Apple is reportedly bringing game controller emulation through the macOS Big Sur 11.3 to improve the way iPhone and iPad apps run on M1 Macs. The Cupertino giant has released the latest macOS Big Sur 11.3 beta in which it has added game controller emulation for M1 devices. This will allow the M1 Macs to run iOS games by using the keyboard or a keyboard and mouse combo as a game controller. Apple has been constantly refining and improving the way that iPhone and iPad apps, especially the games, run on M1 devices. The latest beta seems to bring a major improvement in this direction as it’ll completely change the way M1 users experience iOS games.
First spotted by MacRumors, the new game controller feature appears in the preferences tab when running an iPhone or iPad app. A new interface called Touch Alternatives and Game Control pops up showing better controls to run touch-based iPhone and iPad apps and games with Mac controls. If you toggle on the Controller Emulation, common game controller buttons get mapped to keyboard keys and mouse buttons. For example, X will be mapped to Q, Y to E, the direction stick to WASD, and L1 and L2 will be accessible through Tab and Shift keys, respectively. You can use the SpaceBar key as the A button.
Controller Emulation, Touch Alternatives for M1 Macs
The game controller emulation will allow iPad and iPhone games having built-in controller support to be controlled using a keyboard and mouse when they’re played on an M1 Mac. This will allow users who don’t have a game controller to play without needing to buy one. However, those who own a game controller can just connect it to play like usual. The new feature is designed for M1 Mac users who don’t have a controller to play iPhone and iPad games.
Apart from the game controller emulation, the macOS Big Sur 11.3 beta also brings the aforementioned Touch Alternatives panel. This panel when toggled on maps touch-based features like tap, swipe, drag, and tilt to the keyboard keys. Besides, this panel also has a feature to make iPhone and iPad app windows larger. As you can see from the attached screenshots that both of these new features work independently of one another. However, only one of these features, either the Controller Emulation or Touch Alternatives, can be enabled at a time.