Even iOS 13 Can’t Add PUBG Mobile PS4 Controller Support

And here's why you shouldn't expect it to.

Since the release of PUBG Mobile, one of the biggest questions on everyone’s lips (at least according to Google data) is how to use a PS4 controller. And it’s easy to see why. The sheer number of buttons and dials covering the screen at any one time can make even pros dizzy. Just imagine how newcomers must feel when they drop into their first match.

It’s an issue that has plagued mobile gaming since the very rise of smartphones in the late 2000s. Without any real hardware buttons, like on a traditional game controller, it’s up to the screen and our two thumbs to tackle around 20+ different inputs. That’s while covering a fair portion of the screen at the same time.

But what can you do about it? Marketplaces like eBay and Amazon have seen manufacturers cash in on the PUBG Mobile controller dream. Click around and you’ll see anything from simple grip cases to full-blown keyboard and mouse setups. It’s difficult to say how much of a difference any one of these peripherals makes. However, they’re just simply not what the player base is asking for. And there’s a reason for that!

PUBG Mobile Controller Support – Use a PS4 Controller in PUBG Mobile

There is no official PUBG Mobile controller support. Hell, there probably never will be. It’s taken console manufactures around 20 years to even acknowledge the existence of keyboard and mouse controls — a major differentiating factor between console and PC player skills.

There has always been genuine fear that the close to 1:1 input capabilities of a mouse completely overpower the generally less accurate controller joystick. It upsets the status quo and could alienate the millions of players who just want to lean back into their couch and dominate with their digits. And just like how many will stick by a mouse’s ability to crush a controller in terms of reflexes and precision, a controller will likely do the same against those sliding their thumbs across a touchscreen. 

Apple Arcade line-up

iOS 13 Controller Support & PUBG Mobile

The recent launch of iOS 13 brought the battle for PUBG Mobile controller support back into the spotlight, however. One of Apple’s new stand-out features is the Apple Arcade: a subscription-based service chock full of quality curated video games playable on iOS devices. With it came genuine, honest to goodness support for popular controllers outside of the company’s failed “MFI” scheme from a few years back.

Of course, all this talk of iOS controller support has led people to believe PUBG Mobile controller support is on the way — a natural extension of the way the winds are blowing. It isn’t… And given how iOS 13 outright broke PUBG Mobile for those that evolved from playing with just their thumbs to more than three fingers on the screen at any one time, wishing for PUBG Mobile controller support was their one way around it. Unless something changes, however, you still can’t officially use a PS4 controller on PUBG Mobile.

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Yesterday’s release of iOS 13.1 should have fixed the three-button press plaguing many hardcore PUBG Mobile fans. But the issue has brought the relatively rare practice of the three-finger method onto the radars of the less dexterous. That, in turn, left them with even more fuel for the PUBG Mobile controller support fire. If they can’t master the three-finger technique, wouldn’t a controller even the odds? Absolutely! But do we see Tencent adding things like PS4 controller support for the 2018 or 2019 iPad and the numerous iOS 13 iPhones? Not really. 

New “gaming” phones on the Android platform, like the Red Magic 3 have begun incorporating extra hardware buttons that mimic taps on the screen. And with enough tinkering with third-party apps, it isn’t too difficult to hook up a controller and emulate that with 20+ buttons.

But even with true controller support hitting iOS 13 this month, being able to remap touch controls to physical buttons isn’t going to work due to Apple’s more locked-down user experience. It’s up to Tencent to use Apple’s new API to enable controller support in PUBG Mobile, but don’t hold your breath.


Disclaimer: Fanbyte is owned by Tencent, which also runs Tencent Games, developer and publisher of PUBG Mobile. Tencent also subsidizes much of Fanbyte’s PUBG Mobile coverage by covering freelancer budget costs. Those covering PUBG Mobile for the site have no contact with Tencent, however, and are given complete creative control to write whatever they wish.

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