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Connecting and Using a Bluetooth Controller in MacOS

Yesterday we explained how to connect a Bluetooth remote to our iOS device, whether it’s iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. Today, we’ll show you how to do the same thing with a MacOS.

The control we will use

As in the previous case, here we will also have controls with a wide variety of prices. In addition, we will also be able to choose from a wide range of designs, colours and shapes. But we must make sure that the controller is compatible.

Connecting and Using a Bluetooth Controller in MacOS
Connecting and Using a Bluetooth Controller in MacOS

The command we use to make this article is the same as in the previously mentioned iOS article. This is the 8bitdo SFC30 (which we got through the GearBest online store). And why did we choose this one? Basically for being compatible with many devices (iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Wii, …) and for having a good quality-price ratio. In addition, it has a very familiar design (the SNES or SFC) and is well built.

This is the device we use to make this little guide, but obviously this article is valid for any control we choose.

Connecting our Bluetooth remote to our Mac

As with iOS, the first thing to do is to turn on the controller and activate the appropriate mode. How do I know which mode to set and how? Unfortunately, that depends on the model of controller you have purchased, so you should consult the manual. In our case, we press START+B to turn it on in keyboard simulation mode.

Once the remote control is turned on in the correct mode, we must activate Bluetooth on our Mac. After a short period of time it will appear in the list of devices and we can link it. Once connected we can start playing. Easy, isn’t it?

Extra: play with cable

Some wireless computer controllers also support the possibility of connecting via cable. Usually, this wired mode works differently, and instead of being recognized as a Bluetooth keyboard it will be recognized as a joystick. So if our controller offers this possibility, we’ll have more compatible games.

This is the case, for example, with our remote control, which only needs to be connected to a USB port in order to be used.

And now… what shall we play?

Now it’s time to find games we can enjoy with our new gamepad. Being in front of a desktop operating system like MacOS or OS X, this is an easy task.

Depending on the control, it will work one way or another. Most commonly, they connect via Bluetooth and behave like keyboards, while when connected via USB they behave like a special device.

And how do I know which games are compatible? For the first case (your controller works as a keyboard), any game that allows you to assign keys to actions is supported. These are, for example, the mythical Minecraft or Word of Warcraft. In the case of controllers that behave like joysticks, it is already necessary to look for games that are ready for them.

And why not? We can also use it to play old (retro) games. For this, we have a great emulator that works with most controllers (even with the WiiMote), the OpenEmu. This is not the first time we talk about it, in fact we already mentioned it in our article about Mac emulators. With this great emulator we can play the classics of the NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, Nintendo DS, GameBoy, Atari, Sega Saturn, Sega Mega, PSP, PlayStation 1, …

Do you own a controller to play games on your computer? Do you play a lot of games on your Mac, iPhone or iPad? Do you prefer modern or classic games?

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