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A game controller is a device used with games or entertainment systems to provide input to a video game, typically to control an object or character in the game. A controller is usually connected to a game console or computer by means of a wire or cord, although, since the mid-2000s, wireless controllers have become widespread. Input devices that have been classified as game controllers include keyboards, mice, gamepads, joysticks, etc. Special purpose devices, such as steering wheels for driving games and light guns for shooting games, are also game controllers.

A North American Super NES game controller from the early 1990s.

A game controller is a device used with games or entertainment systems to provide input to a video game, typically to control an object or character in the game. A controller is usually connected to a game console or computer by means of a wire or cord, although, since the mid-2000s, wireless controllers have become widespread. Input devices that have been classified as game controllers include keyboards, mice, gamepads, joysticks, etc. Special purpose devices, such as steering wheels for driving games and light guns for shooting games, are also game controllers.

Game controllers have been designed and improved over the years to be as user friendly as possible. The Microsoft Xbox controller, with its shoulder triggers that mimic actual triggers such as those found on guns, has become popular for shooting games. Some controllers are designed to be deliberately best for one type of game, such as steering wheels for driving games, or dance pads for dancing games.

One of the first video game controllers was a simple dial and single button, used to control the game Tennis for Two. Controllers have since evolved to include directional pads, multiple buttons, analog sticks, joysticks, motion detection, touch screens and a plethora of other features.

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