Mobile gaming can be perfect for passing the time while out and about - without lugging a heavy console with you. But while you gain portability, you’ll lose out on screen space, with the buttons taking up precious real estate.

Luckily phone controllers provide a solution, with ergonomic hand grips and an all-important clamp or stand to secure your mobile. The best phone controllers are small enough to throw in your bag or coat pocket, and leave your phone screen clutter-free to enjoy the graphics to the full.

For anyone who gets lost for hours in mobile games, a phone controller is a must. Not only will it upgrade your gaming experience, but the large ergonomic grips should also keep you more comfortable over time.

What you need to consider when buying a phone controller

Display / mount type

Phone controllers usually come in the form of an Xbox/PlayStation-style device with an arm to secure your phone above, or an expanding Nintendo Switch-esque gadget, which clamps your mobile in between two sets of buttons.


There are two main factors to consider when it comes to phone controller compatibility: the mobile you’ll be using and the gaming system you want to play. You should check whether the controller is compatible with iPhone or Android and whether you’ll be able to use it to play Xbox, PlayStation or PC games, for example, depending on your preference.

More like this

Some phone controllers come with Xbox or PlayStation buttons, so it’s worth checking the design if you're used to a specific gaming system.

To make your life easier, we’ve listed the compatibility features for each phone controller in our list.

Types of games you play

You may also want to consider the types of games you play and how this affects your mobile gaming experience. If your favourite games take a lot of bandwidth, you might choose a ‘Nintendo Switch-style’ phone controller, which plugs directly into your mobile, rather than one with a stand, as these usually use Bluetooth.

Best phone controllers for mobile gaming

Razer Kishi V2 Gaming Controller

Razer Kishi V2 Android Gaming Controller on a white background
  • Buy Android or iPhone version
  • Play PC, console and cloud games
  • No internal battery / uses power from phone

With its expanding, plug-in phone dock and comfortable hand grips, Razer’s Kishi V2 is one of the best phone controllers out there. It comes in both an Android and iPhone version, and takes power from your mobile, so there’s no need to charge it separately.

Through its on-board apps, you can play across PC, console and the cloud, and launch Xbox and PlayStation games - all on your mobile phone. Plus, you can record and share clips of your gameplay using the controller.

Thanks to the in-built USB-C connection, your phone powers the controller as you play, while removing input latency for fast in-game responsiveness.

Backbone Controller

Backbone Controller on a white background
  • Buy Android or iPhone version, and use ‘Play On Any Screen’ feature to use with supported iPads, Macs and PCs
  • Play any games with controller support, including remote play Xbox, PlayStation and Steam games
  • Also available as PlayStation edition
  • No internal battery / uses power from phone

Another great choice, the Backbone controller is a popular option. It has an expandable design to fit most phones, and packs down small when not in use - ideal if you want to slip it into your coat pocket when you head out.

The iPhone and Android controllers come with Xbox-style buttons, but if you’re an iPhone user you can choose the white PlayStation edition for a familiar PS gaming experience.

The Backbone controller is also one of the few designs out there to include a 3.5mm headphone jack, but you can also connect wireless headphones through Bluetooth.

Turtle Beach Recon Cloud Hybrid Controller

Turtle Beach Recon Cloud Hybrid Controller on a white background
  • Compatible with Xbox Series X|S & Xbox One Consoles (wired), Windows PCs (wired or Bluetooth), Android 8.0+ (Bluetooth)
  • Play Xbox and cloud games
  • Rechargeable battery

With a look similar to a traditional Xbox controller, this option offers a familiar design to avid gamers. You can use it to play Android mobile games over Bluetooth with its adjustable phone clamp, or connect it up to Windows PCs and Xbox consoles with the 3m braided cable.

This Xbox phone controller also has an impressive battery life. Charge it for 2.5 hours to get 30 hours of play.

We love the Blue Magma colouring of this Xbox phone controller, but you can also get it in plain black for a minimalist look.

PlayStation4 Controller Clip

PlayStation4 Controller Clip with controller and phone on a white background
  • Compatible with Android 4.0+
  • Play PlayStation games

If you already own a PS4 and want to play your favourite games remotely on your mobile, this inexpensive phone controller clip could be the perfect choice for you. It attaches to your own PS4 controller to hold your mobile above it.

You can then adjust the stand by up to 270° to get the perfect gaming angle.

When you’re done, the clamp folds down small to pack away tidily until you need it again.

Love PlayStation - or know someone who does? See our guide to the best PlayStation gifts you can buy.

8Bitdo SN30 Pro (G Classic Edition) Bluetooth Game Pad

8Bitdo SN30 Pro (G Classic Edition) Bluetooth Game Pad on a white background
  • Compatible with Windows, Android, MacOs, Steam, Switch and Raspberry Pi
  • Rechargeable

Retro gaming aficionados, unite! Anyone who appreciates an old-school gadget will love the 8Bitdo SN30 Pro, the first ever fully-featured retro controller - complete with player LEDs, clickable joysticks and rumble vibration.

Updated with all the latest features, this SNES-style phone controller comes with Bluetooth and a USB-C connection, so you can choose how to sync it up to your phone. There’s even a screenshot button to capture your heroic successes.

Top up the power for 1-2 hours to get 18 hours of battery life.

RiotPWR Cloud Gaming Controller for iOS (Xbox Edition)

RiotPWR Cloud Gaming Controller for iOS (Xbox Edition) on a white background
  • Buy iPhone or iPad version
  • Compatible with over 1,000 apps and games from Xbox, PlayStation, Steam Link, Amazon Luna and Google Stadia
  • Wired connection to support pass-through phone charging and reduce lag

Unlike many Xbox-style controllers, the RiotPWR uses a wired lightning connection to draw power from your phone and reduce lag in gameplay. So, it’s a great choice if you want the ergonomics and seamless gameplay of a traditional wired controller, while playing mobile games.

You’ll also get clickable joysticks, a headphone socket and a dedicated Xbox button, just like a standard Xbox controller.

GameSir X2 Pro Mobile Gaming Controller

GameSir X2 Pro Mobile Gaming Controller on a white background
  • Play with Android 8.0+ smartphones
  • Compatible with Xbox, Stadia, NVIDIA GeForce Now and Amazon Luna
  • No internal battery / uses power from phone

Here’s another great phone controller, designed for Xbox cloud gaming on Android.

It connects to your mobile with its USB-C port for low latency, but the standout features are the ergonomic buttons. The design includes textured rubber grips and two mappable buttons on the back of the phone controller, which you can programme mid-game to get extra control.

PowerA MOGA XP5-i / XP5-A / XP5-X Plus

PowerA MOGA XP5-X Plus on a white background
  • Buy XP5-i to play in-device or cloud games on iPhone, iPad or Apple TV
  • Buy XP5-A or XP5-X to play in-device or cloud games on Android and PC
  • Rechargeable

PowerA has created a range of Xbox-style phone controllers for playing in-device and cloud games on your mobile. It has both a Bluetooth and a wired mode, so you can play on everything from phones and iPads to TVs and PCs, depending on the controller you choose.

It also comes with an in-built 3,000mAh power bank, which means you can charge your phone as you play.

Other clever features include the mappable extra buttons on the back panel and the screenshot and video recording facility, which allows you to capture your gameplay.


Alice TufferyDigital Writer

Alice is a digital writer with a knack for tracking down the most innovative and exciting products to hit the market. Working across several of Our Media's special interest brands, she's written for publications including Countryfile, Gardens Illustrated and Science Focus. Outside of work - and lusting over homeware and gardening products - you’ll find her rambling in the great outdoors or watching an old film.