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.
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Best Game Controllers for Mac M1, M2 and Intel
Not all controllers are created equal, especially when you’re trying to find the perfect match for your Mac, whether it’s rocking an M1, M2, or an Intel chip. We’ve handpicked the seven best game controllers that will not only work flawlessly with your Mac but possibly up your game too. When you’re exploring controllers, we have a list of games to play on Mac with Apple Silicon, do explore it.
1. Xbox Wireless Controller
Hey, it’s no secret – this one’s a crowd-pleaser. Straight from Microsoft, it’s nifty for both Xbox and Mac fans. Bluetooth? Check. Included dongle? You bet. It’s got the buttons you want, plus a ‘Share’ button you can personalize. Sure, it’s still powered by AA batteries unless you tether it with a USB-C cable. But if you’re running macOS Catalina or higher, you’re golden. Nab it for around $68.
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
Now, this is an evolution from the DualShock line. Sony went big – think a mic right on the controller and nuanced haptics that let you feel the virtual ground you’re treading. These adaptive triggers are something else, though not every game takes advantage of them (yet!). It’ll play nice with macOS 11.3 and later, and yes, it’s wireless. Price? About $69.
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+
Craving a bit of nostalgia with a modern twist? This controller is where it’s at. Mix old-school SNES with the ergonomics of the PlayStation Dualshock and you have this beauty. Count on USB-C or Bluetooth connectivity and twenty hours of battery life. This one’s not just looks – it boasts customizable vibes and macros. Compatible with macOS 10.7 and up, it’s a bargain at $49.99.
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
Although Valve isn’t making these anymore, if you can get your hands on one, you’re in for a treat. This one’s all about customization, with remappable buttons and dual trackpads that lend themselves to a wider variety of games. A built-in gyroscope for motion control is just icing on the cake. Fit for macOS 10.8 and onwards – but it’s a collector’s item now at around $285.15.
The Steam Controller connects via Bluetooth and is compatible with macOS 10.8 and above.
5. DualShock 4 Wireless Controller
Don’t count this one out just because it’s older. This predecessor to the DualSense offers a solid, familiar feel with motion sensors that still bring your gaming experience to life. It’s a win for comfort and style with a ton of colors available. Works with iOS 13 or later, and the rechargeable battery is a practical perk. It’s Bluetooth-friendly, too. Price? Well, it varies.
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.
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6. SteelSeries Nimbus Plus
Love Apple Arcade? Then you’ll adore this controller licensed by Apple. Expect up to an incredible 50 hours of battery life, a comfortable layout, and a companion clip for your iPhone – perfect for gaming on the fly. It plays well with any macOS version. Right now, it’s a steal – discounted to $41.08.
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
Turning to Nintendo, their Pro Controller is straightforward but reliable. It’s got asymmetrical thumbsticks and a USB-C port for charging – plus, it feels right at home on your Mac with native support in macOS Ventura.
The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller has native support with macOS Ventura.
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When you’re weighing your controller options, consider battery life, how you’ll connect, and ensure your Mac and the controller can happily coexist. With the right controller, your Mac gaming could climb to a whole new level of awesome.
Got questions, like whether you can hook up any old controller to your Mac or if you need special drivers? Most modern controllers will get along fine with your Mac, sometimes you might need extra software, and yes, many game controllers also play nice with your iOS gadgets. As for wired options, do your homework – not all controllers are prepared to go corded.
We dig deep into gaming tech so that you can just show up and play. And hey, if you’re into the latest leaks or specs, or crave some humor in your Discord status—to say nothing of all the new stuff hitting the shelves—we keep tabs on all of it. Stay tuned, keep gaming, and may your Mac’s gaming potential be fully unleashed!
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.