology, the proprietary wireless protocol provides a better connection, that’s more stable with far less latency. Due partly in that it works at a frequency higher than in Bluetooth.

Most of the Xbox Wireless controllers supplied by Microsoft and it’s selection of preferred partners also use Bluetooth technology. Allowing these controllers to connect to other devices using the Bluetooth technology. So whilst connectivity to the Xbox Series S and the series X is a given, connectivity to Windows 10, as well as devices running Android or even iOS is also possible.

With the Bluetooth technology especially the latency, means this technology is only as good as the Bluetooth adapter used to connect to the Xbox One console. As the Xbox One console does not come with Bluetooth functionality built in. Getting a sub-optimal Bluetooth adapter can dull the gaming experience, as any devices like controllers and headsets connected through Bluetooth won’t work effectively.


When choosing between a wired and a wireless controller, it comes down to personal preferences. Gamers have different playing styles, and a wired controller might be perfect for you but cumbersome to another gamer. A wired controller is the best option if you prefer to sit close to your console and play combative games.

If you do not like movement restrictions, then you should go for a wireless controller. In terms of input lag, the difference is not that huge between a wired and wireless controller. Therefore, you can choose a wired or wireless controller and still experience low input lag if you choose a controller from a reputable gaming company like Sony or Microsoft.

Bal Kang

Bal Kang is a technology expert based in the UK, with experience across a number of technology areas from phones, tablets, computers to gaming.

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