The Backbone One mobile gaming controller is now shipping for Android. There isn’t much that’s different from the iOS version that launched in 2020; it’s $99.99, the Lightning ports have been swapped for USB-C ports, and it has a polished, feature-packed companion app that makes gaming on your phone feel like you’re using a console. Inserting your phone will allow you to play native Android games as well as cloud-based titles from Xbox Cloud Gaming and Nvidia GeForce Now.
Backbone says that the One should work with most Android phones, assuming that yours has a USB-C port and is running Android 8.0 or higher. The company mentions the Google Pixel 7 and Samsung Galaxy S22 lineups as being compatible, though its product page lists phones from numerous manufacturers.
This controller’s presence in the iOS ecosystem has made it tough for others to compete in terms of value and stellar design. In addition to the app that delivers a console-like UI, the controller itself is comfortable, minimalist, and offers both passthrough charging and a 3.5mm headphone jack to allow private, lag-free listening.
On the other hand, it has been easier for controllers from companies like Razer, GameSir, and RIG to stand out as viable options on Android because of the lack of a strong competitor. I’m excited to see how this controller appearing on Android shakes things up. It may not be worth upgrading to if you’re currently satisfied with your Android controller, but it’s a compelling option if you’re a first-time buyer.