July 29, 2017 at 4:25 p.m. PST
The SteelSeries Nimbus is an excellent game controller for Apple TV and Apple devices. This article covers how to check and charge the SteelSeries Nimbus battery.
Apple TV is powered by the tvOS operating system and features an App Store. With thousands of games, a game controller can turn your Apple TV into a powerful game console. In fact, many of the games for tvOS are superior to those found on game consoles. Both Asphalt 8 and Riptide GP Renegade seem to offer the best performance and graphics on Apple TV. With its tightly integrated stack of hardware and software, Apple TV provides remarkable gaming capabilities.
Why I Bought a SteelSeries Nimbus Game Controller for My Apple TV
I purchased my fourth generation Apple TV almost 2 years ago. This wasn’t my first Apple TV. Prior to the fourth generation model, I owned an Apple TV 2. Although both devices are the worst Apple products I have ever owned, they’re not bad when compared to the competition. Just don’t expect iPhone or Mac quality from the Apple TV. Most of the problems are just UI quirks and buggy Apple services. At its core, tvOS is really iOS. It’s quite stable and powerful, especially when it comes to gaming.
When it launched, the fourth generation Apple TV offered an App Store. Games in the App Store had to be playable with the Siri Remote. This was a serious problem for game developers. Bringing complicated games to Apple TV was much more difficult when they had to be compatible with the Siri Remote. Developers often provided hacks to make games work, but they were simply not playable. Apple later relaxed this restriction and tvOS games can now require a game controller. Apple TV will actually warn you before you download a game that requires a game controller.
With some of the best games requiring a game controller, it became clear to me that I needed to buy one. I fell in love with playing video games on my Apple TV. Some of my favorite games are actually better with the Siri Remote. Racing games such as Asphalt 8 and Riptide GP: Renegade are much easier to play with the Siri Remote. With its accelerometer and gyroscope, the Siri Remote performs just like a virtual steering wheel. Simply tilt the remote to steer. Other games don’t work well (or work at all) with the Siri Remote. I love tank battle games, but the best one for Apple TV requires a game controller. Without a game controller, I just wasn’t experiencing the full potential of my Apple TV.
I did a lot of research before I bought a game controller. I combed reviews and websites and even wrote an article about the best game controllers for Apple TV. Based on my research, I decided on the popular SteelSeries Nimbus controller. I don’t regret this decision at all. It’s a great remote and it has truly enhanced my Apple TV experience.
SteelSeries Nimbus Doesn’t Have Great Documentation
Although the SteelSeries Nimbus controller is excellent, its manual leaves much to be desired. Overall, it is accurate, but there are some mistakes regarding how to check the battery level. The manual claims that the battery level is displayed when you toggle the hold button. This isn’t true. Instead, the device shows an animated sequence on the LEDs and then the multiplayer player number. If you only have one controller, it will show the first LED bar. This is not the charge level. It will show this even if your device is fully charged.
How to Check SteelSeries Nimbus Battery Level
Checking the SteelSeries Nimbus battery level is easy, but not convenient. First, turn your controller off by sliding the Hold button until you can see the orange indicator. With your Lightning cable connected to a charger, plug the Lightning end into the controller. The LED lights on the SteelSeries will display an animated sequence and then show the charge level. Each bar represents a 25% charge. If you see two bars, that’s a 50% charge. The last LED will flash until the device is fully charged. When the LED lights go dark, your SteelSeries Nimbus controller is fully charged. If your controller’s battery is completely depleted, it will take about 4 hours to fully charge it.
Charge Your SteelSeries Nimbus with a Low Amp Charger
I was unable to find information about the power management integrated circuit (IC) used in the SteelSeries Nimbus. Some power ICs are smart and can optimally regulate current. Power ICs can often take advantage of more powerful chargers. Rapid charging, however, isn’t a good idea. The process tends to generate more heat than charging with the proper current. For example, if you charge your iPhone with an iPad charger, it will get noticeably warm. You can do it, and I know people advocate it. It’s definitely faster. That heat, however, will end up damaging your battery. For this reason, I recommend charging the SteelSeries Nimbus with an iPhone charger or a computer’s USB port. This will guarantee that your controller’s battery will last a long time.
I actually charge my iPad with an iPhone charger. It takes longer, but it’s a slower charge and generates less heat. I use my iPad for several hours every day. It’s never been inconvenient to charge it with the iPhone charger. I just make sure to top it off almost every day.
Download the SteelSeries Nimbus App for iOS
Getting a game controller is an exciting event. It opens up a whole new world of gaming on your Apple TV. In this rush of excitement, it’s easy to forget that SteelSeries offers a companion app for your Nimbus controller. The app provides a comprehensive manual, FAQs, firmware updates and a catalog of games that are compatible with your controller. I recommend downloading the iOS app and checking for firmware updates immediately and then regularly. There were no firmware updates for my controller, but it’s nice to know that it is up-to-date.
Use Your SteelSeries Nimbus with Your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Mac
The MFi version of the SteelSeries Nimbus controller works with almost any Apple device. In addition to your Apple TV, the device is compatible with the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac. It won’t work with other Apple products. If your Apple device is old and running an outdated version of iOS, it might not work. Make sure to visit the SteelSeries site to find out more about compatibility. [https://steelseries.com/gaming-controllers/nimbus]
Steel Series, iOS Device and AirPlay Mirroring Vastly Expand Apple TV Gaming
One of the coolest things about the SteelSeries Nimbus is that it can vastly expand your Apple TV gaming experience. tvOS is relatively new and its App Store doesn’t offer the abundance of apps found in the iOS market. That’s not a problem. Simply download your favorite game and use AirPlay Mirroring to beam it onto Apple TV. You won’t even need to look at your iOS device. Simply use the SteelSeries Nimbus to play the game on your Apple TV. Using my 2017 iPad, I haven’t experienced much latency at all. It’s a great way to play just about any game on Apple TV.
Best Games for the SteelSeries Nimbus
Now that you have your controller, finding the best games isn’t an easy task. The tvOS App Store features thousands of games, many of which are compatible with game controllers. Some of them even require a game controller. So far, Infinite Tanks is the best game I have played with my SteelSeries Nimbus. It actually requires a game controller. It’s a highly sophisticated virtual tank combat game that takes advantage of every control on the SteelSeries Nimbus. The tank is steered with the left controller while the turret is controlled with the right. Buttons control the view, weapons and other aspects of tank combat. It’s a very intense game and it really gets my heart racing. I like it even more than World of Tanks for iOS. Playing it on the big screen, with a proper game controller, is a much more satisfying experience.
GameLoft also offers a variety of games that are compatible with game controllers. Some of my favorites include Dungeon Hunter 5, Gods of Rome and Modern Combat 5. These particular games just aren’t suited for the Siri Remote.
There’s so many more games available in the App Store, especially when you have a game controller. Make sure to check the games category regularly for new and exciting games.