Gaming on the go: The best game controllers for the iPhone

best game controllers for the iPhone Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i
Mad Catz
The iPhone is the gamer-on-the-go’s dream. With thousands of games released every month via the App Store, you’re bound to run across a terrific iPhone game at some point or another. However, sometimes that perfect game requires better controls than those afforded by a touchscreen display. Thankfully, the best game controllers for the iPhone can provide you with a more tactile experience, one that falls more line with a traditional peripheral. As more and more mobile games start to look and play like current console titles, people have started to outfit their iPhones with controllers that make playing these games on a phone more akin to playing them on the recently-launched Nintendo Switch. Below, we’ve rounded up some of the better offerings for the iPhone 7, some of which also work for older iPhone models.

Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i ($46+)

best game controllers for the iPhone Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i The pitfalls that come with gaming on your iPhone are nearly all resolved with Mad Catz’s C.T.R.L.i. The gloss-black offering has Bluetooth, and if three of your friends have a C.T.R.L.i controller, you can all connect to the same iPhone and play local multiplayer in a variety of games (FIFA Mobile, Real Racing 3Tales From Deep Space).  You also don’t have to worry about balancing your phone on your lap or table while playing, thanks to the the adjustable phone clip located at the top of the controller. The AAA-reliant device even comes with an HDMI cable and HDMI adapter, which allows you to play games on your TV. Now, if only the D-pad wasn’t so stiff…

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Mad Catz Micro C.T.R.L.i ($49+)

best game controllers for the iPhone Mad Catz Micro C.T.R.L.i The Micro C.T.R.L.i is exactly the same controller as the original C.T.R.L.i, except it’s about an inch smaller overall. That might not sound like a big deal, but that inch can make a big difference for those who travel a lot and want to bring their gaming with them. It uses AAA batteries, but those batteries can give you up to 40 hours of gameplay, which isn’t a bad trade-off. Built-in Bluetooth, an adjustable travel clip, multiplayer support, and a compatible mobile app all come standard.

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SteelSeries Nimbus ($44+)

best game controllers for the iPhone SteelSeries Nimbus The Nimbus was built with the console gamer in mind. The device’s button layout and analog placement is a mix between traditional Playstation and Xbox controllers, and its pressure-sensitive buttons make for a gaming experience that not even some AAA console games can provide. The sleek peripheral comes equipped with a lithium-ion battery that can last for 40 hours, though, it lacks the adjustable phone clip found on the aforementioned Mad Catz models. The Nimbus does come with a helpful companion app, which lists the top free and paid games that are currently compatible with the controller. This controller is also the best option for anyone looking to take their iPhone gaming to their iPad or Apple TV.

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Gamevice Controller ($99+)

best game controllers for the iPhone Gamevice Controller

The Gamevice Controller is ideal for any gamer that plans to shuffle between their iPhone and Nintendo Switch. The controller wraps horizontally around your iPhone, ultimately giving it the look and feel of the Switch, but on a much smaller scale. It also plugs directly into your iPhone’s Lightning port and comes outfitted with its own Lightning connector, which allows you to charge your phone while you’re gaming. Its price point is a bit higher than our other recommendations, but few offerings can match the Gamevice Controller when it comes to sheer portability, thanks to the device’s pliable, folding design.

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PowerLead PL184CN Controller (22+)

best game controllers for the iphone powerleadnew If you want one of the best game controllers available for the iPhone, but you don’t want to pay the price tag for one, then the PowerLead is what you’re looking for. It has Bluetooth and a decent telescopic clip, but it doesn’t have any of the other fancy features found on the top-of-the-line controllers peppering our list. The battery can only last 20 hours on a single charge, and it’s difficult to use with your Apple TV. Still, it’s a relatively cheap offering, one that comes with five multimedia buttons that allow you to control both volume and playback.

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