Upcoming iOS 16 supports Nintendo Switch controller and Joy-Cons

Since Apple announced iOS 16 on Monday, developers have already started playing around with it ahead of its public launch later this year. One pleasant surprise they’ve found is official support for Nintendo Switch controllers.

Apple devices have officially supported Xbox and PlayStation controllers for a few years now, providing more reliable ways to play mobile games with physical buttons. This week, developers running the iOS 16 developer preview posted screenshots showing the Nintendo Switch Pro controller and Joy-Cons paired with iPhones. Adding compatibility with Nintendo controllers will be helpful to the millions of Switch owners who also have Apple devices.

Apple’s new mobile operating system even takes advantage of the Joy-Cons’ split nature, making them uniquely useful for mobile gaming. A pair of Joy-Cons can sync with iOS 16 either as individual controllers or as one, so one set could enable two-player local matches on a single Apple device. Users can switch between whole and split Joy-Con modes by briefly holding down the screenshot and home buttons.

It’s probably a matter of time before someone designs an attachment to connect Joy-Cons to the side of an iPhone to create an experience similar to the Backbone. That could save you nearly $100 if you already have a pair of Joy-Cons for your Switch. Otherwise, the two options cost about the same. It’s also interesting to consider whether iOS developers could make games utilizing the Joy-Cons’ motion controls and HD rumble.

So far, Nintendo hasn’t commented on iOS JoyCon support.