How to play mobile games with a controller?

Playing mobile games with a controller

Did you know that it is possible to play mobile games with a controller? Of course, some games are better suited to this than others, but if the use of a controller is relevant, then it can greatly improve the comfort of the game! Whether it's a PS4 or Xbox controller or any other model, you can turn it into an Android phone controller to play your favourite applications!

Method 1: Using your controller for mobile games on Android emulator

This first method suggests that you are already using or plan to use an Android emulator to play your Android mobile games with a controller. Many emulators exist, allowing you to enjoy Play Store applications from a computer. However, for this tutorial, we will use BlueStacks because of its compatibility with Windows and Mac, its reliability and its security.

If you're new to BlueStacks and emulators in general, we invite you to check out our guide on how to play mobile games on PC. This way, you'll know how to install and use these great programs to simulate an Android environment to play your favorite games on PC.Download BlueStacks for free on PC

Activate your controller on Android emulator

Launch the emulator and simply plug in your controller. A pop-up should appear, telling you that the Android emulator has automatically detected the controller and that it is ready for use. Yes, it's that simple: you now have an Android phone controller in your hands!

Controller detected for playing mobile games on emulator

Be careful though, as not all mobile games have a controller compatible pre-configuration. This will sometimes depend on the game and/or the emulator. Unfortunately, applications are released very often and in large numbers. It is therefore impossible to list all mobile games that are compatible with PS4, Xbox or any other controller model.

However, you can create your own configuration on BlueStacks. We also write a number of guides on which emulator to use and how to play mobile games with a controller. Your favourite game may already have a guide!

Modify and optimize KeyMapping on Android emulator

Once your controller has been recognised by the emulator, all that remains is to assign the keys ( KeyMapping). Again, this will depend on the game. The option is in the sidebar, in the form of a keyboard.

Setting up Keymapping to play mobile games with a controller

Once the advanced editor is open, the Android emulator will propose a system where we will select various elements representing the parts of a controller in order to link them with the game controls. We find the different joysticks, the keys corresponding to the buttons, the triggers, etc. In short, it is very easy and intuitive to assign the keys and joysticks according to our preferences, but also according to the game.

In addition, you can further optimise the settings by adjusting the sensitivity and speed of the joysticks, for example. Of course, in order to be able to calibrate successfully and make changes if necessary, we advise you to make all these settings in a training mode. This way, you won't have any unpleasant surprises!

Adjust the speed of your controller to play mobile games better

Method 2: Using the controller for mobile or tablet games

Using a controller for mobile or tablet games will require more advanced handling. Indeed, we will have to turn to an application capable of recognizing and managing our controller. Here, Mantis Gamepad will be that application.

Installing Mantis Buddy is not just a matter of downloading the application and launching it. There are a number of essential steps that need to be completed, and you'll need to have a computer handy. You can find all these steps in detail in our guide to installing Mantis Buddy on your mobile.

Once Mantis Buddy is properly installed :

  • Remember to add the mobile games you want to play with a controller in Mantis Buddy by clicking on "add games".
  • Don't forget to click on the added games to give Mantis Buddy the necessary permissions.
  • Finally, check that Mantis Buddy has detected your controller.
  • If, and only if, these three steps are validated, then we can move on!
Validated authorisations on Mantis Buddy
Validated authorisations on Mantis

Modify and optimise KeyMapping on mobile or tablet devices

Let's now turn to the configuration of the buttons on our Android controller. To do this, launch the desired game via Mantis Buddy. Note that the Mantis icon should be in the overlay. This is usually in the top left corner depending on the game display. It is from this icon that you will be able to make all your settings touse your controller on a mobile game.

Mobile gamepad configuration

As with the emulator, you need to select elements representing the keys of your controller and place them on the overlay. All you have to do is assign the sticks and the buttons available by pressing "Key", according to your preferences. By the way, we advise you to make all these settings concerning KeyMapping on the training ground of the mobile game of your choice in order to adjust to your specific needs.

Be sure to check that the bottom triggers and the D-Pad work if you want to use them. We have noticed that these buttons may not work, depending on the model of controller used. If this is the case, we encourage you to use other buttons.

Finally, you can take your configuration even further. Indeed, if you click on the small notched wheels that accompany the sticks on the overlay, you can adjust the sensitivity of the X and Y axes.

Adjusting stick sensitivity on smartphone in game

That's it, this tutorial on how to play mobile games with a controller is now over. We hope that it will help you play your favourite mobile games with your controller. If you'd like to buy a new controller, we'd like to recommend a few of these, as well as some accessories that can improve your gaming experience. For this, we invite you to visit our article Top Gaming Accessories for Phones!

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Freelance writer, rabbit fan, manga and novel devourer, video games have always had a big place in my life. Curious, I enjoy many genres (rpg, rogue-like, card games, management, survival, monster hunting...). My favourite games are Zelda Ocarina of Time, Final Fantasy XIV and Epic Seven.

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