Gaming on an iPad using touch controls is nice, but introducing a controller will elevate your gaming experience to new heights.

There are plenty of options out there, and it can get confusing. That’s why I bought and tested the best controllers and made a list of which ones were the best.

1. Xbox One Controller

Image Credits: Amazon

The Xbox One Controller is a high-end gaming controller designed for serious gamers who want the ultimate customization and control over their gameplay. It’s comfortable and with great button layout.

It’s a universal device, if you buy it, you can use it on a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Nintendo Switch, etc.

Its usability speaks for itself. This controller did a fantastic job on the iPad for all the games I tried. If you are planning to do some Xbox cloud gaming, steam link, etc… Then this controller might be perfect for that.

This controller has it all – comfort, versatile connectivity, tactile buttons, a well-designed layout, customization options, and grippy joysticks – making it an exceptional choice for all-around gaming.

Pros:

  • Low-latency Bluetooth wireless connectivity for seamless integration with iPad
  • More responsive d-pad for improved gameplay
  • 40-hour battery life for extended play sessions
  • Ability to remap buttons using the Xbox app for more personalized gameplay
  • Easy to connect to an iPad

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • It runs on batteries

2. PlayStation DualSense Controller

Playstation DualSense Wireless Controller work with iPads too
Image Credits: Amazon

The Sony DualSense Wireless Controller is a top-of-the-line gaming controller that delivers an immersive gameplay experience thanks to its advanced haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. Its built-in microphone and speaker add another level of immersion to the gameplay.

The DualSense also has an ergonomic design and a responsive touchpad, making it suitable for a wide range of games.

I personally love Playstation controllers, but my opinion is biased because I actually play Playstation 5 regularly, and I’m used to it. And it felt like the most comfortable one on the list, but here’s my verdict: the controller is great for iPad, but unless you own a Playstation, it’s an overkill. You are overpaying.

I also felt like it’s underutilized when it came to iPad gaming, the touchpad is just a giant button on the iPad and the upgraded vibration motors aren’t used at all.

Related: How To Connect PS5 Controller to iPad

Pros:

  • Comfortable and ergonomic design
  • Compatible with iOS and iPadOS
  • Offers up to 12 hours of battery life
  • Built-in microphone

Cons:

  • The most expensive controller on the list
  • Some features, like haptic feedback, may not be supported by all games
  • It may require additional setup and customization to utilize all features fully

3. SteelSeries Nimbus+

Steelseries Nimbus plus
Image Credits: Amazon

Apple officially licenses SteelSeries Nimbus+ as a controller for iPad, iPhone, and Apple TV. Since it’s officially licensed by Apple I had high expectations, but if I’m being honest here – it’s far from being great. It costs $69.99. It’s in the same price range as the Playstation Controller and more expensive than the Xbox One controller.

The controller feels very cheap. Buttons have nasty clicks, and they wobble. The analog sticks are very plasticky with little grip. The d-pad is the worst; it has that click and clack, and it’s hard to press, and it rattles in position.

It costs $69.99 but feels like a $15 controller. It does feel cheap, but you can connect it to iPad and iPhone and it does work, and you can still play any game that has controller support.

Overall, the controller gets the job done, but quality-wise..”Yikes”

A bonus: it comes with an iPhone clip:

steelseries controller iphone clip
Image Credits: Amazon

The clip really takes gaming on your iPhone to the next level.

Pros:

  • Long battery life of up to 50 hours per charge
  • Comes with four months of free Apple Arcade
  • Officially licensed by Apple for guaranteed compatibility with iPads
  • Easy connection to iPad or iPhone

Cons:

  • Pricier than some other gaming controllers for iPad
  • No vibration motor inside the controller
  • Lightnin charging port
  • Feels cheap

4. 8Bitdo Sn30 Pro

8Bitdo Sn30 Pro
Image Credits: Amazon

Just by looking at it, you can tell that inspired by Nintendo. It’s very safe to say that it’s a modern interpretation of a Nintendo controller.

It’s very light and very comfortable, the joysticks feel nice and tight, and you can a good grip on them and they are even clickable.

It’s also the smallest or most compact controller on the list, which makes it great if you want to carry it with you. At first, its compact and lightweight design might seem attractive, but during longer gaming sessions, you’ll start to notice that it becomes uncomfortable for your hands. The grip causes your bottom two fingers to dangle, which can lead to discomfort over time.

Overall, it’s a fantastic controller for the iPad, and everything seems to work seamlessly with it. I just think it’s better to get a controller with grips.

Pros:

  • Works on Mac, Windows, Switch, iPhone, iPad, Android
  • Lightweight & compact
  • Retro feeling

Cons:

  • Feels uncomfortable for hands for long gaming sessions

5. Sunwaytek H510

Sunwaytek H510 [V2]
Image Credits: Amazon

The Sunwaytek H510 is an affordable gaming controller offering various customizable features, including swappable keycaps and mechanical switches under the face buttons.

Its rockable unidirectional d-pad and ergonomic grip make it comfortable for long gaming sessions, while its compatibility with both iPad and Windows makes it versatile. This controller also comes with a lifetime warranty, providing peace of mind for users.

However, some users may find that the trigger and button placements are not as intuitive as other controllers.

Pros:

  • Affordable price point
  • Mechanical switches for improved button response
  • Supports both iOS and Windows platforms
  • Ergonomic design with comfortable grip
  • Lifetime warranty included

Cons:

  • Some users report issues with button responsiveness
  • D-pad design may not be to everyone’s preference.

6. Rakizbe / Aovon Gaming Triggers for iPad

Gaming Handle for iPad
Image Credits: Amazon

The Rakizbe / Aovon Gaming Triggers for iPad are an affordable and innovative solution for enhancing your gaming experience on an iPad. These triggers attach to the back of your device and provide tactile buttons that can be used in conjunction with touch controls.

They’re compatible with a wide range of games, including PUBG and Call of Duty, and are easy to install and use. However, the triggers may not be suitable for all games, and some users may find that they obscure part of the screen.

But it’s a great alternative to other controllers on the list.

Pros:

  • Affordable and compact design
  • Easy to install and use
  • Allows for improved precision and control

Cons:

  • Limited functionality compared to full controllers
  • Requires some adjustment and practice to use effectively

What’s The Best Stand For Gaming on iPad?

There are two things I can recommend.

If you have an iPad Magic Keyboard, use it as your stand. Of course, if you don’t need the keyboard, then don’t waste your money on it. I write on my iPad a lot and I use it as a stand when I play games or watch movies in bed, and it’s great for those purposes.

The second option is to get a Magnetic stand for the iPad. I can recommend the MagEz stand. You can attach your iPad magnetically to it. They even make a case that works with magic keyboard for convenience. Under the stand, there’s a charger where you can charge AirPods or your iPhone wirelessly.

MagEZ Stand for iPad

Magnetic stand for iPad with Qi Wireless charging base

Compatible with:

  • (MagEZ Charging Stand) Use with MagEZ Case Pro for iPad Pro 2022/2021 and iPad mini 6
  • (MagEZ Stand) Use with MagEZ Case 2 for iPad Pro/Air 2018/2020/2021/2022

Final Verdict

The Xbox Wireless Controller and PlayStation DualSense are perfect for those who want a traditional gaming experience. Let us help you reach the final decision through this table.

ControllerRatingTitle
Xbox One Controller9.5/10Best all-arounder
Playstation DualSense Controller9/10Most comfortable
SteelSeries Nimbus+7/10Best battery life
8Bitdo Sn30 Pro7/10Most compact
Sunwaytek H5106.5/10Cheapest Option
The Rakizbe / Aovon Gaming Triggers6/10Alternative to Controller

I hope this article was helpful. if you need any help, leave a comment below.

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ernests embutnieks wolfoftablet
Founder & Chief Editor | +37122300405 | ernests@wolfoftablet.com | + posts

I'm a writer and editor in iPads & Android Tablets, Windows Tablet section. I'm passionate about technology, especially about tablets. I'm on a mission to assist people in discovering their ideal tablets. In addition, I'm dedicated to producing helpful how-to guides and sharing top-notch tips and tricks. In my early carrier I founded and became and editor at worldoftablet and have been a guest author at many other tech blogs. In wolfoftablet I'm focusing on iPads, Tablets, Apple Pencil, Apps, Reviews, Buyers Guides and Tablet Accessories. In free time I like to play games on my PS5 or iOS.