Use iPhone as a Gaming Remote or Joystick for Computer

The idea of using smartphone as a wireless controller for playing games on the computer is kinda cool, and we have already seen two Android apps that get the job done. I recently got an iPhone and wanted to try out the same on it. My idea was to use one device for each of the players and play a co-up game. I failed in the task, but the iPhone nailed the performance for a single player racing game like NFS.


I used the Legacy controller for iPhone from Joypad for the task and it turned out to be an amazing experience. So let’s see how we can configure the app and enjoy the games wirelessly on our computer. The app works for both Windows and Mac, and both the server and the client application is free to use without any limitation. In the post I will be reviewing the Windows server, but you can adopt the process on Mac as well.

Joypad Legacy Controller

After you install the application on your iPhone and computer, launch it on your computer first and wait for it to initialize.

Before we connect the mobile, let’s configure the desktop app and optimize it to play our favorite game. The thing to note here is that the app does not install joystick drivers on the computer, but just acts as a remote for your keyboard, and each button in app’s virtual keypad is mapped to a key on the keyboard.

Joypad Computer App

So all you need to do is, click on the New Configuration button and configure the buttons mapped for your game. For best results, open the game’s settings (the one you will be running on your computer) and map the keys which you need the most while playing.

Having done that, launch the Joypad Legacy  app on your iPhone and wait for it to connect automatically. If the app doesn’t detect the phone make sure that both the devices are connected to the same W-Fi network and try entering the IP manually. You can also create a virtual network from your PC if the router coverage strength is poor.


Once the devices are connected, launch the game. You might need to change the gamepad display in the iPhone app to match the buttons to your configuration. Tap on the small joystick icon on the app and select the desired style.

Joypad 1
Joypad 2

You can now play the games using the virtual gamepad on your iPhone. If you have more than one iOS device, you can configure them individually for each of the players. Click on the File menu on the desktop server app and select the option New Player.

Currently there is no way to use the accelerometer for controlling your cars in the game and the app is not optimized for iOS 7 yet, but all in all, it solves the purpose and is good fun.

So if you are a game buff with an iPhone in your pockets, do try out the app and tell us if you liked the wireless gaming experience.

Last updated on 03 February, 2022

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