The Ultimate Guide to Using a Game Controller on Mac

The Ultimate Guide to Using a Game Controller on Mac

Video games ran at most on desktops and gaming consoles, of which the PC stands out for that purpose. While that was the case, the Mac lends itself well as a stable gaming platform when given the right setup and equipment, as with the case of using emulation and virtual machines. There are also direct ports of video games that make this possible.

With the advent of Steam and Apple Arcade, playing games on the Mac began to gain more traction. Of course, the gaming experience would not be complete without a game controller on Mac. Today, we will look at how you can make a gamepad run on this platform.

1. Hardware Check

Before we start setting your game controller on Mac, we have to check the type of game controller you have available. These usually come in different variants and button configurations. Though the advantage you get from them is that you can relax while playing your favorite game.

These gamepads come in two variants. You have the wired controllers which you can plug into the Mac through a USB port.

You also have wireless controllers. These also come with either a USB dongle or connect through Bluetooth.

Certain game consoles also have controllers for Mac. While not exactly intended for that purpose, these controllers have the functionality needed for them to run. In case you have a PS4 or Xbox One controller, you can use them on your Mac.

2. Setting Up a Wired Controller on Mac

Now the process would be a bit different as we have different types of controllers to look at. For the case of the PS4 and the Xbox One controllers, we will go into how you would set them up later on.

Wired controllers have an easier setup as you only need to plug and play. Once plugged into a Mac, the device will show up and you can have it ready for use. The game will also do the work after detecting the gamepad.

If the game you wish to play has controller support, this would be a breeze. You can enjoy your game with the same feel as you would with a gaming console.

3. Setting Up a Wireless Controller on Mac

For maximum leisure and comfort, going wireless can feel much better when playing video games. You can take advantage of this when you set up your controller to use its wireless features.

Most of the gamepads that you would see on the market have Bluetooth connectivity. This makes the whole process simpler to work with.

For a Mac, this is not a problem as most of its devices can connect well through Bluetooth. Later models would also turn towards the use of the USB-C ports. This would have you looking for a USB-C cable or a USB Hub for the regular USB cables.

Although, you might encounter the “Bluetooth not available on Mac” problem. In case you encounter this along with other Bluetooth issues, make sure to fix that one first.

To start, turn on your Bluetooth on your Mac. You can do this by going to either the Bluetooth drop down on the menu bar or via System Preferences.

Next, turn on the wireless controller. Check the instructions manual on your controller on how to turn them on. Also, pay attention to their LED prompts to know their status.

From there, check your device list in your Bluetooth settings. “Wireless Controller” should appear there as a device name or the model name of your controller. Once that pops up, click the Connect button and it should be ready for use.

4. Setting Up the Sony DualShock 4 Controller

The good thing about the DualShock 4 controller is in its design and feel. If you own a PS4 and you have these controllers with you, you can also use them on your Mac to play games with.

You can use it as a wired controller by connecting the USB-C cable to the USB-C port. This lets you play games directly without any issue. You might want a longer wire just in case you want to rig your Mac to a larger monitor and you want to sit back.

Using it wirelessly is another matter. The good thing is that it is also easy to set up using a Mac.

The first thing you need to do is to press and hold the PlayStation button and the Share button. This puts the controller in pairing mode. After which, go to your Mac and go to your Bluetooth settings.

From there, check your device list and you should see “Wireless Controller”. Once you see that device name, click on Connect. This should pair your PS4 controller to your Mac.

If you happen to use Steam for your games, they have controller support geared towards the use of DualShock 4 and other similar controllers.

5. Setting Up the Xbox One Controller

If you own an Xbox One controller, this would need a different approach. While it is not due to Macbook issues or so, this is more towards taking additional steps to make it work. On the bright side, it has one of the best controller experiences that you would experience.

This involves getting a driver for the Xbox controller. Once installed, you have to configure the controller to have the proper button mapping. You can check out the full details on these steps here.

Play Games With a Trusty Controller on Mac

With a game controller on Mac, you would have a relaxing time playing video games. You have a lot of options available with Steam and Apple Arcade on. You can also try out other games through the use of other methods, especially if you run with a Bootcamp set up to run Windows.

Do you want to learn more about how you can customize your Apple products to work the way you want them to? Check out more of our guide to learn all you can today!



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