Turn your Android device into a PC gamepad with motion controls
While certain PC games are a match made in heaven for a mouse and keyboard, there are genres that are much better suited to a gamepad. But who wants to carry a clunky gamepad around in their laptop bag when they’re on the go? Not me.
Instead, you can use a simple app to make a gamepad out of something we have in our pockets all day, every day — our smartphones. Mobile Gamepad is a great way to do that. It’s completely free, it’s easy to set up, and it has a bunch of unique features.
Not only does Mobile Gamepad turn your Android smartphone into a game controller, but in addition to traditional buttons, it allows you to control your games using swipe gestures and motion controls.
The first game I loaded up after installation was Riptide GP, the terrific jet ski racing game from Vector Unit. I used the regular buttons at first — which worked fine — until I realized I could take advantage of the accelerometer in my Android device to control the game with motion.
After hitting the motion control button, I was able to steer my jet ski by turning my phone from side to side — just like you would with a racing game built for your phone itself. Mobile Gamepad also allows you to use your phone’s volume buttons to control the volume on your PC, which is a super handy while you’re in the middle of a game.
Setting up Mobile Gamepad is as simple as installing the free app on your phone, installing the server on your PC, and then telling the former which IP address it needs to connect to. It takes less than a minute after you have both apps installed.
Mobile Gamepad isn’t quite perfect just yet, and it’s only compatible with Windows PCs for now — but it is still a beta, so there are still some things that need to be ironed out. Nevertheless, it’s a great app, and I highly recommend you try it out if you’re a PC gamer. The motion controls are great for racing games, and a gamepad is much better than a keyboard for platform titles.