If you’ve been looking for a better way to play games on your phone than relying on touch controls, an external controller is what you need. The is a solid dedicated gamepad option and the iOS version has dropped to an all-time low price on Amazon. It’s , which is $45 off the regular price. The USB-C Android version, meanwhile, .
The controller has a wired connection to your device, meaning that you won’t need to charge it. That will also result in lower latency compared with a gamepad that’s connected via Bluetooth. There is a Lightning port, but that’s only for passthrough charging. You won’t be able to use wired headphones (rival has a 3.5mm headphone jack, however).
Along with and other native iOS games, the Kishi is compatible with cloud gaming services like Google Stadia, GeForce Now and Xbox Cloud Gaming. You can also use it to play Xbox or PlayStation consoles using remote play apps.
The controller is compact when not in use, which makes it easy to keep in your bag. To use it, you’ll need to unclip a rear panel. A belt holds the two halves together and it stretches to accommodate various phone sizes. You’ll likely need to remove your phone’s case before using the Kishi, since it needs to be plugged into the Lightning port.
The Kishi does the trick for on-the-go use, though some may find the stubby analog sticks and other design choices a little uncomfortable for long gameplay sessions. The iOS version of the gamepad has been heavily discounted ahead of the Kishi V2, a new version of the controller that’s expected to arrive later this year.
Razer of the Kishi V2 this month. It has a solid sliding bridge rather than the stretchy belt (an idea Razer seems to have cribbed from Backbone), clickier buttons and the option to keep certain cases on while using the device. There’s also a share button that only works with the Razer Nexus app on Android. Players can use that to stream gameplay to the likes of YouTube and Facebook.