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5 Best iPhone MFi Gaming Controllers That Connect Wirelessly via Bluetooth

You can buy a variety of different gaming controllers for Apple’s iPhone, but only those that participate in the company’s MFi (Made for iPod) licensing program are guaranteed to work flawlessly.

Apple launched this program at the Macworld Expo in 2005. Since the 2013 WWDC and the release of iOS 7, the program includes a new MFi approval for game controllers, either wrap-around designs that clip onto an iOS device, or stand-alone wireless models that connect via Bluetooth. Featured in this article some of the most popular MFi gaming controllers on the market.

Best iPhone MFi Gaming Controllers

SteelSeries Nimbus Wireless Gaming Controller

SteelSeries is a well-known manufacturer of gaming peripherals and accessories, and their Nimbus wireless gaming controller is a prime example of why the company is trusted by so many amateur and professional gamers around the world.

It features a familiar layout with two analog thumb-sticks and four rear trigger buttons. The buttons on the back are pressure sensitive, making it possible to precisely control acceleration and braking in racing games. Right in the center of the control is a large menu button for instant navigation as well as a battery charge indicator LED bar. The battery inside the gamepad can last up to 40 hours on a single charge. Charging is done through the lighting connector at the back of the controller, right next to the power switch.

SteelSeries developed a companion app for the controller, which gives players instant access to constantly updated charts listing the top free and paid controller-enabled games. It even includes a step-by-step walkthrough of the features of the Nimbus controller. Overall, a very solid product from a reputable company.

Apple MFi Certified Bluetooth Gamepad

When playing games on iPhone, it’s handy to be able to attach the phone to the controller. That way, you can play even during your morning and even commute as well as on the toilet—and who wouldn’t want to do that.

This Apple MFi-certified Bluetooth gamepad has an extendable telescopic holder that can clamp all smartphones with width up to 3.5 inches. The gamepad supports most iOS-compatible games as well as all iOS devices running iOS 7 or later. It connects via the Bluetooth 3.0 wireless transmission standard, allowing you to play up to 8 meters away from your phone or tablet.

Integrated into the controller is a 550mAh battery that lasts approximately 30 hours and can be charged back to its maximum capacity in under 2 hours. To pair the controller with your iPhone, just press the power button for 3 seconds and wait for your iPhone to find the controller.

8bitdo SNES30 Wireless Bluetooth Controller

With such great emulators available for iOS as GBA4iOS or iNDS, it would be a shame not to have a way how to enjoy your favorite console classics the way they were meant to be played—or as close to it as you can get.

The 8bitdo wireless Bluetooth controller mimics the look and feel of the old-school Super Nintendo gamepad, right down to that icon gray color scheme. It supports both Bluetooth and USB connection, so you can choose whether you would rather extend the controller’s battery life or enjoy the freedom that comes with wireless gamepads. The 480mAh battery lasts up to 20 hours and, according to the manufacturer, can be recharged over 1000 times.

Besides your iPhone, you can also use the controller with any Android device or your Mac OS X or Windows computer. Perhaps Nintendo should have licensed this controller for the NES Mini instead of the one that comes with the system.

IPEGA PG-9023 Telescopic Bluetooth Controller

If you own a large iPhone or smaller iPad, this Bluetooth controller from IPEGA is perfect for you. It fits all smartphones and tablets that are between 5 and 10 inches, and its telescopic holder provides enough clamping force to keep your device in place even if you manage to really get into the action on the screen.

Because the controller supports a bunch of different operating systems using several compatibility modes, it’s essential to read the included manual. So many people skip this step only to later complain on Amazon, saying the controller isn’t functioning properly. For example, X+home switches it to Android gamepad mode, and B+home is used when you want to pair the controller with iOS devices.

iEGrow F18 Universal Portable Bluetooth Keyboard

For some game genres, such as typing or puzzle games, a traditional keyboard can be a better input method than a gaming controller. This foldable Bluetooth keyboard from iEGrow is made of aluminum alloy and ABS plastic, offering superior durability while keeping the weight down. It lasts up to three years on a single charge (yes, we’re not joking) thanks to the power-efficient design and automatic power off feature. What’s more, the keyboard has an integrated tablet stand, and it takes very little spaced when folded, making it perfect for college students and travelers.

Best iPhone MFi Gaming Controllers

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