With iOS 13 and tvOS 13, Apple users are now able to connect their favorite console controllers to an iPhone or Apple TV. In this guide, we've provided a quick rundown of how to go about pairing the DualShock 4 Wireless Controller and Xbox Wireless Controller to both iOS and tvOS devices.

how to controller 5
Previously, MFi controllers were the only solution to playing games on ‌iPhone‌, iPad, and ‌Apple TV‌. With the new update, console players don't need to spend extra money on another controller to play iOS and tvOS games. PS4 players also have a reason to look into DualShock 4 pairing since Sony's Remote Play iOS app provides streaming of compatible games to the ‌iPhone‌ or ‌iPad‌, which can now be controlled by a DualShock 4.

How to connect the DualShock 4 Wireless Controller to iPhone or iPad

  1. Press and hold the PS logo and Share buttons simultaneously on your DualShock 4 controller until the light bar flashes.
  2. Open your iOS device's Settings app and navigate to Bluetooth.
  3. Under "Other Devices," tap on your DualShock 4 wireless controller.

How to connect the Xbox Wireless Controller to iPhone or iPad

  1. Press the Xbox button to turn on the Xbox Wireless Controller.
  2. Press and hold the Connect button for a few seconds.
  3. Open your iOS device's Settings app and navigate to Bluetooth.
  4. Under "Other Devices," tap on your Xbox Wireless Controller.

how to controller 3

Sony's Remote Play iOS app controlled via DualShock 4

The steps for pairing controllers with an ‌Apple TV‌ are largely similar to the ones for iOS devices. You can find this information below.

How to connect the DualShock 4 Wireless Controller to Apple TV

  1. Press and hold the PS logo and Share buttons simultaneously on your DualShock 4 controller until the light bar flashes.
  2. Open the Settings app on ‌Apple TV‌ > click Remotes and Devices > Bluetooth.
  3. Select the DualShock 4 Wireless Controller to pair it, which will be confirmed with a notification on tvOS.

How to connect the Xbox Wireless Controller to Apple TV

  1. Press the Xbox button to turn on the Xbox Wireless Controller.
  2. Press and hold the Connect button for a few seconds.
  3. Open the Settings app on ‌Apple TV‌ > click Remotes and Devices > Bluetooth.
  4. Select the Xbox Wireless Controller to pair it, which will be confirmed with a notification on tvOS.

It should be noted that for the DualShock 4, some controller functions will not be functional while connected to an ‌iPhone‌, ‌iPad‌, or ‌Apple TV‌. These include the touchpad, the central PS button, rumble, motion sensor, and the headphone jack. The light bar will also remain one color and can not be changed.

Both the PS4 and Xbox controllers will stay connected to the iOS/tvOS device you've paired them with until you re-pair them with your console. To reconnect a DualShock 4 with a PS4, you'll need to manually connect the controller with the console via the micro-USB to USB cable each controller comes with. For Xbox, you can press the connect button on the controller and the console at the same time, or use a micro-USB to USB cable.

Related Forum: iOS 13

Top Rated Comments

star-affinity Avatar
20 months ago

That hasn't been a big deal for me. I plug it in to the console to charge it anyway.
Aha. I put them on the DualShock 4 Charging Station. The console is hidden behind a wooden frame with a piece of fabric around it – which is what we have to hide all the electronics underneath the TV in the living room – so never really need to connect a controller to the console, plus it's a bit of a hassle in my case.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MisterSavage Avatar
14 months ago

Has anyone successfully paired a PS4 controller to an iPad Pro 11 (2018)?
Yep, I've gamed a lot on mine. Did you hold down the PS button and the share button at the same time before pairing the controller?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MisterSavage Avatar
20 months ago

It is true you can run it off a USB cable, but I'm not sure how many people have a USB cable running to the sofa.
I bought a really long USB cable on Amazon for that exact scenario but I can see that being the exception and not the norm!
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MisterSavage Avatar
20 months ago
This works remarkably well and is a huge "game" changer. One of my favorite additions with iOS 13.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Laptopdog78 Avatar
20 months ago

A bit sad the connecting the controller back to the console can't be achieved without connecting a cable between them. But maybe good for Sony and Microsoft since it makes me consider getting more controllers just for iOS/tvOS/macOS play. ? Not so good for the environment... ?
But you can connect an Xbox controller back easily without a cable....... you press the sync button on the controller until it flashes and then the sync button on the Xbox intil it flashes and boom it’s done. Who says that you need a cable?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CaptMarvel Avatar
20 months ago

So... before shelling out $50... any noted differences between controllers? I've heard Microsoft controllers have better battery life?

For me what makes the XBox controller a better choice for this is it has replaceable AA batteries, where the PS4 controller has to be recharged over USB. So if the PS4 battery runs down, you are done playing, where with the XBox you can just swap in some new AAs. I used Eneloop rechargeables and it worked out well for me.
This is false.
The PS4 controller can be used to play while charging via charging cable. Environmentally conscious, this is better than buying batteries to use then discard.


How do I switch from an iPad to an Apple TV for example? Do I have to re-pair every time I switch devices?

My controller automatically connects to the last device it was paired to and if I try to switch devices it fails to connect unless I de enter pairing mode.
Yes. For now, you have to unpair from one device and pair to each time you want to use it on with different device.

Imagine in the next generation systems, Sony, Microsoft and even Nintendo had the W1 chip via Apple...then, I’m sure switching from system to system would be a breeze and be linked to your Apple ID.

One can dream right?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

apple watch ecg

Apple Watch Likely to Gain Blood Pressure, Blood Glucose, and Blood Alcohol Monitoring

Monday May 3, 2021 4:03 am PDT by
The Apple Watch may gain the ability to measure blood pressure, blood glucose, and blood alcohol levels, according to newly-revealed information about one of Apple's chosen business partners. Apple has been revealed to be the largest customer of the British electronics start-up Rockley Photonics, The Telegraph reports. Rockley Photonics has developed non-invasive optical sensors for...
airtags teardown tile mat galaxy smarttag

iFixit Shares AirTag Teardown Revealing 'Impressively Compact' Design Compared to Tile Mate and Galaxy SmartTag

Sunday May 2, 2021 4:54 am PDT by
iFixit has shared the first of its two-part series in tearing down Apple's AirTag item tracker, revealing that Apple had to make impressive design decisions to achieve its small design, including rethinking the speaker layout. For comparison, iFixit compared Apple's AirTag to the Tile Mate and the Samsung Galaxy SmartTag. Compared to the competition, AirTag is the smallest in size, with the...
facebook instargram updated att prompt 1

Facebook and Instagram Ask Users to Enable App Tracking in Order to Keep Services 'Free of Charge'

Sunday May 2, 2021 1:22 pm PDT by
As a way to convince users to enable tracking across other apps and websites, Facebook is deploying the tactic of telling users that they must enable tracking as part of the App Tracking Transparency framework in iOS 14.5 if they want to help keep Facebook and Instagram "free of charge." App Tracking Transparency or ATT is the newest privacy feature to come to iPhone and iPad devices as part ...
Flat 2021 MacBook Pro Mockup Feature 1

Mini-LED Display Production Improving for Redesigned MacBook Pro Models Later This Year

Monday May 3, 2021 8:33 am PDT by
Apple supplier TSMT, a key vendor involved in the production of mini-LED displays in the newly announced 12.9-inch iPad Pro, has been able to address technical challenges for the production of mini-LED displays to be used in the upcoming 14 and 16-inch redesigned MacBook Pro models. As reported by DigiTimes, TSMT had initially been facing production constraints with the circuit board and...
Foldable iPhone 2023 Feature Yellow

Kuo: Apple to Launch 8-Inch Foldable iPhone in 2023

Sunday May 2, 2021 8:43 pm PDT by
Apple is working to launch a foldable iPhone with an 8-inch QHD+ flexible OLED display in 2023, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was seen by MacRumors. Based on our latest industry survey, we forecast that Apple will likely launch a foldable iPhone with an 8-inch QHD+ flexible OLED display in 2023, with SDC as the exclusive display supplier and Samsung Foundry...
iOS 14 on iPhone feature emergency

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 14.5.1 With Fixes for App Tracking Transparency Bug, WebKit Security Issues

Monday May 3, 2021 10:04 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.5.1, minor security updates that come just a week after the release of the iOS 14.5 update. There is also a companion watchOS 7.4.1 update for Apple Watch and an iOS 12.5.3 update for older iPhone and iPad devices that don't support Apple's latest operating system versions. According to Apple's release notes, the update fixes a bug with App Tracking...
General Music and AirPod 3 Feature

Rumor: Apple to Announce Third-Generation AirPods and HiFi Apple Music Tier in 'Coming Weeks'

Saturday May 1, 2021 3:57 am PDT by
Citing sources within the music industry, Hits Double Daily reports that Apple is preparing to launch a new HiFi Apple Music tier in the "coming weeks," which will come alongside the release of the rumored third-generation AirPods. According to the report, the new tier, which will offer high-fidelity music streaming, will cost the same $9.99 monthly subscription as the current individual...
Top Stories 58 Feature 1

Top Stories: iOS 14.5 Released, AirTag Launch, New iMac and iPad Pro Pre-Orders

Saturday May 1, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
After nearly three months of beta testing, Apple this week finally released iOS 14.5, the company's biggest update since the iOS 14 launch last September. One of the main new features included in the update is support for AirTags, Apple's item trackers that also finally became available this week some two years after their existence first leaked. Apple this week also began taking orders for...
tile sticker e1570533758981

Tile CEO: 'We Welcome Competition From Apple, But We Think It Needs to Be Fair'

Tuesday May 4, 2021 9:51 am PDT by
Just after Apple announced its AirTags, Tile CEO CJ Prober relayed his concerns about competing with Apple in the tracking space, and said that Tile would ask Congress to investigate Apple's business practices specific to Find My and item trackers. Prober this week did an interview with Bloomberg, where he further expanded on Tile's complaints about Apple and why he feels that Tile is...
apple music album cover art

iOS 14.6 Beta 1 Code Hints at Upcoming HiFi Apple Music Support

Saturday May 1, 2021 10:41 am PDT by
Apple is laying the groundwork for adding HiFi support to Apple Music which would offer Apple Music subscribers and owners of compatible devices, such as certain models of AirPods, access to high-fidelity audio streaming, according to code within the iOS 14.6 beta discovered by MacRumors. Earlier today, a report claimed that Apple will announce a new $9.99 per month Apple Music tier that...