13 Best Mobile Game Controllers (2023): iPhone or Android
There are several other mobile controllers we tested that just missed out on a place above, plus a few that we are keen to test soon.
PowerA Moga XP Ultra for $130: I love the idea of combining loads of options into a controller, and PowerA’s crazy Moga XP Ultra is certainly versatile. It works wirelessly with your Xbox, Windows PC, or Android phone, offering solid battery life (up to 40 hours via Bluetooth or 60 hours for Xbox). But the gimmicky mini controller that slides out, Transformer-style, for gaming on the go is too small and hard to grip comfortably. The buttons, triggers, and sticks are all good, and the clip works fine for holding your phone, but the D-pad is stiff. All in all, it’s a pricey mixed bag.
Razer Kishi V2 for $90: The Razer Kishi V2 is fine, but it’s slower, bigger, and less polished than the Backbone One. It’s an extendable mobile controller that comes in Android and iPhone versions. Both can stream PlayStation or Xbox games and work with Windows too. But ultimately, Backbone’s superior software and headphone jack make it the better choice. —Louryn Strampe
Riot PWR MFi Controller for $68: This is almost identical to the alt pick for Xbox Remote Play mentioned above, but without the garish green styling and colored Xbox buttons. It plugs into your iPhone via the Lightning cable for latency-free gaming (there’s a USB-C option too), supports pass-through charging, and feels much like a regular Xbox controller. On the downside, the cable is a bit messy.
Turtle Beach Recon Cloud for $80: Here is another Xbox-branded controller that supports Xbox Cloud Gaming and Remote Play and comes with one free month of Game Pass Ultimate. It feels good in-hand, has a solid phone clip, and works with Android, Xbox, and Windows. It also features some audio enhancements (when plugged in), programmable buttons, and a handy Pro-Aim feature that reduces sensitivity on the right stick for aiming in FPS games. It’s a good upgrade pick over the PowerA controller listed above, but only if you want the extra features.
GameSir X3 for $100: On paper, this is an upgrade over the X2, with refined buttons, more options for the joysticks, and a cooling fan on the back. But I recommend the cheaper X2 Pro listed above instead, because the fan adds bulk and weight and it needs power via a dedicated USB-C port. (It has a separate USB-C port for pass-through charging of your phone.)
PowerA Moga XP7-X Plus for $100: This controller offers everything the XP-5 X does but you can also remove the stand in the center to slot in your phone (my Pixel 6 Pro fits nicely). It is sturdy, offers plenty of buttons (only a screenshot button is missing), and can wirelessly charge your phone. But it is expensive, has a Micro USB port when I’d prefer USB-C, and has only a 2,000 mAh battery, so stick with the XP-5 X unless you really want that spring-loaded cradle to fit your phone in.
8BitDo SN30 Pro for $45: Conjuring memories of the SNES, this controller works with Android, Windows, MacOS, and Switch. It has built-in rumble, a solid D-pad, good battery life, and a USB-C port.