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How to connect a ps4 controller to an iphone

Updated: Oct 1, 2021

The Dualshock is the Playstation 4 game controller of excellence. Perfected over four generations of gaming, it has everything a modern gamepad ought to have and it´s quite comfortable to boot, so it comes to no surprise that you might want to use it to play a game on another platform.

We already covered how to use the DualShock 4 on your computer, Xbox, and we even had an infographic detailing how to connect your controller to your android phones, but what about your iPhone or other iOS devices? Well, that´s what we are here to do, show you how to connect ps4 controller to iPhone.

How to connect ps4 controller to iphone

As intuitive as it might seem, you can´t plug your DualShock to an iPhone and have it work like that, Apple is quite stringent when it comes to the ports that can connect to their devices and so their phones don't work with the Micro-USB cable that Sony uses.

You will have to connect the ps4 controller wirelessly, using the Bluetooth capabilities of both your game controller and the smartphone.

Connecting a ps4 controller to an iPhone or an iPad follows the same process as doing so to an android device, which we already covered how to in this infographic. You can click that link to follow the flowchart and reach the same results (just note that the Switch Pro Controller can´t be connected to an iPhone). Here´s the quick rundown:

  1. Turn on the Bluetooth on your iPhone.

  2. Press and hold the share button and the PlayStation button at the same time on the Dualshock until it enters pairing mode, as illustrated by the following snippet from our android infographic. (Incidentally, these instructions work for the other wireless controller as well, like the Xbox controller or the Pro Controller):

  3. Go to the Bluetooth menu on your phone and find the controller among the "Other Devices", it should be labeled "DUALSHOCK 4 Wireless Controller", tap it.

  4. The controller should be connected and ready to be used on your phone.

Each gamepad has a different way to make themselves available in the Bluetooth network.

Great, is there anything else I need to know before I start playing with my ps4 controller?

It is important to remember that when it comes to mobile gaming, not all games are compatible with a controller. The most popular ones, Fortnite, pubg mobile, and Minecraft, will work fine with a gamepad, but puzzle-oriented titles like Candy Crush rarely have ps4 controller support.

As a rule of thumb, if you control a character or vehicle moving in a 3D space, odds are you can use a gamepad to play that game.

The advantage of using a first-party gamepad like the Dualshock and not a random wireless controller from Amazon is that most apps that can support a controller will detect it without much hassle. Some cheap alternatives require a more complicated process to be detected, sometimes even a third-party app. Nonetheless, you can try the aforementioned method to connect any wireless controller to your iPhone and they will probably work just as well.

Some games will detect the ps4 controller automatically, while in others you have to enable that option from the settings. If your DualShock 4 isn´t working but you are sure that the game is compatible with it, try looking for a way to enable controller support from the options menu.

Also, keep in mind that the Dualshock can only be paired to one device at a time, it won´t work with your smartphone if your Playstation 4 is on. The opposite is true, if the PlayStation controller is paired with your phone, the ps4 will not be able to link to it, so disconnect it manually or turn off your Bluetooth to play with it on your console.

But what if you want to play on other apple devices?

Will my ps4 controller work on an Apple TV?

You can connect a Dualshock controller to an Apple Tv following more or less the same steps as you would with a smartphone, and this also works with the Xbox Wireless controller. The only difference is that instead of going to the Bluetooth menu on your iPhone, you use the one on Apple TV to pair up the controller.

To find this menu, go to "Settings", then "Remotes and Devices", and finally "Bluetooth".

Can I use my ps4 controller to do anything aside from playing mobile games?

As you probably suspect, you can use your controller to do more than play pubg mobile or other games on the apple arcade. If you want to play more complex games, there are two ways to do so: Steam Link and PS4 remote play.

These are apps allow for remote play on your phone, ie, they stream a game from your Steam account/PlayStation 4 into your phone, letting you play with the game as if it was made for iOS.

PS4 remote play will stream games from your PlayStation 4 into your iPhone, it accomplishes this by sharing the same wifi network between your phone and your console. You will be able to use a Dualshock gamepad as long as you have iOS 13 or above installed on your phone. Steam Link follows the same idea, but with your Steam account and computer instead. For both these remote play apps, a good connection and latency are required to be able to stream the games.

And that´s it! You should be able to play on your favorite iOS device using a Dualshock 4 controller now. Use it to play mobile games, streamed games, or to control your Apple TV. If you want to know how to connect another device to your phones, let me know in the comments below! Although it´s important to note that the Xbox Elite controller is not compatible at all with iOS.

You can also connect a mouse and keyboard to your iPhone to play.

And of course, just because it works now doesn´t mean that it will work in the future. Sometimes, software updates break the compatibility of existing controllers, so if you want to make sure that never happens, you might want to get yourself a MFi controller.


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