Apple’s iOS 14.5 update brought a series of upgrades to current iPhones, including one that gamers should like. After updating to iOS 14.5, you can enjoy native support for both the PS5 DualSense controller and the Xbox Series X wireless controller.
With the ability to stream PS5 games to iPhone and iPad through the Remote Play app, as well as an iOS game suite with a gamepad, that extra level of controller support is likely to come in handy. Also, since early 2020 every Apple Arcade game includes controller support, now is a good time to consider using a controller with your iPhone or iPad.
For this article, we are going to focus on the PS5 DualSense controller, as it is one of the most interesting and innovative controllers of recent years. By the way, if you think about the PS5 DualSense vs DualShock 4 debate, the new controller comes out on top for pure innovation. But these steps will work for other bluetooth controllers once they are set in pairing mode.
How to connect the PS5 DualSense controller to an iPhone
Connecting a DualSense controller to an iOS 14.5 device – or an iPadOS 14.5 device if you’re using a tablet – is very simple.
1. Activate Bluetooth pairing on the DualSense controller
Press and hold the PS5 button (power button) and the Share button (top left) on the DualSense controller for a few seconds. Once the light strips on either side of the touchscreen begin to flash blue, the controller is in Bluetooth pairing mode.
2. Access the Bluetooth menu in iOS or iPadOS
On your iPhone or iPad, tap the Settings app, then tap the Bluetooth submenu.
3. Find the DualSense wireless controller
Once you are in this section, you should see an option for the DualSense wireless controller – tap on it and in a second or two your DualSense controller will be paired with your iPhone.
4. Disconnect the DualSense or another wireless controller
If you need to disconnect the DualSense from the iPhone, just tap on the controller listed in the Bluetooth menu and then tap Disconnect or forget about this device to completely unpair. You can do the same for any other device controller connected to your iPhone via Bluetooth.
Use the PS5 DualSense controller with iOS games
Connecting a DualSense controller to an iPhone or iPad can be trivially easy, but getting the most out of it isn’t that simple. Games like Call of Duty Mobile and an Apple Arcade suite of games work well with the DualSense, but figuring out the controls can take a bit of a twist.
Naturally, pulling the triggers on any controller in a first-person shooter will fire the player’s pistol. But Call of Duty Mobile appears to be configured for the Xbox Wireless Controller, which has been compatible with iPhones and iPads for some time.
This means that you will need to determine how the ABXY buttons on the Xbox controller correspond to the triangle, circular cross, and square buttons on the PS5 DualSense controller. In general, the circle tends to correspond to B, but unfortunately the cross button does not correspond to the X button on the Xbox controller. As such, you will have to indulge in a bit of trial and error to work on the buttons.
In other games, controller support may be enabled, but you won’t be able to map buttons, and there may not be a lot of instructions on the buttons and triggers on the controller. controller that work with specific games.
In addition, the DualSense controller will be treated like any other Bluetooth controller, as long as its haptics and advanced features will not be activated. This means that the DualSense controller’s larger size and trigger feel, designed to work with smart haptics and feedback, can feel a bit heavy and unresponsive.
There is also no official Sony or Apple accessory to mount an iPhone 12 on the DualSense controller; some unofficial frames are available but we have not tested them and cannot attest to their quality.
However, Microsoft does offer the PowerA MOGA Mobile Gaming Clip 2 which allows you to mount a variety of iPhones or Android phones to an Xbox Wireless Controller and use a ratchet system to position the phone screen in your view. This mount partially works with the DualSense controller, but it’s not the most flush fit and we don’t recommend trying it yourself for fear of sending your iPhone flying to the ground.
As such, we recommend that you use an Xbox Wireless Controller with your iPhone or iPad at this time. All you need to do is press and hold the Xbox button on the Xbox Wireless Controller until it flashes white, then follow the same Bluetooth connection steps as above. .
Instead of anything else, the DualSense still performs quite well in IOS 14.5, provided you’re willing to be patient. And it’s a pretty charming controller, especially if you like a gamepad to fill your hands, even if the smart haptics are left out when playing on iOS 14.5.