If you’re a Mac user looking for the best gaming controllers to use with your computer, you might be overwhelmed by the options available. But don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. We’ve compiled a list of the 7 best gaming controllers for Mac Apple Silicon chips M1 and M2 and even Intel-based Macbook, Mac, and Mac Studio, with detailed information about each controller. When you’re exploring controllers, we have a list of games that you can play on Mac with Apple Silicon, do explore it.
Best Game Controllers for Mac M1, M2 and Intel
Whether you have the latest M1 or M2 chip Macs, there are game controllers that will suit your gaming needs.
1. Xbox Wireless Controller
The Xbox Wireless Controller from Microsoft is a popular choice among gamers, and for a good reason. This controller is compatible with both the Xbox One and the Series S and Series X, and it connects via Bluetooth or an included dongle. It offers plenty of buttons, including a new ‘Share’ button that’s a mappable option.
The only downside is that it still requires AA batteries, so you’ll need to keep some on hand unless you have a USB-C cable to plug it in for wired play. The Xbox Wireless Controller is compatible with macOS Catalina or higher.
2. PlayStation DualSense Wireless Controller
If you’re a fan of Sony’s PlayStation lineup, the DualSense Wireless Controller is a great choice. This controller is a big departure from the long-running Dualshock lineup, with new features like a built-in mic (with mute button) and improved haptics that can convey the different terrain your character feels under the feet. There are also adaptive triggers that can adjust their tension, though not all games support these features.
The DualSense Wireless Controller has a built-in battery and can be connected via Bluetooth. It is compatible with macOS 11.3 or later.
3. 8BitDo SN30 Pro+
The 8BitDo SN30 Pro+ is worth checking out for a retro feel with modern precision. This controller’s design feels like a cross between the SNES and PlayStation 1 Dualshock, and it offers all the buttons you’ll find on other controllers, as well as a pair of analog sticks. It connects through USB-C or Bluetooth and has a rechargeable battery with 20 hours of life.
The 8BitDo SN30 Pro+ also features customizable vibration modes and the ability to set custom Macros, making it a versatile choice for gamers. It is compatible with macOS 10.7 and above.
4. Steam Controller
Valve’s Steam Controller may no longer be readily available, but it is a versatile option for gamers. This controller features remappable buttons and two clickable trackpads that make even playing some strategy games more comfortable. It even has a gyroscope inside to allow for tilt controls.
The Steam Controller connects via Bluetooth and is compatible with macOS 10.8 and above.
5. DualShock 4 Wireless Controller
Although Sony has released the DualSense controller for the PS5, the older DualShock 4 wireless controller is still an excellent option for Mac gaming. It has a similar design to its successor but lacks some of the advanced features like adaptive triggers and haptic feedback.
However, the DualShock 4 still offers a comfortable grip, precise thumbsticks, and built-in motion sensors for intuitive gameplay. Plus, it comes in a variety of colors to match your style.
It connects via Bluetooth and has a rechargeable battery, making it a convenient option for gaming on your Mac.
System requirements: macOS 10.13 or later.
6. SteelSeries Nimbus Plus
Apple officially licenses the SteelSeries Nimbus+ for Apple Arcade games, but it works just as well with other games. This controller offers up to 50 hours of battery life and a recognizable layout similar to the Nintendo Switch Pro controller.
The SteelSeries Nimbus+ connects via Bluetooth and even comes with a clip for your iPhone, making it an excellent choice for gamers on the go. It is compatible with any version of macOS.
7. Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
Nintendo’s own Pro Controller is a solid choice for Mac users. This controller has a pretty standard layout with asymmetric thumbsticks. While you won’t get any of the fancy HD rumbles features out of it, it still works great as a Bluetooth controller for your Mac. It also charges via USB-C, which is convenient for Apple laptop users.
The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller has native support with macOS Ventura.
Whether you prefer the classic design of the Xbox controller or the innovative features of the PlayStation DualSense, there’s no shortage of great gaming controllers for Mac users. There’s something for every gamer, from retro-inspired options like the 8BitDo SN30 Pro+ to officially licensed controllers like the SteelSeries Nimbus+.
When choosing a controller, consider factors like battery life, connectivity options, and compatibility with your Mac. With the right controller, you can elevate your Mac gaming experience and enjoy your favorite games with greater precision and comfort.
Can I use any gaming controller with my Mac?
Not all gaming controllers are compatible with Macs, so checking the system requirements before purchasing is important. Most modern controllers will work with macOS, but older models may not be supported.
Do I need to install drivers to use a gaming controller with my Mac?
Most gaming controllers should work plug-and-play with your Mac, but some may require installing drivers or software to enable certain features. Check the manufacturer’s website for more information.
Can I use a gaming controller with iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad?
Yes, many gaming controllers are compatible with iOS devices as well. Check the controller’s system requirements to ensure compatibility with your device.
Can I use a wired gaming controller with my Mac?
Many gaming controllers can be used with a USB cable for wired play. However, not all controllers support this feature, so check the manufacturer’s specifications before purchasing.
Can I use a gaming controller for non-gaming purposes on my Mac?
Yes, some gaming controllers can be used as general input devices for your Mac. Check the manufacturer’s specifications to see if this feature is supported.
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