You can have fun with plenty of games on Apple TV with the Siri Remote, but serious gamers should consider buying a compatible game controller. In fact some of the more intense games for Apple TV require that you have one. They’re relatively inexpensive and can successfully turn your Apple TV set-top box into a step below, but still delightfully affordable video game console.
If you’re not sure how to pick out a compatible controller or just aren’t sure which one to get, we’ve got you covered. Here are the best three game controllers for Apple TV and they’re all under $50.
SteelSeries Nimbus Wireless Gaming Controller
Apple seems to have a special place in its heart for this controller. It’s from SteelSeries and Apple features it proudly on the Apple TV accessories page. Plus its only one of two that Apple sells through the Apple Store. It connects with Bluetooth 4.1 and adds the ability to play with all your usual console buttons, even the left and right analog tabs at the top. The dedicated Menu button in the center lets you quickly navigate through your Apple TV so the controller can fully replace your remote. Plus it has a very impressive 40+ hours of battery life, charges through Lightning cable, and has LED indicators to monitor your battery. You can also hook up the SteelSeries to your iPhone, iPad or Mac for gaming there.
➤ Buy Now ($49.95)
Horipad Ultimate Wireless Game Controller
I really enjoy the simple design of the Horipad Ultimate controller. It feels more in line with Apple’s teachings than even the SteelSeries. It features all the same controls plus a simple Menu button in the middle for navigating your Apple TV. Like the SteelSeries, it also connects over Bluetooth and charges over Lightning. However, Horipad’s product offers double the battery life: a terrific 80 hours on a single charge. It doesn’t feature the same LED indicators to monitor the battery though. The controller also works with iPhone, iPad and Mac and will run you the same amount of money as the SteelSeries.
➤ Buy Now ($49.95)
Mad Catz Micro C.T.R.L.i. Mobile Gamepad
The very unfortunately named Micro C.T.R.L.i. from Mad Catz is the last entrant on this list and offers a few unique features. It has an interesting pause button in the middle which is useful I guess, but still dual analogs, a D-pad, and the usual gaming buttons like the others. It also has LED indicators for battery life like the SteelSeries. Speaking of that, it gets up to 40 hours of gameplay but powers through user-replaceable AAA batteries instead of Lightning cable. Even though it’s ideal for Apple TV, it includes a detachable smartphone clip so you can perch your iPhone atop the controller for easy gameplay. Plus, the C.T.R.L.i. comes in colors: black, blue, orange, red, and white. While it’s normally $50, certain colors are selling for as little as $39.99 on Amazon, making this the most affordable game controller here.
➤ Buy Now on Amazon ($49.95)
Have you bought a game controller for your Apple TV?