The new consoles are finally out, and if you’ve been lucky enough to snag one, you’re now the proud owners of new controllers. This might not be the first question you ask, but eventually, you might want to know: will the PS5 and Xbox Series X controllers work with my smartphone?
The short answer is: yes, both will work with your smartphone, just like the last-gen PS4 DualShock 4 and Xbox One controllers both worked wirelessly with phones. In fact, the process seems largely the same to link up the new controllers to your handsets. Thanks, Sony and Microsoft!
Keep in mind that neither company has expressly announced compatibility between their new console controllers and modern smartphones – but anecdotal evidence has shown that they connect just the same. Unfortunately, we've heard that the Xbox Series X controllers may connect to iOS devices but have no functionality; an official Xbox support FAQ (opens in new tab) states that 'Apple iOS support for the new Xbox Wireless Controller is coming, but it won’t be available at launch on November 10.'
We expect official documentation to come out soon, but in the meantime, here’s how to connect your PS5 and Xbox Series X/S controllers to your smartphone.
What you’ll need to get started
Thankfully, this is pretty easy: you only need your smartphone and your controller of choice. If you want to be safe, get a cord that works between the two – a USB-C to USB-C for most modern Android smartphones or a USB-C to Lightning cable for modern iPhones.
Without official documentation from either company on compatibility requirements for phones, we’ll run off what you need to hook up last-generation’s PS4 and Xbox One controllers to a handset. Make sure to upgrade your phone’s OS to at least Android 10 or iOS 13, and to be safe, the absolute latest version of Android 11 or iOS 14.
If your controller isn’t connecting, make sure you’ve updated it to the latest firmware, as this Xbox support article explains (opens in new tab) regarding a similar issue connecting to PC.
How to set it up
You should not need a deliberate app to connect your DualSense or Xbox Series X controller to your phone – instead, you’ll be pairing them to your phone as simple Bluetooth devices. We’ll go through each controller setup process separately.
Keep in mind that, without overtly official support from Microsoft and Sony just yet, you may have to remap your buttons within each game to your liking.
How to connect your PS5 controller to your phone
As seen in Austin Evans’ PS5 unboxing video, it’s pretty easy to connect your new DualSense controller to your phone.
First, put your DualSense into pairing mode by holding the PS button in the bottom-center and the Create button on the top-left of the controller (where the Share button was on the DualShock 4) at the same time until the blue lights around the center start flashing.
Then go to your phone, make sure Bluetooth is turned on, and look in your Bluetooth settings to pair a new device (in Android: Settings > Connected Devices > Pair New Device, in iOS: Settings > Bluetooth). Find the DualSense controller, which might just just be listed as ‘Wireless Controller,’ and tap it. It should pair shortly, as the below video by Phone Battles demonstrates:
As the video shows, you can also connect manually via cable – just plug one end into your phone and the other to your controller and it should automatically register.
How to connect your Xbox Series X controller to your phone
Don’t worry, Xbox Series X controller owners, it’s just as easy to connect your gamepad to phones. (And yes, the Series X and Series S controllers are identical.) Just keep in mind that iOS does not officially support the Series X controller yet, according to an official Xbox support FAQ (opens in new tab), so iPhone owners may be out of luck for now. When that changes, we'll update this article.
To start, make sure your controller is on, then press and hold the Pair button (on the back by the USB-C port, right where it was on the Xbox One gamepad) until the Xbox button starts flashing.
Then go to your phone, make sure Bluetooth is turned on, and look in your Bluetooth settings to pair a new device (in Android: Settings > Connected Devices > Pair New Device, in iOS: Settings > Bluetooth). Find the Xbox Wireless Controller (don’t worry if it doesn’t specify ‘Series X’), which might just be listed as ‘Wireless Controller,’ and tap it. YouTuber MonkeyKingHero demonstrates the short process below: