RiotPWR RP1950 Cloud Gaming Controller review: For iPhone and iPad

Future-proof your iPhone gaming with this Lightning and USB-C controller [Review]


RiotPWR RP1950 Cloud Gaming Controller review★★★★
The RiotPWR RP1950 game controller is ready to play top-tier games on an iPhone or iPad.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The RiotPWR RP1950 Cloud Gaming Controller solves a problem for iPhone gamers: the controller plugs into the Lightning port in today’s models, but also into the USB-C port that will be in the iPhone 15. In the mean time, the controller can also be used with the many iPad models that use USB-C.

I field-tested RiotPWR’s latest controller and its removable iPhone mount. I understand why Apple likes it enough to put in the online Apple Store.

RiotPWR RP1950 Cloud Gaming Controller review

Simple games like Angry Birds get most of the attention, but an iPhone can handle some really sophisticated games. That includes PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty Mobile and many more … especially when you consider all the great options in Apple Arcade. And then there are cloud gaming services like Xbox Cloud and Amazon Luna that let players enjoy console-quality titles.

On iPhone or iPad, these high-end games are playable with on-screen controls but an external game controller makes them much more enjoyable. Fortunately, iOS and iPadOS support this type of accessory right out of the box — no additional software necessary.

Plug the RiotPWR RP1950 Cloud Gaming Controller into your device and you’re ready to go. And you can be confident you’ll still be able to plug into your future iPhone, too.

It’s not wireless so you don’t have to pair it or charge it. Plug and play all the way.

And iPhone games will appreciate the removable mount that holds the handset up can see the screen while playing.

Outstanding Xbox-like game controller

RiotPWR RP1950 game controller mimics an Xbox one.
The buttons, sticks, triggers and bumpers are all where they should be in this game controller.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The RiotPWR RP1950 mimics the design of an Xbox controller, and does a brilliant job of it. I’ve spent a few hundred hours holding a Microsoft controller over the years, and this third-party product feels remarkably like a standard one. All the buttons, sticks, bumpers, triggers, etc., are right where they’re supposed to be.

And they feel very nearly the same. While there are very, slight differences in feel, the official buttons, sticks, etc. don’t feel better, just slightly different. And I wouldn’t notice at all if I wasn’t doing a close comparison.

There is a difference I noticed immediately: RiotPWR’s controller is much lighter than my wireless Xbox one. That’s because the third-party option doesn’t need an internal battery. It’s wired to your iPhone or iPad, and gets its power from the device.

Swap between Lightning and USB-C

RiotPWR RP1950 game controller comes with both Lightning and USB-C cables.
You can choose between Lightning and USB-C connections. Swapping takes less than a minute.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Some gamers prefer the freedom of movement that comes with a wireless controller, but others prefer staying wired. I like that wired controllers never run out of battery power. And there’s also the assurance that there’ll never be any lag from a Bluetooth connection.

The RiotPWR RP1950 comes with both a Lightning cable and a USB-C one. Plug one or the other into the top of the controller. Swapping them out is easy, but don’t worry about them accidentally coming loose — you need a paper clip, needle or pin to free up the cable.

Plug the Lightning cable into your iPhone and you’re immediately ready to game. The handset recognizes the controller without you having to do anything. The only slight complication is you should have the controller connected before you open the game.

Switch to the USB-C cable to plug the RiotPWR RP1950 into a current iPad. And when the iPhone 15 launches in 2023 with a USB-C port, as everyone expects, plug this cable into that handset.

As I’ve alluded to, the controller uses the cable to get power from the iPhone or iPad. You never need to charge it, or worry about running the battery down during a long gaming session. And RiotPWR also included a Lightning pass-through charging port so you can juice up your device while you game.

Game controller with useful iPhone mount

Game controller with useful iPhone mount
The RiotPWR RP1950’s iPhone mount is removable.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A difference you’ll notice immediately when comparing the RiotPWR RP1950 to a Microsoft or Sony one is the built-in iPhone mount.

It holds your iPhone where you can easily see it. A padded, adjustable clamp can handle iPhones in a variety of sizes. And you don’t have to remove your handset’s protective case to play.

A hinge in the mount allows you to change the angle the iPhone screen is pointing. It works fine. But rival mounts have two hinges giving more flexibility in how the handheld is positioned when gaming. It’s not a major flaw, but I did miss the second hinge.

The mount plugs into a slot on the front of the controller. It’s easily removable when carrying the device around, or if you want to put to your iPhone on a table notepad.

Let’s start gaming

The RiotPWR RP1950 can handle both regular games and cloud-gaming services. I tested it with both, of course.

I started with one of my all-time favorites, the classic Lego Star Wars: TCS. It’s a game I’m very familiar with, making it ideal for testing accessories. Next, I went to Oceanhorn 2, the best RPG on Apple Arcade. Then I played some Diablo Immortal. The game controller performed every bit as well as I could hope in all of these. There’s absolutely no lag, just as one would expect with a wired controller like this one.

To see how well the RP1950 handles cloud gaming, I tested it with Amazon Luna.

I don’t want everything I test to be an RPG, so I fired up Horizon Chase Turbo.  And I love classic games, so I tried the controller with Earthworm Jim. There is very, very little lag when using a wireless controller with Luna+, but it was even less with this wired one. It’s practically the same as using Amazon’s own controller designed specifically for this online service.

There’s a version of this product called the RiotPWR Controller for iOS (Xbox Edition) that I reviewed in 2022, and I tested that extensively with Microsoft’s cloud-gaming service. It performed very well, and I’m confident the same is true for all versions of the product, considering the major difference between them is the color of the casing.

If you don’t like the standard button layout. iOS/iPadOS lets you change it. Each button, trigger, etc. can be reconfigured. Go to Settings > General > Game Controller to get started.

RiotPWR RP1950 Cloud Gaming Controller final thoughts

Take better control of your iOS gaming.
Take better control of your iOS gaming with the RiotPWR RP1950.
Photo: RiotPwr

I love plug-and-play devices, and that describes this game controller perfectly. Just plug it into your iPhone or iPad and start playing. It easily swaps between handsets, and will work with future iPhones, too.

The RP1950 does a brilliant job of mimicking an Xbox controller, and it has features Microsoft’s does not.

I understand why Apple likes this accessory enough to list it in its online store.



The new RiotPWR RP1950 controller is available at exclusively from Apple.

Price: $69.99.

Where to buy: Apple

I already mentioned RiotPWR Controller for iOS (Xbox Edition). That’s essentially this same product, except in white and green. But it comes with only the Lightning cable, with the USB-C one sold separately.

Rival game controllers

Sure, you can play games with Microsoft’s own Xbox wireless controller. Or use one of the Sony wireless controllers. These are also supported by iOS. But because they use Bluetooth, you must pair them and charge them. And you’ll need to buy a separate mount for them, too.

There are other rival third-party options, too. Don’t miss my list of the best iPhone game controllers.

RiotPRW provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out other in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.


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