How to Connect an Android Phone or Tablet to a Controller

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How to Connect an Android Phone or Tablet to a Controller
How to Connect an Android Phone or Tablet to a Controller

Touch controls aren’t always ideal for mobile games. Perhaps they are poorly designed, or your device is incapable of handling multitouch.

What is the solution? Use a gaming controller to play Android mobile games!

Game controllers, both wired and Bluetooth, may be linked to your Android phone or tablet. Android supports USB controllers as well as Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Nintendo Switch Joy-Con wireless controllers.

Here’s how to connect a gaming controller to your Android phone or tablet, as well as a list of controllers that work with Android.

Can I Connect My Controller to My Phone?

A controller may be connected to your phone by USB cable or Bluetooth. The following controllers are compatible with Android phones and tablets:

  • Generic USB controllers
  • Bluetooth generic controllers
  • Xbox One controller
  • PS4 controller
  • PS5 controller
  • Nintendo Switch Joy-Con

Generic controllers are ones that are not designed specifically for a certain system. High-quality gaming controllers for your Android mobile are available from GameSir, Redgear, and Motorola. Android phones and tablets can sync with controllers through Bluetooth or USB connections.

In a minute, we’ll take a look at each kind of controller individually. Due to out-of-date software and changes to Android’s Bluetooth compatibility, we’re bypassing older console controllers (such as the Xbox 360 controller). Generic controllers built for use with a PC may also fail. Finally, the controller will not operate if the game does not have controller support. This may be avoided by mapping the controls using a third-party Android game controller program.

Let’s examine how to set up a game controller on Android.

How to Connect a Wired USB Controller to Android

A USB OTG cable is required if you wish to play games on Android using a USB controller. This is a unique gadget that converts a conventional USB connection to suit your phone or tablet.

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However, the OTG-USB cable goes beyond that, allowing you to connect any sorts of USB devices and disks to Android – even controllers! This is covered in further depth in our USB-OTG tutorial.

You must first acquire a USB OTG cable. Amazon has these at a reasonable price. Choose a USB-C or micro-USB connection based on your phone’s specifications.

Simply insert the USB OTG adapter into your Android phone and attach the USB gaming controller to the other end of the adapter. Then, launch the game you wish to play. Games that support controllers should recognize the device and you’ll be ready to play.

Connect a Standard Bluetooth Controller to Android

If you have a generic Bluetooth gaming controller, it will almost certainly function with your Android smartphone. It’s almost as easy as attaching a USB controller, however no special adapters are required.

To begin, ensure that your phone is discoverable by Bluetooth devices. Make sure Bluetooth is enabled by going to Settings > Connected devices > Connection options > Bluetooth.

Select Pair new device from the same menu, then follow the precise procedures to make your controller discoverable. If there isn’t a specific Bluetooth button, check the handbook for the correct button combination.

(If you already have Bluetooth enabled, go to Settings > Connected devices > Pair new device.)

Your phone should recognize the controller; touch its name to connect. Games that support controllers, like USB, will recognize them when you start the game. Other games may accept controllers, but extra software from Google Play is required.

Can You Connect an Xbox One Controller to Android?

You already have a terrific method to manage Android games if you own an Xbox One. But how easy is it to connect an Xbox One controller to an Android device?

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A later model controller does not need any extra hardware, similar to attaching the Xbox One controller to your Windows PC. To connect the controller to your phone or tablet, all you need is Bluetooth connectivity on your Android device.

Before you begin, ensure that the controller is completely charged and that your Xbox One is disconnected. If you don’t, the controller will stay attached to it, making it incompatible with your Android smartphone.

Begin by setting Android in discoverable mode, as described in the preceding section. Next, press and hold the Sync button on your Xbox One controller. When the controller is detected, pick it on your phone and continue the pairing steps.

Please keep in mind that this will only function with newer Xbox One controllers that support Bluetooth. The initial models (launched at the same time as the Xbox One) employ RF, which Android can not allow. If your controller does not connect wirelessly, you may utilize USB OTG with the USB charging cord instead.

Connect a PS5 or PS4 Controller to Android

Sony has long utilized Bluetooth in their controllers, making it simple to play Android games with a PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5 gamepad. Because both consoles utilize Bluetooth, the steps are the same.

Make your Android mobile discoverable, then sync the controller by simultaneously pressing the PlayStation and Share buttons. When the controller light flashes, your Android smartphone should display a Wireless Controller entry.

Select this to finish pairing. Your phone or tablet will next ask you to confirm the pairing, which you should do. A steady light on the PlayStation controller indicates that it has been connected correctly.

Play Games on Android With Nintendo Switch Joy-Con

You may also connect a Nintendo Switch controller to your Android mobile smartphone. You may sync one Joy-Con on its own or, as seen in the video above, sync both as a complete two-handed controller.

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You’ll need a wireless adapter and a USB OTG adapter compatible with your phone to sync both Joy-Cons hooked to the Joy-Con Grip.

Check out the video below to learn more about operating Android using Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers. Also, find out how to share your Nintendo Switch gaming online.

Remember that you may connect the Nintendo Switch Pro controller to your Android smartphone in addition to the Joy-Con.

What Is the Best Android Game Controller for Phones?

You’re ready to play now that you know how to connect a gaming controller to your phone.

With varied degrees of success, you can link any of these controllers to your Android phone or tablet. While connection is often simple, certain games just do not function well with a controller.

The best controller is the one that works best for you. Regardless of the quality of the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch controllers, one made exclusively for mobile gaming may perform better for you in the long run. In any event, as long as the games you play support console controllers, you should be good.

Of fact, some games have such unique controls that you may not even need a controller!

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