stratusThe SteelSeries Stratus came out ages ago (our review is from 2014) but there really hasn't been anything else like it that has been released in the MFi controller world. There's a bunch of options for larger-sized controllers (I think the best "full" sized MFi controller is the SteelSeries Nimbus) but as far as pint-sized gamepads you can toss in your bag and forget about, the Stratus really is in a league of its own. I've been powering through Final Fantasy VI [$14.99] again, and while its touch controls work fine, like most games that were designed with a controller in mind, it's just better with an MFi controller paired. I usually use my Nimbus and iPad Pro, but figured I'd play on my iPhone with the Stratus instead when I was out one night and was super bummed that there was nothing I could do to make them work together in iOS 10.

We've had a thread in our forums for a while now with people in a similar situation trying to get it to work, and was was even more confusing was that the Stratus for some people would work fine in iOS 10. (Which was extra weird as SteelSeries themselves were saying it's not supported.) Determined to get to the bottom of this, I reached out to SteelSeries, fully expecting them to just tell me what their support site says in that the ancient MFi controller just doesn't work anymore with modern iOS system software. Totally ready to write some really annoyed editorial on how something with the Made For iPhone certification can just randomly not work anymore, the last thing I expected was SteelSeries to get back to me and basically say, "Oh yeah, sorry about that, here's some ultra-fresh new firmware that fixes the problem so the Stratus works with iOS 10."


These work the same as previous Stratus firmware updates, you'll need to track down a PC or Mac, a USB cable, and then install one of the following updaters:

Run the installer, which might require putting in your computer's password, and it'll ask you to turn on and plug in your Stratus. The update only takes a few seconds, then you need to turn the controller off and on again after disconnecting it. I then had to reset mine to get it to start working by holding down the button on the back for 10 seconds or so. (The first and third LED will light up, then the second and fourth when it has been reset.)

And just like that, my SteelSeries Stratus works in iOS 10!

  • morgawr

    Literally just got a new nimbus from amazon this morning because my stratus stopped working. Literally. This. Morning.:( Dammit

    • Eli Hodapp

      The Nimbus is a great controller! I don't think it's a bad thing to have both.

      • morgawr

        I was just gonna say, I'm happy with the purchase, it's extremely comfortable to use. I'll be sticking with it at home and using the stratus on trips

      • spsummer

        I can't mine to update (win10), keep getting an error message.

      • Eli Hodapp

        Ugh, I updated on my Mac and didn't have any issues. Maybe now that this is officially a thing contact support? Did you try the whole right click and run as Administrator thing? I usually find that fixes most weird problems in Windows 10.

      • Shkrbby

        It appears that this article was published without the required due testing of each patch format.

      • Wizard of Odyssey

        Touch Arcade isn't your personal software tester, jeez louise.

      • Eli Hodapp

        Apparently to be allowed to publish things like this I need to fly to people's houses and make sure it works on their computers instead of just doing it on mine.

    • bacon-N-eggs

      Great choice, most xbox smart phone holder/clamps work perfect if you want to game on a iPhone!

  • Wizard of Odyssey

    Awww yeah. Nice. Now if only it worked with AppleTV, then I'd have two AppleTV controllers! You know, for all those multiplayer games ... never mind.

    • Aaron C

      It does work with Apple TV 🙂 Also check out Tennis champs returns, Pixel Cup 2016, Real Racing 3, King of Karts, Sky Force, Chariot. All great multiplayer games on the ATV 🙂 There are some more but I can't remember all of them right now 😉

      • Wizard of Odyssey

        Sweet. I have a new task for the weekend. Thanks for letting me know.

      • Aaron C

        pleasure! 🙂 Have fun!

        (just remembered theres an arcade type multiplayer game from Crescent Moon which is ok for mini-game type fun.. also Hot Lap Heroes supports upto 10 players I think)

  • Kevin Munoz

    The macOS link isn't working correctly. 403 Forbidden. Your link has a few extra characters at the end after .pkg

  • jltpittman

    Thanks for update

  • Gravity_Blast

    And here I had no idea it ever stopped working! Well I guess I should update it before I forget all about it

  • dasker4444

    I had problems with that gamepad when switching from iPhone 6 to 7, and good to enter the official page and saw the lining and I left to download the software to update it, update it although the Mac took a while to recognize it and already works excellent

  • houseofg

    Heck this is a service to ignorant Nimbus owners like me, as well. Didn't even know you could update the firmware, and now I see an update menu right there in the Nimbus app.

  • TJF588

    Well, full circle: Got one if these because of Touch Arcade, and I'd be going back to it because of ya.

  • Ron

    Wow, cool, first time I've had a thread I started featured in a story.

    Super stoked to try this. A game pad makes minecraft and the rockstar games infinitely more playable on my phone.

    • boydstr

      Because the missing feedback from touchscreen makes it so frustrating to play games I bought Madcatz ctrl and playing shooters is so mutch more enjoyable.

  • GrenWill

    Has any one here actually gotten this to work on windows 7 or 8? When I try, it goes through the controller update but then windows says the USB device has failed before the Bluetooth radio update can be downloaded. Anybody have a similar result?

    • Honkus Maximus

      I have a similar problem on Windows 7. The Steelseries installer says it is installing the controller update but then says that the Bluetooth radio update failed and it suggests restarting the installer, which gives the same result. I had the same problem with an earlier update, which pushed me toward buying a Nimbus.

      Edited for grammar.

      • Honkus Maximus

        Updating...running the installer as administrator on Windows 7 did not fix the problem. I was able to get to a Windows 10 machine, downloaded the Win 10 version of the installer, ran it as administrator and completed the update successfully. The controller works with my iPhone 7 plus running iOS 10.2.

      • GrenWill

        Thanks for the update. I'll run it on my son's windows 10 laptop.

  • Markaroni💯

    Will the Apple Store do the update for walking in,I'm not sure they will,because they do not sell this controller.I don't have a p.c??

    • QuarterSwede

      Take a cable with you and download the installer on one of their Macs. Although, the Steelseries iOS app has a firmware updater section so maybe it'll update from there as well?

  • Markaroni💯

    Also..So does this mean that the steel series Xl needs a firmware update,as we'll or is it okay right now??

  • Reality Check

    Just updated my Stratus on Windows 10 and works great!
    Thank you!

  • jc_works

    Thanks for the link.