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.

Top Rated Comments

star-affinity Avatar
18 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
12 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
18 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
18 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
18 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
18 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

microsoft edge ios android

Bill Gates Says His Preference for Android Over iPhone is Due to Pre-Installed Software

Friday February 26, 2021 3:35 am PST by
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates this week participated in his first meeting on Clubhouse, the increasingly popular invite-only conversation app, where he fielded a range of questions as part of an ongoing book tour. Gates was interviewed by journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin, and given that the Clubhouse app is currently only available on iOS, naturally one of the questions that came up was...
First Look Big Sur Feature2

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 to Prevent MacBooks From Being Damaged by Third-Party Non-Compliant Docks

Thursday February 25, 2021 10:07 am PST by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.2.2, the fourth update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November. macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 comes two weeks after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.2.1, a bug fix update. The new ‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌ 11.2.2‌ update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences....
flat mbp 14 inch feature yellow

Redesigned 14-Inch MacBook Pro Expected to Feature Brighter Mini-LED Display With Slimmer Bezels and More

Thursday February 25, 2021 7:48 am PST by
Apple plans to unveil new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Mini-LED-backlit displays in the second half of this year, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report claims that Radiant Opto-Electronics will be the exclusive supplier of the Mini-LED backlight units, while Quanta Computer is said to be tasked with final assembly of the...
Top Stories 47 Feature copy

Top Stories: MacBook Pro, iMac, and AirPods Rumors, macOS 11.2.2, MagSafe Wallet Revisited

Saturday February 27, 2021 6:00 am PST by
March is right around the corner, and that means our first good opportunity for Apple product launches in 2021 as the company frequently has significant launches in March or April each year. We're hearing rumors about MacBook Pro, iMac, AirPods, and more, although many of these will be coming out at different times over the course of the year. This week also saw a macOS update to address a ...

HomeKit Essentials Worth Checking Out

Saturday February 27, 2021 7:05 am PST by
HomeKit was slow to take off after its 2014 launch, but now that it's been around for seven years, there are hundreds of HomeKit products available, ranging from doorbells and speakers to TVs, lights, and cameras. In our latest YouTube video, we rounded up some of our favorite HomeKit products that we find most useful. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. HomePod...
apple store macarthur center

Apple Store at MacArthur Center in Virginia Permanently Closing Following Years of Safety Issues at Shopping Mall

Thursday February 25, 2021 4:45 pm PST by
Apple today indicated that its retail store at the MacArthur Center shopping mall in Norfolk, Virginia will be permanently closing after over 14 years of business, although an exact closure date has yet to be announced by the company. Apple has assured that it will be offering all employees at the store other positions within Apple, and said that it looks forward to continuing to serve...
jon prosser imac 2021colors

Prosser: 2021 iMac to Come in Five Colors, Apple Silicon Mac Pro to Resemble 'Stacked' Mac Minis

Wednesday February 24, 2021 7:26 am PST by
Hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser has today alleged that the upcoming 2021 iMac models will offer five color options, mirroring the colors of the fourth-generation iPad Air, and revealed a number of additional details about the Mac Pro with Apple Silicon. In a new video on YouTube channel FrontPageTech, Prosser explained that the redesigned iMacs will come featuring options for Silver, Space ...
apple refurbished m1 mac mini

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished M1 Mac Mini

Thursday February 25, 2021 6:42 pm PST by
Apple today began selling certified refurbished Mac mini models with the M1 chip for the first time in the United States and Canada, with prices discounted by approximately 15 percent compared to brand new models as usual. For example, a refurbished Mac mini with the M1 chip, 256GB of SSD storage, and 16GB of unified memory is available for $759, compared to $899 brand new. Other custom...
mac mini developer transition kit photo feature

Apple Requiring Developers to Return DTK Mac Minis by March 31

Friday February 26, 2021 3:57 pm PST by
Apple today sent out emails to developers who are in possession of a Developer Transition Kit, asking them to return the machines by March 31. The Developer Transition Kits are Mac minis with A12Z chips that Apple provided for development purposes ahead of the release of the M1 Macs. Apple in the emails provided developers with shipping instructions, and plans to begin collecting the DTKs...
m1 mac mini

M1 Mac Users Report Excessive SSD Wear

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:07 am PST by
Over the past week, some M1 Mac users have been reporting alarming SSD health readings, suggesting that these devices are writing extraordinary amounts of data to their drives (via iMore). Across Twitter and the MacRumors forums, users are reporting that M1 Macs are experiencing extremely high drive writes over a short space of time. In what appear to be the most severe cases, M1 Macs are sai...