Nintendo's retro controllers now work on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and Mac

The latest iOS, iPad OS, tvOS and macOS updates add support for the modernized retro gamepads.


At WWDC 2022 earlier this year, Apple announced a bunch of gaming improvements rolling out with iOS 16, including support for Nintendo's Joy-Con and Pro controllers. Now, you'll also be able to use Nintendo's modernized retro gamepads with your iPhones, iPads, Mac computers and even Apple TVs. Developer Steven Troughton-Smith has discovered that iOS 16.1 and tvOS 16.1 supports Nintendo's SNES-style Switch controllers, a modern version of their classic counterparts with wireless connection and a USB-C port for charging.

In his tweet with a video demonstrating the capability, Troughton-Smith said he believes that the Apple platforms now support the N64 and NES controllers for the Switch, as well. MacStories ran its own tests and confirmed that the SNES-style controllers also work with the iPad OS 16.1 and macOS Ventura. In addition, the publication was able to use the modern N64 controller with Apple's devices. The gamepads show up in Bluetooth settings when they're pairing mode like any other device.

The Apple App Store doesn't support video game emulators, so you'll still have to fire up your Switch to play your games for the console and its subscription service. But as AppleInsider notes, you can use these gamepads for the Apple Arcade and other supported titles in the App Store.