Apple devices now support classic Nintendo N64 and SNES controllers

N64 controller Nintendo Switch
(Image credit: Rebecca Spear / iMore)

Yesterday, Apple released updates for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV. As part of these updates, these devices now support classic Nintendo game controllers designed for Nintendo Switch. 

This new support includes the wireless N64 controller and the SNES game controller. It's likely that the Sega Genesis controller and the NES controller are also compatible, but this has not been confirmed as of yet. 

The specific words used for the macOS Ventura and iPadOS 16 update state, “many additional Bluetooth and USB game controllers are supported by the Game Controller framework on macOS 13, iOS 16, and tvOS 16 and later.” If you want to take advantage of this new classic controller support, you'll want to make sure your devices download and install the latest iOS 16.1 update

Nintendo classic game controller support on Apple

It was only with the advent of iOS 16 that Nintendo Switch Pro Controller compatibility was added to Apple devices. However, the Pro Controller is not the only controller available for Nintendo Switch. 

With the addition of classic games library from N64, NES, SNES, and Sega Genesis available on Nintendo Switch consoles via the Nintendo Switch Online and the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack, the Japanese gaming company has created modern wireless versions of classic controllers to accompany each library. This includes an NES controller, an SNES controller, an N64 controller, and a Sega Genesis controller. Each of these gamepads can be purchased through Nintendo's website, but there are limitations on how many of each a user can purchase. 

The process to connect your classic Nintendo controller to Apple devices like iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV is relatively easy and only takes a few minutes as long as you have iOS 16.1 or similar installed on your Apple tech. Make sure to take advantage of this update and play your favorite controller-compatible games with your favorite classic controllers. 

Rebecca Spear
Gaming Editor

Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.