Anyone who had to spend a lot of time playing on an iPhone will tell you that it is not the most comfortable experience. Titles like Fortnite, Free Fire, or any other 3d game can be fun in short bursts, but very annoying to control for any longer.
This is why there is a whole selection of Mfi controllers, gamepads specifically made for iOS so that you don´t have to control the game with the touchscreen. However, you might not want to spend money on a new controller if you already have a perfectly good one, like the Pro Controller for your Nintendo Switch. So...
Can you connect a Nintendo switch controller to an iPhone?
Unfortunately, you can´t connect either a Pro Controller or a Joy-con to an iPhone. While you can link a variety of devices using Bluetooth to Apple´s phone, Nintendo´s controllers aren´t one of them.
That is not to say that the Phone is not compatible with any gamepads. The controllers of Nintendo´s competition´s (Sony´s Playstation and Microsoft´s Xbox) are compatible with iOS.
You might be wondering, if both the Switch´s controllers and the iPhone use Bluetooth, what´s the problem? Is there a workaround?
The problem is that it´s not that simple. Unlike Google, Apple keeps a closer lid on how their iOS works. If you want to build an accessory for an iPhone, you need to get accredited to obtain the necessary documentation that your company needs to build a product that will work with the iPhone, Ipad, and the whole iOS ecosystem.
While this process sounds long and complex, it isn´t quite so. Apple is generous when it comes to giving licenses to third-party companies, so long as they meet their requirements. Even so, merely applying for this process can be a hurdle that stops some companies from working with the iOs environment.
This is what the Made for iPhone (Mfi) label is all about. If the controllers aren´t compatible, it´s because neither Apple nor Nintendo approached each other to work on a solution. It´s very unlikely that Nintendo even considered applying for a process to work with an American phone.
However, if Apple wanted to make the controllers compatible, they could have done so without Nintendo´s input. Remember that in the beginning, neither the Dualshock nor Xbox controller was compatible either. After thousands of petitions to all three companies, Apple eventually updated their firmware and made their phones compatible with the gamepads.
This has not yet happened with Nintendo, and so you can´t use their controllers on an iPhone (that´s hasn´t been jailbroken, but that´s another can of worms entirely). This may change in the future, but as of right now, there isn´t any sign that it will happen. It´s not a priority for either company.
This isn´t to say that Nintendo´s controllers are only compatible with the Switch itself, you can still use them to play on your computer and Android devices. The fact that they use Bluetooth to connect makes them available to a wide range of third party machines.
For now, however, if you want to play with a gamepad on your iPhone, you need to buy a Mfi controller or use either a Dualshock 4 or Xbox Wireless controller. If you want to know how to connect them to your phone, check out our article here. It´s for android phones, but the steps are the same for the iPhone.