Firmware update adds Apple compatibility to these 8BitDo gaming controllers

Six models of 8BitDo’s gaming controllers can now be paired with and used to play games on your iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV, with more incoming.

Six gaming controllers from 8BitDo that support Apple devices
More 8BitDo controllers will gain Apple compatibility | Image: 8BitDo
  • What’s happening? You can now use gaming controllers from 8BitDo to play Apple Arcade and App Store games on your iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV.
  • Why care? It’s always good to have a choice. Your options vis-à-vis gaming controllers that work with Apple devices have just expanded.
  • What to do? Read 8BitDo’s FAQ.

Some 8BitDo gaming controllers gain Apple compatibility

The company has announced on Twitter that six of its gaming controllers can now be paired with Apple devices like the iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV.

Apple already supports MFi controllers like SteelSeries’ Nimbus and Stratus, and the Xbox and PlayStation ones, but now Apple Arcade subscribers and those who play App Store games that support MFi controllers can use 8BitDo gamepads, too.

To install the firmware update, download the 8BitDo Firmware Updater app for macOS or Windows from the 8BitDo website. This software will identify your controller and automatically download and install the appropriate firmware.

8BitDo controllers that work with iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV

The following six 8BitDo controllers have been updated to work with Apple devices:

  • 8BitDo Ultimate Controller 2.4g
  • 8BitDo Pro 2
  • 8BitDo SN30 Pro Plus
  • 8BitDo SN30 Pro
  • 8BitDo SN30 Pro for Android
  • 8Bitdo Lite SE

Importantly, your Apple devices must be running iOS 16.3, iPadOS 16.3, tvOS 16.3 or macOS Ventura 13.2 and later to use the above controllers.

These controllers previously worked on Windows and Android. Additional gaming controllers and gamepads from 8BitDo will get Apple support soon. This is excellent news for everyone budget shopping for a gaming controller, as 8BitDo’s products are known for their affordable prices, good ergonomics and rich customization.

How to download the official 8BitDo app

You can easily remap controller buttons, swap between saved profiles and install firmware updates with the official 8BitDo Ultimate Software app.

The app requires iOS 11 and above.

With it, you can re-assign the buttons to your liking, customize sticks for higher precision control, adjust the ranges and motor tensity of the triggers, etc.

How to customize gaming controllers on Apple devices

Alternatively, remap the buttons using Apple’s features:

  • iOS/iPadOS: Settings → General → Game Controller
  • macOS: Settings → Game Controller
  • tvOS: Settings → Remotes & Devices → Bluetooth

Keep in mind that iOS, iPadOS, macOS and tvOS lack rumble and motion support.

You can simultaneously connect and use up to four gaming controllers on a single Apple device. These controllers offer wireless and wired functionality, but wired connectivity via USB is only available for iPads and Macs with USB-C ports.