The 7 Best Apple Arcade Controllers

Apple’s Arcade gaming service has become one of the best-kept secrets in mobile gaming, with a mix of casual and hardcore titles for gamers of all kinds to enjoy. Arcade has a growing number of titles with controller support, and fans looking to dive deeper into the library of content or enjoy the best of iOS games on the App Store in general will want to have the best possible gamepad at the ready. Here’s our list of the best iOS game controllers for Apple Arcade and beyond.

Sony DualSense and DualShock 4 Controllers

Image via Unsplash

Two of the best controller options available for mobile gaming may already be in your living room. Sony’s DualShock 4 Controller for PlayStation 4 and DualSense Controller for PlayStation 5 are compatible with iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV devices, making them perfect candidates for your favorite Apple Arcade games.

Sony’s controllers are familiar and have the build quality you’d expect from the market leader in console gaming. Playing on Apple Arcade won’t alert you when the battery is low like it does on Sony’s PlayStation systems, but other than that and with no audio transfer, connecting to your Apple devices is quick and easy, and most games compatible with the controller should work fine.

Backbone One for iPhone

Image via Backbone

Gamers looking for a dedicated, premium-feeling mobile controller experience have a worthy competitor in the form of the Backbone One. The controller features a design that expands to fit all iPhone models with a non-charging Lightning port, which includes a headphone jack and a familiar dual analog stick setup. It is compatible with Apple Arcade games and other cloud gaming services like Stadia, Luna, Game Pass and PlayStation Remote Play. Fans can even choose between the standard version of the controller or a PlayStation edition created in partnership with Sony.

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Nimbus+ Steel Series

Image via Steelseries

Steelseries is best known for making gaming peripherals for PC gamers, but the company has been bringing its know-how to the mobile market for years with the Nimbus controller. With a comfortable design built to work with iPhones, compatibility with all devices in the Arcade line, and a battery that lasts up to 50 hours of playback without charging, it’s not hard to see how Nimbus+ has built a reputation as such. of the best controllers available for Apple Arcade.

Razer Kishi 2

Image via Razer

Like the Backbone One, Razer’s Kishi 2 Mobile Controller brings a bit of Nintendo Switch swagger to your mobile gaming setup. The Kishi has a mechanical D-pad and micro-switch buttons, user-programmable multi-function buttons, and console-like features like video capture and screenshot directly from the controller. Players can expect Kishi to work with all controller-supported games in Arcade, thanks to the controller’s support for the Made for iPhone (MFi) system and third-party services like GeForce Now.

Gamevice for iPad and iPhone

Image via Gamvice

The Gamevice line of controllers is similarly inspired by the Switch design for some of the other options on the list, but the company’s iPad controller is one of the few mobile controllers made just for the iPhone’s bigger sibling device. Fans can expect support for Apple Arcade and other controller-compatible games on the App Store, along with Game Pass, Stadia, Luna, and the other cloud gaming services available on iOS.

Rotor Riot MFi Certified Gamepad

Image via Rotor Riot

Rotor Riot’s MFi Gamepad is a worthwhile option for gamers interested in a console-like setup but with less Bluetooth. The controller features a wired design that draws power from the phone instead of requiring separate charging. Apple Arcade games are certified to work with the Rotor Riot controller through the Made for iPhone program. For gamers of a certain box-shaped console, the form factor will be incredibly familiar.

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xbox wireless controller

Image via Microsoft

Initially introduced with Xbox One and going strong with the Series X and S consoles, Microsoft’s Xbox controller works brilliantly on the iPhone and iPad as well as on your home turf. As long as your Xbox controller supports Bluetooth, it should be discoverable in your phone’s Bluetooth settings as an Xbox wireless controller after you put it into pairing mode.

Newer versions of the Xbox controller made for the latest consoles can keep your iPhone included in internal memory, allowing you to switch between your phone and your Xbox with a single tap on the Sync button at the top. Controller-compatible arcade games will work just fine, but some of the features you’ll find on Xbox, like battery indication and support for external peripherals, aren’t found on iOS. Frequent use of AA batteries in the Xbox controller is also a hassle, making a rechargeable battery an essential upgrade for almost every gamer.

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