game controllers

This is the USB-C game controller your iPhone 15 needs [Review] ★★★★

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GameSir G8 Galileo review★★★★
GameSir G8 Galileo makes iPhone gaming more fun.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Wrap your iPhone 15 in the GameSir G8 Galileo and you have the physical buttons, triggers and sticks needed for high-end gaming. And it has a USB-C port so it works with Apple’s latest handsets. Plus the game controller includes swappable sticks, pass-through charging, a headphone jack and more.

I tested GameSir G8 Galileo with my iPhone 15. I had a heck of a good time.

Portable new iPhone game controller is ready to play wherever you go [Review] ★★★★

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Turtle Beach Atom Controller for iOS review★★★★
Don't struggle with on-screen controls when gaming on your iPhone. The Turtle Beach Atom Controller is the way to go.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Clip the Turtle Beach Atom Controller for iOS on either side of an iPhone to add the physical buttons and sticks that make high-end gaming much more fun. It mimics the brilliant design of the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con with the controls set on either side of the display.

It’s ready for Apple Arcade games and cloud-gaming services, too. And don’t forget the console games Apple has promised to port to the iPhone 15 Pro.

I spent hours testing the controller (it’s a hard job I have) and I really like it. Here’s why.

Cool 8BitDo game controllers now support Apple devices

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Cool 8BitDo game controllers now support Apple devices
A range of 8BitDo game controllers now work with Mac, iPad, Apple TV and more.
Image: 8BitDo

The selection of game controllers that can be used with Apple devices just grew, as a software update made multiple 8BitDo products compatible with iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV.

The accessory maker offers wired and wireless controllers that mimic Xbox and Playstation ones. And there’s the 8BitDo Lite SE, too.

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

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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.

Save on this wireless Nintendo Switch controller

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Save on this wireless Nintendo Switch controller.
Step up your Nintendo Switch play with a discounted Bluetooth controller.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Remember the days when you’d battle your friends on Nintendo for endless hours? While Nintendo products have progressed significantly and you may have more responsibilities as an adult, there’s no reason you can’t relive those good times you had growing up.

You can indulge your inner child with this Bluetooth controller for Nintendo Switch for only $32.99. It’s time to upgrade the way you game as a grown-up.

Best iPhone game controllers this holiday season

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Old school Xbox gaming on the RiotPWR Controller.
An iPhone game controller can make a great gift.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

If you are overstraining your brain trying to come up with the right gift for an iPhone fan, consider a clip-on game controller. Mobile gamers can appreciate that physical buttons, sticks and triggers make play a lot more fun for many types of games.

I’ve reviewed all the top iPhone game controllers. Here are my recommendations.

Clever side-by-side iPhone game controller has no problem with bulky cases [Review] ★★★★

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Clever side-by-side iPhone game controller has no problem with bulky cases [Review]★★★★
Play games on the Gamevice Flex without taking off your iPhone case.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Gamevice Flex is an iPhone game controller that mimics the design of the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con with the controls set on either side of the display. Similar iPhone controllers make you take the case off your handset to play but the Flex wraps around the handset even if it’s in a protective case.

The wired controller includes a full set of buttons, sticks, bumpers, etc. so you can enjoy games like Fortnite from Xbox Cloud Gaming or similar services, or almost anything from Apple Arcade.

I spent quite a few hours testing Gamevice Flex – here’s why I like it.

Make iPhone gaming more fun with this Xbox-style controller [Review] ★★★★

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PowerA MOGA XP5-i Plus review★★★★
The PowerA MOGA XP5-i Plus game controller works beautifully with a range of Apple devices. And there's an iPhone mount, too.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The PowerA Moga XP5-i Plus has the same basic design as an Xbox controller, but with a focus on Apple devices. Put your iPhone in the adjustable mount, or remove the mount for iPad or Apple TV gaming.

It stands out from the crowd with a built-in battery for recharging your handset while you play. Plus, PowerA added a couple of useful extra buttons.

I’ve enjoyed gaming on the Moga XP5-i Plus for a few weeks now. Here’s why.

2 new iPhone game controllers offer radically different designs

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2 new iPhone game controllers offer radically different designs
The Gamevice Flex (left) and PowerA MOGA XP5-i Plus (right) are iPhone game controllers with very different designs.
Image: Gamevice/PowerA

The Gamevice Flex and PowerA MOGA XP5-i Plus are both game controllers for iPhone, but that’s almost the only thing they have in common. The Gamevice product wraps around the handset to put buttons and d-pads on either side of the screen, while PowerA’s mimics an Xbox controller but with a phone mount.

No matter the design, these let players escape using onscreen touch controls when accessing cloud-gaming services, Apple Arcade and other games.

Apple makes a play for gamers with Metal 3 and more game controller support

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Apple makes a play for gamers with Metal 3 and more game controller support
Craig Federighi, Apple software chief, made a pitch for more Mac and iPad gaming at WWDC22.
Screenshot: Apple
WWDC22 - Brought to you by CleanMyMac X

Mac is not the preferred platform for most gamers, but Metal 3 in macOS Ventura shows Apple hasn’t given up. And iPadOS 16 is getting support for a wider range of game controllers.

These are just a couple of gaming features Apple is bringing to Mac and iPad.

This clip-on controller is the secret to better iPhone gaming [Review]

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Backbone One for iPhone review: Clever clip-on game controller
The Backbone One for iPhone takes your gaming to the next level.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Clip the Backbone One to your iPhone to get the physical buttons and sticks you’ve been missing. It has a lot in common with an Xbox controller, while being designed specifically for iPhone gaming. And a Lightning connector makes hookups easy.

I spent many hours testing the Backbone One. Here’s why I completely love it, especially for cloud gaming.

Apple puts iPhone game controller on the drawing board

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Apple puts iPhone game controller on the drawing board
It’s undeniable: Apple is at least considering an iPhone game controller. And one for iPad, too.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple is showing interest in making a clip-on iPhone or iPad game controller. It filed a patent application for various permutations of exactly that sort of accessory on Thursday.

This would be a new product category for the company. But it could be a boon for Apple Arcade subscribers.

Level up your iPhone gaming with Rotor Riot Lightning controller [Review]

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RiotPwr Rotor Riot iOS Controller RR1852 PWR Plus review
iPhone gaming is better with a hardware game controller like the RiotPwr Rotor Riot RR1852.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Playing serious games on an iPhone touchscreen can be crazy frustrating. Don’t throw your iPhone across the room — get a game controller like RiotPwr’s Rotor Riot RR1852. This mimics the design of Microsoft’s Xbox controller but with a Lightning cable and an iPhone mount.

I fully tested this updated version of the Rotor Riot Lightning-enabled game controller. And I like it a lot. And apparently so does Apple because you can find it in the Apple Store, both online and brick-and-mortar locations.

Updated Rotor Riot iPhone game controller launches at Apple Store

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Updated Rotor Riot iPhone game controller launches at Apple Store
Connect RiotPWR’s Rotor Riot iPhone game controller to your iPhone for quick and easy fun.
Photo: Apple/RiotPWR

RiotPwr is out with a new version of its iPhone game controller with a Lightning connector. This mimics the design of Microsoft’s Xbox controller, and new version adds a pair of buttons needed to play many games.

Apple likes this accessory so much it just began offering it in the Apple Store, both online and brick-and-mortar locations.

Turn your iPhone into a Switch with GameSir X2 Lightning controller [Review]

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GameSir X2 Lightning Mobile Gaming Controller review
Slide your iPhone into the GameSir X2 Lightning Mobile Gaming Controller and you’re ready to play.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

If you’ve ever wished you could merge your iPhone and Nintendo Switch, I have great news. The GameSir X2 Lightning wraps around your handset and adds physical buttons and joysticks in a design reminiscent of the Switch Lite. And it includes a Lightning connector so it plugs directly into your iPhone.

I spent many hours playing games with this accessory — probably more than were necessary for testing. Here’s why I love it.

Make your iPhone more fun with GameSir X2 side-by-side game controller with Lightning

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Make your iPhone more fun with GameSir X2 side-by-side game controller with Lightning
The GameSir X2 Lightning wraps a game controller around your iPhone.
Photo: GameSir

On-screen game controls can be hard to use, but the GameSir X2 Lightning Mobile Gaming Controller adds physical buttons and joysticks to your iPhone. This newly-launched version includes a Lightning connector, making Bluetooth unnecessary.

In a related development, the GameSir F7 Claw Tablet Game Controller for larger devices is now available on Amazon.

GameSir G4 Pro is the cross-platform game controller you’re looking for [Review]

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GameSir G4 Pro review
GameSir G4 Pro game controller can be used with iPhone and Android devices. And iPad and PC too. Plus Nintendo Switch.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The GameSir G4 Pro is a wireless game controller that works with iPhone and iPad but also PC, Android and Switch. It resembles a wireless Xbox controller but with a flip-out mount for holding an iPhone.

I did quite a bit of gaming with the G4 Pro. Here’s how it stood up.

Add game to your iPhone with GameSir X2 side-by-side game controller

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GameSir X2 Bluetooth Mobile Gaming Controller works with iPhone and Android
The GameSir X2 Bluetooth Mobile Gaming Controller is compatible with Apple Arcade and cloud-gaming services.
Photo: GameSir

Clip the GameSir X2 Bluetooth Mobile Gaming Controller to an iPhone or Android to add physical controls to the handset. It uses a split design that puts the buttons and joysticks on either side of the screen.

GameSir also launched the F7 Claw Tablet Game Controller for larger devices.

Apple works to bring Xbox Series X controller support to iOS and Mac

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Xbox Series X controller
An update is on the way.
Photo: Microsoft

Apple is working with Microsoft to make new Xbox Series X controllers compatible with iPhone, iPad, Mac and more.

Support for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and other controllers is already baked into the latest versions of iOS. It’s not yet clear if Apple will add support for the PlayStation 5’s new DualSense controller, too.

More affordable Apple Watch might be in development

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More affordable Apple Watch would be nice.
A less-expensive Apple Watch is just one of the predictions made today by a serial leaker.
Illustration: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A regular source of Apple leaks said on Thursday that a less expensive version of the Apple Watch is in the offing.

This was just one of multiple tidbits Jon Prosser dropped during a public Q&A session. He mentioned the first MacBook with Apple silicon, talked a bit about the company’s game controller, and more.

Apple makes finding the right Xbox controller for Apple Arcade a snap

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Xbox controller for Apple Arcade
The Apple Store is selling the single Xbox controller compatible with Apple Arcade.
Photo: Apple

Finding the one model of Xbox controller that’s compatible with Apple Arcade is now as easy as ordering it from the Apple Store.

Many of the games in this company’s new gaming service can be played with an Xbox or PS4 wireless controller, but only a very limited selection of controllers are supported. Listing one in Apple’s online store simplifies getting the right one.

Gamevice controller for iPhone falls flat where it really counts [Review]

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Fortnite with iPhone XS in Gamevice controller
The Gamevice is good, but not great.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Mobile gaming has never been better, but you’re missing out if you’re playing the latest titles with touch controls. A good controller is a worthwhile purchase, but should you spend $75 on the Gamevice?

It looks great, boasts the best design of any iPhone controller, and never needs charging. It also works with almost any iPhone. The only problem? It disappoints where it matters most.

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Fortnite update makes gunfights easier than ever

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Fortnite iOS 14
Everyone should welcome skill-based matchmaking.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Fortnite season five is now in full swing, giving players new areas to explore, a new vehicle to ride around in, and more. The latest Fortnite update also makes huge control improvements.

Players on iOS will find gunfights easier thanks to autofire, while those on Nintendo Switch can enjoy more accurate aiming with motion control.