The Best Guitar Multi Effects Pedals / Processors

The Best Guitar Multi Effects Pedals / Processors

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Demand for multi-effects continue to rise, thanks to their ever improving quality and practicality. In line with this, we present you with what the market considers as the best guitar multi effects pedals, covering everything from beginner friendly compact units, to advanced flagship models.

More and more are finding themselves downsizing their pedalboards, if not totally swapping all their stompboxes for a multi-effects unit. There are also many who are looking to upgrade their existing guitar processor. Whatever your case may be, it is our intention to help you find one that fits your needs, or at least point you to the right direction.

The Best Guitar Multi Effects Pedals / Processors

The Best Compact Guitar Multi Effects Pedals

These are compact and affordable multi-effects pedals that continue to impress guitarists world over. Ideal for beginners, but also great for experienced players who are working with a limited budget or who want to downsize their gear.

Zoom G1Xon

89 out of 100. Incorporating 600+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price:


The Best Guitar Multi Effects Pedals / Processors

The G1Xon exemplifies Zoom's reputation for value, with its 105 guitar effects, 68 rhythm accompaniments and 30-sec looper, all packed inside a lightweight unit that's portable and cheap.

This multi-effects pedal lets you setup your virtual rig with up to five effects that include various modulation, distortion, compressor, delay, reverb and other effects. They can also run alongside the Zoom G1Xon's built-in amp modeling, which lets you choose between 22 different amps. Those are a lot of features in a small unit, thankfully Zoom implemented an interface that makes tweaking and configuring easier. As expected although you are still limited by two footswitches, it comes with an expression pedal, which adds even more to its value and usability.


  • Effects: 105 (5 Simultaneous)
  • Amp Modeling: 22
  • Presets: 100
  • Footswitches: 2 + Expression Pedal
  • Input: 1 x 1/4", 1 x 1/8" (Aux)
  • Output: 1 x 1/4"
  • Extra Features: 68 Rhythm Accompaniments, 30-Sec Looper, Chromatic Tuner, Auto-Save
  • USB: USB (For Updates)
  • Dimensions: 9.3" x 2" x 6.1'
  • Weight: 1.41 lbs.

With so many features, it can be tempting to just dismiss it as a low quality jack-of-all-trades unit, but even experts are convinced of its versatility and sound quality. Guitar World concludes: "Costing less than most single-effect stomp boxes, the G1Xon is an incredible bargain that provides versatile multi-effect processing power and impressive performance and practice capabilities."

There are some who caution that the unit's plastic exterior requires a bit of handling care, so don't get too carried away as you step on them. Still, the overall market response is positive, with many guitarists commending the Zoom G1Xon's portability, versatility and value for money.

If budget is limited, or you're looking for a practice friendly, easily portable multi-effects unit, then the Zoom G1Xon is highly recommended.

You can buy the Zoom G1Xon Guitar Multi-Effects Pedal from:

Zoom MultiStomp MS-50G

88 out of 100. Incorporating 275+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price:


The Best Guitar Multi Effects Pedals / Processors

The biggest selling point of the Zoom MS-50G MultiStomp is its small single pedal size. This means that you get to enjoy the benefits of multiple effects, amp models, and preset switching while keeping the size similar to regular stompboxes.

The MS-50G lets you use up to six of effects simultaneously, from its large pool of digitally modeled effects (47) and amps (8). And all of the settings and parameters are adjusted via its intuitive interface, albeit with just a single footswitch. You can save each preset you create or edit, just store them into the pedal's 50 memory banks. This flexibility gives you an unprecedented tone options. Other noteworthy features include its built-in chromatic tuner and its versatile power options, which include 2 x AA batteries or via a USB power source.


  • Effects: 47 (6 Simultaneous)
  • Amp Modeling: 8
  • Presets: 50
  • Footswitches: 1
  • Input: 1 x 1/4"
  • Output: 2 x 1/4"
  • Extra Features: Can be Battery Powered (2 x AA) or USB powered, Chromatic Tuner
  • USB: USB (For Update and Power)
  • Dimensions: 5.13" x 3.05" x 2.3"
  • Weight: 0.77 lbs

Most users and experts agree that the Zoom MultiStomp MS-50G is a high quality and high value pedal. But it's not just about bang per buck, because many are satisfied with the quality of its effect and amp emulations. Even Music Radar is convinced of its performance saying, "While not all of the sounds are going to appeal to all players, there are enough usable tones here to make this a very practical item for just about anybody who uses effects."

There are a few users who found the controls to be somewhat confusing, but this should be easily addressed by watching tutorials or reading the manual. All in all, get the Zoom MultiStomp MS-50G if you want your multi-effect needs served by a standard size pedal.

You can buy the Zoom MultiStomp MS-50G Guitar Multi-Effects Pedal from:

DigiTech RP360 XP

89 out of 100. Incorporating 150+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price:


The Best Guitar Multi Effects Pedals / Processors

With its ability to run up to 8 effects simultaneously, the DigiTech RP360 XP gives you more flexibility in a compact form factor, without compromising exterior durability and aesthetics. It also comes with a lot of nifty extras which include a 40-second looper, 60 rhythm tracks and a built-in chromatic tuner.

The RP360 XP lets you combine different effects to craft your preferred sound by choosing from its wide variety of options including 74 effects, 32 amp models and 18 cabinet models. Each setup can be saved into one of its 99 user presets, that allow for incredible flexibility. The interface has a bit of a learning curve, but allows for deep editing.


  • Effects: 74 (8 Simultaneous)
  • Amp Modeling: 32 amps, 18 cabinets
  • Presets: 198 (99 factory, 99 user)
  • Footswitches: 3 + Expression Pedal
  • Input: 1 x 1/4" 1 x 1/8" (Aux)
  • Output: 2 x 1/4", 1 x 1/8" (Headphone)
  • Extra Features: 40-Sec Looper, 60 Rhythm Patterns, Chromatic Tuner, Amp / Mixer mode
  • USB: 2 x 2 USB audio streaming
  • Dimensions: 11.5” x 8.5” x 2”
  • Weight: 4.12 lbs.

Compared to other plastic exterior multi-effects, the RP360 XP feels solid and durable. And this is reflected in many reviews, which mention the pedal's reliability as one of its good traits. Versatility and value for money also came up a number of times, both from pedalboard owners that have downsized, and beginners who are just trying out multi-effects.

There were a few users who were not satisfied with some of the preset sounds, but that is to be expected since we all have different tastes. There are also some who were not satisfied with the software editor's performance, and cautioned that it takes a bit more time to get familiar with the controls.

If you're looking for a reliable, versatile and compact multi-effects pedal with modern USB connectivity then check out the DigiTech RP360 XP.

You can buy the DigiTech RP360 XP Guitar Multi-Effects Pedal from:

The Best Guitar Multi Effects Processors

These are what the market considers as the best guitar processors, as expected most of them are flagship models from familiar big name manufacturers.

91 out of 100. Incorporating 475+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price:


The Best Guitar Multi Effects Pedals / Processors

The Boss ME-80 combines the versatility of digital sound processing with the intuitiveness of analog stompbox like controls. It is a more old-school version of their flagship multi-effect pedal, the GT-100, meant for guitarists who prefer familiar analog controls over complex buttons and menus.

Since real knobs occupy space, this multi-effects processor is quite bulky, a welcome compromise that makes it easier to setup and adjust on the fly. The pedal comes with 59 effects and includes 9 amp models that feature Boss' COSM technology, the standard tech that they now employ on many of their effects and amps. You can combine up to 8 of these to craft your preferred tones, which you can then save into its 36 user presets. Other features include a built-in tuner, a 38-second looper and the ability to record your guitar sound directly to a computer via USB.


  • Effects: 59 (8 Simultaneous)
  • Amp Modeling: 9
  • Presets: 72 (36 preset + 36 user)
  • Footswitches: 8 + Expression Pedal
  • Input: 1 x 1/4", 1 x 1/8" (Aux)
  • Output: 2 x 1/4" Stereo/Mono, 1 x 1/8" (Headphone)
  • Extra Features: 38-Sec Looper, Analog Style Interface, Tuner, USB Recording, Can be Powered by 6 x AA Batteries
  • USB: Audio Interface
  • Dimensions: 3.625" x 17.625" x 9.125"
  • Weight: 7.94 lbs

One user aptly summarizes how the market feels, by describing the Boss ME-80 as an "over the top" multi-effects pedal. Many are impressed by its versatility and sound quality, while other appreciate its intuitive stompbox-like controls, including Trevor Curwen at Music Radar who described it as "a complete and comprehensively equipped pedalboard."

A few users rated the unit a bit lower because they didn't like the sound of some of the effects, this maybe more of a preference issue. Some also complained that this unit does not come with a power supply, so you'll have to buy one separately if you need one – here are some options on

The Boss ME-80 is the closest digital multi-effects can get to familiar analog control territory, get it if you prefer dialing knobs over pushing buttons.

You can buy the Boss ME-80 Guitar Multi-Effects Processor from:

93 out of 100. Incorporating 20+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price:


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The Boss MS-3 is a multi-effects pedal that is not meant to replace your favorite pedals, rather it is meant to help you make better use of them. It has more than enough effects (112) for most musical applications, but what makes it special is its old school approach that lets you incorporate pedals and amps into your rig, along with its built-in effects.

First off, it has three effects loops that let you control pedals (or groups of pedals) right from the MS-3. It can also be used as a foot controller for amplifiers, which allows you to change the channel on your favorite amps and employ effects in the comfort of a single compact box. This makes the MS-3 a very versatile unit, catering to vintage amp/pedal users while adding the comfort of modern digital effects processing and preset control. Since it has its own noise suppressor and global EQ, you can tame noisy pedals and shape their tone a bit more. All of these are on top of the many built-in effects that is already built into the unit, which are Boss quality good by themselves.


  • Effects: 112 (6 Simultaneous)
  • Presets: 200
  • Footswitches: 5
  • Input: 1 x 1/4"
  • Output: 2 x 1/4", 1 x 1/4" (control out), 2 x 1/4" (control in), 6 x 1/4" (3 pedal loops)
  • Extra Features: Tuner, Noise Suppressor, Global EQ
  • MIDI: Out
  • USB: Preset Editor/Update
  • Dimensions: 2.68" x 9.68" x 3.87"
  • Weight: 2.44 lbs.

While the Boss MS-3 is a fairly recent release, it does have quite the number of reviews, most of them coming from users who have nothing but good things to say about their experience with the unit. One user summarized what most reviewers felt by saying that the MS-3 is a "game changer". But it's not just about its amp and effects switching, because many were just as impressed with the sound quality of many of its built-in effects, including its overdrive and modulation sections. It's compact and portable design is also very much appreciated, making it an easy addition to any setups.

There aren't that many complaints, other than some requests for extra features like having a software editor, and a built-in audio interface. Other than that, the Boss MS-3 is the go-to multi-effects pedal for those who want to enjoy digital control without totally giving up on old school pedals and amps.

You can buy the Boss MS-3 Multi-Effects Switcher from:

Line 6 POD HD500X

91 out of 100. Incorporating 450+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price:


The Best Guitar Multi Effects Pedals / Processors

While the Line 6 PODHD500X is no longer the flagship guitar processor, it is still very much in demand in the market, as evidenced by the overwhelmingly positive response that it continues to get from users and expert alike. It follows after its predecessor, albeit with a more powerful CPU and improved interface via colorful LED rings around the footswitches.

While it is well loved for its HD amp models, it also packs quite a lot of effects (over 100!), applying the same HD modeling technology on actual stompboxes to get them to sound as close to the real thing as possible. The amp modeling and effects section together allow for a wide variety of tones, while the deep controls that you have over each amp and effect parameter allows for even more in-between tones, so you can craft your very own sound. The LED rings add to the unit's overall eye candy and improve the already intuitive interface of the unit. It also houses extensive input and output options, including having its very own mic preamp, so you can use it for a variety of instruments and even vocals. Other features include built-in 48-second looping, tuning and compatibility with Line 6' modeling instrument (Variax) and amps.


  • Effects: 100+ (8 Simultaneous)
  • Amp Modeling: 30 "HD" Models
  • Footswitches: 12 + Expression Pedal
  • Presets: 512 User Presets
  • Input: 1 x 1/4", 1 x XLR, 1 x 1/4" Aux, 1 x 1/8", 1 x 1/4" Pedal Input, 2 x 1/4" FX Returns, 1 x Variax Input
  • Output: 2 x 1/4", 2 x XLR, 1 x 1/4" Headphones, 1 x 1/4" FX Send, L6 Link, 1 x S/PDIF
  • MIDI: In/Out/Thru
  • Extra Features: Tuner, Mic Preamp, Variax and L6 Link Compatibility, 48-Sec Looper, Effects loop
  • USB: Update / Audio Interface
  • Dimensions: 2.91" x 21.5" x 10.29"
  • Weight: 10.6 lbs.

Being a PODHD user for many years now, I am but one of the many who commend its balance of versatility and sound quality. Like many reviewers, it allows me to gig and record conveniently, often times plugging straight to PA with great results. I've also seen a number of professionals using PODHD500X's in their concerts, so it's not surprising that even experts at Music Radar were convinced, saying: "The modelling is excellent throughout, with authentic-sounding amps and quality effects".

Unfortunately there are a few who are not too happy with with some of the default patches, they caution that the PODHD500X is not a plug-and-play unit. While you can get good tones with a bit of tweaking, you can get even better tones with more experience, so the learning curve can be a bit steep for some. For best results, you ought to research the actual gear that your favorite musicians use, along with their settings and use them as your starting points to creating your own tones. Thankfully, there are user made presets that you can also use as base for your own virtual signal chain.

If you're looking for a tried and tested stage and recording ready multi-effects processor, then the Line 6 PODHD500X is your best bet.

You can buy the Line 6 POD HD500X Guitar Multi-Effects Processor from:

Boss GT-100

91 out of 100. Incorporating 600+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price:


The Best Guitar Multi Effects Pedals / Processors

Being the flagship multi-effect pedal of Boss, there's much to expect from the GT-100, and now more than five years since it was first released, it still meets – if not exceeds – these expectations. At the core of this guitar processor is Roland/Boss' COSM technology, which gives the unit over 25 amp models and 44 effects.

While the number of effects may not be as many compared to recent releases, others don't have the same deep control and sound quality that the GT-100 provides. Speaking of control, instead of merely choosing your preferred amp, this processor lets you custom build your virtual amp and cabinet, an interesting feature that allows for even more freedom in crafting your own tones. Another feature that users are fond of is the ability to assign effects into its many footswitches, making the unit behave much like a regular pedalboard. Other notable features include polyphonic tuning and USB recording.


  • Effects: 44
  • Amp Modeling: 25+
  • Presets: 400 (200 factory + 200 User)
  • Footswitches: 8 + Expression Pedal
  • Input: 1 x Instrument, 1 x TRS Male 1/8" (aux), Footswitch
  • Output: 2 x 1/4" (main), 1 x TRS 1/4" (phones)
  • Extra Features: Tuner, Amp Customize, OD Customize,
  • USB: Editing, Audio Interface
  • MIDI: In/Out/USB
  • Dimensions: 4.06" x 21.38" x 10.69"
  • Weight: 10.625 lbs.

Even with newer releases, many still prefer the Boss GT-100 because of its reputation for reliability and practicality, both of which are synonymous to the Boss brand. While it may seem outnumbered in terms of features, it makes up with its amp and OD customization, which many use to craft their own sounds.

There are a few users who feel that the software editor does not do the GT-100 justice, especially when compared to what others have to offer. Thankfully, setting it up via the unit itself is not too hard, but some still wish for an improved editor.

If you're looking for a tried and tested multi-effects processor, then get the Boss GT-100. Given the company's reputation, it'll probably last longer than your interest in guitar playing 🙂

You can buy the Boss GT-100 Guitar Multi-Effects Processor from:

Line 6 Helix LT

93 out of 100. Incorporating 50+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price:


The Best Guitar Multi Effects Pedals / Processors

Being the smaller and more affordable version, Helix LT makes Line 6's latest digital sound processing technology more accessible and affordable. It features the same dual DSP HX modeling engine that replicates minute details of amps and effects, improving on the already impressive modeling capabilities of their POD HD line.

With over 100 effects, there's really no shortage of virtual stompboxes to play with, while the unit's complex signal routing capabilities allow for a wide variety of effects combination. Add to this Helix' acclaimed amp modeling features, which lets you mix and match 62 amp, 37 cabs and 16 mics. If that's not enough, you can also make adjustments to the amp models to better personalize your sound. To match its complexity, Line 6 designed the interface to be simple yet intuitive, courtesy of its color LCD display and colored LED rings.


  • Effects: 104
  • Amp Modeling: 62 amps, 37 cabs, 16 mics
  • Presets: 1024
  • Footswitches: 12 (Touch Sensitive) + Expression Pedal
  • Input: 1 x 1/4", 2 x 1/4" (FX Returns)
  • Output: 2 x XLR, 2 x 1/4", 1 x 1/4" (headphones), 2 x 1/4" (FX Sends), 1 x XLR (AES/EBU, L6 link)
  • Extra Features: Dual DSP HX modeling engine, Touch-Sensitive Footswitches, 60-sec Looper, Compatibility with Variax and Line 6 Amps
  • USB: Editing, 8in/8out USB Audio Interface
  • MIDI: In, Out/Thru
  • Dimensions: 3.7" x 20.9" x 12.45"
  • Weight: 12.45 lbs.

Reviews of the Line 6 Helix LT are replete with good words, impressing even tone snobs who admit that that the hype surrounding this unit is real. Tone quality and versatility are two features that get the most praises from users, while there are also a good number who commend it for its easy to use workflow.

There were a few who were irked by the unit's streamlined input/output options, specifically its single guitar input, the lack of aux input and headphones output . Still, even those who had concerns are still pleased with their purchase, with most agreeing that the Helix LT is a worthy investment.

If you're looking for a powerful guitar processor that's streamlined and reasonably priced, then the Line 6 Helix LT is for you.

You can buy the Line 6 Helix LT Guitar Multi-Effects Processor from:

Line 6 Helix Floor

97 out of 100. Incorporating 225+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price:


The Best Guitar Multi Effects Pedals / Processors

Line 6 continues to dominate in the world of floor-based guitar processors, with their flagship unit Helix Floor leading the charge. It combines up-to-date amp and effects modeling technology with extensive input/output options, resulting in a true, jack-of-all-trades processor that works great in both live performance and studio recordings.

At the core of this pedal is the Line 6 HX technology, which emulates the behavior of actual amp and stompbox components. This means that instead of merely copying the sound, it recreates the entire pedal or amplifier in digital format, allowing the models to respond to guitar tone and adjustments much like the real thing. While it originally had 70 effects, firmware updates have raised this number to 104, which is more than enough to keep you busy for months, if not years. Amp, cab and mic models were also increased to 115. Since Line 6 is well known for providing updates, it is reasonable to expect more expansions in the future. It does everything that the Helix LT can, with some extras, most notable of which is the LED scribble strips for labeling each footswitch. The Helix Floor also comes with expanded input/output options to work with mics and other instruments.


  • Effects: 70 (104 after firmware updates)
  • Amp Modeling: 62 amps, 37 cabs, 16 mics (after firmware updates)
  • Presets: 1024
  • Footswitches: 12 + Expression Pedal
  • Input: 1 x 1/4", 1 x XLR, 1 x 1/4" (Aux), 4 x 1/4" (Ext Control), 4 x 1/4" (Return)
  • Output: 2 x XLR, 2 x 1/4", 1 x 1/4" (Headphones), 4 x 1/4" (Send)
  • Digital Inputs: 1 x S/PDIF, 1 x RJ45 Variax in
  • Digital Outputs: 1 x S/PDIF, 1 x XLR (AES/EBU)
  • MIDI: In, Out/Thru
  • Extra Features: Dual DSP HX modeling engine, LCD scribble strips, Touch-Sensitive Footswitches, 60-sec Looper, Compatibility with Variax and Line 6 Amps
  • USB: Editing, 8in/8out USB Audio Interface
  • Dimensions: 3.58" x 22.05" x 11.85"
  • Weight: 14.6 lbs.

A lot of users described the Line 6 Helix Floor as something amazing and too good to be true. Commendations for it's incredible versatility and sound quality are common place, with many describing it as the best guitar multi-effects processor in the market today. There's simply no denying its continued success in the market, along with the high review scores that it continuous to attain. Premiere Guitar properly summed up what most people feel about the Line 6 Helix Floor: "Great sounds. Cool design. Solid construction. Extraordinary connectivity. Good price."

While there are those that are satisfied with its intuitive design, there are still some users who wish for a more simpler way of managing its settings. Weight and bulk also came up, along with its hefty price tag, still most are more than happy to recommend the Line 6 Helix Floor to more people.

If you're looking for the best multi-effect pedal that money can buy, then get the Line Helix Floor.

You can buy the Line 6 Helix Floor Guitar Multi-Effects Processor from:

Editor's Pick

This is where we sometimes offer additional recommendations we believe you should know about. In this case it's an item that would have had a higher Gearank score had it been more widely available with more review sources for the Gearank Algorithm to analyze.

Fractal Audio FX8

90 out of 100. Incorporating 30+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price:


The Best Guitar Multi Effects Pedals / Processors

Fractal Audio is a relatively small company that competes directly with the world's biggest amp modeling and effects manufacturers. They built their reputation on the quality of their premium priced guitar processor called AxeFX, but has since expanded into relatively more affordable territory with the AX8 and FX8. Of the two, the FX8 gets our pick because of its incredible balance of quality, complexity and practicality. It is also fits this list better because it is a true multi-effects "only" unit, so there's no amp modeling feature to get hung up on.

The FX8 lets you configure up to eight effects per preset, from a list of impressive effects that are modeled from classic to modern stompboxes. It also offers a more traditional work flow via Fractal Audio's "Scenes" mode, which lets you assign effects to footswitches, turning the unit into a virtual stompbox pedalboard. And since it utilizes the same algorithm as their premium processors, you can be sure that each effect model has the same sound quality. Fractal Audio is also known for their boutique like attention to detail and build quality, which is prevalent in the FX8's design. Most notably its footswitches which are designed to have no-mechanical contacts, meaning no noise and improved reliability.


  • Effects: 130 (8 Simultaneous)
  • Presets: 128 (8 Scenes Per Preset)
  • Footswitches: 11
  • Input: 1 x 1/4" (Pre), 2 x 1/4" (Post), 2 x 1/4" (Relay)
  • Output: 2 x 1/4" (Pre), 2 x 1/4" (Post), 2 x 1/4" (Exp Pedal)
  • MIDI: In/Out/Thru
  • Extra Features: Axe-Fx II Algorithms, No Mechanical Contact Footswitches, 240-sec Looper, Stompbox Mode, XY Switching, Tap Tempo
  • USB: Software Editing / Updates
  • Dimensions: 16.35” x 3.96” x 10.00”
  • Weight: 11.5 lbs.

Pristine and hi-fidelity are two words that many use to describe the Fractal Audio FX8's sound. Even experts are amazed, like how Guitar Interactive Magazine praised the unit by saying: "it’s easy to say that the FX8 is the most fully featured and best sounding multi effects unit on the market right now". The quality of its reverb and delay got a lot of thumbs up, while other users found its drive and modulation effects to be inspiring.

There are few user complaints other than value for money, because you can get something with other extras like amp modeling for the same price. Still the Fractal Audio FX8 is a multi-effects unit that many will buy if budget permits.

Things to Consider When Buying a Multi-Effect Pedal

As the multi-effects label implies, more is generally a good thing, as long as you don't spend too much time obsessing over each one to the point that it hinders your productivity and practice.

It is also important to consider the maximum number of effects that can run simultaneously, which are usually based on effect group types or "blocks". This means that you usually can only have one modulation, one reverb, one drive etc in a preset. Advanced processors allow for more freedom which include combining same type pedals, series/parallel routing, pre-post amplifier routing and many more. While they allow for more ways to craft your tones, these processors also require more tweaking time and are usually more expensive.

Good sound quality is also important, which can be hard to pin down because of different preferences, thankfully the Gearank scores we provide are reliable numerical representations of satisfaction with sound quality.

Amp Modeling

Since digital effects use DSP, manufacturers have made the most of the processing power by adding amp modeling features. To the point that amp modeling has become a standard feature, and has even overtaken effects in popularity. If you already have a good amplifier, then amp modeling is not important, but it's still a good addition for the extra versatility amp modeling provides.

Footswitches and Control Interface

Footswitches allow for handsfree control of your multi-effects pedal, so having more of them is good, as long as you're OK with the added bulk and weight that they require. Some processors have a stompbox mode feature that lets you utilize footswitches much like a traditional pedalboard, but most of the time the switches serve as preset selectors, along with other secondary uses.

As mentioned above, the versatility of multi-effects require complexity, and complexity requires longer learning curves. Thankfully, manufacturers have been continually improving the control interface and workflow of their units, so its never been easier to setup multi-effects units. Bigger display screens and good control positioning are important, but they also add to the overall size and bulk, so don't expect them on smaller units. Some even go as far as adding small LED scribble scripts to the footswitches, which removes the need to memorize or list down your presets.

Extra Features

Adding to their already good value, most multi-effects come with built-in features that are essential to gigging and practicing, first of which is a built-in tuner. Looping is also a good feature to look for, thankfully it now comes standard for most units. Having the ability to record straight to a computer is another handy features that should be considered, as well as the ability to edit the settings via your computer or mobile device. Built-in metronome/rhythm is also a nice plus, especially for those who want to take their skill to the next level.


For most applications, all you really need is a guitar input, and an output that you can plug to an amplifier or PA system. Still, it doesn't hurt to have extra input/output options, like a mic XLR input (for vocalists who play guitar), an aux input (for practicing with your favorite tracks), headphones out (for quiet practice and tweaking), stereo output, and many more.

Portability (Weight and Size)

More features require more components, and improved durability requires a stronger chassis, all of which add to the bulk and weight of a guitar processor. In the end it will be up to you to balance your budget and needs to your preferred portability. In line with this, we've provided the weight and dimensions, for easier reference and comparison.

Case / Carry Bag

We highly recommend buying a good carrying case or at least preparing a fitting bag for your unit, since they can protect them from handling and environmental damage. They also add to the overall convenience, especially if they are custom fit for your unit and if they have enough pockets for the cables and tools that you carry.

Best Guitar Multi Effects Pedal Selection Methodology

First, we decided that we're going to limit this guide to floor-based multi-effects units, and we also deliberately included only those with different effect types/blocks. After looking at currently available units, we ended up adding a total of 24 multi-effects pedals to our database. All relevant reviews, ratings, forum discussions, and expert opinions were fed into the Gearank algorithm, which gave us the scores that we used to narrow down the list to just the top 10 – over 5,200 sources were analyzed during this process. We then listed each of them with important specifications and features, along with noteworthy feedback from actual users and expert reviewers. Finally, we decided to make a divide the list into two categories: compact multi-effects pedals (since many are looking for them), and medium to large size ones. For more information about this process see How Gearank Works.