Best game controllers for iPhone and Android

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Best game controllers for iPhone and Android
As much as we love playing games on smartphones and tablets using on-screen virtual controls, we sometimes miss the tactile feedback that only a dedicated physical controller can provide. And we bet that many gamers — novice and veteran alike, would agree with us. But thankfully, there's a solution. Plenty of accessory manufacturers have come up with great game controllers intended to be used with the smartphones and tablets available on the market. Here's 7 of them — arguably the best ones you might find, so check them out and let us know which one you like the most.

Summary



PowerA Moga XP5-X Plus


Pros

  • Built-in 3000mAh power bank
  • Wireless or USB connection
  • Phone clip included

Cons

  • No iOS support
  • Can’t use power bank when phone is connected via cable

If you’re looking for a full-fledged smartphone game controller, the XP5-X Plus is a good choice. This controller comes with an adjustable smartphone holder, making for a comfortable gaming experience. A unique selling point is the built-in 3000mAh power bank which will give your phone an extra boost if its battery is running low.

On top of a D-pad, two analog sticks, four regular buttons and four shoulder buttons, the XP5-X Plus has two mappable buttons which you can assign to touch spots on the screen. Both Bluetooth and wired connectivity over USB are supported, so you can choose between convenience and zero input lag. However, you can’t use the power bank feature and the USB connection at the same time.

Note that this particular game controller is designed for smartphones and will not work with your XBOX. It will work with your PC and services like Google Stadia or XBOX Game Pass, however.

Razer Kishi Mobile Game Controller


Pros

  • Design allows for good grip
  • Easy to carry

Cons

  • Relatively expensive
  • No wireless connectivity
  • Works with phones only

The Razer Kishi is from a new breed of smartphone game controllers designed to integrate with your smartphone comfortably, with the controller feeling like a part of it for better grip. When not in use, the controller is easy to carry thanks to its retractable design.

Be aware that this controller does not support wireless connections of any sort. Instead, it plugs directly into your phone’s USB-C or Lightning port. An advantage of this approach is that there is zero input lag. There’s also no battery in the controller to recharge.

There are dedicated Android and iPhone versions of this controller – with a USB-C or Lightning connector, respectively – so be sure to order the correct variant for your particular phone.

PlayStation DualSense Wireless Controller



Pros

  • Ergonomic design
  • Works with Android, iPhone, iPad

Cons

  • Phone clip sold separately
  • PlayStation-specific features don’t work on phones (duh)

The biggest advantage of this game controller is that you may already have one. Since the DualShock 3, PlayStation controllers have been compatible with Android phones, and the DualShock 4 is compatible with the iPhone as well.

The newest PlayStation controller generation is no exception. You can connect the PlayStation DualSense controller to an Android phone over Bluetooth or with a USB-C to USB-C cable. Wireless connection to an iPhone or iPad is also possible after iOS 14.5. Note that many of the PlayStation-specific features of this controller will not work on mobile – things like haptics or the built-in microphone.

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller


Pros

  • Ergonomic design
  • Can also pair with Nintendo Switch

Cons

  • Phone clip sold separately
  • Expensive
  • Nintendo-specific features don’t work on phones, of course

This Nintendo controller is similar to the PlayStation controller, as it is another console controller that can also pair with your smartphone. The controller is very ergonomic and robust and has a 40 hour battery life. Overall, the Switch Pro controller is a solid option with great reviews and clicky buttons.

SteelSeries Stratus Duo



Pros

  • Ergonomic and robust design
  • Supports Windows and VR headsets

Cons

  • No iOS support
  • Phone holder sold separately
  • Micro USB connector instead of USB-C

The Stratus Duo is an ergonomic, comfortable-to-use controller that’s also designed to be robust and resistant to fingerprint grease. It has Bluetooth connectivity but does not support Apple mobile devices. SteelSeries’s controller also switches instantly between your phone and your PC with the press of a button. A wireless dongle for PC connectivity is included. For mobile gaming, we recommend getting a SmartGrip — a smartphone clamp that's compatible with all current SteelSeries controllers and can hold a smartphone right over your gamepad while you game.

SteelSeries Nimbus+



Pros

  • Designed specifically for iPhone, iPad, Apple TV
  • Ergonomic design
  • Phone clip is included

Cons

  • Supports only Apple devices

The Nimbus+ is a game controller designed specifically for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. It even has a Lightning charging port for better integration into the Apple ecosystem. A Lightning cable is not included in the box; however, you do get an iPhone holder that clips to the gamepad.

The Nimbus + looks and feels like a typical console controller, with the expected set of buttons and inputs. It even has navigation buttons for making your way through the UI. SteelSeries also brags about the inclusion of hall effect trigger buttons which are promised to last longer. Speaking of longevity, the Nimbus+ boasts a 50-hour battery life.

Razer Raiju Mobile


Pros

  • High-quality build
  • Adjustable clip for your phone
  • Additional customizeable buttons

Cons

  • Bulky
  • No support for iOS devices

If you're a gamer, you're probably familiar with the Razer brand name, and Raiju is the company's premium mobile controller, meant for those that take their smartphone gaming really seriously. It connects to your Android device via Bluetooth and provides a whole host of buttons — two triggers, two shoulder buttons, two analog sticks, a D-pad and four additional buttons that you can map to whatever you want. It even has a home and back key to get you through the Android UI quicker. The adjustable clip lets you attach a smartphone to the gamepad for unbeatable convenience.
 

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