I remember when I got my first smartphone. I couldn’t wait to play games on my phone. I quickly learned that playing games on my phone wasn’t the dream I had expected. Touchscreen controllers and I just don’t mix. As smartphones became closer and closer to pocket PCs, the games either made or ported to them have become more and more intricate. Thankfully, controllers have become more accessible. I recently had the chance to try RiotPWR’s iOS Controller RP1950. Does it ever get easier to rattle off a name like that? No. Don’t judge a controller by its name though, or you’ll find yourself missing out on a controller that fits the needs of a phone gamer without breaking the bank.
There’s not a lot inside the box when I initially opened it up. I have the controller, the detachable clip for a phone, and a cable that lets me replace the lightning cord with a USB-C cord if I am playing on something other than an iPhone. The controller is specifically designed for iOS devices, but is still usable with anything that would take a USB-C. There is a user guide, but it’s digital, and a QR code that links to the LUDU MAPP app.
The LUDU MAPP app isn’t necessary to use the controller, but it does show you all of the games that the controller will work on. Sadly, the app isn’t the best. I can search by a number of categories, like Apple Arcade titles, Xbox Cloud games, action, adventure, and free games to name a few options. Once I choose a category, I’m limited to showing new releases, alphabetically, or by price. I’d love a choice like popularity, since the free category has some great titles, but you have to do a lot of digging to see them. You don’t purchase the games through the app, but instead are sent to the Apple Store to buy them. I do love that; I hate app stores within app stores. LUDU MAPP does have a search function, so if I wanted to see if something like Stardew Valley will work with the controller (it does), I can easily and quickly do that.
RP1950 is lightweight. So lightweight that the first time I picked it up, I was thrown a bit off. I’m used to holding something that feels hefty in my hands. RP1950 doesn’t need batteries to work, so I know that is responsible for some of the missing weight. The RP1950 comes with an optional mount for a phone, and when you have a phone attached, it feels about the same as a typical Xbox or PlayStation controller.
The RP1950 might not feel like a normal controller when it comes to weight, but it does feel like one in all the other ways. A typical button layout, shoulder and trigger buttons, start, select, what you would expect, all in the places you expect them to be. Even though the RP1950 feels light, it still gives off a solid and sturdy feel that provides a comfortable grip during gameplay. The controller is also well-designed with ergonomics in mind, I had no discomfort or fatigue while playing.
Connecting to my iOS device was as simple as plugging it in. I didn’t have any lag or delay while I played, even on some more intense titles like Diablo Immortal. The RP1950 is still a wired controller. In the age of everything connecting via Bluetooth that can seem like a step back, and in some ways it does feel that way. It wasn’t much of a bother when I was playing on my phone, the phone itself mounts right onto the controller, but playing with a tablet is a different story. I need to find a mount for the tablet, or lay it on my lap, which is not ideal. The only time I felt uncomfortable playing was when I used my tablet. I couldn’t find a sweet spot to make it work the way I wanted. The cord wasn’t long enough to let me sit as far back from the tablet as I wanted.
The RP1950 comes with an attachable and detachable mount for my phone. The mount fits firmly into the controller, and I had no issue putting my phone into the mount, even with my bigger-than-normal case. The issue of the cord’s length goes away when you mount the phone to the controller. While it doesn’t have the most versatile movement, it has enough to get the phone to a comfortable place to play. The added weight also helps make the controller feel more sturdy. I never felt like my phone was going to slip out, but I could see it happening if I wasn’t paying attention or swung it around with too much force.
One of the cooler features happens to be the power pass-through. I can plug a lightning cord to the bottom of the controller, and it will charge my phone while I play. It was great for sitting on the couch just playing something. Without the pass through, the RR1852 does drain my battery without much effort. I think a lot of that is the game, as most heavy graphic games will do, but being able to charge my phone while I’m playing helps with that. When I have the whole setup going it is a bit weird looking, and I have to stay in one place, limiting my range, but I was never bothered by having it all set up.
The RiotPWR iOS Controller RP1950 is a lightweight, wired controller that is designed for iOS devices but can be used with other USB-C compatible devices. The controller comes with a detachable clip for a phone, making gaming on the go easier. The LUDU MAPP app is not necessary but can be used to see the games that the controller will work on. The app has some limitations, such as the inability to search by popularity. The RP1950 has a typical button layout and a comfortable grip during gameplay. Connecting to an iOS device is simple, and there is no lag or delay while playing. The detachable mount for a phone fits firmly into the controller and removes just as easily if you want to play with a tablet. The best feature is the power pass-through that allows for charging while playing. The only downside is that the controller is wired, which can be a problem when playing with a tablet.
I’m not head over heels for the RiotPWR iOS Controller RP1950. There isn’t much to set it apart in the controller world, but that’s ok too. The LUDU MAPP app also does its job, even if I’m not enamored with it, either. But the MSRP of 49.99 is more than fair for what you get. The lightweight of the controller works to its benefit, despite my initial thoughts, and being able to switch out to a USB-C for other phones or future iPhone upgrades is a big plus. In a sea of controllers, you could do much worse than the RiotPWR RP1950 iOS Controller. If only they could think of a catchier name.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.
I'm pulled towards anything that isn't driving or sports related; having said that, I love a good kart racer. I Can't get enough RPGs, and indies are always worth a look to me. The only other subject I pay any attention to is the NFL (go Colts!).
While writing about games is my favorite hobby, talking is a close second. That's why I podcast with my wife Tessa (it's called Tessa and Elliot Argue).View Profile