Native support: This should go without saying, but each and every one of the controllers mentioned here has to be officially supported on macOS and does not require any hacks to function properly.
Proven quality: Controller preferences can be subjective, but to keep this guide as relevant as possible, we only consider proven controllers with positive reviews from both professional reviewers and gamers.
Pricing: We all want quality, but pricing also plays an important role. We always keep in mind price tags and bang for your buck. Some controllers may have a more limited feature set but are much cheaper than the competition. That is worth taking into account.
Instructions for PlayStation game controllers and Xbox game controllers are available, but the general steps are the same for all Bluetooth game controllers that can be paired with a computer or mobile phone.
When you pair more than one controller that can be customized in this way, these settings include Buddy Controller. You can use the Buddy Controller feature to combine inputs from multiple controllers into one so that another person can support you in getting to the next level in your game.
The Mozilla MozVR team was demonstrating the open WebVR standard as well as A-Frame at GDC a few weeks ago and people were intrigued; some were surprised the web could handle VR, some probably just thought our VR line was smaller (it was by miles), and others saw the Xbox controller next the VR headsets and wanted to know how Microsoft Xbox controller + VR + Mac + browser even worked. I was so excited about all of this that I jumped on it immediately upon return from GDC. Let's see how it all works!
The 360Controller project provides a list of Mac driver releases for the Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. The latest (0.15.0) is required for Xbox One support. Download and install the package provided and you'll see a "Xbox 360 Controllers" label and icon in your System Preferences app. This preferences pane provides information about the Xbox controller selected and also provides controls for overriding settings:
You must connect your Xbox controller via USB for the Mac to detect the controller -- wireless wont work. Press the buttons and watch each button's representation in the app light up. You can even press the left and right trigger buttons and the Xbox controller will shake. Solid!
The game showcased with VR + Xbox controller + Gamepad API was a special 3D build of Tanx by PlayCanvas. The visual was amazing and people loved the game in an enhanced 3D state. Sorry, I don't have a link to a public version at this time!
At the bottom of the window is a status bar that displays how many joysticks (game controllers) are connected. If it reports that no joysticks are found, disconnect and reconnect your controller and then in the menu, select Quick Options > Refresh Joysticks. After a few moments Joystick Mapper will refresh and attempt to detect any connected game controllers.
Go ahead and press Scan in Joystick Mapper. A timer will appear giving you a few seconds to press a button on the controller. Wait for the timer to finish, then press Scan again, only this time press the Up button on your controller.
Next, we move on to the Xbox One controller. This section is going to encompass the generic Xbox One controller, as well as the specialty Xbox Elite Wireless Series 2 and Xbox Adaptive controllers. These can be connected to your Mac using the same cable as the PS4 using the same method from the above section, Connecting a PlayStation 3/4/5 controller with a cable.
You can also connect a controller to Mac if your Xbox One controller has Bluetooth support. I learned the hard way that not all Xbox One controllers have Bluetooth support. Only the 1708 model does. You can check which model you have by opening the battery compartment on the underside of your controller and reading the MODEL XXXX portion.
Once it starts blinking, return to your Mac and you should see it in the Bluetooth menu. Click the Connect button next to it. After a few seconds, the controller should pair to your Mac. You can now use it with gaming apps on your Mac.
While the Steam Controller can be used wirelessly, it needs to be plugged into work on Mac. Go ahead and remove the batteries from your controller and plug it into your Mac using a USB C to micro USB cable.
This is pretty easy to do in Steam. First, open Steam, enable Big Picture mode, click Settings, then Controller Settings, then place a check next to the controller(s) you want to use with Steam.
While the Xbox and Playstation controllers that support Bluetooth are natively supported by Mac, there are many other controllers that are not officially supported. For example, the Xbox 360, PS3, and WII controllers.
However, an easier workaround would be to use Bootcamp to install Windows. Windows is compatible with most controllers, including the Xbox 360 controllers. In other words, any controller that works with Windows should work with Bootcamp too.
The steps above are the same for Xbox and Playstation controllers that support Bluetooth. In most cases, the three controllers mentioned earlier are natively supported on Macs when connected via the cable.
If your Playstation 4 controller is not connecting to Mac, you can try to reset the controller to factory settings. You can do that by using a pin to hold down the reset button on the rear of the controller for a few seconds.
Of the game controllers available for home computers, only a few are officially supported on the Mac, but you can often get others, like those for the PS3, Wii, or Xbox, working just fine. To use any of these controllers with your system, you will first need to connect it to your system physically, and then install a driver package to make use of the controller's inputs.
For factory-supported devices like the Logitech F310 Gamepad and the Belkin Nostromo SpeedPad, drivers are available from their manufacturers; however, for unsupported devices like Wii Remote, PS3, and Xbox controllers, you will have to use a third-party driver package.
The easiest of these unsupported remotes to configure is likely the Xbox controller, which can be (physically) connected directly via USB or with a relatively cheap receiver for wireless Xbox controllers. If you have a PS3 controller, you'll need to follow a quick procedure to establish a connection to your Mac. First, connect the controller to your Mac, and then open the Bluetooth system preferences and make sure Bluetooth is both on and discoverable. Next, hold the PS button on the controller for a few seconds, then unplug the USB cable, and the controller should appear in the Bluetooth system preferences and be available for use in a number of games and programs. A Wii Remote can also be connected via Bluetooth.
Once the gaming controller is connected, you can use one of several software driver packages to configure its inputs. The first is Joystick Mapper, with which you should be able to configure most gaming controllers. The second is the Tattiebogle driver for Xbox controllers, which should work for both wired and wireless (using the receiver noted above) controllers.
A final couple of driver options for these controllers are GamePad Companion, which is available in the Apple App Store, and USB Overdrive, which has been a long-standing option for configuring USB input devices on the Mac platform. These last tools are useful especially if you have a controller that only has driver support for Windows. When connected to the Mac, the button inputs will be registered, and universal drivers like USB Overdrive should be able to recognize them and allow you to assign global or application-specific settings to them.
There is still one element that is missing, and that is dedicated game controllers. Gamers who may be more used to console gaming probably would feel more at home playing similar games on mobile if they had a controller in their hand instead of tapping or swiping a screen all the time.
Getting a controller for a platform is relatively straightforward, as it's usually quite easy to tell whether a product will be compatible or not. The easiest way to do this is to go for first-party accessories, but that's not possible in this case.
While Apple has seemingly looked into the concept, with patents and rumors surfacing around the concept it hasn't yet created its own peripheral dedicated to gaming. Unlike an Xbox or PlayStation, you can't search for an Apple-manufactured game controller at this time.
For a start, Apple itself has made it possible to use first-party game controllers for major modern consoles with its ecosystem. If you have a game console, there's a good chance that it will be compatible, with the controllers generally pairing over Bluetooth.
One of the most sought-after controllers on the planet due to the rarity of the console itself, the Sony PlayStation 5 DualSense Wireless Controller is one of the major game console peripherals that will also work with all of Apple's hardware.
Just as Sony's popular console controllers work on iOS, so too does Microsoft's. Apple includes support for the Xbox Wireless Controller with Bluetooth, the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2, Xbox Adaptive Controller, and the Xbox Wireless Controller Series S and Series X.
You can use Bluetooth to connect it to your Apple hardware, though it also has USB-C, so you could use a wired connection to your Mac if you don't want to drain any batteries. Again, you can also use them with your main game console, if you don't want to spend the money on a dedicated controller.
Rounding out the main consoles, the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers are able to work with Apple's hardware range. Rather than being a single device, the Joy-Con controllers are two elements that make up one controller. 2b1af7f3a8