Turn a game controller into a remote control for Mac with ‘Controlly’ app

Controlly is a new app on the Mac App Store which is designed to turn a gaming controller into a full-featured remote controller for a Mac. Controlly allows the user to not only move the cursor using the analog sticks but also set shortcuts to each joystick button. Controllers for Xbox or PlayStation can be used for the app.

Controlly app

‘Controlly’ app turns a game controller into a remote control for Macs

Once the app is installed and a gaming controller has been connected, the different keys on the controller can be mapped to various functions like accessing LaunchPad, controlling media playback, tweaking volume, launching Mission Control, adjusting screen brightness, displaying the desktop, and more.

There is also an option that allows the user to use the controller instead of a mouse with controls for right-clicking, clicking, scrolling, and mouse pointer. Users can set any function on the Mac to be performed with a click of a controller button. Moreover, there is an option that lets users create custom shortcuts that can be launched with a controller.

In order to use the app, enable the Accessibility feature that allows apps to control computers. The feature can be found in System Preferences. If the control option is disabled then Controlly will not work.

Setting up the Controlly app is very simple and does not require any advanced configuration:

  1. Install the app.
  2. Open it.
  3. Connect a PlayStation or Xbox controller to your Mac via Bluetooth.
  4. That is it.


Controlly is available on the Mac App Store, and it requires macOS Big Sur to work. You can download and try it for free for seven days and then unlock the full app with $3.99 in-app purchases.

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About the Author

Usman has been playing games for as long as he can remember. He is an editor at iThinkDifferent and writes about games, Apple news, hardware, productivity guides, and more. When not writing for iTD, Usman loves to play competitive Team Fortress 2, spends time honing his football skills, and watches superhero movies.