Apple adds support to 8BitDo's best gaming controllers to use on iPhone, Mac and more

8BitDo controller playing GoldenEye on iPad Pro in coffee place
(Image credit: iMore)

8BitDo, a gaming controller manufacturer, announced that Apple has enabled its controllers to be officially supported on its devices, which means that you can now easily pair an 8BitDo Pro 2 controller and play a game in fewer steps on Apple devices.

For those unaware, these are based on the past controllers of Nintendo and Sega, such as the Genesis and the Super Nintendo. They've been brought into the modern era with mod-cons like Bluetooth, rumble support and extra buttons that you can customize. You can even connect multiple different devices on the fly thanks to a toggle.

The company stated in a tweet that its 8BitDo SN30 Pro, SN30 Pro for Android, SN30 Pro+, Pro 2, Ultimate 2.4G, and Lite SE can all be paired with an Apple device. That's as long as the game supports MFi (Made for iPhone) controllers, such as Sonic, Monument Valley, and more.

Some of us on the iMore team have been using 8BitDo's products for our Apple devices, Gaming PCs, and consoles for a while now, so to have Apple recognize these controllers with official support is only going to be a great thing for every owner in the future.

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Pairing a controller to an Apple device is now a simpler affair. you need only press and hold the sync button on an 8BitDo, wait for the LED lights to flash, and then finding the controller in the Settings > Bluetooth menu on your Apple device.

The 8BitDo Pro 2 is one of the best controllers that you can currently buy. Not only can you choose a color scheme that's inspired by the Game Buy, but its extra buttons and the rumble all make it feel super premium. There's even an app you can download to customize what each button does.

We've used it for games on Apple Arcade such as Sonic Racing, and GTA Vice City on iPad with the 8Bit Pro 2 feels like we're playing the game on a PlayStation 2 all over again.

As Apple recommits to gaming with the Metal API and Resident Evil Village coming to macOS, it's good timing to see the company give support to companies like 8BitDo.

It's a company that understands that a good gaming controller not only needs to feel good to hold but also offer features that gamers want. That comes in the form of custom buttons, easy connections, and, to some degree, nostalgia.

With WWDC looming, we could see some more games be announced from Apple. This could be where 8BitDo can take advantage of these upcoming releases thanks to the official support for these six controllers.

Daryl Baxter
Features Editor

Daryl is iMore's Features Editor, overseeing long-form and in-depth articles and op-eds. Daryl loves using his experience as both a journalist and Apple fan to tell stories about Apple's products and its community, from the apps we use everyday to the products that have been long forgotten in the Cupertino archives.


Previously Software & Downloads Writer at TechRadar, and Deputy Editor at StealthOptional, he's also written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', which tells the story of the beginnings of Lara Croft and the series' early development. He's also written for many other publications including WIRED, MacFormat, Bloody Disgusting, VGC, GamesRadar, Nintendo Life, VRV Blog, The Loop Magazine, SUPER JUMP, Gizmodo, Film Stories, TopTenReviews, Miketendo64 and Daily Star.