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Although my Apple TV is primarily used for streaming video, I do enjoy playing games on this device. In fact, Apple TV offers remarkable gaming capabilities. With its speedy 64-bit processor and the tvOS Metal graphics API, Apple TV actually rivals most dedicated gaming consoles. Games such as Asphalt 8 and Riptide GP: Renegade actually offer the highest resolution graphics and smoothest game play on Apple TV. I’ve experienced these titles on game consoles, and can honestly say that they’re better on Apple TV.
Siri Remote Great for Some Games
The Siri Remote is an excellent game controller for certain games. With its accelerometer, it excels at racing games. Simply tilt the Siri Remote, just like a steering wheel, to control the vehicle. It’s responsive, intuitive and loads of fun.
Unfortunately, the Siri Remote is not appropriate for all games. Although you can play most games with the Siri Remote, some games prove challenging to control. For example, a complicated first person shooter is difficult to play with the Siri Remote. This isn’t a problem, as Apple TV supports third-party game controllers.
Apple TV Supports Third-Party Game Controllers
When the new Apple TV first launched, Apple required that all games should be playable with the Siri Remote. A game controller could be used optionally, however, the game had to be compatible with the Siri Remote. Apple has since relaxed this requirement, and there are a few tvOS games that actually require a third-party game controller. Some of these are amazing games. Between the games that require a game controller and those that just work better with one, it became clear that I needed something beyond the Siri Remote.
There’s a lot of different game controllers on the market, and not all of them work with Apple TV. It’s also good to find one with rechargeable batteries, strong Bluetooth connectivity and responsive controls. Let’s take a look at best game controllers for Apple TV.
Make Sure to Get the MFi Version
Some of the game controllers featured in this article use the same model name for different versions. For example, both SteelSeries controllers have an MFi (made for iPod) version and a Windows/Android version. The latter isn’t compatible with Apple TV. Make sure to read the product description and purchase the model that’s compatible with Apple products.
SteelSeries Nimbus Wireless Gaming Controller
The SteelSeries Nimbus wireless gaming controller is one of the best options for Apple TV. It’s featured in the Apple Store and earns excellent reviews and ratings from customers. It also gets the Amazon’s Choice seal of approval.
Apple TV game controllers are standardized to offer the same features and layouts. Based on the Xbox 360 and PS4 controllers, they typically offer a directional pad on the left, two thumb joysticks, a menu button, XYAB buttons and shoulder buttons. The SteelSeries Nimbus offers these standard features with a comfortable ergonomic design. Going above and beyond, it also offers LED status lights for multiplayer gameplay. Pressure sensitive XYAB buttons are required by Apple for any compatible game controller. These add fine-grained nuance to your gaming experience.
The SteelSeries Nimbus features Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity, ensuring a consistent connection to Apple TV. It also comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery capable of operating for over 40 hours on a full charge. It even supports the lighting connector for charging. You won’t need another outlet to charge this controller, which is a huge advantage.
An iOS app is available for the SteelSeries Nimbus controller. Strangely enough, they don’t offer a tvOS app. The app provides the ability to change settings for the controller and update firmware. (continue…)