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Will A Nintendo DS Stylus Work On An iPhone?

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Do you wear hand gloves in the winter to protect your hands from the cold? Surely you have. Covering your hands makes them warm and cozy, but what about using your smartphone with those gloves? To operate it, you need to remove your gloves and operate the touch screen with naked hands.

 It seems difficult for a person to remove and put on their gloves again and again just to operate their phone. A stylus plays an important role to solve this problem.

A stylus is a pen-shaped device whose tip’s position on the touch screen is detected by the screen. We can use it for tapping, selecting, writing and drawing in on the devices which have a touch screen like mobiles, consoles, computers, tablets, etc.

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So will a Nintendo DS stylus work on an iPhone?

A Nintendo DS stylus will not work on an iPhone because they make it for a resistance touch screen as provided on the Nintendo DS console, but on an iPhone, they use a capacitive touch screen.

If you would like to know more about this topic then you will want to keep reading. 

The Nintendo DS

Nintendo launched its Nintendo DS with a dual-screen, with one being a touch screen, in 2004. These two screens work simultaneously. Also, Nintendo provided a stylus with the DS for some functions.

The stylus is present on the top of the Nintendo DS to help operate the touch screen. They designed the Nintendo DS to accept input from fingers, the stylus or curved plastic tabs. It helps the user to interact with game elements directly with no buttons, chatting by writing their messages and drawing.

 It also assists with PichoChat, a chatting software by Nintendo. To understand the stylus, we need to discuss both types of touch screens which are resistance and capacitive.

Resistance touch screen

The Nintendo DS uses a resistance touch screen to get input from the user. A resistance touch screen comprises two flexible sheets with resistive material, a first layer called the matrix and the second layer, analogue. It receives input in the form of force applied by the user on the screen. When contact is made, it presses the two sheets. The first sheet measures the position of the X coordinate and the second sheet measures the position of the Y coordinate. With the help of two sheets, an accurate position of touch (x, y) is measured.


  • Low cost– Resistance touch screens are cheaper than a capacitive touch screen. That’s why it is being used for commercial businesses, in heavy machines, at markets and other places.
  • Durable- These screens are long-lasting. These screens work fine in colder climates. It can control a certain pressure more than a capacitive touch screen.
  • Resistant to dust and water– As these screens only have the sense of pressure, rather than maintaining an electric field outside, because of which it is resistant to dust and water. It also performs well in harsh climates.
  • Operational with gloves– One of the major benefits of the resistance touch screen is that they can be operated with any pressure, may it be fingers, stylus, pens or anything else. These are also operational with gloves. They do not limit these to a certain type of material.


  • Multiple touches– Only one touch at a time can be detected in this type of screen. It does not support multiple touches. This limits its scope because complicated devices need multiple touches.
  • Poor visibility– Because of pressure measurement based on two layers, it causes low screen brightness. It left only 75% of total brightness. This leads to poor visibility in direct sunlight.

Capacitive touch screen

A capacitive touch screen determines the position of contact with the help of an electric signal rather than pressure as in a resistance touch screen. It uses a conductive touch of a finger or other specialized device. 

They cover its panel with electrical charges which detect the position of touch by a change in capacitance. Current smartphones, consoles, tablets, and other devices rely on capacitive touch. It is highly accurate.


  • Brighter- With the use of glass layers, it emits brighter colors and the image quality is better. We can also use it in direct sunlight, which is not possible with a resistance touch screen.
  • Multi-touch– It supports multi-touch. With this, it is capable of being used in complex machinery and hardware where multiple touches are required.
  • Sensitive– It can work even on a light touch. As it doesn’t work on a pressure basis, it works on the electric field which can detect even a small touch.
  • Accuracy– It is highly accurate as compared with the resistance touch screen. They use them on devices where touch accuracy plays a crucial role.


  • Expensive– It uses high-quality layers which comprise glass. This makes it more expensive than a resistance screen.
  • Gloves– It can detect fingers on some specific devices only. If the user is wearing gloves, then he cannot operate these screens. Similarly, it happens with your smartphones.
  • Breaking– It is prone to breaking. It is not flexible as resistance screens are. It is made up of glass, which is usually rigid. Tempered glass is used to protect it.

Because of the difference in the working principles of both the screens, the stylus used cannot be common. That’s why the stylus used for the Nintendo DS cannot be used for an iPhone. Because the Nintendo DS uses a resistance touch screen, and an iPhone uses a capacitive touch screen.

The stylus used in both cases differs from each other. For a resistive touch screen, a stylus with plastic made with a wider tip is used, so that it can exert even pressure on the screen. But for capacitive screens, they use the stylus with a thin tip made up of a specialized material that works similar to the human finger.

So, if we use the resistance screen’s stylus (broad plastic) on an iPhone, the screen will not detect it. Similarly, if we use the thin (specific material) stylus of the iPhone on Nintendo DS, it cannot exert the required pressure on it.


Nintendo DS uses a resistance touch screen whereas iPhone uses a capacitive touch screen. Both work on a different principle, which makes their stylus different from each other. They make Nintendo DS stylus to exert pressure on its resistance screen, which will not work on the iPhone because of the presence of a capacitive screen.

 When trying to use the stylus of a Nintendo on the iPhone, it will not affect it as it cannot change the electrical layer on the screen. So, they both differ from each other and cannot be alternatives.