One game controller to rule them all

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by canny, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. canny macrumors regular


    Jun 11, 2009
    I've never really been a gamer, but I'm probably getting one of those fancy new 27 inch retina iMacs, so its a good excuse to use the screen for entertainment.

    I also have:
    • iPad 3
    • iPod touch 5th gen
    • 2011 MacBook Air 13 inch
    • Ancient 2007 iMac 24 inch
    • iPhone 6S

    And I'm probably going to get one of those new Apple TVs soon too.

    Is there a controller I could get which would serve all of these devices well? Or perhaps two, to help with compatibility concerns. Or three. As few as possible anyway. Perhaps there is software which would cover the compatibility cracks?

    I'll probably be playing
    • popular iOS games
    • Mac games
    • Steam games on mac
    • PC games (using Parallels or Fusion)
    • OpenEmu emulated games
    • Provenance games (tvOS)
  2. Huntn, Oct 19, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2015

    Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    Is there a controller I could get which would serve all of these devices well?

    I don't think so. I didn't know what players could use that would work with an iPad as well as your Mac. I use a razer gaming mouse and a razer Nostromo (mini keyboard) controller on my Mac and PC.
  3. Exhale macrumors 6502

    Sep 20, 2011
    You'd need to look into MFI Controllers - iOS won't accept anything else. Getting a MFI Controller working on a regular computer should not be too difficult after that - though I've never looked into it.

    Worst case scenario, you might need to get a regular console controller. A XB1/Wired-XB360/PS3/PS4 controller is the best bet - guides for getting those to work are readily available. Additionally, most devs assume that these are the controllers used.

    For Windows, keep in mind that the XB1/Wired-XB360 drivers are built into the OS - and that many games are designed specifically to be used with them (they'll use the Xbox controller API). Most of these games also dynamically adjust the UI, prompts, and menus depending on what your current input is; so you can even alternate between M+KB and Controller usage in the middle of play, and the game will adjust itself accordingly.
  4. MichalM.Mac macrumors regular


    Mar 26, 2006
    Go for 2 controllers. 1 for iOS devices 1 for computer.

    iOS controllers does not have enough buttons for some PC games.
  5. kaioshade macrumors regular


    Nov 24, 2010
    Agree with the sentiment to generally use one for iOS and one for the computers. Once some of the kinks are worked out and more profiles are available, The Steam Controller could be a very viable option. I have been using one for a few days and while it is an adjustment, i like it so far.
  6. bobbytomorow macrumors 6502


    Nov 10, 2007
    Left Coast
    PS3 or PS4 controller, they are bluetooth and are pretty much plug and play with OS X and they also work with iOS devices, Android devices and are Steam compatible. For Windows just use a wired 360 controller as someone else has already said the drivers are built into Windows so its plug and play.
  7. canny thread starter macrumors regular


    Jun 11, 2009
    From what I've read, PS devices only work with jail-broken devices.
  8. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    XBOX 360 pad is probably your best bet. I find that has the most compatibility with games and devices, but I'm not sure about iOS devices.

    The Steam Controller may be interesting to you. Valve claims it can control any game regardless of what level of pad support the game has.
  9. canny thread starter macrumors regular


    Jun 11, 2009
    Thanks for the advice. So it seems like I need two controllers: one MFi, and one 360/PS/Steam controller.

    This might be good for MFi:

    .. still researching the console controller. Is there a good wireless option?
  10. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    After cranking up Lego: Jurassic Park, I'm seriously considering a console type controller. Is there the ideal controller compatible with MacOSX, PC W10, and iPad? I assume it would have to include blue tooth for the iPad.

    If this is not available, how about something for PC only? I'm already vested in Razer so I need to see if they have a reasonably priced console type controller. Anyone familiar?
  11. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    Won't work on iOS.

    OP - if you buy a controller on iOS, it won't work on Windows (Apple exclusivity).

    If you buy a controller for Windows, they won't work on iOS (Apple exclusivity).

    Best thing is to buy a controller for each system.

    I had to buy a controller for my AppleTV - it doesn't work at all on my PC's.
  12. kiwipeso1 Suspended


    Sep 17, 2001
    Wellington, New Zealand
    The macs would use a logitech gamepad, either the wired or the wireless. iOS and tvOS would use another controller.

    If you were willing to try Android TV, you could get the Macs and Android TV to work with the logitech controller alone.
    It will work with multiple wireless logitech controllers of the single USB unified dongle.

    As for iOS, you could try the iPhone gamepads which you put the iPhone into, which play like a handheld console.

    I would strongly recommend getting a Logitech controller and Logitech joystick for your iMac.
    If you plan to do flight sims, or space sims like Elite Dangerous, I would recommend a HOTAS flight joystick and throttle.
    If you plan to do nothing more complex than Civ 6, then I'd recommend a trackpad and full numeric keyboard.
    I do not recommend the new apple bluetooth mouse, as you can't use it while charging the internal battery.
  13. 0098386 Suspended


    Jan 18, 2005
    Not possible! There is a glorious bluetooth NES contoller that has 4 face buttons, 2 shoulder buttons, and 2 analogue sticks ( which covers many many bases at once. But I think the best setup for myself is a plain old wired Xbox 360 controller because of how supported it is, and that previously mentioned companies other controller - a bluetooth SNES controller - for retro styled games and emulators.

    I've also got a QANBA fight stick that could replace the SNES controller, but it's mostly used for arcade and fighting games.

    Two's fine. You really just one want for modern games and another for classic. Since ALL modern controllers have poor dpads and are heavier than more basic ones, but you won't be able to play GTAV with a NES controller!
  14. blesscheese macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2010
    Central CA
    If you know the games you want to play, you could find out what controllers work best. One of the top reasons for playing console games (ages ago) was that the computer control schemes *sucked*, but that really isn't the case anymore. However, I do find that console controllers from the official manufacturer (i.e., Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft) are some of the highest quality controllers. Be wary of the quality of the cheaper controllers, and read the reviews or game forums to find out what people using them think.

    Especially if you want to emulate games, like NES, SNES, or PS games, then you would want to get a controller specific for that system.

    Having said that, most computer games have a setting for a Xbox controller. I can't stand the Xbox controller, so I've picked up a Mayflash Wii U Pro controller adaptor, and use that with my computer (I already have the Wii U). I also picked up a Mayflash Wii Classic controller to use with most other emulators and games. (And, I have a joystick for flight sims).
  15. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    But there are third party controllers with software for both Mac and PC like Logitech and Razer (the latter I think). Getting the impression iOS is iOS only. :)
  16. Oudinot macrumors regular


    Mar 16, 2013
    Birmingham, AL USA
    I'm using the Razer keyboard and mouse also. Have you tried their wireless man of war headset?
  17. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    I tend to resist battery powered devices like headsets and mice. However a Razer keyboard due to the programmable factor sounds interesting.

    XBox Controller Quick Tip in Windows: If you leave a wired XBox controller plugged into your PC, and launch a game planning on using your mouse, your mouse driven cursor may not appear. I recently discovered this when trying to play Fallout 4 and could not find a cursor on the startup screen. Unplugging the controller solved the issue. I'll assume the MacOS would not treat this controller in the same manner.

Share This Page

16 October 19, 2015