Most smartphone and tablet games are designed to provide the best experience on touchscreen devices. But with the rise of cross-platform titles and cloud gaming services that are not compatible with touch, it is best to opt for a controller suitable for your iOS or Android phone. Especially since such a controller allows greater flexibility in controls. Check out our special buying guide below.
As smartphones become more and more powerful, the room for maneuver for developers widens. Enough to allow them to release games with much more advanced graphics than in the past, even having little to envy certain titles playable on usual machines. As you can see, games are no longer confined to home consoles and PCs. Developers are now doing wonders and offering titles more and more licked on smartphone.
We thus find games exclusively designed for our smart phones but also adaptations of Xbox, PC or PlayStation games. In this regard, note that Sony plans to adapt its large PlayStation licenses in mobile games. In addition, we are currently seeing the rise of cross-platform titles (including mobile) like Fortnite or Minecraft. And a smartphone controller would allow you to take full advantage of it.
We must also mention the advent of cloud gaming allowing to draw games (designed for the pad) in expanded game libraries. Thus, it is possible to use Google Stadia on iOS and Android. For its part, Microsoft will open its xCloud service (already available on Android) on the Apple OS. So many arguments likely to convince you to opt for a controller optimized for your smartphone. You still have to know which one to buy. This is exactly where we come in.
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Which gamepad to choose for an Android or iOS smartphone?
It is imperative that your controller is compatible with your operating system. In this case, all Android or Windows controllers are not necessarily compatible with iPhone and iPad, due to certain constraints related to iOS.
You have the choice between two types of controller: wired or Bluetooth. In the first case, check that your smartphone is compatible with the USB On-The-Go (OTG) functionality which will allow the controller to be connected via the micro USB or USB Type-C port. Note that it is possible to have latency if you go through Bluetooth.
For optimal user comfort, we can only advise you to orient yourself towards alternatives specially designed for mobile phones. Some are equipped with clamp or support to easily put your device. We have selected four of the best controllers for smartphone gaming.
La SteelSeries Stratus Duo
Compatible on Android (but also on Windows, Oculus Go and Samsung Gear VR), this Bluetooth wireless controller is perfectly suited for mobile gaming. It connects easily to your smartphone, installing an app is not required. Fixable with a clamp, this controller equipped with two clickable joysticks and a pad will quickly make you forget the pangs of touch. We also appreciate its solid magnetic triggers and its large 20-hour battery life. His price ? 70 euros.
The GameSir X2
The GameSir X2 is designed to be expandable. So that it is possible to integrate a smartphone up to 167 mm. Once assembled, the whole thing will look like a Nintendo Switch. What offer a great comfort of use. Moreover, this battery-free controller has an extremely low power consumption. It is powered in particular via the USB Type-C port on your phone. It is notably embellished with two analog sticks and a screenshot button. His price ? 70 euros.
La Rotor Riot
Notice to iPhone owners who are keen on gaming, this controller made by RotorRiot is compatible with iOS devices. With a classic design, it is connected via a Lightning cable to avoid any latency. With this controller equipped with the famous L3 and R3 buttons, you can play on your iPhone many titles that we no longer present (Call of Duty, Minecraft, Fortnite…). His price ? 59 euros.
The SteelSeries Nimbus +
This SteelSeries ergonomic wireless controller boasts an Apple license. So it is perfectly optimized for iPhones and other apple products. It includes tactile D-Pad buttons, clickable L3 and R3 buttons and sensitive joysticks. Its rechargeable battery with a Lightning cable still offers 30 hours of autonomy, a very good point. This controller will allow you to play thousands of games, especially in the App Store and Apple Arcade. His price ? 80 euros.
Finally, note that the Xbox Wireless Controller works on iOS and Android while the DualSense is compatible with the Google OS (and soon iOS). Except that they unfortunately lack a clip or a support to play more comfortably. Hence their absence in this guide.