Joy-Con controllers make it easier to play games on your Apple iPhone.
If you own a Nintendo Switch and like to occasionally play mobile games on your Apple iPhone or iPad, you’ll be happy to hear that the forthcoming iOS 16 update, slated for a fall release, will include the ability to connect your Nintendo Joy-Con controllers to your iPhone or iPad.
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In the last few years, game-makers have introduced more complicated gameplay to the mobile experience. Services like Xbox Cloud Gaming and GeForce Now allow you to play games like Call of Duty, Fortnite and Apex Legends, which can be difficult to tame on your mobile device. Your phone or tablet has a smaller screen than your TV, which means less real estate for visuals and controls, and so a gaming controller might be necessary.
Third-party controllers aren’t new to Apple, though. Right now, you can pair both the DualSense from PlayStation and the wireless controller for Xbox to your iPhone or iPad. And controllers from other companies, like the Backbone One and the Razer Kishi, are made specifically for mobile gaming.
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However, if you already own a Nintendo Switch, there’s no need to purchase a third-party gaming controller. You’ve got two attached to both sides of your console. And best of all, pairing the Joy-Cons to your iPhone or iPad takes only a few seconds.
For this to work, you’ll need to be running iOS 16, which is currently available as a public beta. Here’s how you can download it right now.
You can either use one or both Joy-Con controllers.
Jeremy Perez/CNETHow to pair your Joy-Cons to your iPhone or iPad
To start, you’ll want to make sure that your Joy-Cons are charged and ready for use. If not, simply attach them to the Nintendo Switch while it’s charging in the dock. Once your Joy-Cons are charged and ready to go, slide them off of your console and do the following:
1. First, press and hold down the black pairing button on top of the Joy-Con until the green light starts running back and forth. This means the Joy-Con is now in pairing mode.
2. Next, on your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > Bluetooth.
3. Now, scroll down and find your Joy-Con under Other Devices. You should see either Joy-Con (L) or Joy-Con (R), depending on which Joy-Con you’re currently pairing.
4. Finally, tap the Joy-Con option to pair it. Repeat this process for the other Joy-Con, if needed.
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Once your Joy-Cons are paired, you can go into any game that supports third-party controllers, like Minecraft, Among Us and Call of Duty, and play with your newly paired Joy-Cons. Not all mobile games will support both Joy-Con controllers at once, so you might only need to pair one.
To unpair the Joy-Cons, go to Settings > Bluetooth, tap the blue information icon, and then hit Disconnect.