The Best iOS Gaming Accessories [Best-Of]

The Best iOS Gaming Accessories [Best-Of]

Turn your iDevice into an arcade machine or PSP beater with these amazing accessories.

iOS is the gaming platform of the future. Just ask Nintendo, who this year posted its first annual loss (nearly half a billion dollars). And while Game Boy-esque portable playing is good enough most of the time, you only need to add a few accessories to turn the iPhone into a full-on be-buttoned handheld, and the iPad into the center of a big-screen home gaming system. Read on to find out our picks for the best iOS gaming accessories.

Best iPhone Joypad

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iCade Mobile Controller$70

The iCade mobile turns your iPhone into a kind of PlayStation Portable, only with better and cheaper games. It connects using Bluetooth to avoid Apple’s control-freak attitude to the 30-pin dock connector, and works with any iCade-enabled games. Bonus: it even works with the iPad, although you won’t be able to squeeze it into the controller’s iPhone slot.

Best Play-Everywhere Joystick

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Targus FlingAround $20

The stick-on Fling adds an instant physical analog joystick to your iPhone or iPad: a pair of suction cups stick it in place and a conductive block of plastic sits inside a sprung ring. The pad centers itself when you let go, and the whole shebang is see through, so it doesn’t get in the way of the game.

Best Retrification Add-On

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8-Bitty iOS Gaming Controller$25

Another iCade-compatible controller, the 8-Bitty is the closest you’ll get to using a proper NES controller on your iPhone or iPad. Hi-tech Bluetooth combines with low-tech AAA batteries for a boxy, button-bashing experience.

Best iPad Game Controller

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The iCade$99

The iCade turns the iPad into a tiny, tabletop arcade cabinet, complete with proper joystick and eight (8!) buttons. The iCade was the original accessory controller, and its SDK has been adopted by many, many developers to make their games compatible – just search the App Store for “iCade” to see how many. It connects via Bluetooth, and makes an awesome dock even if you don’t want to play any games.

Best Console Hook-Up

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Xbox SmartGlass$TBA

SmartGlass is technically an app, but as it’s all about hardware we’re letting it get onto this list. SmartGlass is a technology from Microsoft which lets the XBox use your iPhone or iPad as a display. Thus, you could be blasting away in [Insert War Game Here] and view a map on the iPad in your lap. SmartGlass is scheduled for a release later this year.

Best Gaming Speaker

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Jawbone Jambox – $200

Games on the iPad and the iPhone rock, but the sound sucks. The best thing to do is hook it up to a speaker. Even better is a wire-free Bluetooth speaker. And even better than that is a small Bluetooth speaker which can convincingly fake 3-D surround sound. That speaker is the Jambox, a stalwart of our Best Of lists, and with good reason. The Jambox’s Live Audio feature really does add depth and dimension to sound, and if it’s recorded using binaural stereo, your game will sound incredible.

Best AV Accessory

The Best iOS Gaming Accessories [Best-Of]

Apple Digital AV Adapter – $39

Hook up your iPad to your big-screen HDTV with this dock-to-HDMI adapter, fire up Real Racing HD and hand out a few iPhones to use as controllers and you have one of the most expensive home console setups around.

If you already have a TV, an iPad, and a few friends with the appropriate phones, though, then you just saved yourself a few hundred bucks. Bomus: big-screen movies!

  • Aaron Burns

    Apple products are NOT the future of gaming. Do you even play games outside of your precious little mini games? Apple is not in the least bit responsible for Nintendo’s losses. There are two big reasons why NIntendo had such a huge loss and those reasons are: 1. The Nintendo 3DS had an average/poor start and in order to jump-start sales NIntendo lowered the price and sold it for a loss. BUT the 3DS is currently outselling what the original DS did at this point it it’s life cycle. AND Nintendo said they will be making profit off of the 3DS this year. 2. Nintendo is known for having poor 3rd party support on their consoles especially this generation and so they had little to no help supporting the Wii last year all the while they were trying to also support the DS, launch the 3DS, and get ready for the upcoming Wii U. So that obviously hurt software and hardware sales. Next time actually do some research.

  • Shaun Hickox

    “The iCade mobile turns your iPhone into a kind of PlayStation Portable, only with better and cheaper games”

    Cheaper yes, better no.

About the author

Charlie Sorrel Charlie Sorrel is the Reviews Editor here on Cult of Mac. Follow Charlie  on Twitter at @mistercharlie.

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