8Bitdo Sn30 Pro+ Bluetooth Gamepad (G Classic Edition) - Nintendo Switch
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- NOTE : Please use the USB cable included in the box to charge, do not use other USB cable to charge
- Wireless Bluetooth, rumble vibration, motion controls, USB-C
- Button mapping for system-changing accuracy and modifiable vibration
- Adjustable Hair trigger buttons plus 6 axis motion sensor and Modifiable joystick sensitivity
- Customize your gaming experience further with ultimate software
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Compatible with Nintendo Switch, PC, macOS, Android, Steam and Raspberry Pi.
Top reviews from the United States
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To me, Hori has been the king of third-party controllers. They have the advantage of time and presence. From all the way back to the SNES era, Hori has been making controllers for all (or at least nearly all) major systems. Their stuff may not always be home-runs (heck, some of their stuff don't even make it to first base), but their stuff is usually the next-best option after first-party controllers. Sometimes, they even make controllers better than the first-party option (I nod to you, Hori Pad Mini for the N64), and they've made the best third-party controller of all time (I'll get you soon, Digital Controller for the GameCube).
Lately, many third-party manufacturers have been narrowing the gap between Hori and the rest. We have PowerA to thank for their excellent GameCube-style Switch controllers, and Retro-bit has been stepping up their game lately with the phenomenal Sega and Hori Pad Mini controllers. And now we have strong newcomers like Retro Fighters and, of course, 8BitDo.
I've mentioned in previous reviews that I've dismissed 8BitDo as yet another sub-par third-party manufacturer. It wasn't until my Analogue Nt mini arrived with one that I tried one and swallowed my words. As an owner now of eight different 8BitDo controllers, I can say I'm convinced, and I now dare say that this may be their best one yet; it's probably the strongest contender to the Pro Controller we have.
I pre-ordered the G Edition the day it was possible, and it arrived last night. I've played a few games, mostly CTR:NF. Here are my initial impressions.
Out of the box, I immediately felt this was the Switch's version of the DualShock 4. Of course, that's not to say this controller is just for the Switch, as it works with many other systems, but most people are probably getting it for the Switch--including yours truly. The main thing I wanted to know is how the d-pad work, especially on the G Edition as it mimics the d-pad found in the DMG with the little grips. This is by far the best d-pad 8BitDo has produced. The plastic is sturdy, but it's also the same softer material you'd find on Nintendo's first-party d-pads; it also has rounded-off corners so that they're not sharp. Many companies' cross-style d-pads seem to be made of a harder plastic or have too-sharp edges, which can make for a sore extended play session. This d-pad is easier on the thumb, and the little grips indeed have some grittier surface to them that makes it easier to keep the thumb on. There's still that odd, scratchy plastic sound that seems to be on all 8BitDo controllers when pressing the d-pad, though it doesn't affect feel or gameplay. Anyone who owns an 8BitDo controller will probably know what I'm talking about; when I press my d-pad down, I hear this unpleasant, harsh "thock." Otherwise, this is probably the best non-Nintendo d-pad we currently have for the Switch. In this area, 8BitDo has passed.
My next favorite thing about the controller is the L/R and ABXY buttons. They have the same, soft tactile feedback as the L/R buttons on the Pro Controller. I love it. I prefer these ABXY buttons over the Pro Controller. My favorite ABXY buttons were probably those on the Wii Classic Controller/Pro, but now I think these may be my favorite. They have optimal travel distance (not too much, not too little), and provide the same, soft feel when pressed as the shoulder buttons. Divine.
However, I feel that the L2/R2 buttons have too much travel. You can use the separate Ultimate Software to customize the input register, but all it does it just stop the input beyond a certain point. I prefer the L2/R2 buttons on the Pro Controller and DualShock 4. There's too much travel here for my tastes.
I haven't really fiddled with the sticks much, but they seem nearly identical to the ones on the DualShock 4, albeit slightly narrower in girth. The travel for the actual gates are fine, but the sticks are just a bit on the smaller side.
The handles are great. I felt no discomfort while playing for two hours straight of CTR:NF. I do find the controller to be a bit wide for me, and the L/R buttons are a bit too forward and far from my index fingers than I'd like, but I realize I may have smaller hands than average. The entire housing of the controller is made from a nice, robust plastic that seems like it'll last for decades.
I've read reviews prior to receiving mine mentioning the weak vibration, and I do have to agree. Even after adjusting the vibration with the Ultimate Software (which you have to download separately), it left much to be desired. There's no HD vibration, but even the standard vibration here is a bit on the weak side.
As for lag, I detected none. I updated to the current firmware as of this writing (v3.01) and the input is snappy. When playing Golf Story, my presses would stop the swing meter precisely when I intended, and in CTR:NF my power slides were easier to control than with other controllers.
Finally, to give the Ultimate Software its own paragraph, I fiddled with it a bit to see what it's like. As of this writing (Aug. 9, 2019), it's available only for Windows machines. I had to borrow a Windows machine momentarily. As soon as I plugged in the controller, the software detected it and even upgraded my controller to the latest firmware--neat. It's all GUI, so it's very user-friendly. Nevertheless, the only modifications I did were shorten the input register of the L2/R2 buttons so that it would stop the input halfway, and raise the vibration. I don't think I really raised it as it was already at the maximum, but I lowered and raised it anyway just to make sure the weak vibration was really physical and not adjustable beyond its strength. Alas, it didn't really help much.
There's a tab in the software to add macros, but right now I couldn't really think of any to add.
So, in case it wasn't evident, I'm a fan. I'm a huge, huge fan. This controller will be in my top three controllers to use for the Switch, and probably will be my exclusive for certain games (like CTR:NF). This is 8BitDo's answer to the DualShock 4, and in some certain areas it exceeds its inspiration (like the d-pad and ABXY buttons).
My first one arrived with the left analog a bit cockeyed. What I noticed immediately after that, was that upon pressing the d-pad, I saw that there was quite a bit of space between the cutout in the plastic for the d-pad and the actual d-pad button. This leaves a gap where the d-pad loosely slides around the extra space in all directions. This in turn, causes the plastic of the d-pad to rub against the walls of the cutout of the controller when being pressed, making faint, but unpleasant squeaking and plasticky scratchy noises. The friction of the rubbing can sometimes be felt as well. It is most pronounced and noticeable when pressing the 'right' direction.
Also, the four face buttons felt a bit wonky on this particular unit. They felt loose in the controller, overly clicky (unrefined and cheap) and felt inconsistent with each other. It overall felt poorly put together. Deciding I can't have any of that, I returned it for a replacement hoping it was just a bad unit.
The second one arrived feeling much better overall, leaving me initially impressed. Both analogs were straight, and the face buttons felt better, but not great. The shoulder buttons along with the triggers were perfect on this one (triggers on the first one felt unequal).
The glaring problem was still the d-pad. This one actually sounded louder than the previous. It also felt noticeably less firm. It felt a bit squishy and less refined. There wasn't as much of a clear, concise distinction when pressing down on any/all directions as the last one did. It felt a bit muddled, mushy and flat. This was clearly far less than ideal, so, again, I returned it.
The third one, *sigh*....again arrived with a slightly crooked left analog stick. The four face buttons felt meh, the shoulder buttons and triggers good. The d-pad, however, still made that same friction/squeaky noise from rubbing against the walls of the cutout, yet slid around freely within the cutout.
I'm thoroughly convinced by now that this problem is in part due to a design flaw, and partly due to manufacturing inconsistencies. However, at least this time, the d-pad had a nice, soft, but firm and concise click that felt far better than the last two I had. But still considered defective, as it rattled and made that scratchy/squeaky noise. Returned.
This fourth one is the one I should have gotten the first time. This unit is PERFECT. D-pad is flawless, minus the (far less) rubbing and the accompanying noise, albeit MUCH quieter than any of the last three. It's the best it'll ever be, as some slight 'rubbing' is inherent and unavoidable with this design.
The two most recent bad ones I had that I mentioned above, I still had on me so I could take them all to UPS in one trip. This gave me a chance to inspect them side by side, and also to verify that these things weren't just in my head.
What is different with this good one is that there seems to be some kind of soft, grippy rubber backing on the back of the d-pad keeping it from sliding around as much inside the cutout. It still moves, but MUCH less so, reducing 80% of the rattling I have been hearing in the previous ones. And since it slides around less, it also rubs less, resulting in less squeaks. It also just 'feels' better in every way.
The four face buttons also feel much, much improved from all the previous ones I felt. They feel properly cushioned giving the buttons a comparatively more 'premium' feel to it. I don't know if this improvement goes hand in hand, but they rattle a lot less as well eliminating the remaining 20% of the previous controllers' rattles.
To clarify what I mean by this 'rattling' is this:
If I hold my 4th (good) one in my left hand, and any/both of the bad ones I still had in my right hand and shook them both like I'm using a salt and pepper shaker at varying intensities, the controller in my left hand would be silent, minus the barely audible sounds of the face buttons shaking in place, which is completely normal and would really only be heard when shaken pretty hard.
The other two would, by comparison, sound like baby rattles at pretty much any intensity. I kid you not. It's as if the buttons were just kinda 'tossed inside' and called good. I can't say how or why there is so much variation among just this small sample of four controllers, but to me that indicates a QC department that needs attention. I may just have a had a string of bad luck, but reading other reviews, I know this d-pad thing isn't an isolated case. Their d-pads have indeed improved from their previous models, but they still need a little more refinement when it comes to the issues stated above.
But how does the d-pad actually perform now that I have one that isn't defective? It performs quite well, in fact. They don't move around nearly as much as the defective ones. If they eliminated the rubbing entirely, it would, in my humble opinion, make the controller perfect in every way. But even as it is, I consider it the best controller out there currently. The best for 2D platformers, the best for 2D fighting games, and the best overall controller period.
The controller's ergonomics feels perfect in the hands. It feels like the dualshock4 in terms of form, size, and weight. Any carrying case made for the DS4 will work with this. The actual parts used feel quality. I also like the plastic used for the d-pad on the G-Classic Edition. The smooth plastic with strips of grip texture feels so nice and premium to the touch. The four convex buttons feel high quality to the touch as well, and have a nice, soft, cushioned, but pronounced click to them. The shoulder buttons feel exactly how I remember the OG snes ones to feel like, and the triggers have a smooth, consistent feel to them throughout their entire range.
It took no effort to pair them to the Switch, and the Ultimate software is pretty neat as well. It seamlessly updated the firmware to the current v3.01 for me and had me on my way in no time.
The d-pad on this thing is so good that I actually haven't seen my brother pull of so many damned shoryukens so effortlessly in a row since the SNES days. I think he may actually give me a challenge now.
All in all, this is a nearly perfect controller that will replace the Pro controller as my daily driver. They just need to get rid of that rubbing and improve their quality control. I'm confident they will, as I sense this company's drive to be the best in its class, willingness to listen to customer feedback and make things right with customers when incidents arise with their outstanding support. Thanks, 8BitDo. I hope you guys iron out these small issues in the near future. Thanks to Amazon for making all this so much less painful than it had to be. If I had gotten this perfect of a unit the first time, I would have undoubtedly given the SN30 Pro+ five
stars, however, due to my experiences and realizations, I need to deduct one star.
Top reviews from other countries
The controller is a joy to hold for hours on end, it is very comfortable and also has analog triggers. Buttons in general feel high quality and I love the retro look. Another huge positive is the versatility, used it on Switch and PC mostly and had no issues with connectivity. Other noteworthy features include rumble, motion controls, software for customising controls and the ability to use batteries if ever needed. Just such a shame in the end, I was hoping the dpad issues were just manufacturing errors but three times in a row leads me to believe it is just poor design. As much as I want to own one of these I don't think I will bother pursuing a fourth purchase.
If the dpad was fixed in place and had a more rigid feel this would be my favourite controller ever and I would probably own mutliple versions for when mates come over. It's so close to being perfect but the scratchy, free roaming dpads were a deal breaker that I could not ignore despite my best efforts.
Inside the box was the controller itself, a usb c to usb a cable for charging the controller and connecting it to your computer, a set of instructions and a card reminding you to download the 'Ultimate Software' from 8bitdo's website. I have only played around with this software briefly on my windows PC, but it seems intuitive, easy to use and works well for adjusting button mappings, vibration levels, and joystick and trigger activation levels. It's also available for MacOS, but not for Linux, which is a little disappointing.
The controller itself looks very nice, although the face of the controller has a very slight pink-ish hue that isn't shown very well by the Amazon product pictures, but is clearer on 8bitdo's website. The controller's face also has a slight asymmetry, but as I don't spend a lot of the time looking at the controller it doesn't really bother me much and I think that the controller is quite aesthetically pleasing overall.
The controller comes with the included battery pack partially charged, so it was very easy to turn it on and get it paired with my Switch, using the included instructions. On the switch itself, it came up as a 'Pro Controller', and the lights on the front of the controller matched those displayed in the controller menu for the switch. I also tested the controller with a GBA emulator on my phone (using X-input rather than the D-input recommended by the instructions), Windows, and Linux (Ubuntu) via bluetooth, which all worked perfectly.
The design of the controller is reminiscent of a SNES controller mixed with a Playstation dual shock controller, and I feel like this makes for one of the most comfortable controllers I have used. The handles fit well in my moderately large hands, with the joysticks being in a very natural position for my thumbs, and the large ABXY buttons and D-pad being very accessible. The ABXY buttons feel solid, and the D-pad is one of the better ones that I've used. The triggers and shoulder buttons also feel excellent, and I am very satisfied by the controllers overall ergonomics. Vibration, although not 'HD rumble' feels very solid, with a strong, deep feedback.
I don't have the official Nintendo Switch Pro Controller to compare it to, but this controller is certainly a contender for the best controller I have used. The only features from the Nintendo controller it lacks are amiibo support and the previously mentioned HD rumble (motion controls worked great in Zelda: Breath of the Wild!), neither of which matter a great deal to me. I prefer the feel of the controller to the PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Steam controllers, and the added functionality provided by the software is just a bonus. It's also worth noting that this controller is cheaper than any of the previously mentioned ones.
I highly recommend this controller to people looking for one controller suitable for multiple platforms.
I use mine with my Dreamcast console.
I use the Brook Dreamcast adapter along with the 8bitdo Bluetooth dongle.
I connect the controller to the Dongle with Start+A, then I press right and start to put controller into Mac OS mode, connects and works perfectly.
Its a work around, and you can do this with any 8bitdo controller, great with the 8bitdo N30 Arcade stick also. But this Pro+ controller is great.
The triggers are also not matched properly, the right trigger needs less force to actuate than the left, which also isn't great. Also not a fan of the rounded tops on the analogue sticks, having my thumbs on them doesn't feel nearly as good as on the Xbox One controller, but I guess this part is just subjective.
The other buttons feel fine, just the dpad and triggers are a huge let down on what could have been a pretty decent controller. Also the vibration feedback is fairly weak compared to what you get on an Xbox One controller.
Controller pairs straight away and stays that way, no random disconnects.
After turning on it connects very quickly and is stable, no lost presses.
It is very comfortable to use, battery lasts ages and charges quickly.
Definitelt worth paying a bit more for quality product, recommended!