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How to use a third-party controller with Luna

Amazon's game streaming service might work with the controllers you have sitting in a drawer.

Want to try out Amazon’s new game streaming service, Luna? An above-average internet connection isn’t the only thing you’ll need.

Luna is a cloud-based game service, which means you can download the Luna app or open the service in a browser and play on lots of different devices, including an iPhone or Android, a Fire TV stick, or your computer. While you won’t need a console...

You’re going to need one of these.

Well, not necessarily one of Amazon’s controllers, but a controller nonetheless.

Don’t want to shell out $70 for Amazon’s controller? It turns out you can use some third-party controllers.

But first...

Let it be known that the vast majority of third-party controllers will not support all of Luna’s features. As noted by Android Central, you can technically pair any Bluetooth controller to Luna, but the buttons may not not map correctly (i.e. “X” corresponding to “A”), turning your chosen controller into jumbled mess.

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With that out of the way, here are your best bets...

Xbox One

Microsoft’s Xbox One controller is the de facto do-everything controller, and for good reason: It’s compatible with everything, you can find them cheap, and they’re comfortable. Luckily the Xbox One controller is officially compatible with Luna, though you’ll need a newer model that supports Bluetooth.

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Playstation DualShock 4

Likewise, Sony’s DualShock 4 controller is officially compatible with Luna according to Amazon. Sadly, the newer PlayStation 5 DualSense (like the Series X controller) is not among the fully compatible controllers.

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While those options are the only confirmed non-Amazon fill-ins for the Luna controller, that doesn’t mean others don’t work.

Controllers like the SteelSeries Stratus XL and the SaharaMirco are both compatible with Amazon Fire TV, so there’s a chance they’ll translate to Luna, but it’d be shame to waste money without knowing for sure.

Notes on the Luna Controller:

Unlike the Xbox One and DualShock 4 controllers, Amazon’s Luna controller connects via Wi-Fi instead of Bluetooth. In theory this reduces latency, but it also means that the way you connect is slightly different.

To connect your game controller to Fire TV, open the Fire TV menu, select “Settings,” then, “Controllers and Bluetooth Devices,” and, “Game Controllers.” Now select, “Add a new game controller.” Put your controller into pairing mode and wait for your Fire TV stick to find the device.

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Keyboard & Mouse

You can also link a good old-fashioned keyboard and mouse with most devices, and if you’re playing in a browser or on PC in any fashion should be pretty convenient.

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For now, it’s best to stick with what you know, and hope that Amazon fares better than Google in its quest to break into cloud gaming.

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