If you love playing games on your iPhone, you might want to invest in a gamepad controller that can enhance your gaming experience.
A gamepad controller is a device that connects to your iPhone via Bluetooth or Lightning port and lets you control games with physical buttons, joysticks, triggers, and more. Gamepad controllers can give you more precision, comfort, and immersion than using the touchscreen alone.
But how do you choose the best gamepad controller for your iPhone? There are many options available in the market, each with its own features, advantages, and disadvantages.
In this blog, we will help you find the right gamepad controller for your iPhone by comparing some of the most popular models and giving you some tips on what to look for.
What to Look for in an iOS Gamepad Controller
Before we dive into the specific models, let’s go over some of the general factors that you should consider when choosing an iOS gamepad controller.
Not all gamepad controllers are compatible with all iPhones or all games. You should check the compatibility list of the controller before buying it to make sure it works with your iPhone model and the games you want to play.
Some controllers are also compatible with other Apple devices, such as iPad, Apple TV, or Mac, which can be a bonus if you want to use them across different platforms.
The design of the gamepad controller affects how comfortable and ergonomic it is to hold and use. You should look for a controller that fits your hand size and grip style, has responsive and well-placed buttons and joysticks, and has a good weight and balance.
Some controllers are also adjustable or foldable, which can make them more portable and convenient.
The battery life of the gamepad controller determines how long you can play without having to recharge or replace batteries.
You should look for a controller that has a long battery life or supports fast charging or pass-through charging. Some controllers also have indicators or alerts to let you know when the battery is low.
The features of the gamepad controller can enhance your gaming experience by adding more functionality or feedback. Some features to look for are:
MFi stands for Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod and means that the controller meets Apple’s standards for quality and performance. MFi-certified controllers are guaranteed to work with iOS devices and games that support controllers.
Some controllers have a built-in audio jack that lets you plug in headphones or speakers directly to the controller. This can be useful if you want to enjoy the game audio without disturbing others or if your iPhone does not have a headphone jack.
Some controllers have LED lights that can indicate different things, such as battery level, connection status, or game mode. Lights can also add some flair and customization to your controller.
Some controllers have vibration motors that can provide haptic feedback when you play games. Vibration can make games more immersive and realistic by simulating actions or events in the game.
Best iOS Gamepad Controllers of 2023
Now that we have covered some of the general aspects of choosing an iOS gamepad controller, let’s take a look at some of the best models available in 2023.
Best Overall: SteelSeries Nimbus+
The SteelSeries Nimbus+ is our top pick for the best overall iOS gamepad controller. It is an MFi-certified controller that works with iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Mac. It has a sleek and ergonomic design that feels comfortable and sturdy in your hands.
It has four face buttons, four shoulder buttons, two clickable joysticks, a D-pad, and a menu button. It also has a dedicated button for taking screenshots or recording videos of your gameplay.
The SteelSeries Nimbus+ has a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 50 hours on a single charge. It also supports pass-through charging via Lightning cable, so you can play while charging.
It has LED lights that indicate battery level and connection status. It also has an adjustable mount that lets you attach your iPhone to the controller for a more convenient gaming experience.
The SteelSeries Nimbus+ is compatible with thousands of games on the App Store and Apple Arcade, as well as streaming services like Xbox Game Pass.
It also supports customizable button mapping through the SteelSeries app. The SteelSeries Nimbus+ costs $69.95 and comes with a one-year warranty.
Best for PlayStation Owners: DualShock 4
The DualShock 4 is the official wireless controller for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. It is also compatible with iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Mac via Bluetooth. It has a familiar and comfortable design that PlayStation fans will love.
It has four face buttons, four shoulder buttons, two clickable joysticks, a D-pad, a touchpad, a share button, a options button, and a PlayStation button. It also has a built-in speaker, a headphone jack, and a light bar.
The DualShock 4 has a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 8 hours on a single charge. It can be charged via micro-USB cable or a charging dock. It has LED lights that indicate battery level and connection status. It also has vibration motors that provide haptic feedback when you play games.
The DualShock 4 is compatible with hundreds of games on the App Store and Apple Arcade, as well as streaming services like PlayStation Now and Remote Play.
It also supports customizable button mapping through the iOS settings. The DualShock 4 costs $59.99 and comes in various colors and designs.
Best for Xbox Gamers: Xbox Wireless Controller
The Xbox Wireless Controller is the official wireless controller for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S. It is also compatible with iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Mac via Bluetooth. It has a simple and ergonomic design that Xbox fans will appreciate.
It has four face buttons, four shoulder buttons, two clickable joysticks, a D-pad, a menu button, and a view button. It also has a headphone jack and a share button.
The Xbox Wireless Controller has a removable battery that lasts up to 30 hours on two AA batteries. It can also be powered by rechargeable battery packs or USB-C cable.
It has LED lights that indicate battery level and connection status. It also has vibration motors that provide haptic feedback when you play games.
The Xbox Wireless Controller is compatible with hundreds of games on the App Store and Apple Arcade, as well as streaming services like Xbox Game Pass and xCloud.
It also supports customizable button mapping through the iOS settings. The Xbox Wireless Controller costs $54.99 and comes in various colors and designs.
As you can see, there are many options for iOS gamepad controllers that can suit different preferences and budgets. Whether you want to play casual games or hardcore games, whether you prefer PlayStation or Xbox, whether you value battery life or features, there is a gamepad controller for you.
We hope this blog has helped you find the best iOS gamepad controller for your iPhone. If you have any questions or feedback, please let us know in the comments below.