Throughout my years at Android Police, I've created my fair share of game roundups, but I've yet to generate a list of Android games that support physical controllers. Today I'm going to rectify that long-standing oversight with a huge list of quality Android games that support gamepads out of the box. This means today's roundup will focus on games that specifically support bluetooth and/or USB controllers. So if you're looking for some fantastic console-quality ports, or simply wish to extend your library of Android games that support physical controllers, then this roundup is for you.
The controller for Sony's PlayStation 4, the DualShock 4, is one of the most popular gamepads right now. It's even a great controller for people without PlayStation consoles, since it can also be used with gaming PCs and Android devices. That's right, you could be playing Fortnite, Minecraft, and plenty of other titles on your phone with physical controls with a PlayStation 4 controller.
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As we do more and more gaming on our more and more powerful smartphones, mobile games themselves are getting more complex. To play something like Fortnite or Dead Cells on your phone, it's almost suicide to go in against your foes with touch controls, and a proper, hardware gamepad can be practically mandatory for a play experience that won't leave you endlessly frustrated. Thankfully, Android is compatible with a wide range of Bluetooth gamepads, including those from game consoles like the PlayStation 4. Here's a list of some of the best controllers you use for any kind of gaming on Android, from shooters to old PC ports.
Today Razer announced a two-piece gaming controller called the Junglecat that sticks on to the left and right sides of your phone, making the finished setup looking like a Nintendo Switch. The Junglecat offers gamers a distraction-free gaming experience by eliminating the need to use fingers to control the on-screen action. When utilized as intended, however, it is only limited to four smartphone models as it requires giving up your personal phone case for its own.
If you own an Android TV box or a television with it built in, there's a pretty good chance you've also taken the time to install Google's remote control app to go with it. It's not that the app is necessary, but it's a great backup in case your main remote is lost or the batteries die. All things considered, it's a pretty basic utility app; but it might not be quite so simple in the near future. A teardown shows that this little remote control is about to turn your phone into a full-fledged gamepad. There are also signs that it may soon take care of shutting off your TV for you and we might also gain control over the volume of voice responses.
The Nexus Player pumps TV shows and games alike to your TV, but for the latter, you're probably not going to use the included remote. Instead, you can consider springing for the Nexus Player gamepad to go with your set-top box.
The Nexus Player's pre-order saga has been an interesting one to say the least. First the device went up for pre-order with its accompanying gamepad, then it was marked as 'out of inventory' because it hadn't passed the FCC certification just yet, and finally it became available for pre-order again a week ago. Its gamepad however, went out of stock about the same time the player's pre-orders were halted, but didn't return with it. Now, it's back again.
Available for $39.99 with an estimated shipping date of 3 to 4 weeks, the gamepad is a cool accessory for those who want to use the Nexus Player as a gaming console.
Anyone looking for a solid Android gaming controller need look no further than the MOGA series. The original controller launched a year ago, and while there were and remain some drawbacks to the bundled software, the hardware itself is top notch. The latest generation hopes to address a fundamental drawback to gaming on a smartphone, the inescapable battery draining forces at work whenever you fire up a graphically intensive game and attempt to play it using a Bluetooth controller. Both the MOGA Hero Power and the Pro Power controllers let you recharge your handset as you game, and they're now available for anyone raring to give them a go.
Android-powered gaming systems are definitely on the rise as of late, with NVIDIA's SHIELD, OUYA, and the upcoming Mad Catz M.O.J.O., there's no shortage of ways to play Android games on something other than your phone or tablet. To keep up with the rest of the world, Archos has announced the sequel to its dedicated Android gaming system, the GamePad. I'll give you three guesses as to what the new version is called (and the first two don't count).
The GamePad 2 looks to be a nice little update to last year's model, as it features a higher resolution display, faster processor, and more RAM.
When we first reported on the iMpulse controller, I was excited. A super-portable Bluetooth controller that strives to capture the near-perfect control scheme of the Super NES and only adds a few ounces to my pocket? Sign me up! And that's exactly what I did, almost a year ago.
Now, eleven months later and six months after the controller was supposed to ship, I've got it in my hands. And it is a bitter, bitter disappointment. Not because of any lack in hardware capability, but because the software is so wretchedly poor that getting anything except an emulator app to work with the iMpulse is an exercise in head-banging frustration.