Best Xbox Cloud Gaming Controllers and Accessories in 2024

$150 at Best Buy

Image of Razer Kishi Ultra

Premium game controller for USB-C iPhones, iPad Mini (USB-C) and Android devices

Razer Kishi Ultra


View details

$70 at Apple

The RiotPWR RP1950 cloud controller works with iPhone and iPads

Best controller for iPhones as well as iPads with USB-C ports

RiotPWR RP1950


View details

$93 at Best Buy

Image of PowerA Moga XP-Ultra

Best multiplatform wireless controller

PowerA Moga XP-Ultra


View details

$60 at Best Buy

Xbox Wireless Controller Xbox Wireless Controller

Best universal controller for Macs and iPads

Xbox Wireless Controller


View details

$60 at Target

Sony DualShock 4 Sony DualShock 4

Your favorite PS4 controller

Sony DualShock 4


View details

$70 at Best Buy

Sony DualSense Controller Sony DualSense Controller

Premium Sony controller

Sony DualSense Controller


View details

$15 at PowerA

PowerA Moga gaming clip PowerA Moga gaming clip

Best value gaming clip

PowerA MOGA Mobile Gaming Clip 2.0


View details

$40 at Amazon

OtterBox Mobile MagSafe Gaming Clip OtterBox Mobile MagSafe Gaming Clip

Best MagSafe accessory

OtterBox Mobile MagSafe Gaming Clip


View details

$100 at Best Buy

razer-kishi-v2-galaxy-s22-ultra-xbox-game-pass-dsc0834-closer-crop razer-kishi-v2-galaxy-s22-ultra-xbox-game-pass-dsc0834-closer-crop

Best integrated Android controller

Razer Kishi V2 for Xbox Android


View details

$70 at PowerA

PowerA MOGA XP5-X Plus PowerA MOGA XP5-X Plus

Controller with built-in battery

PowerA MOGA XP5-X Plus


View details

$33 at Amazon

SteelSeries Stratus Duo Wireless Gaming Controller SteelSeries Stratus Duo Wireless Gaming Controller

Wireless controller with rechargeable battery

SteelSeries Stratus Duo Wireless Gaming Controller


View details

$15 at PowerA

PowerA MOGA Mobile Gaming Clip 2.0 PowerA MOGA Mobile Gaming Clip 2.0

Value gaming clip for Android phones

PowerA MOGA Mobile Gaming Clip 2.0


View details

Xbox Cloud Gaming lets you play a subset of Xbox Game Pass games on a device other than a console by streaming them from the internet. It’s similar to Sony’s PlayStation Plus cloud streaming service, Steam Link and Nvidia GeForce Now. To use it, you need to be an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscriber, which costs $15 per month or $180 annually (with four three-month membership codes). For Windows PCs, it lets you play games your system might not otherwise have the power or space to run locally via Game Pass for PC.

Xbox Cloud Gaming requires a fast internet connection for smooth game streaming. I’m not reviewing it here, but I’m highlighting the best controllers and accessories to use with supported devices. As you might expect, a variety of Xbox controllers are the main options, but there are plenty of other controllers and accessories to choose from. Some are designed exclusively for Android phones, Windows PCs and iOS devices.

Microsoft maintains a list of supported controllers, but you’ll find others that work. Initially, Microsoft said that if you’re using a web browser to play cloud games, the Xbox Wireless Controller was the only “officially supported controller.” Most controllers I’ve tried, including every controller on this list, work for cloud gaming on a browser.

If you’re an Apple user, go to the Xbox website and sign in to the Microsoft account linked to your Xbox Game Pass, then tap the share button at the bottom of the screen and select Add to Home Screen. Android users can download the Xbox Game Pass app from the Google Play Store or Samsung Galaxy Store (Samsung devices only). 

Below, you’ll find my picks for the best Xbox Cloud gaming controller options currently available. I’ll update this list as more Xbox Cloud Gaming controllers and accessories are released, and we test additional products. The most recent addition to the list is the Razer Kishi Ultra.

Best Xbox Cloud controllers for Apple devices

The Backbone One is my favorite of the iPhone controllers that mimic the physical experience of the Nintendo Switch, although Razer’s improved second-generation Kishi V2 controller is a close second. As part of the Designed for Xbox program, it also has specific features designed to make you feel more like you’re playing on an Xbox or stand-alone device. The Backbone One is compatible with the Xbox app as well as the PlayStation Remote Play app. (And Backbone now makes a white PlayStation Edition of this controller.)

The Backbone One gamepad uses a layout similar, though not identical, to that of Microsoft’s own Xbox controllers. Backbone’s software is one of the keys to its success and makes the controller an easy update for current owners wanting to get the new features. It’s compatible with all iPhones running iOS 13 or later.

For instance, it already has a dedicated gameplay capture button, it can tag gameplay and share as a link, it incorporates a dynamic feed and, because it’s designed for use with all mobile games, it can serve as a central hub for those titles.

Razer makes its more affordable standard Kishi game controller for iOS and Android devices, but the Kishi Ultra takes things up a few notches with a more premium design that offers superior ergonomics in a full-sized form factor. The Ultra takes its design cues from Razer’s Pro console controllers and features an eight-way d-pad and action buttons, plus Hall Effect triggers, programmable buttons and sturdy analog sticks.

I removed the rubber cushions from the controller (three different size cushions are included) so I could leave a case on my iPhone 15 while using it in the controller (I got a snug fit). It’s heavier than standard Kishi but does feel good in your hands and stretches out to accommodate larger iPhones and Android devices — even the sixth-generation iPad Mini. To be clear, the Ultra works only with USB-C iPhones and offers pass-through charging via a USB-C port on the bottom right of the controller.

Like the latest version of the Kishi controller, you can also connect the Ultra to a PC or tablet with a USB-C cable (it’s not a Bluetooth controller) for low-latency gaming. Additionally, the Ultra offers haptic-feedback for Android devices and Windows PCs that support that vibration feature. And like Razer’s V2 Wolverine Pro controllers, the Ultra has RGB lighting, which is a nice touch. Finally, there’s a virtual controller mode to remap touch screen controls to the Kishi Ultra (many Android games don’t have controller support). The Ultra, like the standard Kishi, links with the Razer Nexus app.

While it’s pricey, I did like this controller a lot. It was much better than the standard Kishi for longer gaming session (my hands didn’t cramp up).

I previously had the RiotPWR Mobile Cloud Gaming Controller for iOS on this list, but it had one flaw. Because it has an integrated Lightning cable that allows for lag-free gaming — at least when it comes to button presses — you couldn’t use it with newer iPads that have a USB-C connection. The new RiotPWR RP1950 controller solves that problem by allowing you to swap out the Lightning cable module for a USB-C cable module. 

Like RiotPWR’s earlier iOS controller, which is white, the black RP1950 is a more traditionally shaped Xbox-like controller that includes a mount for your phone. While there’s no built-in battery that keeps your phone charged while playing, like the Backbone and Razer Kishi V2, this model has a pass-through charging option if you want to hook up a separate Lightning cable to a battery pack or wall charger.

The controller is nicely designed and doesn’t feel cheap (the dock can accommodate a variety of iPhones, including larger iPhone Max models). Remove the dock and you can use this with any iPad that has a Lightning or USB-C port. To swap cables, you have to stick a paper clip in a hole in the bottom of the controller, which releases the cable module. It’s a little tricky the first time you do it, but once you figure out how it’s done, it’s pretty straightforward.

It’s also worth noting that even though this is called an “iOS controller,” it will work with Android smartphones and tablets that have USB-C ports. 

The second-generation Razer Kishi V2 smartphone controller is similar to the Backbone and comes in both iOS and Android versions (the iOS version has an integrated Lightning connector while the Android version has a USB-C connector). Both cost more than the original models but offer substantially improved ergonomics and more responsive buttons. 

The iPhone version is MFi-certified and will work with the iPhone 6 Plus and any newer model. It has pass-through charging but no built-in battery to supply extra juice. 

We prefer the companion app for the Backbone controller for iOS users, but the design of the Kishi V2 controller now measures up better against the Backbone. Alas, no Android version of the Backbone controller yet exists.

PowerA’s Moga XP-Ultra is fairly pricey, but it works as a wireless controller for not only Android smartphones but also your Xbox Series X/S and Windows 10/11 PCs. What’s nice is that, unlike the official Xbox controllers, it incorporates a 2,000-mAh rechargeable battery. On top of that, it has a modular design with a detachable full-size grip and a mobile gaming clip so you can choose whether to go with a full-size controller or a more compact controller for gaming on the go. That said, the ergonomics are much better when you go with the full-size grip.

There are two mappable “advanced gaming buttons” that PowerA says can perform any button command to “keep your thumbs on the sticks.” It’s also worth noting that the controller is equipped with dual rumble motors and impulse triggers. I slightly preferred this controller to Microsoft’s Core Xbox controller. (Sony’s PS5 controller remains the best, however.) 

If you have access to Xbox Cloud Gaming, you probably have an Xbox system, which means you already have an Xbox controller. Any Version 2 Xbox Wireless Controller with Bluetooth will pair wirelessly with everything from iPhones to iPads to Macs. You could also go the wired route with a Mac by plugging the controller into a USB port. Microsoft does sell a controller with a USB-C cable, so you can connect to the USB-C port on various devices, including USB-C-equipped Macs. (Make sure to update to the latest firmware on your Xbox controller.) This Bluetooth controller helps you stay on target with the new hybrid D-pad and textured grip on the triggers, and easily pair and switch between devices.

The Xbox Core controller lists for $60 but sometimes sells for $50 or less. The Xbox Elite Series controller lists for $180, but can sometimes be found for closer to $150. While the Elite Series controller includes a rechargeable battery, the Core controller does not, which is the one irritating thing about it. You can find a full assortment of Xbox controllers on Microsoft’s Xbox accessories page. 

Microsoft says that iOS 14.5 or higher is required for play on all Apple devices.

While you’re probably better off using an Xbox controller if you have one, the PlayStation DualShock 4 Wireless Controller is compatible with Apple devices, including Macs, via Bluetooth. And what’s nice about the DualShock 4 is that unlike the Xbox Wireless controller, it has a built-in rechargeable battery. 

It’s on Microsoft’s list of supported cloud controllers but note that Microsoft says that if you’re using a web browser to play cloud games, the Xbox Wireless Controller “is currently the only officially supported controller” and, “Other controllers may or may not work for cloud gaming on a browser.” The DualShock 4 PlayStation Controller worked fine for me, though I did experience a touch of lag. 

Note that the buttons are labeled differently from an Xbox controller’s, so you’ll want to check how they match up before playing. 

This is how you pair your DualShock 4 with Apple devices.

If you own a Sony PlayStation 5, Sony’s new DualSense controllers do pair via Bluetooth with iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple TV so long as they’re running iOS 14.5, iPad OS 14.5, MacOS Big Sur 11.3, TVOS 14.5 or higher. It’s an expensive controller if you don’t own a PS5, but it worked fine for me using an iPad. Again, the buttons are labeled differently from on an Xbox controller so just note how they match up.

Like its predecessor the DualShock 4, the DualSense controller has a built-in rechargeable battery. Here’s how to pair the DualSense controller.

If you’re just looking for a gaming clip to mount your iPhone on your Xbox controller, the PowerA MOGA Mobile Gaming Clip 2.0 is a good option for as low as $12 when discounted. It’s not as swanky as the Otterbox MagSafe option, which has a little bit more of a premium look to it, but it certainly does the job.

It’s not cheap at $40, but OtterBox’s Mobile MagSafe Gaming Clip is a well-designed accessory for folks who want to magnetically stick their iPhone 12 or 13 onto a clip mount. I use a MagSafe case with this accessory to keep my phone protected. If you don’t have a MagSafe case, you can certainly use your MagSafe-enabled iPhone naked (the phone sticks well to the mount but it isn’t clamped in so it can fall off if you happen to drop your controller). 

The clip is adjustable for various iterations of Xbox controllers, including the newest version for the Xbox Series X and the Elite controller. Using MagSafe makes it easy to get your iPhone on and off the clip mount so you can quickly take a call if need be during a gaming session.

Best Xbox Cloud controllers for Android and Windows PCs

The Razer Kishi V2 for Xbox Android is similar to the iOS version, but connects via USB-C instead of Lightning (there’s no Bluetooth) and has a pass-through port for charging while you play. The latest version can also by connected with a USB-C cable to PCs, USB-C iPhones and iPads and Android tablets and smartphones with USB-C. In other words, you don’t have to put a device in the controller to use it.

Like the iPhone version, this has a Nintendo Switch-like design, with the paddles attached to either side of the screen. It expands wide enough to fit a variety of Android smartphones and collapses into a compact package. It can fit Android devices with center-mounted USB-C ports and dimensions of 11.5mm (thickness, including camera) by 170mm (length).

If you’re looking for a controller that wraps around your Android phone, the Kishi and Kishi V2 are really the only games in town (Backbone currently only makes an iOS controller). While the original Kishi can be had for less than $70 (and sometimes even less), the new model does feel better in your hands and enables longer gaming sessions.

The PowerA MOGA XP5-X Plus includes a wireless game controller plus a clip for mounting your phone. It’s a decent controller that also features an integrated 3,000-mAh battery to charge your phone as you play. It’s a little rigged, with the cable running from the controller to your phone, but it works and is a big help during longer gaming sessions. 

The controller is compatible with Android devices and Windows PCs. It’s arguably the best value when it comes to Xbox Cloud Gaming accessories for your Android phone. It’s on Microsoft’s list of officially supported gaming controllers and it looks and feels like a cheaper version of an Xbox controller.

While the SteelSeries Stratus Duo Wireless Gaming Controller isn’t on Microsoft’s list of officially supported game controllers for Android it worked fine in our tests, is ergonomically sound and has a sturdy feel to it. (The older Stratus XL is on Microsoft’s list of supported controllers). It’s also designed to work with Windows PCs, Chromebooks and certain VR devices.

One of the key reasons to get this instead of the Xbox Wireless Controller is that it has a built-in rechargeable battery. Alas, it uses Micro-USB for charging, but that’s only a minor annoyance. We assume future versions will be updated with USB-C.

The PowerA MOGA XP5-X Plus is listed above, but you can also just buy the PowerA MOGA Mobile Gaming Clip 2.0 separately if you already have an Xbox wireless controller and want to mount your phone on it. I listed it as a good value clip for iPhones, but it works just as well with Android devices.




Source link

Tags: No tags

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *