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Does the Luna Controller Work with Apple Arcade?

Last Updated Aug 2, 2022
Apple Arcade

The Luna controller from Amazon is fast becoming one of the most enticing game controllers out there. It has some great features and a good price point. In looking at the controller: you know it works for Amazon Luna games but could it work for Apple Arcade games?

The Luna Controller can work with Apple Arcade in certain environments. Amazon has designed the controller with hardware that can be capable.

Since the Luna controller was designed to be used with Amazon Luna, some of the features of the Luna controller will not work in Apple Arcade. Read on to find out the good and bad of playing in Apple Arcade with the Luna controller.

Connecting the Controller

In using the Luna controller with Apple Arcade, it only has the capability to connect using Bluetooth or by connecting the controller to a USB-C cable. The controller can connect via WiFi, but only when used to play Amazon Luna games.

While both options are good, the wired USB-C connector will provide a user with a faster & more reliable speed. It will also decrease the possibility of a high lag. However, if a wired controller is just not an option for you, then the Bluetooth mode is still an available choice.  

Remember that connecting the controller to a USB-C cable will only work when connected to a computer. If you follow these considerations, the Luna controller will work excellently in either mode.

Make Sure You Don’t Use iOS

The Luna controller can work as advertised for Apple Arcade games given the right platform. The Luna controller’s platform does not work on Apple Arcade is iOS, so playing on any iPhone or iPad is out.

It is confusing to navigate this caveat, as at first glance, it can be easy to glaze over the note from Amazon on the official page of the controller. However, they make the distinction that use on iOS devices is limited to their Cloud Direct technology only. Currently, Amazon’s Cloud Direct technology can only be used by the Amazon Luna platform.

This can further confuse a gamer, as the Luna controller will pair with an iPhone or iPad over Bluetooth and will appear to be connected. The limitation of the controller seems to be on the controller and iOS compatibility.

At this time, there do not seem to be any plans to fix this limitation. If you want to play Apple Arcade games on an Apple device with the Luna controller, you will have to settle for a Mac computer. The Apple TV OS is based on iOS, and thus will most likely have the same issues as an iPhone or iPad.

There Are Other Options

The Amazon Luna controller is a great controller but is not the best option when pairing it with Apple Arcade. Realistically, the most solid experience you would get would be using only a Mac/Macbook, which is not the majority of use cases for Apple Arcade.

There are other game controllers out there that are a much better fit for the Apple Arcade experience.

  • The PS5 controller may not have any of the extra features available, such as haptic feedback or adaptive triggers will work with Apple Arcade but is much better on hardware compatibility than the Luna controller.
  • The XBox One controller also supported by Apple Arcade, is similar to the PS5 controller in its compatibility.  
  • The Backbone One Mobile Gaming Controller: Though note that this is powered through the lightning connector and has passthrough charging. It also pleasantly has a 3.5mm audio jack if you want to plug in your favorite wired headset. This is one of the few options to make Apple Arcade gamers experience games like a Nintendo Switch. However, these are very much niche products and so shouldn’t be considered unless it fits your setup.
  • The SteelSeries Nimbus+ Wireless Gaming Controller is perhaps the most compatible controller. Unlike the Luna controller, you can use this controller on all hardware with iOS, being able to be used on iPhones and iPads alike. The controller has official Apple-licensed wireless connectivity, so you know that it will work very well with all Apple products. As a bonus, you can buy this gaming controller directly through Apple. When you buy it through Apple instead of any other retailer, you receive 4 months of Apple Arcade free.

If you have any existing game consoles such as PlayStation 5 or Xbox this is probably your better (and cheaper) option. Both of these controllers are able to work with Apple Arcade.  

Conclusion

Although the Luna controller can be used to play Apple Arcade, it is not an ideal choice and is extremely limited. There are many other options that have better compatibility and a lower lag. If you have another console, the easiest thing to do is to take one of those controllers for Apple Arcade. Whatever controller you may use: happy gaming!