What this means for mobile gamers

For years, Xbox and PlayStation gamers have enjoyed playing on iOS with their favorite controllers. Unfortunately, Nintendo gamers haven’t had the same luxury. However, Apple seems to put more emphasis on improving the gaming experience on iOS devices.

Several improvements to the iOS gaming experience were announced during WWDC 2022. However, even beyond the officially announced enhancements, it looks like there’s more to come. Including support for Switch controllers.


How will iOS 16 improve the gaming experience?

The WWDC announcements include features like the improved Metal 3 game engine, which you can read about on the Apple Developer site. This allows for faster load times and higher graphical fidelity on iOS systems. There’s also been a Game Center update that lets you easily track your friends’ game progress and compare high scores.

These new features are perfect for the future of iOS gaming. But that’s not all. The developers have tested the new iOS 16 operating system in beta. And they discovered more than the iOS 16 features announced at WWDC 2022.


It only took five years, but iOS 16 finally appears to introduce native support for the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller and Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons. Twitter user @rileytestut tweeted a screenshot showing Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons natively paired with the iOS 16 operating system.

Not only can you easily connect Nintendo Switch controllers to iOS 16 via Bluetooth, but you can also use both Joy-Cons together or separately. This was later confirmed on Twitter by Apple’s engineer, Nat Brown.

He also informed users that you can easily switch between using both Joy-Cons as one controller, or split them in two by holding down the screenshot and home buttons simultaneously.

What does iOS support for Joy-Cons mean for gamers?

Adding support for Switch controllers could open up a whole new world of gaming for Nintendo fans on iPhone and iPad devices. By enabling both full connection and split connection, iOS 16 can take full advantage of the unique features of the Joy-Cons. Apple’s adoption of Nintendo hardware provides gamers, developers, and manufacturers with endless opportunities to exploit.


Players will have more flexibility in how they can play cooperatively with their friends. Developers will have brand new opportunities to create unique games that can utilize the functionality of Joy-Cons. And companies could even take advantage of this new development by creating attachments and controller grips to adapt the Joy-Cons to mobile devices.

One of the biggest advantages of mobile gaming is the ability to play anywhere. And Nintendo’s Joy-Cons are the perfect portable device companions. Their small size allows players to easily slip one or more into their pockets before heading out.

Their sleek design is easier for gamers to carry than full-size controllers. This will make local multiplayer games easier than ever to play with friends on the go.

The Joy-Cons are also packed with other features that game developers could take full advantage of. Along with the ability to split into two, the Joy-Cons also feature motion controls and an infrared camera.

The Nintendo Switch already has many games that use these features like Wario Ware: Smooth Moves and the Mario Kart franchise. There are many creative ways for game developers to implement these features in a mobile game.

It could only be a matter of time before Joy-Con moving grips hit the market. Something resembling the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Comfort Grip could be created to fit an iOS device, essentially turning your iPhone into a Nintendo Switch. This mobile controller alternative could save gamers up to $100 if they already own a pair of Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons.

The ability to connect Nintendo Switch controllers to an iOS device might seem simple. But it could have a hugely positive impact on gamers, developers, and makers.

iOS 16 could be a game changer for Nintendo fans

iOS 16 is gearing up to open up a whole new world of gaming for Nintendo fans. Whether you’re playing with your Joy-Cons or the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller. And it might make playing mobile games like Animal Crossing Pocket Camp or Mario Kart Tour feel like you’re playing on the real Nintendo Switch itself.