Since playing Resident Evil Village on my iPhone 15 Pro Max, I’ve been in awe at what Apple's newest smartphone can already achieve. Realistic textures, great sounds, and speedy storage give the iPhone a fighting chance at being just as good, or better than many consoles, such as a PS4 or Nintendo Switch from a technical standpoint.
However, part of what consoles get right is how easy they are to use, especially with their controllers. This is why clunky touch controls can stop the iPhone from feeling quite as good when playing a game.
With Black Friday coming up on November 24, I plan on picking up some great upgrades to make it the best possible gaming machine it can be. With some smart purchases, you can get a truly excellent experience on the go, beating out anything available on Xbox Game Pass streaming and Amazon Luna. With this in mind, here are some of the best choices to make that possible. Haven't got an iPhone to game on? Check out our roundup of the best Black Friday iPhone deals first!
Having a controller that connects to your iPhone 15 Pro Max through its USB-C port can be fantastic, as it gives you the ability to hold the screen in your hands and curl up with some of the best Apple Arcade games. For price, comfort, and versatility, our choice is the BackBone One.
Backbone One Mobile Gaming Controller | $99 at Amazon
The Backbone One is one of the most expensive controllers on the market but it’s also the most popular and could be set for a price reduction once Black Friday arrives. Featuring an audio jack, a USB-C connector for charging while playing, as well as some excellent ergonomic buttons, this is the best controller we can find for your iPhone.
Though a wired controller can be great if you want to hold it close like a Nintendo Switch Lite, a Bluetooth controller can work a little better in some situations, depending on your setup. If you have a desk you’re sitting at or plan on mirroring your iPhone’s display to a Monitor, a detached controller is an excellent choice.
Xbox Core Controller |
$64.99 $54.99 at Amazon
Though this is highly based on your tastes, I find the Xbox controller to be one of the best out there due to its excellent feel, fantastic triggers, and the lack of a touch button in the middle. It’s a classic design for a reason, and it’s currently on sale.
You could opt to keep your iPhone plugged in as you play but a nice chunky power bank means you can play on the go without worry of losing your progress to your phone suddenly shutting off.
UGreen 100W 20000mAh Power Bank | $79.99 at Amazon
The UGreen 100W 20000mAh power bank isn’t just capable of recharging an iPhone 15 Pro to max charge in just over an hour but it’s sturdy, comes with a nice bag to travel with it, and has a small display on the side that displays the battery percentage.
The entire iPhone 15 line features impressive speakers but there’s nothing quite as immersive as a nice set of earbuds – plus it has the added benefit of not annoying the person sitting next to you on the bus. Don't forget to check out some of the best AirPods Black Friday deals as well.
AirPods Pro 2 USB-C |
$249 $199 at Amazon
Apple’s best set of wireless earbuds still proves to be an excellent choice for any iPhone user on the go. Though you may be able to get better battery life or a more bassy sound elsewhere, this hits the sweet spot of excellent sound, nice functionality, and a great look all at a decent price.
If you can combine all of the above, you will get an excellent gaming handheld capable of console-level experiences like Resident Evil Village that does them justice without having to use touch controls.
Given that Resident Evil 4 Remake now has a release date of December, now is the perfect time to invest in a great gaming setup for your iPhone, just like me.
Grab bargains on Apple devices this Black Friday
If you're looking for the best Black Friday Apple deals as the annual sales season kicks off, we've got you covered. From now right through to Cyber Monday on November 27, we'll be serving up the best offers on iPhone, MacBook, Apple Watch, iPad, HomeKit smart home devices and more. Save a small fortune by checking back on our daily deals coverage.
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James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person.
With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer.
As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.