This story is part of CNET’s coverage of Apple Arcade, including exclusive first looks we got at some of the service’s high-profile new games.
Apple made a splash in the mobile gaming world last fall with its launch of Apple Arcade
, its . At $4.99 (£4.99, AU$7.99) per month after a one-month free trial, users get all-you-can-play access to the on the service without the annoyance of additional in-app purchases or advertisements.
Unlike upcoming streaming game services such as, download the games from the App Store to their device so they can start playing offline. The latest software updates to support Apple TV, Xbox, PlayStation and other Bluetooth controllers, in addition to traditional on-screen controls.
If you’re confused about what hardware is supported or needed to(and it’s a long list), these are your current best options, along with our tips for pairing the best controller for Apple Arcade.
Battery life for the iPhone 11 lasts up to an hour more than the iPhone XR, so users can play games on the go for longer before charging. Although the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone Max are made with Apple Arcade in mind, the service is also compatible with older phones that can run iOS 13, which runs from the iPhone 6S through iPhone XS and XR.
The seventh-gen iPad, announced last fall, boasts a larger 10.2-inch screen, bringing more space for gameplay than Apple’s previous 9.7-inch models. Although the new iPad provides a more immersive experience with its larger screen, Apple Arcade is available for the fifth- and sixth-gen iPad, fourth- and fifth-gen iPad Mini, and second- and third-gen iPad Air, all of which require the latest version of iPadOS.
The 2018 and 2019 lineup of the MacBook Air showcase high-resolution displays, True Tone technology, large touchpads and even better speakers — all of which automatically makes them good potential game machines. Beyond gameplay, the 2019 MacBook air is made completely of recycled aluminum, so you can help reduce the carbon footprint while playing your favorite Arcade titles.
Besides made-for-iOS controllers, Apple Arcade also has controller support for the wireless PlayStation 4 and Xbox One S controllers. The Xbox One S controller comes in a variety of colors and designs ranging from plain white to camouflage and ombré patterns. The controller also has a textured grip rear for more comfortable hand placement while playing, and up to twice the wireless range of previous Xbox controllers. Note that older Xbox One controllers won’t work, because they lack Bluetooth.
The base 2019 MacBook Pro jumps from the older dual-core Intel CPU of the previous model to a newer quad-core version. So compared to the MacBook Air, the Pro may allow for faster and smoother quality gameplay.
The iMac has the option of a 21.5- or 27-inch high-res display, both of which would be great for gaming, especially at 4K and 5K resolutions. The iMac has inputs for both the magic keyboard and mouse, which is, in turn, a big plus for gaming.
Thanks to the recent MacOS Catalina release, any Mac that can run the latest OS should be able to play Arcade games.
Apple TV allows you to start games on the biggest screen in your home. That makes it family-friendly and great for multiplayer arcade games, and adding a Bluetooth controller will make it feel even more console-like. Many games will also support the simple Apple TV remote.
The PlayStation 4 DualShock controller has all the settings and features of a classic PS controller with the addition of a touchpad across its face. This new feature allows players to use a combination of controller and touchscreen controls for Arcade games. The new controller also feels improved with its rumble and reduced latency compared to previous PlayStation controllers.
Originally published earlier.
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