The Best Controllers for Your Gaming Phone in 2021

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With people stuck indoors due to the pandemic, mobile gaming has become more popular. Compared to PCs and other consoles, mobile gaming is more accessible — since all you really need is your own smartphone. However, using a controller can significantly enhance your gaming experience — especially if you’re playing on a smaller device. Plus, it gives you a better view since your thumb won’t have to block your screen.
That being said, here are some controllers that you can consider for your gaming phone.

Backbone One

The One has tightly integrated hardware and software that can turn your smartphone into the ultimate gaming device. You can use it to share and record video clips from whatever game you’re playing. Moreover, you can create virtual parties and voice chat with friends using the Backbone app — while still playing your own games. It’s customized to be compatible with various iPhone types, which makes it a versatile pick. This is because modern PCBs, which enable increasingly powerful components and features, can now fit into small gadgets without adding bulk or inconvenience to the user. Indeed, while the Backbone One may look tiny compared to others, it’s one of the best controllers.

Razer Kishi

The Kishi is compatible with both Android and iOS phones. As long as your device has USB-C or Lightning connectivity, you can even transform it into a Nintendo Switch-like handheld. The Kishi is also appealing, since it’s connected directly to your phone — compared to most controllers that need to be connected using Bluetooth. This means you don’t need to charge the Kishi, and it improves your response times as well. The controller has a USB-C port for pass-through, so you can continue playing as you charge your phone.

Rotor Riot Wired Game Controller

This controller gives you the best of both worlds. It’s designed like a typical controller, but has the responsiveness of a wired controller. This device is compatible with both Android and iOS, and it has USB-C and Lightning variants. The Rotor Riot is also the first iPhone-compatible controller that supports L3 and R3 buttons. Similar to the Kishi, the controller gets its power from the phone. It’s not exactly the most portable controller, since the phone mount takes up space. Fortunately, it is detachable.

SteelSeries Stratus Duo

While currently only compatible with Android, this is a great all-around controller. It doesn’t come with a phone mount, but users have the option to purchase a SmartGrip separately — its dedicated phone mount. You’ll have to charge the controller from time to time, but it can last you 20 hours at full charge. The good thing is that you can still play it while it’s charging. Additionally, the SteelSeries Stratus Duo is great for PC games too; you’ll just need to plug it in a micro USB cable. Because Bluetooth isn’t always optimal because of latency issues and occasional pairing glitching, the device makes use of Wi-Fi connectivity instead.

Razer Raiju Mobile

This is the ultimate controller for competitive Android gamers. It comes with Bluetooth and USB-C connectivity, and a phone mount. It’s packed with features similar to those you’d see on high-end console controllers — such as superior response time, and a companion app for adjusting the controller’s settings. Its battery lasts 23 hours but supports fast charging. The Raiju doubles as a great PC controller as well.
Handheld gaming has come a long way, now allowing you to play various mobile games — as you would any other game console.