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Best Third Party Controllers for Fire TV Gaming

Fire TV is more than just a movie streaming device. With it you can access a surprising number of games, everything from casual puzzle titles to full-on 3D experiences. Downloading games is easy, but have you ever tried playing one with that tiny little remote? It’s not so much fun, which is why third party controllers are where it’s at.

Best Third Party Game Controllers Fire TV 1

Secure Gaming on Fire TV with a VPN

Locking down your information and keeping it safe is getting harder as the years go by. New laws are constantly being passed that chip away at online freedoms, allowing companies to spy on our activity, record our information, even sell it to the highest bidder.

You can keep yourself safe from these invasions of privacy by installing a reliable VPN. Virtual private networks encrypt your data before it leaves your home network, making it impossible for anyone to see who you, what you’re downloading, or what videos you’re streaming. It’s the perfect way to stay safe on any device, and they work like a charm on Fire TV, as well.

1. ExpressVPN – Fastest VPN

Best Third Party Game Controllers Fire TV 2 -ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN has some of the fastest server speeds in the industry. Each time you connect you’ll be able to stream HD and 4K content without any issue, no matter which server you log into. On top of that, ExpressVPN keeps your data secure with 256-bit AES encryption, a zero-logging policy on traffic, DNS requests, and IP addresses, and both an automatic kill switch and DNS leak protection. Best of all, you can install ExpressVPN directly from the Amazon appstore, no sideloading required. All plans are backed by a 30-day money back guarantee.

2. IPVanish – Perfect for Fire TV

Best Third Party Game Controllers Fire TV 3 -IPVanish

IPVanish has all the right elements to make it a spectacular VPN for Fire TV. Your data is kept safe with DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch, along with a zero traffic logging policy and 256-bit AES encryption on all data. IPVanish also offers a stunning 950 servers in 60 countries for fast access around the world, and you can install it directly from the appstore. All plans are backed by a 7-day money back guarantee.

How to Choose the Best Third Party Controller

Fire TV only lets you pair up to seven devices at once. This includes any remotes and remote apps you’ve used in the past. While most users never reach the limit, if you intend on trying out a lot of gamepads, you might run into problems. That’s why it’s best to choose the best device before taking the plunge.

Pairing Game Controllers

Before you can use your game controller you’ll need to pair it with your Fire TV. Amazon has made this a painless process, all you really have to do is make sure the controller is turned on, then get the Fire TV to search for open connections. Follow the instructions below to pair your gamepad in just a few seconds.

Best Third Party Game Controllers Fire TV 4 -Pair gamepad

To pair your game controller, turn it on and have it ready while your Fire TV boots up. Go to Settings from the main menu, then select Controllers & Bluetooth Devices. Pick the Game Controllers option (shown above). Now choose Add New Game Controller. Hold the home button on the gamepad for about ten seconds, then the pairing will automatically complete.

Some gamepads may have alternate pairing methods you’ll need to follow. For example, you might have to hold a different combination of buttons while the Fire TV detects the bluetooth signal. You’ll follow the same instructions above as far as the Fire device is concerned. When it comes time to get your gamepad to broadcast, follow the manufacturer’s pairing instructions.

Wireless vs Wired

The vast majority of controllers you’ll see that offer Fire TV compatibility will be wireless. This is because only the standalone Fire TV device offers a USB port. The Fire Stick doesn’t have that option, which means if that’s what you own, you have to use bluetooth or Wi-Fi connections, there’s no other option.

If you have a set top Fire TV box you can often get better compatibility with USB plug-in gamepads. They’re a little easier to pair, and you’re not likely to run into any connectivity issues since they’re bound by a physical cable. As long as you don’t mind dealing with a wire stretching across your living room, you’re set, though bluetooth gamepads are not a bad option by any means.

App-Based Controllers

It’s possible to download bluetooth apps to separate Android devices and use them as a controller for your Fire TV. These gamepads have a terrible reputation for being unreliable, however. Connections fail, pairings are fraught with issues, and buttons sometimes fail to work. It may be tempting to try out a third party app controller, but at the end of the day you’ll be much happier sticking with a real gamepad.

Amazon’s Fire TV Gamepad

Amazon makes a perfectly serviceable gamepad that’s 100% compatible with its Fire TV devices. Why would you go with a third party solution? Two reasons: extra features and improved comfort. Amazon’s controller isn’t the best when it comes to smart design. You’ll find lots of Fire-centric media buttons to utilize, but at the end of the day you can get better gamepads by going third party. They’re also often cheaper than Amazon’s official hardware and can work with tons of other devices, which is always a bonus.

Controller Styles

In our selections below you’ll note two listed styles for Fire TV gamepads: PlayStation and Xbox 360. This indicates the overall layout and design of the third party accessory. PlayStation-like gamepads put the analog sticks in the center and keep a flat dogbone kind of style. Xbox gamepads opt for the winged palm design and shift the left analog stick up to be easier to reach. Which style you prefer is entirely up to you.

Best Third-Party Controllers for Fire TV

Download your favorite Fire TV apps and clear your afternoon, it’s time to get some serious game playing done!

Mad Catz C.T.R.L.R

Best Third Party Game Controllers Fire TV 5 -Madcatz

If you can get over the painful amount of effort required to look at this controller’s name, you’ll find a surprisingly solid third-party gamepad that offers just about all the features you could want. Mad Catz is an experienced accessories developer with hundreds of products for dozens of devices. The company’s Fire TV offerings combine all the features you want in a controller, making it possible to ditch your remote entirely in favor of this bad boy.

The Mad Catz C.T.R.L.R is laid out like an Xbox 360 controller. You’ve got two analog sticks, a decent d-pad, four face buttons, and two sets of trigger buttons on the top. The most interesting feature are the media buttons Mad Catz included at the top of the device. You can use these to play, pause, mute, fast forward, or rewind videos on your Fire TV, no need to pick up the remote.

Logitech Gamepad F710

Best Third Party Game Controllers Fire TV 6 -Logitech

Logitech’s gamepads are well-known in the accessories community. The F710 works with a huge number of devices, everything from gaming consoles to PCs, laptops, tablets, and other Android-powered hardware. While it wasn’t specifically made to run on Fire TV, you can get a surprising amount of use out of the accessory, especially if you own multiple compatible devices.

The Logitech Gamepad F710 sports a PlayStation controller-like layout with a d-pad and face buttons mirrored on the sides, two analog sticks in the center, and trigger buttons on the top and back. There are no Fire TV-specific options or even a home button to use, but the controller pairs easily with Fire TV and is great for quick, simple gaming sessions.

Note: Because the Logitech Gamepad F710 connects to Fire TV using a USB dongle, you can only use it with an actual Fire TV, not Fire Stick. This is simply because the Fire Stick doesn’t offer a USB plug.

Nyko PlayPad Pro

Best Third Party Game Controllers Fire TV 7 -Nyko

Peripherals maker Nyko was quick to roll out its Fire TV compatible controller once Fire TV gaming picked up some steam. The PlayPad Pro copies the layout and style of Amazon’s official gamepad, opting for simplicity over crazy or complicated features. You get a straightforward layout with two analog sticks, four face buttons, and two sets of trigger buttons on top. A home button lets you get back to the Fire TV’s main screen at any time, and you can do basic navigation using the d-pad or analog sticks.

Apart from its relatively low price and simplicity, the Nyko PlayPad Pro doesn’t offer a lot of tempting features. It’s great if you need a budget controller for simple games, however, just as long as you don’t mind keeping your voice remote nearby for movie streaming.

Baile Wireless Game Controller

Best Third Party Game Controllers Fire TV 8 -Baile wireless

When you’re in the market for a fast and cheap gamepad and don’t want to fuss with any crazy features, Baile’s dogbone-style controller is the way to go. The no-frills device offers a good set of features for gaming on multiple devices, including Android TV and Fire TV. A d-pad rocker, four face buttons, two analog sticks, and two sets of trigger buttons give you everything you need to control your games. It’s perfectly designed for fast-paced action and fighting games, too, all thanks to the analog and rocker layouts. If staying within a budget is top priority, you can’t go wrong with Baile’s gamepad.

Evolved Dimensions Motion Gamepad

Best Third Party Game Controllers Fire TV 9 -Evolved gamepad

Evolved Dimensions has a unique take on the Fire TV controller. The device has 10 buttons, two analog sticks, and a rocker d-pad, all built in a PlayStation-like layout that’s perfect for action, fighting, and 3D games. The selling feature is how easily your Android or Fire TV device can recognize and pair with the controller. Most users claim the device simply syncs right up, no need to mess with configurations or anything like that. Fire TV users will need to add it as a bluetooth device, not a dedicated gamepad, then you’re ready to play.

Rii i8+ Mini

Best Third Party Game Controllers Fire TV 10 -Rii i8 mini

Sometimes a couple of analog sticks and a d-pad just isn’t enough. If you need a PC-like interface for your Fire TV, Rii has an intriguing solution with the i8+. This full-featured device has a couple dozen buttons splayed out on the face, everything from a full finger keyboard to media buttons, a d-pad, and a touch pad. You can pair it with your Fire TV and use it with a variety of games, including some that need touch screen inputs.

Using the Rii i8+ can be a bit cumbersome at first. It’s not an ideal fit for heavy action-based games, but it’s got just the right amount of features for slower, more control-intensive experiences like RPGs and some casual titles. Better still, you can use the keyboard to actually type things into your Fire TV, which we all know can be frustrating with that little pack-in remote.

  • Price: $19.75
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Style: Mouse and keyboard
  • Extras: Works with a variety of devices, includes full finger keyboard for typing.
  • Get It: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00WQG6A8C/

SaharaMicro Wireless Game Controller

Best Third Party Game Controllers Fire TV 11 -SaharaMicro gamepad

SaharaMicro’s wireless gamepad keeps it simple. It features all the basic buttons you need, including two analog sticks and two sets of trigger buttons, and it has a large home button top center for exiting applications with ease. Pairing is nice and straightforward, and the range is a little wider than some devices, extending out to almost 30 feet. When you combine this high usability with a budget-friendly price, it’s hard to say no to SaharaMicro’s simple Fire TV gamepad offering.

Conclusion

Getting the most out of your Fire TV and Fire Stick devices meaning using them for more than just movie streams. With the right third party controller you can play some incredible games on the system, including some of the top casual and indie releases of recent years! Best of all, gamepads are inexpensive and easy to use, making them a must-have accessory for anyone who wants to play Fire TV games.

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