Review: Rotor Riot MFI-certified controller is the perfect addition to Apple Arcade

As someone who grew up playing video games, working in a game store (EBGames RIP) and generally can talk about the good, the bad and the ugly of each generation – this is a golden age for video games. Between Stadia, the Xbox Game Pass, the incredible in-game experiences on the Playstation 5 and the mobility solutions of Apple Arcade and Nintendo Switch – there are that much incredible games that can take up all your time. If you subscribe to Apple Arcade directly or through Apple One, there are some great titles to play. The perfect complement to Apple Arcade is the Rotor Riot MFI certified iPhone controller.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve used the controller to play many Apple Arcade titles. As good as touch-based games are, having a controller makes a world of difference when you’re gaming for a long time.

The controller is compatible with a number of games in the App Store. This list is not the complete list, but it is a good example of the quality of the titles available.

  • Duty
  • Minecraft
  • ocean horn
  • Stardew Valley
  • NBA 2K21 (Apple Arcade Edition)
  • Madden ’22
  • Real racing 3
  • Grid Autosport
  • F1 Mobile Racing
  • Grand Theft Auto San Andreas
  • Grand Theft Auto Vice City
  • trip
  • Asphalt 9: Legends
  • Package 2
  • FEZ Pocket Edition
  • Portal Knight
  • After Pulse – Elite Army
  • The Talos Principle
  • Morphite
  • Street Fighter IV Champion Edition
  • Gear Club True Racing
  • Bully

In total, there are more than 1,000 games that are compatible.

the hardware

In terms of hardware, it reminds me of the Nimbus controller I’ve used for Apple TV gaming for years. It includes two analog controllers, a D-Pad, four buttons and then four shoulder buttons. It also includes L3/R3 fire buttons on the joysticks.

The controller plugs directly into your Lightning port, but there is a passthrough port to connect a Lightning cable to the controller to charge your iPhone. While it may seem negative to plug it into an iPhone, I prefer doing that over dealing with batteries for yet another device.

On top of the controller is a dock where you hold your iPhone. I use an iPhone 13 Pro Max and it fits perfectly. Even with the weight of the Max, it’s still comfortable to hold for extended periods of time. If you want to use the controller with an iPad, you can remove the pole and support your iPad.

All in all, a solid controller in the hand and perfectly suited for mobile gaming.

Game integration

Apple has built a nice solution for game integration with MFI certified controllers. When I played the Apple Arcade Edition of NBA 2K21, all the tips on the screen correlated with the button on the controller. I saw the same thing in Madden 22.

As I mentioned earlier, there are over 1,000 compatible games. Since the controller is at the lower end of the price range for certified iPhone accessories, it’s a great way to play games with tactile input.

Packing up

Overall, the Rotor Riot MFI Certified for iPhone is a great gift idea for someone who loves gaming, has an iPhone and wants to play on the couch or on the go. I have enjoyed playing some older games I played years ago and finding newer ones. If you’ve struggled with touch-based gaming but are interested in some of the great gaming options in the App Store or Apple Arcade, you’ll find the controller to be a valuable accessory for the iPhone. My kids absolutely love it (and are now fighting over it). If you have an Apple Store gift card, it is also available directly from Apple.

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