iPhone and iPad controller peripheral round-up

Let's get physical

iPhone and iPad controller peripheral round-up

Apple's iOS is a wonderful platform for gaming. After all, where else can you download thousands upon thousands of quality titles for as little as 69p / 99c?

If there's a common gripe with gaming on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, however, it's a lack of physical controls.

Thankfully, a number of different manufacturers have taken it upon themselves to produce a sell a range of controller peripherals designed with Apple's gadgets in mind.

Check out the full list of available (and soon to be available) add-ons below.


by Fructel - buy from Amazon for £49.99

Fructel's Gametel Bluetooth controller comes packing a nifty D-pad, Start and Select buttons, four PlayStation-esque action buttons, and a couple of handy shoulder buttons, not to mention a spring-loaded clamp that allows you to easily (and safely) dock your iPhone.

Games-wise, the Gametel controller features support for the likes of Super Mega Worm, Silverfish, and Muffin Knight, as well as any App Store title that boasts iCade functionality.

By Ion Audio - buy from Amazon for £69.99

Ion Audio's Bronze Award-winning iCade may be slightly more expensive than your average mobile controller peripheral, but splashing the cash does get you an authentic-looking arcade cabinet complete with a joystick and eight action buttons.

There's also a secure cradle that allows you to easily dock and charge (using Apple's 30-pin dock connector) your iPad as you play.

What games does it support, though?

Well, the likes of Atari's Greatest Hits collection, solid platformer Mos Speedrun, and the Space Invaders-esque Velocispider. If that's not enough to whet your appetite, check out our list of the top ten games to play on your iCade.

iCade Jr.
By Ion Audio - expected in 2012 for $49

The iCade Jr. is a bite-sized edition of the regular iCade arcade cabinet designed for the iPhone and iPod touch rather than the iPad.

You still get a joystick, a handy cradle, and eight action buttons, but four of them are now on the back of the cabinet due to its smaller size.

As it's basically just a miniaturised version of its bigger brother, the iCade Jr. is compatible with the same range of games as its older sibling. Handy.

iCade Mobile
By Ion Audio - expected in 2012 for $79.99

Announced at CES 2012, the iCade Mobile allows you to dock your iPhone and iPod touch in the middle of a special cradle and take full advantage of a traditional D-pad, four front-facing buttons, and an additional four shoulder buttons.

The cradle that houses your device even rotates so you can play your favourite games in either portrait or landscape orientations.

Once again, the iCade Mobile is compatible with the same titles as its brothers.

iCade Core
By Ion Audio - expected in 2012

If you want the handy joystick and eight action buttons found on the original iCade peripheral but don't really fancy the arcade cabinet-inspired casing, the iCade Core could be for you. It's exactly that, after all.

Just like the aforementioned iCade, the iCade Core features a sturdy cradle for your iPad or iPad 2, and the ability to charge your tablet as you furiously smash the peripheral's buttons.

As you can probably already guess, Atari's Greatest Hits, Silverfish, and any other iCade compatible title can take advantage of this Bluetooth controller.

60beat GamePad
By 60beat - buy from 60beat.com for $49.99

The 60beat GamePad may not be the most attractive peripheral on the market, but it's worth looking at if you're craving physical buttons.

The controller, which connects to your iOS device through the 3.5mm headphone jack, sports a D-pad, dual-analogue joysticks, and ten different action buttons, as well as an ergonomic design. You don't even need batteries.

Unfortunately, the 60beat GamePad's catalogue of compatible titles is currently rather small. You can check out the manufacturer's website for a full list of supported titles.

Logitech Joystick
By Logitech - buy from Amazon for £12.99

The Logitech Joystick, which attaches to your iPad's screen via suction cups, is designed to offer you a physical thumbstick that works with "just about any game" that features an on-screen joystick or D-pad. That's a lot of games.

Naturally, the add-on is mostly transparent so it doesn't completely hide the on-screen action, but it also features a coiled spring that provides force feedback and automatically returns the joystick to the centre position when you lift your thumb.

By iControlPad - buy from iControlPad.com for £39.99

As you can see from the cropped picture above, the iControlPad Bluetooth peripheral features a precise D-pad, two analogue sliders, four SNES-esque action buttons, and a further two buttons. There are also two buttons situated on the back of the device, but you can't see those.

So, what about compatibility?

Well, the iControlPad is, like the majority of iOS controllers, compatible with any App Store title that packs iCade support. Naturally, there's a full list of titles on the iControlPad website, so head on over and check it out.

Furthermore, if you don't mind testing the murky waters of the jailbreaking community, you can head on over to Cydia and promptly download the Blutrol application, which allows you to map the iControlPad's physical buttons to virtual on-screen presses and make almost any App Store app compatible.

Ion Wireless Controller
By SteelSeries - expected Q3 2012

According to its manufacturer, the Ion Wireless Controller, which is about the same size as a pack of playing cards, is the "ideal accessory" for gaming on your tablet or phone.

Although details are still pretty scarce (we're not sure what games will be compatible with this peripheral), we do know the controller sports a D-pad, two mini-joysticks, two trigger buttons, and six face buttons.

iPad Fling
By Ten One Design - buy from Amazon for £9.95

Not unlike the aforementioned Logitech Joystick, the iPad Fling attaches to your device's screen via suction cups and offers a physical alternative to on-screen analogue sticks and D-pads.

Ten One Design has started a public list of compatible games that currently features over 206 different titles, but the controller should work with any App Store offering that boasts an on-screen pad.

As with Logitech's controller, the iPad Fling is transparent, meaning it won't get in the way of any on-screen happenings.

Fling Mini
By One Ten Design - buy from Amazon for £22.09

The Fling Mini is, as you've probably already guessed, a miniature version of One Ten Design's iPad controller designed especially for the iPhone and iPod touch.

Naturally, this means it's compatible with the majority of the same titles as its tablet counterpart.

If you purchase a twin-pack from Amazon's online store, you can even place both on your device's screen at once, which should help you in your quest to defeat twin-stick shooters such as Age of Zombies and Minigore.

Anthony Usher
Anthony Usher
Anthony is a Liverpool, UK-based writer who fell in love with gaming while playing Super Mario World on his SNES back in the early '90s. When he isn't busy grooming his beard, you can find him replaying Resident Evil or Final Fantasy VII for the umpteenth time. Aside from gaming, Anthony likes hiking, MMA, and pretending he’s a Viking.