Many won’t think of Apple Arcade when they think of their options for gaming, but the service does come with its fair share of quality games that you can sink your teeth into. Plus, one of the benefits of playing Apple Arcade is that you can choose which controller you want to use, at least for the games that are compatible. Since it doesn’t have a dedicated controller, you have a lot of options to choose from, and while they’re all solid choices, it’s really up to you to decide which one you prefer. Here are our suggestions.
DualShock 4 controller
Why not use a controller that’s already been established as great? Apple Arcade allows you to connect your DualShock 4 controller to play its games. This means you get the solid build and design that you are comfortable and familiar with. The one issue with this controller is that, unlike the PlayStation 4, Apple Arcade will not give you a warning when your batteries are running low, so you may find yourself suddenly losing power in the middle of an important moment. Now we just have to wait for the PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller to become compatible with iOS devices as well.
Available for both the iPhone and the iPad, the Gamevice does its job very well. It transforms your phone into a Nintendo Switch and offers that easy, mobile experience. Plus, given that it plugs straight into your device via the charging port, it eliminates latency and any issues that come with it. However, it does come with the caveat that it’s only for mobile gaming and can’t be used while playing on a TV.
The HoriPad makes its spot on this list largely due to how affordable it is. It comes in at a price significantly lower than many other controllers on this list, and even better, its battery can last for up to 80 hours. For a cheap controller, that is excellent battery life. Plus, it comes in at a very light 9 ounces, which makes it comfortable and portable. It’s not the fanciest option, but it is not a bad one.
Mobicon Series Controller
A fantastic option for anyone who is playing on-the-move, specifically on an iPhone, the Mobicon will essentially turn your phone into a Nintendo Switch. It comes with 12 buttons that you can map for yourself, connects easily to any Bluetooth-ready device, and lasts 12 hours before needing to be charged. That’s perhaps not the longest battery life, but it’s still long enough to get the job done.
PXN Mfi controller
Whether you enjoy gaming on the couch or taking it on-the-go, the PXN Mfi Controller can easily do both. It is lightweight and comes with a detachable mount for your iPhone to make mobile gaming even better. Its 20-hour battery life is very solid, but it can only be charged with microUSB, which can be a drawback if you don’t have access to that kind of power while on the move.
Rotor Riot wired controller
Wireless gaming is convenient and eliminates pesky cords that get in your way. However, it requires power and constant charging, so it may be worth it to switch to a wired option instead. The Rotor Riot plugs right into your device and comes with L3/R3 capabilities in its joysticks, which is a huge benefit. It’s affordable and easy to carry around with you, and for many players of a certain box-shaped consile, its form factor will be familiar.
SteelSeries Nimbus+ controller
What many see as the best controller available, the SteelSeries Nimbus+ comes with just about everything you could look for in a controller. Its design feels comfortable, its battery will last for 50 hours, it’s easy to charge, and it’s compatible with Apple TV, iPad, and iPhone. Plus, this version of the controller comes with a mount for your iPhone, making it even more comfortable to play with.
SteelSeries Stratus XL controller
If you’re looking for an option that comes with the quality of SteelSeries without the heftier price tag of the Nimbus+, then this controller is a great option. It offers everything that the Nimbus+ does and, in the opinions of some players, provides a better joystick experience. However, while the Nimbus+ uses a rechargeable battery for ease of use, the Stratus XL requires AA batteries, meaning consistent changing and also paying for new batteries.
The Stoga controller is a third-party option that’s not officially certified by Apple, but that doesn’t make it any less viable. Its ergonomic design makes it easy to use, and it comes with vibration feedback, a feature that isn’t often present in these kinds of controllers. However, its battery life is only 10 hours, so it’s not the best choice for anyone who plans on extended gaming sessions or won’t have frequent access to charging.
Xbox One Wireless controller
Just like the DualShock 4, the Xbox One controller can be paired with Apple Arcade and provides a familiar, comfortable way to play your games. The controller that was released with the Xbox One is, arguably, the greatest controller across all platforms. Its design is perfect, its fit is comfortable, and there is a reason it wasn’t updated very much for the Xbox Series X and S. The biggest issue is that it requires AA batteries, which means you are going to need a consistent supply available, or that you’ll need to invest in a rechargeable battery for it. Also, make sure that it is the Xbox One generation version, as the Series X/S controllers are not compatible at the time of this writing.