Joypad Legacy turns your iPhone into a retro game controller for Mac and PC

By , Jan 24, 2013

GBA joypad

Want to play retro-style games on your Mac or PC, but don’t have a controller handy? While we wouldn’t recommend using touch screen controls for every game, if you’re in need of a quick retro fix you can download Joypad Legacy for your iPhone and quickly play retro games with ‘classic’ controls.

Joypad Legacy comes in two parts: the first part is the controller app for your iPhone that comes with layouts for NES, GBA, SNES, Genesis, and N64. You’ll also need a second piece of software called Joypad Connect, running on your Mac or PC. You can use Joypad Connect to build profiles for the games and emulators you want to play with Joypad Legacy…

wizorb joypad legacySetting up Joypad Connect with your game library isn’t difficult.

In order to pair Joypad Connect to the Joypad Legacy app, your computer and your iPhone have to be on the same Wi-Fi network. On the Windows version, there does appear to be an automated connection mode, but it didn’t work on my computer, so I just connected manually. You can find the manual connection address for your device in the in-app Settings.

settings joypad

Joypad Connect has support for multiple controllers. If you have a friend who also has an iPhone or an iPod touch, you can easily set up multiplayer. There doesn’t seem to be a hard limit to the number of players you can add at one time, though you may run out of unique keyboard buttons to emulate.

joypad controllers classicJoypad includes retro-style skins for classic console controllers.

The developers behind Joypad Legacy also released another Joypad app for pairing iPhones to an iPad. The Joypad and Joypad Console are compatible with several App Store games, including Super Crate Box and Vertex Blaster.

Joypad Legacy, Joypad, and Joypad Console are all available on iTunes for free. You can download the Joypad connect software for Mac and PC at the GetJoypad website.

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  • ap3604

    Personally if I’m that poor that I can’t afford a $10 USB game controller then I’d rather just use my keyboard. At least it has tactile feedback letting you know you pressed something.

    • http://Michaelschnier.tumblr.com Michael Schnier

      Think of it more like this; You’re taking a break from studying, and break out your laptop to play Super Bomberman with friends. You don’t need to lug four controllers with you.

    • Kurt

      i’m not a fan of touch controllers. I have a few on my iphone. they do work and work well to do what you tell it to do. the only problem is what you tell it to do, and what you want it to do is sometimes a different matter. i bought a USB xbox 360 controller on ebay. works great, no need to set it up. everything worked right after plugging it in. there are cheaper controllers out there, but i still only paid 17 bucks with shipping. i’m with you, i think the keyboard would be a better choice. you can use your iphone to play EA sports games like fifa with their touch controller app, it works well again, but…i prefer the tactile feedback you enjoy too.

  • http://twitter.com/xXJeanmarchpXx JeanMarc

    Finally I can play Pokemon with my iPhone as a controller

  • ash88

    Now if only this worked for games on the ipad then it’ll be great

    • http://Michaelschnier.tumblr.com Michael Schnier

      Joypad + Joypad Console. It only supports some games, though. No support for emulators yet.

    • air naji

      They do have one for the iPad . It doesn’t support many games though.

  • Karl Kurtz

    Touch screen controllers are something that I can’t ever see becoming a big thing. Very difficult to use. No tactile feedback. Not sure why people keep making them.

    • http://Michaelschnier.tumblr.com Michael Schnier

      That’s what I thought in 2007…

  • http://www.facebook.com/UchihaItachiLegacy Volker Lobato

    Thanks to this i’m playing Super Smash bros from my bed <3

  • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

    Great idea. Though, already use my PSP for playing classic retro games, and controlling PS2 games on my PC ;P

  • iPhone5&sgs2

    Will it work with counter strike ??

    • air naji

      On a pc/Mac yea it will

  • Dan

    Using a touchscreen as a controller sucks. I could never get into emulators because of this. Sometimes you need to push two buttons at once and that’s when it gets dicey.

  • air naji

    I wish more iOS developers used joypad for iPad / iPhone compatibility. It would be awesome to use my iPhone (controller) for shadowgun deadzone on my iPad (console) .