What Is MFi?

June 10, 2022  •  4 min read

Simply put, MFi stands for “Made for iPhone/iPad.” It’s a certification that Apple came up with for its products back in 2005 for the iPod, and since then, the meaning has evolved to cover any accessory that is compatible with the iPhone or iPad. An MFi controller is just that: a gaming controller compatible with an iPhone and or iPad. Using an MFi controller provides a simple way to game on your Apple device. Convenient, right?

Why Use an MFi Controller?

Why not simply game on a computer or your standard platform-based console like we have for decades now? Let’s talk about it.

Convenient for On-the-Go Gamers

For iPhone users, if you’re traveling and have some time to kill before you reach your destination, it makes sense that you might want to squeeze in a quick game or two on your mobile device. An MFi controller, like our Backbone One, will let you do that. It’s small, lightweight, durable, and easy to carry in your bag. You’ll feel like you’re playing on your console at home wherever you go.

Compatible with Gaming Streaming Services and Remote Playing Apps

The Backbone One MFi controller works well with gaming streaming services like Apple Arcade, NVIDIA GeForce Now, and Google’s Stadia. It is also compatible with apps like Xbox Remote Play and Playstation Remote Play. For example, you can play games that you own on a PS4 or PS5 using an MFi controller by installing the Playstation Remote Play app on your iPhone and stream games that you own from your console to your mobile device.


Boring, old economics is why.

Both Google and Apple came up with a simple subscription-based model, allowing unlimited gaming for only $9.99/month and $4.99/month, respectively. Some subscriptions like Google’s Stadia have additional perks like free monthly games that you get to keep as long as you are a Pro member. That’s in comparison to the industry standard of $59.99 for one game. Not only that, but you don’t need to buy a separate console, which can run as high as $499.

However, console owners can still stream games they own to their iPhone through apps like Playstation and Xbox’s Remote Play without having to buy additional copies. Additionally, these major brands have their membership plans like Stadia, where they offer free monthly video games that you get to keep.

Whether you own a console or opt to use a cloud gaming service, gamers can play their favorite games on their iPhone using an MFi controller like the Backbone One. This opens the limitless possibilities of gaming to a lot more people. It’s now so much more affordable and portable.

Who Can MFi?

We said MFi is technically an Apple term, but chances are we’ll see mobile gaming across the board; it’s only a matter of time. For now, if you have an iPhone, you can get an MFi controller and start duking it out on Fortnite, PUBG, Call of Duty, etc. Or, if you prefer an open-world sandbox game, there are hundreds of options too, like Minecraft, Terraria, Spider-Man, and Elite: Dangerous.

If you’re a content creator for Twitch or YouTube, then the Backbone One iOS app will be right up your alley. You can easily record, share, and edit screenshots, audio, videos and stream to Twitch or YouTube directly from your phone using the Backbone controller. The app even makes connecting and chatting with friends online a sinch.

As game developers enable controller support, an MFi controller is the best thing to have at your side. You can play on your handheld device in your favorite nook or plop on the couch with the crew and cast to your AppleTV. We are only in the beginning phases of this exciting expansion of gaming.

When and Where to MFi?

Anywhere! That’s the beauty of it.

On your roof, under your bed, on the front yard. If you have a connection to the interwebs, you can game. If you don’t, many games are still playable while offline. Like the Nintendo Switch and unlike Xbox and Playstation, mobile gaming with an MFi controller can seamlessly go from your home to the world. Unlike the Switch, however, you only need the controller because the gaming is on your phone. The Backbone controller turns your iPhone into a gaming device wherever you go.

How to MFi?

This is the big question – the question that all other questions have led to. iPhone, check. Apple Arcade, check. Now, where do we put the check for the MFi controller? In all honesty, any Bluetooth-compatible controller will work with an MFi game. That’s not the point though, is it? To just have something work? Gaming has always been about the experience.

A phone-clipped controller is weighty, unwieldy, and uncomfortable to use. And, with a 5-minute Bluetooth pairing warm-up time, your gaming fun will feel less so. Let’s not forget that most phone-clipped controllers don’t even provide a simple solution for gamers to connect and play with their friends. Or for content creators to record their best gaming moments or stream to Twitch or YouTube. The Backbone One MFi-certified controller puts the experience back in your hands. Say goodbye to propping your game up on a table or couch and sitting on the floor as you gaze downward.