Top Product: Razer Kishi | $100 | Razer
Unless you already had Fortnite on your iPhone you probably won’t be able to hop into a game any time soon, given the whole kerfuffle going on between Epic and Apple right now. In addition to whatever ramifications that battle has, it’s a serious bummer for anyone looking to grab a few games to play as quarantine drags on. Even with Fortnite missing, however, there’s still a great selection of games on the App Store you can sink your teeth into. From delightful Sudoku games for beginners to sci-fi adventures, you won’t be without entertainment.
Casual gamers won’t have any trouble picking a good puzzle game or two, but more seasoned gamers can get a lot of enjoyment out of their iPhones. Paired with a solid gaming controller, games like Stardew Valley and Hyperlight Drifter feel just at home on your phone’s screen as they would on a Switch. Not every controller out there is supported in iOS, but there are enough options out there to find the right fit for your gaming needs. Just note that not every game supports iOS’s gaming controller standard, so you can reference this handy site to pick games that require a grip. I’ve been having a lot of fun with Terraria lately, which is sort of like Minecraft with more of a focus on progression and boss fighting than crafting. Its final update is out now for PC, and it’s coming to mobile, but in the meantime, it’s got hours of playtime to keep you occupied.
You don’t need to spend hours fretting over which controller to get, but which one you get will vary slightly depending on your needs and preferences. Whether you want a controller that’ll fit nicely in your bag before heading out the door, or just need something to give you a hand while you’re playing from the table, there’s something for you.
The Nintendo Switch is still pretty tough to find, but you can still get a solid pro-feeling console vibe going with Razer’s Kishi controller, which your iPhone slides into horizontally, housed on both sides by standard MFi buttons and joysticks, so you’ll be able to blitz through your games with ease.
Its buttons are neither too clicky nor too mushy, and make for a better gaming experience than tapping and dragging across your phone’s screen. The joysticks on both sides make for easy navigation inside games and don’t feel too sensitive or laggy, though your performance may vary depending on what game you’re playing and what iPhone you’re running it on.
It’s not battery-powered, so you don’t have to stress about keeping yet another device charged up and ready to go. There is a Lightning port at the bottom, though, so you can keep your phone juiced during those long gaming sessions. When it’s not in use, it collapses into a compact form factor that can easily slip into a bag, or back into a desk drawer, without taking up too much space.
Unfortunately, stock seems pretty limited right now, so you might be able to get your hands on another controller more quickly. That said, if you want the best gaming controller for your iPhone, this one’s worth the wait.
If the Kishi’s stock issues are a turn-off, or its $100 price tag is bit off-putting, the Gamevice controller is $50 cheaper, and it’s in stock.
It’s not as sleek as Razer’s option, so its grip might feel more clunky, and it’ll take up a bit more room. Some reviews also note that if your phone has a glass screen protector, you may need to remove it in order for your phone to fit. Other reviewers have noted that there’s a bit of a lag between your input and the game registering it, though your mileage may vary.
Those issues aside, it’s down to $50 on Amazon right now, so if you’re not a stickler for the details and just want to get to your games, the Gamevice is a solid option.
If you’d rather use a more traditional gaming controller with your phone, like the Xbox One’s wireless controller, your iPhone will work with that, too! Unfortunately, the controller isn’t built to house a smartphone, and unless you have a case that doubles as a stand, you’ll be out of luck.
PowerA’s MOGA gaming clip fixes this problem by giving you a way to float your iPhone directly on top of your controller, so you can turn it into a portable console with a controller you already know and love. If you don’t already have an Xbox controller, the added $60 price tag kind of dulls the MOGA’s $15 cost, but the pair will still give you an impressively comfortable gaming experience, with a comfortable controller that doesn’t require nearly as wide a grip as the Kishi or Gamevice.
One downside, though, is that the Xbox controller does require a charge, so make sure you stay on top of that, unless you wanna wait around when you’re itching to dive into your favorite game.