Best Game Controllers for Apple TV and Apple Arcade iMore 2020
Playing games on your Apple TV is always more comfortable when you're using one of the best Apple TV game controllers, and since Apple Arcade released, there are a ton of games that can use a controller. The SteelSeries Nimbus+ is the best Apple TV game controller to ensure your gaming sessions are at comfortable as possible and feel like a full-blown console experience when you're playing your favorite Apple Arcade games.
- Best Overall: SteelSeries Nimbus+
- Best Battery Life: PXN Mfi Game Controller
- Best for PS4 Users: DualShock 4
- Best for Xbox One users: Xbox One Wireless Controller
Best Overall: SteelSeries Nimbus+
The SteelSeries Nimbus was already the best Apple Arcade controller on the market, and it got even better with the release of the Nimbus+ in May. One of the essential things in any gaming controller is how it feels in your hand, and the Nimbus+ keeps the original's ergonomic design meant to keep your hands from cramping during marathon sessions. This version adds an iPhone mount to extend that comfort to mobile game players.
The already impressive 50-hour battery life has been upped to 50, and you can quickly recharge it through a lightning cable. The product is officially licensed, so it will easily connect to all your Apple devices wirelessly utilizing a new high-performance Bluetooth module. It also features menu and options buttons that will make navigation easier.
High performance will enjoy the clickable L3 and R3 joystick buttons that help replicate a traditional console experience. The triggers feature magnetic sensors that are meant to deliver smooth and precise control without the rapid wear and tear that can come from serious use.
- Fantastic 50-hour battery life
- Comfortable ergonomic design
- Compatible with Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad
- Lightning charging
- The iPhone mount doesn't really work for portrait games
- Higher price than the original
Made for gaming on all your Apple devices
With 50-hour battery life and responsive buttons, the SteelSeries Nimbus+ is the best controller for Apple TV and Apple Arcade.
Best for gaming on the go: PXN Mfi Controller
The PXN Mfi Controller is perfect for gamers who love sitting down on their Apple TV, but then like to get on the move and continuing gaming on their iPhone. With a detachable iPhone holder, you can take the PXN controller anywhere and play a game on your iPhone hands-free.
It has a full array of buttons to use, including triggers, and it even has an app you can use with your phone to adjust different settings.
- 20-hours battery life
- Great for use with iPhone
- microUSb charging
Best Battery Life
Holder for your iPhone
Whether you're gaming on your Apple TV or gaming on the go, the PXN Mfi Controller is awesome.
Best for PS4 users: DualShock 4
If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? The DualShock 4 is the standard controller that comes in the PS4 box and, therefore, comes with the design we've come to expect. If you like it already but wish it were a little more interesting, Sony has a range of different colors available.
One of the significant drawbacks of using the DualShock 4 with your Apple TV is never knowing exactly how much battery power you have left. It can just turn off on you in the middle of a gaming session if you don't ensure you've topped up the battery.
- Familiar design
- Also works with PS4
- Can't check battery life on Apple TV
- Micro-USB charging
Best for PS4 Users
The DualShock 4 is the standard controller that comes in the PlayStation 4 box, and therefore if you like it, it's a great choice!.
Best for Xbox One Users: Xbox One Wireless Controller
The Xbox One controller is a super comfortable gaming experience, and not only works with Apple TV. But it works seamlessly with the PC, too, either wired or over Bluetooth.
If you're not a fan of dumping AA batteries inside it, there's a play and charge kit available that transforms it into a rechargeable controller. And whether it's through the Design Lab or the ridiculous amount of special edition designs, there's a color combo that's perfect for you.
- Familiar design
- Also works Xbox and PC
- Needs AA batteries
Best for Xbox One users
The official Xbox One controller has a tweaked design, adding more grippy parts on the rear side, making it comfortable to hold.
When it comes to gaming on your Apple TV, the best Apple TV game controllers can go a long way. While you can get by with the Siri remote when playing many games, others require or will feel a lot better if you have a traditional console controller. If you're shelling out for an extra accessory, you want to make sure you choose well. Plus, the best Apple TV game controllers are super easy to add to your Apple TV, so it's not an extra hassle just to play with one.
The SteelSeries Nimbus+ is the best around. Its 50-hour battery life is more than enough to keep you gaming for extended periods, and thanks to its comfortable ergonomic design, your hands won't cramp up! It's got the precision to give you an edge in your favorite Apple Arcade or iPhone games, and it's made especially for Apple products, so it's very easy to use.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Luke Filipowicz is an iMore staff writer who plays way too many video games, and his hands-on experience with several MFi controllers made this guide possible.
Lory Gil is the Managing Editor of iMore and knows her way around both an Apple TV and MFi gaming controllers. She's a believer in the SteelSeries Nimbus herself.
Rene Ritchie is the foremost authority on all things Apple and has insider knowledge about the goings-on at the biggest tech company in the world. He knows everything, literally everything, there is to know about Apple.
Samantha Nelson is a freelance writer for iMore, Windows Central, and Android Central who loves playing all forms of games and strengthening her wrists through yoga.
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