iOS 16: Use Your Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons With Your iPhone and iPad If you own a pair of Joy-Con controllers, it takes only a few seconds to pair them to your Apple device. Here's how.

By Dasblog

This story is part of Focal Point iPhone 2022, CNET’s collection of news, tips and advice around Apple’s most popular product.

If your Nintendo Switch is dead, you don’t have to wait until the console is powered up again to play some of your favorite games. As long as your Joy-Con controllers have some juice and you’ve got an iPhone or iPad running iOS 16, you can use your Nintendo controls to play games on your Apple phone or tablet.

Currently iOS 16 is still in beta, but the official release date should be announced at today’s Apple event. Here’s our live blog if you want to follow along.

In the last few years, game-makers have introduced more complicated gameplay to the mobile experience. Services like Xbox Cloud Gaming and GeForce Now allow you to play games like Call of Duty, Fortnite and Apex Legends, which can be difficult to tame on your mobile device. Your phone or tablet has a smaller screen than your TV, which means less real estate for visuals and controls, and so a gaming controller might be necessary.

Read morePlay Fortnite on iPhone: A New Workaround Brings the Game Back to iOS

Third-party controllers aren’t new to Apple, though. Right now, you can pair both the DualSense from PlayStation and the wireless controller for Xbox to your iPhone or iPad. And controllers from other companies, like the Backbone One and the Razer Kishi, are made specifically for mobile gaming.

Check outBest Controllers and Accessories for Xbox Cloud Gaming

However, if you already own a Nintendo Switch, there’s no need to purchase a third-party gaming controller. You’ve got two attached to both sides of your console. And best of all, pairing the Joy-Cons to your iPhone or iPad takes only a few seconds.

If you want to check out more, read five hidden features coming in the new operating system for the iPhone

Joy-Con controllers being used to play games on the iPhone

You can either use one or both Joy-Con controllers.

Jeremy Perez/CNET

How to pair your Joy-Cons to your iPhone or iPad

To start, you’ll want to make sure that your Joy-Cons are charged and ready for use. If not, simply attach them to the Nintendo Switch while it’s charging in the dock. Once your Joy-Cons are charged and ready to go, slide them off of your console and do the following:

1. First, press and hold down the black pairing button on top of the Joy-Con until the green light starts running back and forth. This means the Joy-Con is now in pairing mode.

2. Next, on your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > Bluetooth.

3. Now, scroll down and find your Joy-Con under Other Devices. You should see either Joy-Con (L) or Joy-Con (R), depending on which Joy-Con you’re currently pairing.

4. Finally, tap the Joy-Con option to pair it. Repeat this process for the other Joy-Con, if needed.

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Once your Joy-Cons are paired, you can go into any game that supports third-party controllers, like Minecraft, Among Us and Call of Duty, and play with your newly paired Joy-Cons. Not all mobile games will support both Joy-Con controllers at once, so you might only need to pair one.

To unpair the Joy-Cons, go to Settings > Bluetooth, tap the blue information icon, and then hit Disconnect.

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