The Parent's Guide to Buying Gamepad Controllers for Children

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The Parent's Guide to Buying Gamepad Controllers for Children

While all video game consoles include one or two controllers to play video games, gamepad controllers are made specifically for different types of games. When purchasing gamepad controllers for children, it is important to determine a couple of issues before making a purchase. Consider the types of games the child plays, and if a specific gamepad may be helpful. For example, in simulation games where a player flies an aeroplane, a gamepad with a joystick may be helpful. The next thing to consider is the gaming console. Some gamepads are universal and connect to multiple types of gaming consoles or PCs, but others only work with one type.

Gamepads are purchased in brick-and-mortar electronics shops or online, using eBay. With the large selection of gamepads on eBay, parents can find the type of gamepad that is best for their child at an affordable price. Before purchasing a gamepad controller, consider the types of games a child plays, the different types of gamepads, and their compatibility with a gaming console.

Types of Video Games

The first issue to consider when purchasing a gamepad is the type of video games played by a child. When purchasing video games for a child, it is important to follow the video game ratings. Like films, video games have ratings put in place by the Pan European Gaming Information board, or the PEGI. Not all games are suitable for children, so when choosing games for children, parents should adhere to video games with ratings that are age appropriate for a child.

Video Game Rating

Age Range

3 and up

Intended for small children ages three and up, may contain mild violence in a humourous setting

7 and up

Intended for children ages seven and up; may contain mild violence or language

12 and up

Intended for people ages 12 and up; may contain mild violence, nudity, mild language, or suggestive themes

16 and up

Intended for those ages 16 and up; may contain violence, strong language, sexual content, and drug and alcohol use

Video games with ratings of 18 and up contain more mature content that is inappropriate for children. When purchasing video games for children, it is best to adhere to the rating that best fits with the child's age range and to also make sure that the content descriptors are appropriate for the age range.

There are many different types of children's video games . Adventure games help children solve problems and puzzles to advance their critical thinking, while racing games help with the development of the child's motor skills. Fitness games are driven by physical movement that allow a child to interact with the gaming system. Video board games are also popular and allow multiple players, as well as games based off of popular films or television programmes. Some games are enhanced by specific gamepads, so understanding the type of gamepads helps parents decide on the type of gamepad to purchase for a child.

Types of Gamepads

Depending on the type of games a child plays, a specific type of gamepad may enhance the experience. Some gamepads are meant for multiple games, while others are used for specific types of video games, such as driving games. By considering the different types of gamepads, parents can easily choose the best gamepad for their children.

Standard Gamepads

Standard gamepads refer to the original controllers that come with the video game console. Also called joypads, gamepads feature action buttons and small joysticks to control multiple games. Gamepads are either connected to the console by a cord, or wirelessly. Some standard gamepads only work with a specific type of gaming console, while others are universal and can connect to different types of gaming consoles or PCs. Connecting a gamepad to a PC allows a player to control a game with a gamepad instead of a mouse and keyboard. Gamepads, however, are not compatible with Apple computers.

Joystick Gamepads

Joysticks are gamepads made specifically for games, such as flight simulation games. Joysticks are small gamepads that include a handheld stick that can be moved forwards, backwards, and side-to-side. Some joysticks can also move diagonally. Most joystick gamepads also feature multiple action buttons that users can use for other features of the game. It is important to consider a child's dominant hand when purchasing a joystick gamepad, since a joystick is meant to be controlled with a player's dominant hand.

Paddle Gamepads

Paddles are gamepads that feature a wheel, as well as a few action buttons. Older versions of paddle gamepads were intended for controlling a player or object along one axis of a video game. Since modern games are much more multi-dimensional, paddle gamepads are not compatible with the system.

Steering Wheel Gamepads

Similar to paddles, steering wheels feature a wheel and some action buttons. Steering wheel gamepads often feature a wheel that is larger than the paddle wheel. Steering wheel gamepads are popular in racing and driving games, where a player controls a car or boat. Some steering wheel gamepads also feature a shifting device so the player can shift and steer the car. Other steering wheel gamepads include a separate gamepad with pedals so a player can control the accelerator and brake.

Dance Pad Gamepads

Dance pads are gamepads that are controlled by a player stepping on different buttons on a mat that lies flat on the floor. Dance pads are used for dancing games where the player must follow different dance steps in a video game. Unlike other gamepads, dance pads allow a player to engage in physical activity while playing a video game.

Light Gun Gamepads

Certain games require players to use a gun gamepad to shoot at certain targets, and are intended for shooting games. Light guns are imitation guns that connect to the gaming console and allow a player to shoot at a television screen. Light guns usually only feature one button, and a player can manoeuvre through the game by pointing the gun and shooting at the object that they are selecting.

Other Types of Gamepads

Some games require a specific type of gamepad, and usually come with a gamepad when the game is purchased. For example, guitar games require a guitar gamepad where a player is required to press different action buttons on a guitar-shaped gamepad. Buzzers, microphones, and balance boards are other types of gamepads that are compatible with different types of video games.

Gamepad Compatibility

Before purchasing a gamepad, it is important to make sure that it is compatible with both thevideo game and the gaming console. Some video games, such as "Dance, Dance Revolution", require a dance pad to play. Many video games have different versions of the gamepad that are compatible with different types of gaming consoles or PCs. When choosing a gamepad, it is important to read the description before making a purchase to ensure that the gamepad is compatible with the child's console or PC. eBay makes it easy to find a compatible gamepad by allowing the user to narrow results based on the type of gaming system they own.

How to Buy Gamepad Controllers for Children on eBay

After understanding the different types of video games and gamepads, you are ready to select a gamepad controller for your child. Not only does eBay feature the newest games, gamepads, and gaming consoles at affordable prices, eBay has a large selection of older video games, gamepads, and consoles that can no longer be found in shops. eBay also makes it easy for users to stay within their budget by allowing them to set a price maximum. By setting your price maximum, you do not have to waste time searching through options outside of your price range.

To begin your search on eBay, you can search for gamepad controllers through the use of keywords in the keyword search bar. This allows users to search for specific types of gamepads, such as " Xbox 360 wireless gamepad controller " or " Nintendo Wii gamepad controller ". To browse different types of gamepads and compare the prices of each, you can use a broader search term, such as, "gamepad controller". With the large selection of gamepad controllers on eBay, finding the right gamepad for your child is quick, easy, and affordable, and can be done from the comfort of your own home.


Gamepad controllers are a great way to enhance the video game playing experience for children. Some gamepads are suitable for all different types of games, while others are made to enhance a specific type of game. Before purchasing a gamepad, consider if a specific type of gamepad is needed for the type of video game, or if a gamepad, such as a joystick, is fitting for the type of video games that the child plays. If the child loves racing games, a steering wheel may be ideal. If shooting games are the child's favourite, a light gun may be the best option. Wireless gamepad controllers are also ideal for children, so they can play from anywhere in a room and do not have to sit too close to a television. No matter which type of gamepad is best for your child, it is easy to find an affordable one with the help of eBay.

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