Best Game Controllers for iPhone 2023

Gamevice Flex for iPhone, with accessories and Diablo Immortal
(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future)

When it comes to iPhone gaming, we've come a long way since the days of Doodle Jump and Angry Birds. The iPhone is now a fully-fledged gaming device, with big-name gaming franchises available to play, services like Apple Arcade and Xbox Game Pass streaming to tap into, and enough power under the hood to make those games shine.

But to get the most of these experiences, you're going to want to avoid (for the most part) using the iPhone touchscreen to play. You just won't get that console-like level of control unless you're playing with one of the best game controllers for iPhone, giving you pinpoint precision whether you're playing platformers or battle royale shooters.

From Xbox pads to smart transforming case controllers, here are our picks for the best iPhone game controllers.

Best overall: Gamevice Flex

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Gamevice Flex playing Wonderbox

Gamevice Flex playing Wonderbox (Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future)

Gamevice Flex for iPhone

The best way to play on your iPhone

Reasons to buy

+
Superb design accommodates cases
+
Ergonomic controls
+
+ Lightning port pass-through charging

Reasons to avoid

-
Setup can be a little confusing
-
App isn't great
-
D-Pad a little spongy

The Gamevice Flex (opens in new tab) for iPhone answers one of the most long-standing problems with iPhone gaming controllers: if you want to play a mobile game with a game pad, you're usually going to have to remove your phone's protective case in order for it to fit in a cradle or gaming shell.

But with the Gamevice Flex, that's no longer a problem. It includes a deeper cavity to accommodate not only all iPhone sizes, but also those phones with all manner of protective cases around them too. With a flexible back panel, the Gamevice Flex expands to fit all sizes and contracts to hold the phone in place, with numerous included inserts to pad the cavity out and give a snug, safe fit for your iPhone.

We called it a literal game-changer in our review, making for a far less convoluted play time as a result of not having to remove our cases. And, as a controller generally it's great too! Responsive sticks, good action to buttons and stacked shoulder triggers make this relatively light-weight case one you can enjoy playing with for hours. It's easily our top recommended iPhone controller.

Close runner-up: Razer Kishi

Razer Kishi Hero

Razer Kishi Hero (Image credit: Razer )

Razer Kishi for iPhone

An excellent alternative to the Gamevice Flex

Reasons to buy

+
Stylish design
+
Great build quality
+
Fits on most iPhones

Reasons to avoid

-
Perfect for Xbox Game Pass...which isn't available on iOS yet.
-
Expensive option

The Razer Kishi is ingenious in its design. Using a simple base, the Razer Kishi slides open and attaches to just about any iPhone available today. Once attached, both left and right controllers will be instantly recognizable to anyone who has held a video game controller in the last 15 years. The Razer Kishi has two clickable thumbsticks and a pair of face buttons reminiscent of an Xbox controller as well as an 8-way D-pad. It also has an indicator light on the side that'll let you know the status of your device.

It's also incredibly light, and paired with your phone, it's much lighter than a Nintendo Switch or even a Switch Lite. Gaming with the Razer Kishi feels great, and the build quality is up to par with other Razer products. The controller can be a transformative experience, and many gamers, myself included, would rather not use touch controls ever. A downside to this is losing access to the lightning port, which means you'll have to use a pair of Airpods or other wireless headsets.

There are some drawbacks to the Razer Kishi, but they don't really come from the device itself. As of this writing, Apple hasn't opened the door to Cloud Gaming on the iPhone, which means iOS gamers can't enjoy any of the excellent offerings available on the Xbox Game Pass. Other than that, this is the device to buy for iOS gamers.

The Razer Kishi is compact, comfortable, and stylish and is perfect for gaming on your phone.

Best for PlayStation owners: DualSense Controller

Dualsense Ps5 Blue Ps Background

Dualsense Ps5 Blue Ps Background (Image credit: Sony)

DualSense Controller

For PS5 owners

Reasons to buy

+
Stylish contemporary design
+
Can utilize Haptic Feedback while playing
+
Works seamlessly with either an iPhone or iPad

Reasons to avoid

-
Requires a mount
-
A reminder of that PS5 you'll never find

Getting a PS5 was one of the hardest things to do upon its launch, but the controller, on the other hand, is readily available and fantastic. It's a huge step up from the PS4's controller and looks and feels next-gen. The white and black design might turn off some of Sony's faithful, but the controller is comfortable and looks great. I particularly like the thumbsticks, which feature a slight lip that gives the sticks some added grip.

Connecting the DualSense controller to your iPhone or iPad is simple, too. Just turn on your iOS device's Bluetooth and sync your controller. This allows you to play any controller compatible iOS game. You can even edit your controller options, rebind buttons, and even disable haptic feedback.

If you're one of the lucky gamers who found a PS5, then using the controller that came with the system is a no-brainer. The problem with using the PS5 controller doesn't really come from the device but the iPhone. You'll want to invest in an iPhone mount to get the most of your controller combo.

The PS5 controller makes for an excellent iPhone controller.

Best for Xbox owners: Xbox Core Controller

Xbox Core Controller Hero

Xbox Core Controller Hero (Image credit: Microsoft)

Xbox Core Controller

For Xbox owners

Reasons to buy

+
Incredibly comfortable
+
Textured grip adds extra support for intense gaming
+
Works with Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and iPad

Reasons to avoid

-
Requires a mount
-
Requires double A batteries

The Xbox Wireless Controller has been the template for controllers since the Xbox 360, and for good reason. Everything from the button placement to the size and weight of the controller just felt right. Years later, with the release of the Xbox Series X, Microsoft seems to have taken an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach, making just minor refinements to their controller to improve on perfection.

Just holding the Xbox Core Controller in your hands feels good, and the button and controller placements are accessible and feel just right. The back of the controller features a textured grip at the ends that supports your hands, and the addition of a capture button right in the center makes grabbing video clips and screenshots a breeze. And like the DualSense controller, connecting an Xbox Controller to an iOS device is a simple process.

Microsoft knocked it out of the park when they designed this controller, and its feature set is worth the price of admission. The only downside is, again, having to invest in a mount to use it, as well as its odd choice to use double A batteries instead of a chargeable one, but aside from that, the Xbox Wireless Controller is an excellent way to play. Whether you're playing Xbox Game Pass or Apple Arcade games it will serve you well.

Best for accessibility: Xbox Adaptive Controller

Xbox Adaptive Controller Hero

Xbox Adaptive Controller Hero (Image credit: Microsoft)

Xbox Adaptive Controller - Gaming

Best for accessibility

Reasons to buy

+
Essential to bringing gaming to players with disabilities
+
Extremely customizable
+
Compatible with Windows 7,8, and 10, Xbox One, Xbox Series X & S

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive and can get more expensive with additional parts

While I may not like touch controls, I can't deny that there's an audience for them, especially for those with disabilities. Microsoft, seeing the need for a bridge between the two worlds, introduced the Xbox Adaptive Controller.

The Xbox Adaptive controller was created with limited mobility players in mind. The Xbox Adaptive Controller is a unified hub and works with various external devices, such as switches, buttons, mounts, and joysticks to create a custom controller. You may customize it further by adding button, thumbstick, and trigger inputs via the addition of assistive devices that connect through the 3.5mm jack or the USB ports.

Like the Xbox Controller and the PlayStation Controller, gaming on an iPhone with the Adaptive Controller requires an additional mount. Still, it's the ideal controller for any gamer who may need extra assistance while they play.

Everyone deserves the chance to game, and the Xbox Adaptive Controller ensures that many will get it.

Best for budget: Rotor Riot Gamepad Controller

Rotor Riot Hero Controller

Rotor Riot Hero Controller (Image credit: Rotor Riot)

You may have noticed that most of the choices on this list must be paired with an iPhone mount, right? What if you don't own a PlayStation or Xbox and just want something to use exclusively for your iPhone? Well, if you're looking for a dedicated mobile phone controller, you might like the Rotor Riot, an iPhone controller with a built-in mount.

The Rotor Riot comes with everything you'd find in an Xbox or PlayStation Controller. Two analog sticks, an 8-way D-pad, and L3 and R3 functionality mean you'll be getting the full feature set found with a controller. There's even the option to charge while playing via pass-through charging. You can use the affiliated app, Ludu Mapp, to find over 1000 controller compatible games.

So what are the downsides? The Rotor Riot is the most affordable choice on our list, but the build quality, while not bad, is definitely not on par with the other options on the list. But that aside, the Rotor Riot is a pretty handy device, especially if your phone is your dedicated gaming platform.

Rotor Riot Gamepad Controller

The best way to play on your iPhone

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable
+
Mount can be removed from the controller
+
Includes all of the features you'd find in an Xbox or PlayStation controller

Reasons to avoid

-
Build quality is somewhat lacking

Take control of your games

These are our choices for the best game controllers for your iPhone. While any of these would be a good pick for your phone, our recommendation is the Gamevice Flex. Sleek and stylish, this handy device turns your phone into a portable machine that could rival the Switch itself, and with all the best iPhone games and Apple Arcade games available now, you're sure to get hours of fun from this excellent device.

The iPhone has proven itself to be a worthy gaming machine and offers gaming experiences on par with its console cousins. Considering you pair the DualSense and Xbox Controllers to your iPhone, what's not to love? Be sure to upgrade to the best iPhone you can so you can enjoy playing your games at the highest visual fidelity.

Gerald Lynch
Editor in Chief

Gerald Lynch is the Editor-in-Chief of iMore, keeping careful watch over the site's editorial output and commercial campaigns, ensuring iMore delivers the in-depth, accurate and timely Apple content its readership deservedly expects. You'll never see him without his iPad Pro, and he loves gaming sessions with his buddies via Apple Arcade on his iPhone 14 Pro, but don't expect him to play with you at home unless your Apple TV is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. 


Living in London in the UK, Gerald was previously Editor of Gizmodo UK, and Executive Editor of TechRadar, and has covered international trade shows including Apple's WWDC, MWC, CES and IFA. If it has an acronym and an app, he's probably been there, on the front lines reporting on the latest tech innovations. Gerald is also a contributing tech pundit for BBC Radio and has written for various other publications, including T3 magazine, GamesRadar, Space.com, Real Homes, MacFormat, music bible DIY, Tech Digest, TopTenReviews, Mirror.co.uk, Brandish, Kotaku, Shiny Shiny and Lifehacker. Gerald is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press, and also holds a Guinness world record on Tetris. For real.

With contributions from