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Can you connect a controller to an iPad mini? Yes, you can! If your iPad is running iPadOS 13.0 or above, you’ll be able to use Xbox an Playstation controllers with your device. If you are stuck on an earlier version of iPadOS, you can still use your iPad mini with MFi (made for iPad) controllers. All you need to do, either way is connect to bluetooth and pair them up— it’s even easier than slipping on an iPad case.
First things first— before you begin, you’ll want to check the your iPad is updated to iPadOS 13.0. You can do this in your iPad settings, by visiting General and then Software Update.
If you’re finished playing and you’d like to disconnect, you can either hold the PS and OPTION button on your controller, or by going into the bluetooth menu on your iPad (in Settings) and press the (i) button next to the controller name.
Bluetooth works pretty well, most of the time, but it may on occasion loose your connection. If this happens, just pair again.
Not all Xbox controllers play nicely with the iPad. You’ll need a modern one like the Xbox One that connects with bluetooth. Neither the Elite controller or the Xbox 360 will work, as they are not bluetooth based.
Got a bluetooth based Xbox controller? The next step is the same as your preliminary step for the playstation controller: make sure you’ve got iPadOs 13.0 (or better) running on your device. If you don’t, update it. Once that’s taken care of, here’s what you need to do to connect:
Here’s how to connect a MFi controller to your iPad mini:
Then there’s the GameVice controller. Unlike bluetooth controllers, a GameVice is actually connected physically to your iPad via the lightning connector. Fitting on either side of your iPad mini, it runs your tablet into a portable game console, complete with all the controls you could possibly want.
The best thing about this game controller is that there is no lag whatsoever; a necessity for immersive game play. The controller is also easy to put on when you're going to be gaming and take off when you want to use your iPad mini for something different or slip on its iPad case for a trip out to town.
Downside? There’s no one size fits all; you have to buy the controller designed for your iPad model, and if they don't have one ready for your iPad, you’re out of luck. If you’ve got the right GameVice model for your iPad mini, though, here's how to connect:
There are other types of controllers you can use with your iPad mini, including suction-based devices that stick onto your iPads screen. Your tablet is pretty small, though, so you may not want to give up that much of your precious real estate.
For these controllers, follow the directions that come with the controller to connect with your iPad. Most bluetooth controllers follow the simple MFI connection procedure described above.
Got connected? Congrats! No longer are you glued to the TV, computer, or other stationary screen. With your iPad mini and a controller, you can take your gameplay anywhere; and enjoy a completely immersive experience even in the midst of a busy commute or boring waiting room vigil. Just make sure you’ve got your device safely tucked away in a quality case, for safe keeping on the road!