Who says Apple can’t game? 8BitDo is enabling compatibility for six of its existing wireless controllers with iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and tvOS devices. This gives Apple users a fresh new selection of game controller options, some of which they may already own and use on PC, Nintendo Switch, or Android.
The initial list of compatible controllers includes the 8BitDo Ultimate Controller 2.4GHz, Pro 2, SN30 Pro, SN30 Pro Plus, SN30 Pro for Android, and the Lite SE — with the company teasing on its site that more compatible models are “incoming.” All supported controllers require the latest firmware update to be installed, which can be done via the Firmware Updater tool for Windows or Mac.
The more options, the gamier
Over on the Apple side, compatibility hinges on iPhones running iOS 16.3, iPads on iPadOS 16.3, Macs updated to macOS Ventura 13.2, and Apple TV streaming boxes on tvOS 16.3. However, while 8BitDo’s gamepads are supported in App Store and Apple Arcade games with Made for iPhone controller support, that compatibility does not include motion control or rumble.
The six controllers with new Apple compatibility offer a little variety in form factor, layout, and look. Image: 8BitDo
While there are many controller options out there, and Apple devices are already compatible with current Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox controllers, 8BitDo models are popular for their fairly affordable prices and retro-styled options. It offers some of the best D-pads around outside of Nintendo and even a controller with drift-free Hall effect sticks (unfortunately, it’s not one of the ones included in today’s list of Apple-compatible controllers).
Adding 8BitDo support to Apple devices is a nice addition for anyone subscribing to Apple Arcade, which has been a low-key excellent gaming service for years even as Apple’s powerful computers continue to not be the place for the latest and biggest games.