Best Polling Rate Controllers Explained

The polling rate, measured in hertz (Hz), represents the number of times per second a device, such as a controller, reports its input. To convert the polling rate from Hz to milliseconds (ms), you can use the formula:

Milliseconds (ms) = 1 / Polling Rate (Hz) * 1000

Let’s do the calculation for both 125Hz and 1000Hz:

  • For 125Hz: Milliseconds (ms) = 1 / 125 * 1000 ≈ 8 ms
  • For 250Hz: Milliseconds (ms) = 1 / 250 * 1000 = 4 ms
  • For 500Hz: Milliseconds (ms) = 1 / 500 * 1000 = 2 ms
  • For 1000Hz: Milliseconds (ms) = 1 / 1000 * 1000 = 1 ms

So, a controller with a polling rate of 125Hz will report input approximately every 8 milliseconds, 250Hz = 4 ms, 500Hz = 2ms and a controller with a polling rate of 1000Hz will report input every 1 millisecond.

TLDR: Polling rate is how often your controller tells the game console what you’re doing. Higher polling rates mean it communicates more frequently, potentially making game responses faster. For example, a 125Hz polling rate means it reports every 8 milliseconds, while a 1000Hz rate means every 1 millisecond.

Controllers with very good polling rate don’t guarantee a good gaming experience; ergonomics, functionality, and compatibility are top priorities

My Favorite Controllers with Great Polling Rates

Controller polling rate list

Note: these are polling rates of controllers when with wired connection to a PC. These values will be limited when connecting them to a console, for instance most Xbox-licensed controllers will have just a standard 125Hz polling rate with the only one exception of Gamesir G7 SE which has a 1000Hz update (as of February 2024).

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ControllerWired Polling Rate (Hz)
Gulikit KK3 Max1000
GameSir T4 Kaleid1000
Flydigi Apex 41000
Gamesir G7 SE250 (can be overclocked to 1000)
Bigbig Won Rainbow 2 Pro1000 (200Hz wireless)
Flydigi Vader 3 Pro500
Thrustmaster eSwap X/S Pro500
GameSir T4 Cyclone500
Victrix Gambit500
Sony PS5 Dualsense250 (can be overclocked to 8000)
Sony DualSense Edge250 (can be overclocked to 8000)
Sony Dualshock 4250
Logitech F310250
8Bitdo Ultimate Bluetooth Controller125
Gulikit KingKong 2 Pro125
Google Stadia Controller125
Xbox One controller125
Xbox Elite Series 2 Controller125
BINBOK Gemini125
Switch Controller67

Wired vs Wireless Controllers Polling Rates

  • Wired connections are recommended for lower and more consistent input latency.
  • Some controllers may have lower input latency when used wirelessly, but wireless connections introduce spikes in latency, leading to inconsistency.
  • The general rule is to use a wired connection when possible for more consistent input lag.

Is polling rate in controllers really important?

For many casual gamers or those who aren’t engaged in highly competitive gameplay, the distinction between different polling rates may not be very noticeable.

However, in fast-paced and competitive video games some players, especially those with highly tuned reflexes and precision requirements, might perceive a difference.

A higher polling rate can provide a slightly more responsive feel, which can be beneficial in situations where split-second reactions matter.

Disable Steam Controller Settings for Better Latency

  • Steam’s “General Controller Settings” tool is built-in and adds controller support for many games, allowing customization.
  • Using these features when gaming on Steam introduces significant input lag and may lead to double inputs.
  • Steam’s default controller support can be disabled to improve performance.
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How to Overclock Your Controller’s Polling Rate

The best thing is to use your controller’s dedicated software. But another way to enhance polling rate and reduce input latency is to use the polling rate overclocking tool Hidusbf by LordOfMice. It’s a tool created for mices, but it also works for gaming controllers Follow these steps:

  1. Download and Extraction:
    • Obtain the latest version of Hidusbf from GitHub [github.com].
    • Extract the package to a secure location to avoid accidental deletion (functions as the tool’s program directory).
  2. Creating a Shortcut:
    • In the extracted folder’s DRIVER folder, locate setup.exe, the tool’s executable.
    • Create a shortcut for setup.exe on your desktop or start menu for easy access.
    • Optionally, rename the shortcut for convenience (e.g., “Polling Rate Overclocker”).
  3. Running the Tool:
    • Launch the tool by double-clicking setup.exe.
    • In the tool’s window, choose the “select all” option at the top left.
    • Identify your controller entry by disconnecting and reconnecting the controller (should appear in the list when connected).
  4. Adjusting Settings:
    • Check the “filter on device” box.
    • Click on “Default” to the right of it.
    • Select 1000Hz and click on “Install Service.”
    • Wait for the process to complete, then click restart.
  5. Verification:
    • After restarting, check the “Rate” and “Filter?” columns for your controller entry.
    • “Rate” should display “1000,” and “Filter?” should be “Yes,” indicating a successful custom polling rate of 1000Hz.
  6. Maintenance:
    • Your custom or overclocked polling rate should persist through computer restarts.
    • Periodically check your polling rate, especially after Windows updates, as it may reset.

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