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iOS 13 is finally here, and with it, the increased focus of Apple on games. We now have Apple Arcade, a mobile game subscription service that includes dozens of excellent new games. One of the advantages of this solution is that you can now use wireless game controls with your iPhone and iPad.
Before, iOS generally did not support Bluetooth game controllers. Instead, it has supported the Made For iPhone (MFi) SDK, for which only a few third party developers have created controllers, which is not a surprise if you read Apple's rather restrictive rules on how the buttons should be arranged and what each should do. But the other wireless controllers were not supported. If you did not want to shell out for example $ 50 for this SteelSeries gamepad, you were out of luck.
But iOS 13 (and the next iPadOS 13, which has the same support), will change that. You can now connect PS4 Dualshocks and Xbox One controllers to your iPhone or iPad. Although not all games support controllers, those who do it improve dramatically when you use one. To find out if a game supports the controller or not, look for this symbol on the Arcade store:
Note: At the time of writing, the only third-party controllers supported by the new updates are the Dualshocks and Xbox One controllers. I'm afraid that the Nintendo Switch Pro controller does not work. The aforementioned MFi controllers will continue to work.
Here's how to connect your PS4 or Xbox One controller to your iOS device.
Check your compatibility
The first thing to check is if your controller is compatible with the iPhone. Unfortunately, not all models work, even though most of them will.
There are a few different Xbox One controllers, but the one that supports Bluetooth is the 1708 model, also known as the Xbox One S controller. The best way to know if you have the right model is to look at the crest under the Xbox button. If it is a well-defined peak, it is probably an old incompatible model. In 1708, it is an edge rather than a slight inclination.
According to Apple support, the only unsupported PS4 Dualshock model is CUH-ZCT1U. This is one of the few models of the original DS4 (CUH-ZCT1) shipped with the PS4 in 2013, so if you have an older DS4, you can roll the dice very well. I have an old DS4, and mine connected very well.
So let's go to the real connection. To do this, put your device in pairing mode. To do this, you hold down the button at the top of the device until the Xbox button starts blinking quickly.
To do this, you must press the Share and PS buttons at the same time until the lightbar above the controller starts flashing white. Basically, you want something on your controller to be flashing.
Once this is done, go to your iOS Settings app and open the Bluetooth menu. Make sure Bluetooth is turned on, of course. After a few seconds, the devices should appear in your menu under "Other devices". Tap the name of the device and your iPhone will connect to it. Once connected, it will appear under My devices, as follows:
If you want to unpair the devices, press the "i" next to their names and select "Forget this device".
And that's all. Enjoy your new Arcade games with the ergonomic comfort of a controller, rather than the brittle edges of your iPhone.
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