8Bitdo Arcade Stick for Switch & Windows
- Compatible with Nintendo Switch, Windows.
- Supports ultimate software - customize button mapping and create macros
- Ultra-moddable arcade stick - Universal mounting plate supports Sanwa, seimitsu, happ & il arcade sticks
- Dynamic button layout - button mapping changes with mode functionally and visually
- Wireless bluetooth, 2.4G/ included wireless 2.4G receiver & wired support with included usb-c cable
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Compatible with Nintendo Switch, Windows.
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First day review.
The default stick is a sanwa JLF clone with a square gate. It is compatible with aftermarket octagonal gates. Its pretty good if you like that stock Sanwa JLF feel (I don’t).
Joystick Mechanical Interface:
I’m used to mangling big holes into the plastic with a dremel to fit LS-40s with oct gates into my sticks. I was really hopeful that this stick would actually just work, but nope! It mounts just fine to the converter plate included with the stick, but when you put the bottom on the stick the shaft tip will scratch against the bottom. This adds a bunch of extra resistance when moving and stops the return-to-center, destroying the feel. It’s possible that you could very carefully sand out the interfering portion at the bottom, but it’s hard to tell exactly how much to sand down and I can’t guarantee it will work without just going all the way through the bottom.
The SS plate that comes with the LS-40 would add back in a couple millimeters to fix the clearance issue except the holes don’t line up with the heat-set inserts in the top case. And even if the holes were in the right place there are some plastic ribs in the topcase that get in the way, so there’s no way to attach it without mangling things somewhat.
Finally, the metal plates attached to the bottom of the case add a bunch of really nice feeling weight, but also add clearance issues with seimitsu-style sticks that use restrictor plates that mount on bottom, as opposed to being closer to integral/flush mount like the Sanwa JLF. There’s a hole in the metal plates that is wide enough for the shaft to move freely but is not big enough to clear any add-on restrictor such as the stock 2/4/8 way square restrictor that comes with the stick. It doesn’t even fit the Kowal octagon restrictor, which is really small as far as restrictors go. An LS-32 has a tiny bit shorter shaft (1.5mm), so it will probably clear the plastic at the bottom but you’re almost certainly going to run in restrictor clearance issues unless you remove the weight plates. This can be solved if you have some way to precisely remove a bunch of material out of stainless steel, but that’s a massive pain.
In the end it just doesn’t feel like they bothered testing with anything besides sanwa JLF clones. The marketing images also say that this works with Happ/IL sticks-I’m sure they’ll mount to the converter plate inside just fine but there is absolutely NO WAY you’re going to get the case to close with one of those since they are way taller then even the LS-40.
That’s basically par for the course as far as premade arcade sticks go, but their marketing implied that this stick would be different. I’m not really hopeful that future product revs will fix this since everything I talked about is a gross mechanical clearance issue on a large plastic part, which means $$$$ to do a whole new set of molds, which they’re very much not likely to do, regardless of whatever marketing comms they put out, if you know how manufacturing works.
Joystick Electrical Interface:
The board side harness is an 8-pin JST style connector, eyeballing it looks like 2.54 mm pitch. Four directions, I think UDLR, then four grounds (closed the stick up at the moment so cant say exact pinout). The wires are soldered on to the switches on the stock stick. Swapping in a new stick is almost certainly going to require soldering or at least crimping your own 8-pin harness, not a problem for me but it might be for you. I know you can buy 5-pin premade harnesses but I’m not sure about 8 pin harnesses with whatever keying they used. Given the focus on moddability I would have expected a 5pin JST to .187 quick disconnects, which would have allowed for simpler, solder- and crimp-free end-user swaps. Again, I’m used to the jank when modding but given the modability as part of the marketing I was thinking this time I wouldn’t have to.
Buttons: Stock buttons are pretty good, nothing special but usable. They feel like cheaper versions of Sanwa buttons, medium spring tension on the way down, no noticable switch click, medium speed rebound on the way back up. Rebound feels a little slow for my tastes when mashing the Fire button or whatever but it’s mostly just a feel thing, doesn’t seem to affect performance at all.
Button Mechanical Interface:
They got this right. Buttons pop out easily and 30mm Sanwa OBSFs click right in. No sanding, jank, or cutting etc of any kind required. I haven’t examined the 24mm macro buttons at all since I don’t plan to use them.
Button Electrical Interface:
They did this right. Theres a whateverpin JST style board side interface, then the button side connections are all nicely insulated quick disconnects. The stock buttons are some whatever brand but the terminals are exacly the same size as sanwa buttons. Just pull the harness off the stock buttons and connect it to your new buttons. Using quick disconnects also means its a snap to rewire the buttons into your preferred order. The led labels will then be wrong but you can just disconnect the harness for the LEDS or simply don’t look down at them during gameplay.
Special notes: The main screw sockets are buried in deep in narrow sockets. You’ll need a deep T10 Torx T-handle or similar to get at them. The standard 40-in-1 screwdriver set you can use on just about everything else won’t cut it here, since the bits aren’t long enough and the socket’s too fat to get all the way down to the screw head.
Overall: It seems to be a good stick. I haven’t touched much on the electronics but everything seems to work as advertised so far with my Switch and I have a bunch of other 8BitDo controllers so I trust them on that.
I’ll jankmod in my LS-40 one way or another, was just hopeful that for once I wouldn’t have to rip and tear. Doesn’t quite feel right to take the dremel to it on day one but I’ll have a big ugly hole cut out of it soon enough. I’ll add it to my collection of frankensteined, ugly but razor-sharp precise sticks.
Minus one star since the LS-40 I bought specifially to install in this stick doesn’t fit and minus another star since their marketing said that it would so I’m a little miffed about being let down. If you genuinely like the feel of Sanwa JLF sticks this could be a 5 star stick for you. It would have been for me too if my preferred stick fit on the first try.
Using the dongle that comes with the stick I was easily able to connect my pc to the arcade stick. Stick the dongle in the usb slot and it connects!! no fuss at all. I believe it recognize the stick as xbox 360 controller on pc. And I was able to play both games no problem without having to change anything. I have not tested bluetooth connection yet but I doubt I will have problem on the front.
As for the arcade stick itself, it is very solid. I like that it actually has some heft to it. Sticks and buttons all feel clicky and responsive. They don't feel cheap like many arcade stick that are around 50 dollars. Overall it feels like a very good stick that can take some abuses for years to come although I can't say that for sure yet.
Overall, I am very satisfied with the purchase. I had a high hope since it is an 8bitdo controller and they usually make some high quality controller and I believe they did an excellent job with this one as well. Highly recommended!!! ( I will update this review in the future if any issue comes up)
8BitDo answered a Q&A stating that there was a dedicated screenshot button on this device, but it only has a home button. I haven't decided to dive into the ability to customize the profile, which says that you can customize button mapping, but I may be able to set the TURBO button to function as the screenshot button since I don't have any use for that myself. If not, I may be able to set one of the shoulder buttons that are not used in any given game to be a screenshot button, but that still isn't a dedicated screenshot button as was mentioned.
ON TO THE REVIEW THOUGH. Which is not grumpy!
Initial review so far - Had some trouble getting it to connect to my Switch using the USB dongle that is included with it, BUT.. you -have- to make sure that you have Pro Controller support turned on in your system settings. (read -all- the instructions! haha~.ha.~.... heh.. *sigh*)
I fired up Street Fighter's Anniversary Collection on the Switch, and to be honest, I absolutely love this thing. I might have forgot how to play using an SNES style controller, but that muscle memory from standing in front of the arcade cabinets hasn't left me at all!
Next, I managed to hook it up to the PC with no trouble at all and played some Guilty Gear. Oh that sweet arcade stick action is -nice-.
Being that this is my first ever arcade stick since the NES Advantage, the square gate for the stick itself makes executing certain moves a little bit awkward, but not impossible! I'm already planning on modding it with an octagonal restrictor gate for just a few bucks to make it feel more like what I'm used to when playing at the arcade, but still friendly to playing non-fight games. TBH, I might get a circle restrictor as well just to see how it feels since they are not that expensive. Just need to read up a bit on what is compatible with this and take the dive.
Bottom line, I already love it. It feels sturdy, it seems like it will last a long time, and 8BitDo has delivered modernized nostalgia again. (Just.. try to watch what you include in your responses to questions, 8BitDo..)