Skip to main content
If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

iOS 16 lets users pair Switch Joy-Cons or Pro Controllers to their Apple devices

Time to boot up the iPad and grab your Joy-Cons.

Users of an Apple device (well, most of them) can now rejoice at the fact they will soon be able to pair their Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons and Pro Controllers to their phone. Apple's iOS 16 was unveiled on June 6, and beta testing via the Apple Developer Program shortly followed suit, which is how the discovery was made.

This is perhaps especially good news for those who are accustomed to using the Delta emulator on their phone, which lets you play GameBoy and Nintendo games on your iOS device. Delta users will now be able to pair the Switch controllers with their phone, and use it to play various emulated titles from Nintendo.

One person participating in the beta, an iOS developer named Riley Testut, shared their discovery on Twitter. They even showed off how they were able to play Super Smash Bros. using the Delta emulator and connected controllers.

The discovery was then later confirmed by one of Apple's engineering managers, Nat Brown, who tweeted that users "test away" and then shared instructions on how to use a single Joy-Con at a time. Fortunately, switching between a single controller or a pair appears to only take a few button presses, rather than any meticulous fine tuning.

When iOS 16 eventually rolls out, iOS devices will officially support controllers from the Nintendo Switch and Xbox Series X/S, and the PlayStation 5 DualSense controller. The latest iOS update will not be available for the following iPhone and iPad models, however:

  • iPhone 6s and 6s Plus
  • iPhone 7 and 7 Plus
  • iPhone SE (First generation)
  • iPad Pro 11 (First, second and third generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9 (First, second, third, fourth, and fifth generation)
  • iPad Pro 9.7
  • iPad Pro 10.5
  • iPad (Fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth generation)
  • iPad Air (Third and fourth generation)
  • iPad Mini (Fifth and sixth generation)

Will you be testing your controllers out with your iPhone or iPad when iOS 16 is released? Or have you already given your Joy-Cons a go as part of the beta?

Read this next