With iPhone iOS 13 you can now connect your iPhone to game console controllers, like the PlayStation 4 DualShock controller and the Xbox wireless controller.
The Xbox One Controllers developed and certified with Apple’s MFi (Made For iPhone/iPad) certification will work with games that have implemented MFi Controller support. This is just like how Apple certifies other iPhones accessories, like Lightning cables.
Some of these Controllers include an increase that locks your iPhone in place, allowing you to use the iPhone like a portable game console, holding the controller in your hands. Some drivers use MFi to a physical connection, so you need to connect to the Flash port on your iPhone. Though, only the most MFi drivers connect wirelessly via Bluetooth, such as a Bluetooth headset or keyboard.
Note that App Store games have to explicitly support game controllers, so they don’t work with every title. As the MFI game controllers have been around for a few years now, there are quite a lot of compatible games including Fortnite, Crossy Road, Real Racing and more.
Most Apple Arcade games which are now available at app store will support game controllers. So with iOS 13, Xbox and PlayStation controllers can be used with all the same games that support MFI controllers.
How to pair a PlayStation controller to your IPhone?
- To connect a PlayStation controller first make sure your iPhone is updated to iOS 13.
- Open Settings on your device. Tap Bluetooth.
- On the controller, press and hold the middle PS button and the SHARE button at the same time.
- Hold the buttons down for five seconds until the LED status indicator starts flashing.
- ‘Playstation Controller’ will appear in the Bluetooth menu on your iOS device. Tap to connect.
- You can now open a game and start playing with your controller.
When you are finished playing, you can disconnect the controller by holding down the PS and the OPTIONS button. Alternatively, dive back into Settings and disconnect by pressing the (i) button in the Bluetooth devices list.
You can also follow the same instructions to connect your controller to the Apple TV. Update your Apple TV to tvOS 13 and then navigate to Settings -> Remotes and Devices -> Bluetooth. Then follow the same steps as above.
How to pair Xbox One controller to your iPhone?
- To pair and connect an Xbox controller, you need the modern Xbox One controller that communicates over Bluetooth. Older controllers are not compatible. The Elite controller does work.
- Make sure your iPhone is updated to iOS 13.
- On your iPhone, open the Settings app. Tap Bluetooth.
- Wake your Xbox controller by pressing the center button. Then, hold down the wireless pairing button on the controller. This is located next to the left trigger, above the charging port.
- Hold the pairing button down for five seconds until the Xbox logo starts flashing.
- ‘Xbox Controller’ will appear in the Bluetooth menu on your iOS device. Tap to connect.
- You can now open a compatible game and start playing with your controller.
Xbox and PlayStation controllers are also compatible with Macs running macOS Catalina. To connect your controller to the Mac, you need to open System Preferences and open the Bluetooth menu. Again follow the steps above and press to pair and connect your controller.
Once connected, supported games will automatically be able to detect the PlayStation and Xbox controllers. There is no mandatory configuration. Some games may let you remap buttons to suit your own preferences, so be sure to check the settings in the app to see if you can customize button bindings. These settings would only apply on a game-by-game basis.
Finally remember that Apple is constantly improving the game controller experience. On iOS 13.1, the game controller will appear in your Battery widget to display its current battery life. (with inputs from news sources)