The best iPad gaming controllers in 2023

The best iPad gaming controllers on a coloured background
(Image credit: Future / Microsoft / Sony)

If you want to use your Apple tablet for gaming, you'll absolutely want to snag one of the best iPad gaming controllers to get the most out of your slate. While they're certainly not gaming-first devices, there are an abundance of mobile games available, as well as the option to leverage features like GamePass and Remote Play on your consoles.

While there aren't too many bespoke iPad gaming controllers like we see for mobiles and other handheld devices, plenty of popular PC and console controllers can connect to iPads via Bluetooth. It's certainly a lot easier than using touchscreen controls, which are the bane of many a mobile gamer, meaning you can still have a competitive edge in multiplayer games while on your non-gaming device.

If you want something more specific, why not check out our picks of the best Nintendo Switch Pro controllers, or the best PS5 controllers? Otherwise, keep reading to see our top picks.

The best iPad gaming controllers available now

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How to choose an iPad gaming controller

The best way to narrow down what iPad gaming controller is best for you is foremostly to identify which other consoles or devices, if any, you'd want support for. If you own multiple different devices from different ecosystems, you might want something with more versatility like the SteelSeries Nimbus+. Or, if you're a loyal PlayStation or Xbox player, you'll want something more attuned to those ecosystems.

If you're still stuck, the next best thing is add budget into the mix. Since many of these controllers have features incompatible with the iPad, rather intended for traditional gaming devices, you might be better off just going for the most budget-friendly option. 

How we test iPad gaming controllers

As with any gaming controller test, there are some features at the top of our list; ergonomics, features, build quality, and compatibility, to name a few. We look at how comfortable the controller is to hold and use over long periods of time, and if the build quality is robust enough to see you through the years. 

We'll also test all of the marketed features for functionality and how well they work in the given ecosystem; however, in the case of iPad gaming controllers, many won't offer things like haptics or touch control on account of compatibility issues.

Finally, we'll weigh up factors like price and aesthetics to help ensure we highlight great deals that will level up your gaming setup.

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Duncan Robertson
Freelance Writer

Duncan is the Hardware Editor over at GamesRadar. Before that, he was an editorial intern at Expert Reviews and a freelancer for The Scottish Games Network. Duncan has over five years of experience writing about the video game industry and its various technologies. When he attended Edinburgh Napier University to read Journalism, he tilted as much of his education into covering those areas as possible, honing his digital content creation experience through articles, videos, podcasts, live streams, and student radio. In his spare time, you can either find him dissecting game design, testing out the latest pro controllers, or playing tennis.

With contributions from