Connecting a PlayStation 4 controller to your iPhone

Mobile gaming is no longer the only touch screen it used to be. Smartphones are increasingly home to serious, competitive games that require external controllers to really play at your peak power. Many manufacturers have stepped in to create options designed specifically for this purpose. But what if I told you there’s a good chance you now have a perfectly viable, possibly even superior controller for iPhone games sitting in a drawer?

Many people don’t even realize that it is possible to connect some official console controllers to other devices. Their reliance on Bluetooth technology means that they can indeed be used with things like PCs and smartphones. The PlayStation 4 controller has skyrocketed in popularity for this purpose thanks to the sheer number of controllers available and the excellent quality of the controller itself.

We’ll show you how to quickly and easily pair your PlayStation 4 controller with your iPhone for use in any mobile game that supports external Bluetooth controller inputs. Follow this short tutorial and you’ll never miss a shot again because your thumb got in the way.

Connecting a PlayStation 4 controller to your iPhone

Surge's phone mounting accessory with a smartphone

A smartphone mount like this one from Surge (linked below) can turn your iPhone into a mobile gaming powerhouse

Peak – Amazon

  • Necessary materials: A PlayStation 4 controller and an iPhone

Step 1: Open your iPhone’s Settings app and find the Bluetooth section

iOS 15 Settings Menu

You can find your Bluetooth settings in the first group of options in the Settings app

Michael Gariffo

Open the Settings app on your iPhone, find the Bluetooth option and tap it. Once it’s open, make sure your Bluetooth is turned on, grab your PlayStation 4 controller and move on to Step 2.

Step 2: Put your PlayStation 4 controller into pairing mode

A PlayStation 4 controller with descriptive text showing how to put it into pairing mode

Pressing and holding these two buttons at the same time puts the device into pairing mode, making it discoverable by any supported Bluetooth device

Michael Gariffo

Keep the . pressed while your PlayStation 4 controller is turned off PS button and Share button (shown above) until the light panel on the top of the controller starts flashing white quickly. This means that the controller is now in pairing mode and ready to connect. Let’s go back to the iPhone for step 3.

Step 3: Connect to the PlayStation 4 controller

The screen of iOS 15 Bluetooth devices with the PlayStation 4 controller in the list

All devices that can be paired are listed in the ‘OTHER DEVICES’ section

Michael Gariffo

With your PlayStation 4 controller in pairing mode, look at your iPhone’s Bluetooth menu. While in this menu, iPhone will constantly search for available Bluetooth devices nearby. Give it a few seconds and the PlayStation 4 controller should appear as DUALSHOCK 4 wireless controller in the OTHER DEVICES section of the menu. Once you see it there, tap on its name to connect to it.

Last Step: Verify Your Connection

The iOS 15 Bluetooth menu with a PlayStation 4 controller now connected

The controller should go to the MY DEVICES section within a few seconds of tapping it

Michael Gariffo

As soon as you tap DUALSHOCK 4 wireless controller your iPhone should connect in a few seconds. After it is successfully connected, the device will turn off the OTHER DEVICES section up to the MY DEVICES section where all actively connected Bluetooth devices live. From here, all you need to do is fire up your favorite game (which supports external Bluetooth controllers) and start playing.

PlayStation 4 controller smartphone holders

Below are some smartphone holders we found that allow you to connect your PS4 controller to your iPhone for easy gaming on the go. While most of these holders are pretty universal, make sure to double check that your particular model of iPhone is supported by the included smartphone clamp, especially if you have a larger model like the iPhone Pro Max.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes! The official PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 5 controllers connect to your iPhone in exactly the same way. The only difference is the location and appearance of the PS button and Share button† Everything else about the connection process is identical.

There are probably over a thousand iPhone games that you can play with a controller, so we can’t list them all here. However, Apple has made a webpage with some popular titles that support controller input during the iOS 14 era. Unfortunately, it hasn’t fully updated the page since the release of iOS 15, but it looks like it’s adding newer games (judging by the look of Diablo Immortal). We’ve also compiled a short list below of some of the most popular supported titles across a wide variety of genres to get you started.

Absolute. The process is again identical to connecting a PlayStation 4 controller to an iPhone. This means it’s possible to turn everything from your iPad Mini to your 12-inch iPad Pro into a mobile gaming powerhouse. At some larger screen sizes, this setup can even give your PC or television a run for its money.

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