The release of iOS 14 now enables the Xbox Adaptive Controller (XAC) to be recognised as a compatible game controller. This means that game apps that include gamepad controller input as an alternative to touch, such as with an MFi (Made For iPhone/iPod/iPad), Dualshock 4 or Xbox Wireless gamepad controller, can now also be played using the XAC.
This post will talk through how to connect the XAC to your iOS 14 device.
Step 1. Turn on Bluetooth
Once your compatible iOS device has been updated to iOS 14 (go to Settings>General>Software Update to do this), open Settings, navigate to Bluetooth and turn On.
Step 2. Turn on and sync your XAC
Turn on your XAC using the Guide button on the top of the controller (the button with an Xbox ‘X’ icon on it) and press the Sync button to the right of the Y switch port on the back of the XAC. The light on the XAC should flash rapidly and you should see Xbox Adaptive Controller listed in the Devices list on your iOS device:
Step 3. Pair your XAC
Select the discovered Xbox Adaptive Controller listed on your iOS device under Devices to pair it. Depending on your settings, you may need to enter your password to pair it and add it to My Devices.
Step 4. Set up your controls
Once paired, and if you haven’t already, plug in the combination of joysticks and buttons you require to play and open a compatible game. You should be able to play the game using the inputs on the XAC itself alongside your external joysticks and buttons connected to the XAC. Many games will require additional inputs alongside those found on the XAC itself, so joysticks and switches will need to be added for these. Different games will require different inputs. An online search may help to discover what these are, or you may need to install and open a game to find out.
Step 5. Finding compatible games
Apple now has the Apple Arcade, a subscription service which includes access to a range of games that support gamepad controllers. If you have Apple TV, the app can stream your game to your TV screen (when you have the necessary accessories) to enable a more relaxed or shared gaming experience, such as with console gaming. Games in the Apple Arcade which have controller support will have this listed on their page in the app store, both at the top of the page alongside other features and also further down in the ‘Supports’ section:
Outside of Apple Arcade there are paid for and free games which can be played using the XAC. However, the rest of the app store beyond Apple Arcade games doesn’t have a fixed way to list whether controller support is available for games. As a starting point, we’ve listed below some games we’ve found that do have controller support and included links (unaffiliated) to their pages on the App Store:
- Sonic the Hedgehog™ Classic
- Jetpack Joyride
- Crossy Road
- My Little Pony: Magic Princess
- Asphalt 9: Legends
For more information as to what joysticks and buttons can be used with the XAC, see our posts about the XAC joysticks we use at SpecialEffect: https://gameaccess.info/how-to-use-joysticks-with-the-xbox-adaptive-controller/ and also the switches we use: https://gameaccess.info/how-to-use-switches-with-the-xbox-adaptive-controller/.
If you have any questions, do contact us.