Best Bluetooth Game Controller for Android and iOS Smartphones

Mobile gaming has never been as popular as it is now. In fact, 75 percent of all iOS App Store revenue comes from gaming apps. The appeal is clear: Our modern, fast-paced lives make it hard to sit for a few hours and dedicate all of our attention to nothing but the TV screen. What’s more, smartphones are now so powerful that mobile gaming experience offers a very similar level of graphical fidelity and gameplay complexity as PC or console games.

MatricomMatricom G-Pad BX Wireless USB Rechargeable Bluetooth Pro Game Pad JoystickCheck Price on Amazon
8Bitdo8bitdo SNES30 Wireless Bluetooth Controller Dual Classic JoystickCheck Price on Amazon
GameSirGameSir T4 Pro Wireless Game Controller for Windows 7 8 10 PC/iPhone/Android/Switch,Check Price on Amazon
Sminiker Android Wireless Bluetooth Gamepad Game ControllerCheck Price on Amazon
NykoNyko Smart Clip – PlayStation DualShock 4 Controller Clip On MountCheck Price on Amazon

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Despite all this, there is still, at least, one area where mobile gaming falls short: controls. Playing a twitch shooter or a precision-based platformer using virtual buttons on the touchscreen is frustrating to experience that can sip away all the fun you would otherwise have. Luckily, there’s something you can do about it. Bluetooth gaming controllers are affordable, convenient, and highly portable devices that can easily add a new dimension to your mobile gaming experience.

There are countless manufacturers and individual controllers available for purchase, but only a small fraction is built up to our high expectations and demands. That’s why we have selected our 4 favorite Bluetooth controllers for 2016. Each controller on this list offers a slightly different set of features and gaming style, and players should consider their individual needs and preferences to determine which one to select.

Bluetooth Game Controller for Android and iOS Smartphones

Matricom G-Pad XYBA Wireless Rechargeable Bluetooth Pro GamePad Joystick Controller

The Matricom G-Pad is just about the best Bluetooth controller you will find on the market.  The controller will connect to most devices that accept Bluetooth connections, including all the latest Samsung Galaxy S series phones, iPhone, tablets, even PC on Windows 10, and of course, on the PS3.  The rechargeable battery is a neat feature to have, so you don’t need to buy new batteries continually.

The controller itself is designed similar to a standard PS3 controller with a comfortable feel.  Its 16 button design includes all the usual gaming XYBA buttons and top finger triggers.  The performance is flawless once you start playing the games without any lag or connectivity problems.

The Matricom G-Pad undoubtedly will become your go-to Bluetooth game controller once you get your hands on these, it should become the standard for all other controllers to model after, especially for the price.
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Willgoo® 8bitdo SNES30 Wireless Bluetooth Controller

Inspired by the beloved Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Willgoo is a wireless Bluetooth gaming controller that is sure to please all fans of retro gaming and platformers.

The controller is virtually identical to the original and should be instantly recognized by those who grew up playing 16bit games. It features a spacious D-pad, start and select buttons, 4 action buttons, and left and right triggers.

It’s only when you take a look inside that you realize that this is far from 80s technology. A built-in 480 mAh Li-On battery lasts up to 20 hours and can be recharged for more than a thousand times. The controller connects to your device via either Bluetooth or USB connection, which makes it compatible with a wide range of platforms, including iOS, Windows, Mac, and Android. There’s no need for jailbreak or root, thanks to its compatibility with an iCade line of portable arcade cabinets. All games that support iCade are guaranteed to work with Willgoo. The optional smartphone stand can easily accommodate most modern smartphones, such as iPhone 5s or Samsung Note II.

We were initially worried that the controller might be difficult to use for people with larger hands, but this proved not to be true at all. It fits great in all hands, and the buttons are precise and responsive. The overall build quality seems superb, especially considering how affordable the controller is.

The only real problem we stumbled upon is that it can turn on by accident when carried in a pocket. Fortunately, the battery lasts such a long time that you are likely to have still plenty of juice left for all your gaming needs throughout the day.

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GameSir T4 Pro Wireless Game Controller

iPega definitely knows how to produce an innovative gaming controller that satisfies needs of modern players and offers compatibility with smartphones and tablet devices.

The controller is divided into two halves with an extendable telescoping arm in the middle. This arm can accommodate even larger tablets, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S or the Apple iPad, thus removing the need to purchase separate controllers for different devices.

Pairing the controller with either iOS or Android via Bluetooth could hardly be any easier. It worked right out-of-the-box with GBA, N64, or PSX emulators without any additional configuration. All buttons were mapped as we would expect, and the handful of extra buttons on each half of the controller let us comfortable control various functions of different emulators.  All buttons feel very responsive and well-made. All of our inputs were registered with utmost precision without any noticeable delay.

The iPega controller charges very fast and lasts a reasonably long time to support the needs of even the most hardcore gamers out there. A nice bonus is the ability to charge it with the same micro USB cord that you use for your smartphone or tablet.

The only real negative that we had to deal with was the atrocious manual written in broken English. It’s a real shame that a company capable of producing such quality products as iPega doesn’t hire a professional copywriter or translator to take care of these things. However, we can’t complain, given the fantastic price of the device.

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Sminiker® Wireless Bluetooth Gamepad

If you are looking for a classic controller inspired by the design of PlayStation DualShock, Sminiker might be precisely the right choice. This affordable controller works with all modern smartphones and tablets running on the Android or iOS operating system and connects wirelessly through Bluetooth interface.

It offers a simple control scheme with 14 action buttons. Two analog sticks are perfect for playing first-person shooters, while the multidirectional D-pad gives you the much-needed precision for overcoming even the most challenging platforming challenges. All buttons work flawlessly without any delay or problems with accuracy.

The setup procedure is painless on both platforms, and all buttons work as expected — actually, almost all. The turbo button seems to be incompatible with most current emulators, but we believe that this issue could be solved with just appropriate configuration settings.

Another advantage of the Sminiker Wireless Bluetooth Gamepad is its ability to work without root or additional drivers. This saves a lot of time and potential hassle, not to mention how much more accessible it becomes for gamers who are not willing to risk having their warranty voided.

The battery can easily last for several days of moderate gaming, and charging is quick and straightforward.

It’s also good to know that the connector can be paired with PC or laptop computers. All you need to do is purchase a compatible Bluetooth adapter and configure it as a generic Bluetooth gamepad. Don’t expect it to be as consistent as, for example, the original Xbox controller, but it’s nonetheless a great way how to get more value from your purchase.

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Nyko Smart Clip

The last device on our list isn’t a gaming controller. Instead, it’s a cleverly designed clip that attaches to your smartphone or tablet device and clips onto the Dual Shock 4 or Xbox One wireless controller.

The Nyko Smart Clip is designed to be compatible with a wide range of devices from different manufacturers, such as Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, or Blackberry. If your device is up to 6 inches tall, you will most likely have no problem hooking it up to your gaming controller. The only real exception is smartphones with protruding volume controls positioned in the same place where the clip attaches to the phone. In those cases, you can use an example to add some padding to prevent the clip from making contact with the buttons.

The attachment is done via a continent strap system that lets users adjust the viewing angle and position their smartphone for the most enjoyable gaming experience.

The Nyko Smart Clip was initially designed with console gamers in mind to allow them to stream games to their smartphone and tablet devices or display helpful information to enrich their gaming session. However, it was quickly adopted by the mobile gaming community, due to the availability of Xbox and PlayStation gaming controllers.

It’s by far the cheapest solution for mobile gaming (that is if you already own a compatible controller), and there is nothing to complain about when it comes to the build quality and day-to-day usability.

The Nyko Smart-Clip is a smart solution that helps you save money by enabling you to use what you already have at your disposal.

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George Tsay

Executive editor in charge of The Droid Guy since 2012. Coordinates a group of more than 10 editors and writers based around the world as they cover the latest and greatest products in consumer technology. Grew up and lives in Southern California. Go Bruins. Go Padres. Go Chargers. Find me on Twitter

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