iOS 14 Supports Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 and Adaptive Controller

Apple's WWDC developer sessions continue to trickle out more details about new features in its latest operating systems for mobile and desktop, including new gamepad support in iOS 14.

During its keynote on Monday, Apple said support for Xbox's Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 and Adaptive Controller were coming in tvOS 14, and a WWDC session on Wednesday has confirmed that this support extends to ‌iOS 14‌ and iPadOS 14.


The session covers support for the Dual Shock's touchpad and lightbar, the Xbox Elite's paddles, zone-based rumble haptics, and motion sensors. In addition, game developers will be able to take advantage of OS-level controller button remapping, as well as readymade button glyphs for use in game interfaces.

Let's rumble! Discover how you can bring third-party game controllers and custom haptics into your games on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV. We'll show you how to add support for the latest controllers — including Xbox's Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 and Adaptive Controller — and map your game's controls accordingly. Learn how you can use the Game Controller framework in tandem with Core Haptics to enable rumble feedback. And find out how you can take your gaming experience to the next level with custom button mapping, nonstandard inputs, and control over specialty features like motion sensors, lights, and battery level.

Another exciting highlight for game developers is keyboard and mouse support for gaming on iPadOS. Apple is letting developers finally add keyboard, mouse, and trackpad control options. While touch is obviously preferred for most iOS games, it opens the door for games like Civilization VI to add support for this in future updates.

And with future Macs powered by Apple Silicon able to run ‌iPhone‌ and ‌iPad‌ apps natively, we could see mobile games fully prepped for desktop peripheral use in macOS Big Sur.

Related Roundups: iOS 14, iPadOS 14

Top Rated Comments

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13 weeks ago


Unfortunately, Apple missed the ball and I doubt we’ll see console-class games anytime soon on iOS. They had their opportunity to provide solid control solutions and welcome AAA games years ago, but I think that opportunity is gone and won’t come back for awhile.

Instead we got a race-to-the-bottom with crappy IAP games and cramped touch-based controls that you can’t play for more than 15 minutes without get carpal tunnel.

With the removal of Boot Camp and possibly 'almost good enough' virtualized Windows it makes streaming (for me, Xbox xCloud) the only remotely viable solution.

To me Apple will never recover from launching Apple Arcade (their 'flagship' gaming service) on high end hardware and then spending a long time featuring Frogger at the keynote.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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13 weeks ago
This is great news to me. But it just reinforces my opinion that Apple's gaming efforts would have been soooooo much further along if they had done this much earlier. Better late than never.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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13 weeks ago
This reads like it's part of a broader deal with Microsoft: Microsoft support for apple silicon (office, windows, etc) in exchange for Apple support for the new xbox controller to encourage xbox adoption and cross-platform game development for both systems.

The controller pairing issue is a controller issue (hardware-software) but a nextgen controller might do a better job of "remembering" 2-3 previously-paired systems so it's not such of a pain each time to go from xbox to ipad to mac to xbox.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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13 weeks ago
I assume the reference to Civ is about mouse/trackpad? Because it already supports keyboard.

Apple also added button remapping, and glyphs for the button labels in the SF Symbols font. They are making things easier for developers.

This stuff, the new Game Center, Apple Arcade, the new ray-tracing GPU for Apple Silicon, and their approaches to studios to get AAA titles- seems to me apple finally noticed that the gaming industry can add a lot to its revenue if they only took it seriously. In about a year things should be very interesting.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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13 weeks ago


Your points contradict.

The fact that switch unexpectedly did great out of nowhere is evidence that Apple can too.

Go sort the Switch digital store by low-to-high price and you will see pages of iOS apps ported to the Switch. I don't want to speak for the person you replied to, but Nintendo's IP and history of making great games with low end hardware maintains consumer confidence with each generation. Nintendo's missteps (Wii U, Virtual Boy, etc.) are typically of their own making.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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13 weeks ago

I think you have a point when it comes to the many IAP games, but there sure are quite a few games that don't have IAP. The problem is they are difficult to filter out in the vast App Store. Well, those games outside Apple Arcade are.

Yes, I totally agree! There are some great games, but they get buried. There are also great games that would benefit from a better control scheme. Touchscreen on my iPhone is fine for a quick 2 minute dip, but when it comes to an immersive RPG, it gets painful and tedious.

There were some controllers you could attach to your iPhone a few years ago around when I got my Switch, but they had poor marks on compatibility and reliability. Maybe they’ve improved but I moved on and couldn’t be bothered to keep checking.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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