How to connect PS4, Xbox One controller to your iPhone

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Apple made the process to connect your controller to an iPhone, iPad or Apple TV simple and easy. PS4 and Xbox One controllers should work with most games. There’s no word whether Apple will bring support for the Nintendo Switch Pro wireless controller like it did for PS4 and Xbox One controllers.

Connect a PS4 controller to your iPhone, iPad, Apple TV
Let’s start with the PS4 controllers. The first thing you want to do is to make sure your controller is all charged up. Next on an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad go to Settings then Bluetooth. On an AppleTV go to Settings > Remotes and Devices > Bluetooth.

Once there, hold the PlayStation button on and share button at the same time on your controller. You’ll see DualShock 4 Wireless Controller pop up in your Bluetooth list. Simply tap on it to connect. Once you’re connected, the PS4 controller will turn pink.

If you don’t see the controller appear, make sure that you’re out of range of your PS4.

Xbox One S and newer controllers work with your iPhone
Now let’s pair an Xbox One controller. Here’s where things get, to quote Gollum from Lord Of The Rings, “Tricksy.” Not all Xbox One controllers will work with your iPhone, iPad or AppleTV. Specifically, you need a model 1708 controller, aka the one that came with the Xbox One S. Newer Xbox One and One X controllers as well as the new Elite Series 2 controller should also work.

To check which model you have, open the battery compartment on your controller and pull out the batteries. On the label inside you’ll see the model number listed right below Redmond, Washington. If you have trouble seeing the tiny number, use your phone’s camera and flash to take a photo and zoom in after the fact.

To pair your Xbox 1708 controller, open Bluetooth settings on your Apple device. Next, turn the controller on by pressing the Xbox logo button, then press the Connect button at the top/front of the controller. You’ll see the Xbox logo blink quickly, indicating that it’s in pairing mode.

Check your Apple device Bluetooth list and tap on Xbox Wireless Controller to pair and connect. The controller should automatically be listed under devices already paired to your device. Occasionally when we tried it, a window would pop up to ask me if I wanted to pair the controller. If this happens, tap Pair.

Apple’s support for PS4 and Xbox controllers is a smart move. Now let’s hope it also adds the same support to the Mac sooner rather than later.

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