Apple did us all a favor when they created the MFi, the made-for-iOS standard for game controllers. It meant that game developers and gamepad makers could all work around the same standard. That’s completely unlike the situation with Android, where some games will only work with certain controllers and not others.
Unfortunately, Apple should really have added official support for Xbox and Playstation controllers years ago. There was no technical reason to exclude them, so we have to assume it was a legal issue or thanks to certain business decisions. Now the MFi standard has been extended to these two incredibly popular premium controllers. If you are a gamepad gamer on iOS, there are plenty of reasons to ditch those MFi controllers and whip out that tried-and-trusted gaming weapon.
First of all, the build quality of MFi controllers averages far below the big boys. The market just never grew to a size where companies could justify spending development time on these controllers. Most of the ones I have tried myself feel plasticky and imprecise compared to the two big dogs. In a world where MFi controllers were your ONLY choice when it came to gamepads on iOS, anything is better than touchscreen controls.
It also makes sense to use a controller that’s widely compatible. Either of these controllers will work with a computer, their respective consoles, and Android devices. MFi devices ONLY work with iOS, and are often pretty expensive.
The support for mainstream controllers also means that people who didn’t want to buy a specialized MFi controller can now simply use the gamepad they already have.
Given the choice between the Xbox and Playstation controllers and the typical MFi device, most people are going to be happier with the brand name devices. I will make the case for MFi controllers a little later in this article, but for now the takeaway is: from a purely gaming performance and experience, the mainstream console controllers are the superior choice.
So let’s look at the actual controllers themselves and decide which one might be the right choice for you.