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Nintendo’s throwback controllers now work with Apple devices

Nintendo’s controllers can be used for much more than just the Switch.

image of two nintendo switch retro controllers on purple background
Image: KnowTechie

Apple’s latest operating system updates unlock the ability to use Nintendo’s throwback classic controllers with Apple devices.

The new feature was initially discovered by developer Steve Troughton-Smith. MacStories later confirmed the news.

Together, they discovered that the modern N64 and SNES controllers work with macOS 13, iOS 16, and tvOS 16. Neither was able to confirm whether or not the Sega Genesis and NES controllers work.


Apple’s release notes for iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura say that “many additional Bluetooth and USB game controllers are supported by the Game Controller framework on macOS 13, iOS 16, and tvOS 16 and later.”

Thanks to that wording, we assume that all of Nintendo’s modern throwback controllers will now work with Apple products.

These updates add brand new uses for Nintendo’s lineup of retro controllers. The controllers were originally only usable on the Nintendo Switch with the Nintendo Switch Online service.

But now, they have become much more versatile. In addition to their new functionality on Apple devices, the controllers are also available for use on Steam, the popular PC gaming platform.

So if you’re a big fan of Nintendo’s old-school controllers but don’t game on a Switch, these updates are for you.

Now you can play your favorite games on your iPhone, iPad, and more using Nintendo’s Bluetooth retro controllers.

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Staff writer at KnowTechie. Alex has two years of experience covering all things technology, from video games to electric cars. He's a gamer at heart, with a passion for first-person shooters and expansive RPGs. Shoot him an email at alex@knowtechie.com

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