Backbone One Review

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The Backbone I is a great controller for iPhone users who wants to take their mobile gaming to the next level. The fact that it’s portable means you tin can game pretty much anywhere, making this platonic for those who are usually on the motion. As long equally the controller connects finer, you’ll wonder how y’all always played mobile games earlier.


  • Lightweight and portable
  • Makes phone games more immersive
  • Works with Xbox Game Laissez passer, PS Remote Play and Apple Arcade
  • Adaptor for iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max comes free


  • Had a bad habit of disconnecting
  • Doesn’t work if you have a phone example on
  • A little expensive


  • UK
    RRP: £99.99
  • USA
    RRP: $99.99
  • Europe
  • Canada
    RRP: CA$139.99
  • Australia
    RRP: AU$179.99

Key Features

  • Connects to iPhones via Lightning port
    You can connect the Backbone to models of iPhone after the 6s Plus, with adaptors bachelor for those using the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max handsets

  • Great for on-the-go gaming
    The Backbone tin be hands set and used on the go, making information technology a skilful choice for commuters

  • Dedicated Courage app elevates the experience

    The Courage app makes the whole gaming feel more than cohesive and will compile all your current iPhone games, with support for streaming and chat rooms


The Backbone 1 is a gaming controller for the iPhone that makes mobile gaming fun again.

If you’ve ever seen the Razer Kishi, this device may non surprise. But strap your phone into the dock and bam, yous have an integrated controller that makes information technology easier to play mobile games.

The Backone One is an ergonomic and comfortable controller that supports all iPhone models upward from the iPhone 6s. Only to assist it stand out from the oversupply, it also features a companion app, which compiles all of your games and recordings into i identify, making it feel like y’all’re using a PlayStation or an Xbox, rather than a smartphone.

I’ve been playing with the Backbone One for a few weeks at present, using both my old iPhone X and my new iPhone thirteen Pro. Here’due south how I got on with this gaming controller.


  • Connect via a Lightning connector
  • Lightning port and 3.5mm audio jack featured
  • Clicky buttons and ergonomic controls

The Backbone I is instantly recognisable as a gaming controller, which is more than can be said for the aforementioned Razer Kishi. Information technology’s an extendable frame into which you slot your iPhone, via the Backbone 1’s Lightning connector. This results in a traditional-looking dual-stick-and-face button controller on either side of the phone.

Xbox gamers may experience a little more than comfy with the design of the controller. The face buttons take on the A, B, X, Y configuration, with 1 analogue stick on either side, and a D-pad sits on the left, alongside shoulder and trigger buttons. There are carte, mute and screenshot buttons, and an orangish Backbone push, which I’ll comprehend in more item in the side by side section.

backbone one

The wonderful thing about the Backbone One is that you don’t need to pair it to your phone; the Lightning connector means that your phone is prepare to become the moment information technology’s plugged in. For me, this is a huge positive – I was able to quickly whip out my phone and play a couple of games during my morning commute without needing to mess almost with Bluetooth.

The controller draws ability from the iPhone itself, and while we don’t take specific numbers, it didn’t announced to excessively drain my battery. The One also has a port for a Lightning charger, so you have the choice of charging while y’all game. The 3.5mm audio jack means you’re welcome to claw up any earbuds or headsets, so you don’t accept to worry about missing out on any important sound cues.

To hold, the One is extremely comfortable. The plastic build feels sturdy and firm while you lot game, with brilliantly satisfying clicky buttons and responsive analogue sticks. However, when using the iPhone X, the phone would shift and seemingly disconnect from the One, which was particularly frustrating mid-game.

backbone one

I put this downwards to the smaller size of the iPhone 10, as when I upgraded to my 13 Pro, I received an adapter from Courage – which you can request at no actress charge – that kept the phone still. I oasis’t suffered any connection issues since changing phone models, but information technology might be something to consider if you own an iPhone that’s on the smaller side.

A minor annoyance is that neither of my phone cases could be kept on the handset while I played. This isn’t a deal-billow, and only adds seconds to the setup, merely if you prefer to continue your phone protected in a example, you’ll want to be extra careful slotting it in and out to avoid any unnecessary scratches.


  • Backbone app improves the overall experience
  • Like shooting fish in a barrel to use and navigate
  • Options for those who want to play with friends or record their gameplay

In my opinion, information technology’southward the Backbone One’s software that makes it the best mobile gaming controller out there. Pressing the orange Backbone push button on the controller takes you lot to the dedicated app, where y’all can detect your iPhone gaming library, as well as recommendations of what to play, any new games available, and much more.

It feels more than like existence on the Xbox or PlayStation store than on an iPhone app, rounding out the experience of using and navigating the controller very well.

Backbone One

Games from Xbox Game Pass, Apple Arcade and Google Stadia volition all show up in the same place, making it easy to mix and match what you play. Plus, every bit an added bonus, you get three free months of Xbox Game Laissez passer Ultimate with the Backbone One, so you can discover even more titles.

The app offers support for Twitch streamers, too, besides equally a congenital-in paradigm- and video-capture feature that allows yous to edit and trim your clips with ease. And if you want to game with friends, and so you lot can create lobbies and chat groups, making it a doddle to spring between games and chatting with swain Backbone owners.

The only gripe I have with the app is that you have to press the Courage button each time you play a new game to register it with the library – merely, in the thousand scheme of things, information technology was inappreciably a reason to terminate me playing.

Backbone One


  • A few problems connecting when using a smaller iPhone
  • Games run smoothly

The biggest operation issue I experienced was when my iPhone X would on occasion disconnect having nudged away from the Lightning adapter. Having said that, I didn’t get the opportunity to use my erstwhile iPhone with the free adapter, so it’s possible that information technology could have corrected those bug.

Besides that, I’ve had no issues with the overall operation of the gaming controller itself or the Backbone app.

Backbone One

Of the couple of games I’ve played, my favourite beingness Stardew Valley, I haven’t suffered any game crashes or lag. The experience of playing games has been elevated with every game I’ve played, making each game feel more immersive and interactive than occasionally borer the screen with my finger.

The controller itself could be seen as being a bit pricey, but for me, the overall functioning more than than justifies the cost. Consider that you lot get three gratuitous months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate when you buy the controller, and you lot’re saving money in that attribute while still beingness able to try out all the games.

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Should you buy it?

You desire to effortlessly game on the go:
The Backbone One controller is the perfect companion for anyone who wants to spice up their commutes. Lightweight and simple to use, you won’t exit home without information technology.

You’re an Android gamer:
At least for now, there’southward no Backbone One for Android phones, so those not in the Apple tree club are out of luck.

Final Thoughts

Equally someone who hasn’t picked up an iPhone game since Temple Run, the Courage 1 is an astonishing little device that re-sparked my interest in mobile gaming. Offering an extensive listing of games to cull from and a companion app that delivers more than than it should, the Backbone 1 is simply slightly let down past the fact it only supports iPhone.

I’d highly recommend the Backbone One to anyone who regularly plays games on their phone, or those who wish to beginning. It’south portable, easy to prepare upwardly, and once you lot request the free adapter, you’ll exist having fun in no time.

How nosotros test

We test all our devices thoroughly over an extended menses of time. Nosotros use industry-standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll e’er tell yous what nosotros find. We never, e’er, take money to review a product.

Find out more than virtually how we exam in our ethics policy.

Was tested for at least two weeks earlier the review.

Played multiple games and used multiple apps with the controller.

Used with two variations of iPhone, the iPhone X and the iPhone 13 Pro.

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Does the Courage One work with a example?

I found that the cases on my iPhone X and iPhone 13 Pro proved too bulky to fit in the Backbone One. However, a more than compact and slender case could work fine.

Does the Courage I work with Android phones?

No, the Backbone One currently only works with iPhones. The company has plans to launch a Backbone One for Android, however.

Tin can I charge my phone equally I play?

The Courage One controller has a port for a Lightening adapter, enabling you to charge your phone as you play.

Full specs

U.k. RRP

United states of america RRP

European union RRP




IP rating

Size (Dimensions)


Release Engagement

Outset Reviewed Date



Switch Type

Backbone One








16.94 x 1.28 x ane.three INCHES

138 G







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