How to Navigate the New Apple TV Using a Certified Game Controller

With the release of the new, fourth-generation Apple TV, a slew of features, tips-and-tricks, and over-the-top experience enhancements have been circulating freely about the web.

The most recent of which has to do with how a compatible gaming controller, such as the Nimbus SteelSeries Stratus XL, can be used just like a traditional game controller or Siri-enabled remote to power on and navigate the entire tvOS platform.

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Here’s how to make it happen and, just in case you were wondering, any iOS compatible game controller will work with the Apple TV to accomplish this task!

Step 1

Open the tvOS Settings app and select Remotes and Devices from the sub-menu > then select Bluetooth. Now, place your controller into pairing mode, and then select the device on your Apple TV.

Step 2

Once the controller has been paired with tvOS, it can be used to navigate the entire platform. Just like on the Xbox One, for example, the A button selects an item, the B button is used to navigate back one page, while the left joystick and D-pad are used for other forms of up, down, left or right navigation throughout the system.

Tips

When playing a tvOS game, the controller’s pause button will serve as the Menu button on the traditional Apple Remote. By pressing the pause button once, you’ll be able to pause a title at its current frame, while, in addition, pause can be held for 3-5 seconds to return to the home screen.

When using your compatible controller to navigate non-gaming applications, the pause button works just as the B button would: Pressing it once will go back one menu page, while holding it returns to the home screen.

Last but not least, the iOS controller’s trigger and bumper buttons can be used for navigating left and right in non-gaming tvOS menus. Additionally, similar to how they’d function in a typical game, these same buttons can offer completely different functions for each specific title.

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