How to connect a controller to an Android phone or tablet

Xiaobai Software  2022-05-22 16: 27  read 237 views

Touch controls for mobile games aren't always great.Maybe they aren't implemented well, or your device doesn't handle multi-touch well.

What is the solution?Play Android mobile games with a game controller.


Wired and Bluetooth game controllers can be connected to an Android phone or tablet. Both USB controllers and Xbox One, PS4, PS5 or Nintendo Switch Joy-Con wireless controllers work with Android.

Here's how to connect a game controller to your Android phone or tablet, and a description of which controllers are available for Android.

Can I connect the controller to the phone?

You can connect the controller to your phone using a USB cable or Bluetooth.The following are specific controllers for Android phones and tablets:

Generic USB controllers

Generic Bluetooth controllers

Xbox One controller

PS4 controller

PS5 controller

Nintendo Switch Joy-Con

Generic controllers are those that are not designed for a specific console. GameSir, Redgar, and Motorola are all examples of high-quality game controllers that can be used with Android devices. Both Android phones and tablets can be synced with the controller via a Bluetooth or USB connection.

Later, we'll look at each controller in turn.Note that we're skipping older console controllers (like the Xbox 360 controller) due to an outdated app and changes to Android's Bluetooth support.Generic controllers designed to work with PCs may also not work.Finally, if the game you're playing doesn't have built-in controller support, the controller won't work.You can sometimes circumvent this problem by mapping the controls to a third-party Android game controller app.

Next, let's examine how to set up a game controller on Android.

How to Connect a Wired USB Controller to Android

If you want to use a USB controller to play games on Android, you will need a USB OTG cable.This is a special tool that adjusts the standard USB connector to fit your phone or tablet.

However, the OTG-USB cable does more than that, and even allows you to connect various USB devices and drives to your Android -- the same goes for the controller.

You first need to buy a USB OTG data cable.They are available for cheap on Amazon.Make sure you choose a USB-C or micro-USB port, depending on what your phone uses.

Once you have the USB OTG adapter, just plug it into your Android phone and connect the USB game controller to the other end of the adapter.Next, open the game you want to play.Games that support controllers should detect the device and you can start playing.

How to connect a standard bluetooth controller to android

If you have a generic Bluetooth game controller, you can almost guarantee it will work with your Android device.It's almost as easy as connecting a USB controller, and of course, you don't need any special adapters.

First, make sure your phone is discoverable via Bluetooth.Open Settings > Connected Devices > Connection Preferences > Bluetooth and make sure Bluetooth is enabled.

In the same menu, select Pair a new device, then follow the specific instructions to make your controller discoverable.Look for a dedicated bluetooth button, if not, check the manual for the correct button combination.

(If you have Bluetooth enabled, you can go directly to Settings > Connected Devices > Pair New Device).

Your phone should detect the controller; tap its name to establish a connection.As with USB, games that can use controllers will detect them when you start the game.

Can you connect an Xbox One controller to Android?


If you have an Xbox One, you already have a fantastic way to control your Android games.But how easy is it to connect an Xbox One controller to an Android device?

Similar to connecting an Xbox One controller to a Windows PC, you don't need any extra hardware for the newer model controller.Bluetooth support for a typical Android device is all you need to connect the controller to your phone or tablet.

Before you start, make sure your controller is fully charged and your Xbox One is unplugged.If you don't, the controller will remain paired to it, which means you can't pair it with an Android device.

As described in the previous section, first put Android into discoverable mode.Next, press and hold the sync button on your Xbox One controller.Once detected, select the controller on your phone and follow the instructions to pair.

Note that this only works with newer Xbox One controllers that use Bluetooth.The original model (released when the Xbox One was first released) used RF, which is not supported on Android.If your controller isn't wireless, you can use USB OTG instead, by using a USB charging cable.

How to connect a PS5 or PS4 controller to Android


Sony has been using Bluetooth technology in its controllers for years, and if you want to play Android games on a PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5 gamepad, it's super easy.The instructions are the same for both consoles as they both use Bluetooth.

Make your Android device discoverable, then sync the controller by holding down the PlayStation and Share buttons at the same time.When the controller light is blinking, you should see an entry for the wireless controller listed on your Android device.

Select this to complete pairing.Your phone or tablet will then ask you to confirm the pairing, and you're done! A steady light on the PlayStation controller indicates a successful connection.

How to play games on Android with the Nintendo Switch Joy Con


You can also connect a Nintendo Switch controller to your mobile Android device.You can sync a Joy-Con individually, or as the video above shows, sync two Joy-Cons as a full two-hand controller.

To sync two Joy-Cons connected to the Joy-Con handle, you need a wireless adapter compatible with your phone and a USB OTG adapter.

Remember that in addition to the Joy-Con, you can also connect a Nintendo Switch Pro controller to your Android device.

What are the best Android mobile game controllers?

You can connect any of these controllers to your Android phone or tablet with varying degrees of success.While connections are generally easy, some games just don't work with the controller.

The best controller choice is the one that's right for you.However, while the controllers for the Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch are good quality, controllers designed specifically for mobile gaming may be better for your long-term work.Regardless, if the game you're playing supports console controllers, you should have no problem.

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