How to Connect a Controller to Your iPhone

How to connect PS5 or Xbox controller to iPhone

Amid the huge success of the gaming industry over the last two years, mobile gaming has emerged as one of the most profitable given its accessibility.

Unlike console or PC gaming, mobile gaming’s portability and relatively lower price tags have catapulted its market worth to $90.7 billion. By 2024, its global market is expected to be valued at a whopping $116 billion.

That said, although current smartphones are designed with impressive graphics and sensitivity, tapping and dragging your fingers across the screen can get boring. Luckily, there is a new gaming solution.

With the updated support from iOS 14, you can now connect your iPhone to your console controllers via a Bluetooth wireless connection. This eliminates the need for extra cables and adaptors.

Plus, because the latest iPhones are equipped with a powerful HDI printed circuit board, they’ve got better signal integrity within their compact size. This enables each iPhone to recognize and act upon the commands of connected console controllers.

With this, you can maximize your mobile gaming with the intuitive and tactile experience that a controller brings. Here’s how to do it.

For your DualShock 4 or DualSense controller:

PS5 DualSense Controller

Note: Only DualShock 4 and Play Station 5’s DualSense controllers are supported.

  • Open Settings on your iPhone and select Bluetooth. Once the Bluetooth toggle turns green, that’s your cue that it’s ready to connect.
  • While still on your Bluetooth menu, get a hold of your charged DualShock 4 or DualSense controller. If it’s not charged, it may not turn on or the Bluetooth will not pair.
  • Press the PlayStation Button and the Share button at the same time on your controller. Hold these buttons for a few seconds until the light on the DualShock 4 or DualSense starts to blink.
  • Check your phone’s still open Bluetooth menu for the “DualShock 4/ DualSenseWireless Controller” presence. Once you’ve found it, tap this to pair.
  • To verify that your phone and controller have paired, the light on your DualShock 4 or DualSense controller should turn pink.

For your Xbox Controller

Xbox Series S Controller

These are the supported controllers, according to Apple:

  • Xbox Wireless Controller with Bluetooth (Model 1708)
  • Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2
  • Xbox Adaptive Controller
  • Xbox Wireless Controller Series S and Series X

How to connect an Xbox controller to your iPhone

  • First, turn on your Xbox controller by pressing the Xbox button on it.
  • Then, press and hold the connect button to enable pairing mode on the controller.
  • Once you’ve ensured the controller is in pairing mode, head over to Settings -> Bluetooth.
  • Enable Bluetooth on your iPhone by flicking the Blutooth switch on. (The switch will turn green if Bluetooth is turned on)
  • Wait for the Xbox controller to be listed under nearby Bluetooth devices, then tap on the controller’s name as it appears on your iPhone.
  • Once the “Connected” label appears beside the name of your Xbox controller within Bluetooth settings on your iPhone, it’s an indication that the controller is now connected.

Moving forward, your controllers should be automatically paired with your iPhone whenever both devices are turned on and within range.

This new gaming hack comes just in time as Apple Arcade formally released all 220 of its games as of 2021. These include two new categories: timeless classics and app store greats.

While you’re at it, why not try other graphics-intensive games like Call of Duty: Mobile and Fortnite? With your newly connected controller, you may just end up reaching your all-time best performances.