Mobile gaming is becoming more popular every day, with smartphones and tablets now capable of running visually impressive games. However, using touchscreens can be cumbersome and uncomfortable for extended periods. This is where phone controllers come in–they provide the familiar feel of a traditional console controller while also allowing you to play games on your phone or tablet. In this article, we’ll recommend some of the best phone controller options available for both Android and iPhone devices.
The Razer Kishi is a phone controller that looks and feels like a Nintendo Switch. It’s compatible with both Android and iPhone devices, and it connects to your phone’s USB-C or Lightning port for low-latency play. The Kishi has analog sticks and triggers that work great with every game, and it doesn’t require charging as it runs off of your phone’s battery. There’s even a USB-C port on the controller that allows for the charging of your phone while you play. However, the controller’s mushy buttons make it feel less premium than other Razer controllers.
The Backbone One is an iPhone-only phone controller that turns your phone into something resembling a Nintendo Switch. It connects to your device’s Lightning port for low-latency play, and it has a pass-through port that lets you charge your iPhone while you play. The controller’s analog sticks and buttons feel great, but the D-pad is a little too firm for precise platforming. The Backbone One’s best feature is its dedicated app, which wrangles all your favorite games into a single interface, much like what you’d find on Xbox or PlayStation. The app even allows you to record gameplay clips and share them with the Backbone community.
PowerA Moga XP7-X Plus
The PowerA Moga XP7-X Plus is an officially licensed Xbox controller that’s built for Android devices. It has stellar ergonomics and feels very similar to using a first-party Xbox controller. The controller’s buttons, triggers, sticks, and D-pad are of high quality, and it even has a pair of programmable back buttons. The XP7-X Plus comes with a removable play stand that can be used for tabletop mode, and it doubles as a PC controller. However, it’s a bit bulky and uses microUSB rather than USB-C for charging.
PowerA Moga XP5-i Plus
Like the XP7-X Plus, the PowerA Moga XP5-i Plus is an officially licensed controller, but this one is built for iOS devices. Unfortunately, it’s not compatible with Android devices. The XP5-i Plus has excellent ergonomics and feels very similar to using a first-party Xbox controller. Its buttons, triggers, sticks, and D-pad are all high-quality, and it has a pair of programmable back buttons. The XP5-i Plus connects to your device via Bluetooth and is powered by two AA batteries, so you won’t have to worry about running out of juice during an extended play session.
SteelSeries Stratus Duo
The SteelSeries Stratus Duo is a versatile controller that’s compatible with both Android and Windows devices. It connects to your devices via Bluetooth or USB and has a 20+ hour battery life. The Stratus Duo has an ergonomic design and features high-quality buttons, triggers, sticks, and D-pad. There’s even a built-in phone clip that can hold devices up to 6.5 inches wide.
When it comes to phone controllers, there are many options to consider, from official pads that require mobile controller clips to third-party ones that don’t. However, the Razer Kishi, Backbone One, PowerA Moga XP7-X Plus, PowerA Moga XP5-i Plus, and SteelSeries Stratus Duo are all great options that offer a familiar console experience while playing games on your phone or tablet.