8BitDo now makes the best Switch pro controller

Nintendo’s official Pro Controller for the Switch is usually a fairly helpful accent, however it has its issues: the D-pad is unreliable, and it doesn’t actually provide any “pro-level” performance. 8BitDo’s newest controller improves on each of these points whereas coming in at a cheaper price.

The 8BitDo Pro 2 is an upgraded model of the SN30Pro Plus, already a well-regarded Switch controller. It makes use of Bluetooth and in addition works with PCs and cell units; there’s a bodily management for flipping between Switch, X-input, D-input, and Mac. You should utilize it as a wired controller with a USB-C cable, too. I did attempt utilizing it with my PC, however I really feel prefer it makes extra sense on the Switch as a result of the Japanese-style button format with B on the backside and A on the proper. Or perhaps I’m simply too used to utilizing Xbox controllers on the PC.

Aesthetically, it appears sort of like a cross between a SNES pad and a PlayStation controller, with a lozenge-shaped physique, two handles, and symmetrically aligned analog sticks. The unit I’ve is decked out in a PlayStation-inspired grey colorway, although there’s additionally an all-black possibility and a beige mannequin that evokes the authentic Recreation Boy.

It’s not an enormous controller, however it feels snug in my massive fingers, with easy accessibility to all of the buttons and triggers. Simply as importantly for me, the D-pad is sweet. It feels roughly like a SNES pad, and its placement above the left analog stick makes it extra acceptable for video games the place it’s a main enter possibility. I’d a lot fairly use the Pro 2 than Nintendo’s Pro Controller for nearly any 2D recreation on the Switch.

The Pro 2’s key characteristic over its predecessor is the customizable again buttons that you could press together with your center finger. These are a typical aspect of enthusiast-focused controllers right this moment, from Microsoft’s Elite controllers to third-party choices like the Astro C40 for the PS4. Sony additionally launched an attachment that brings related performance to the DualShock 4.

These buttons are helpful as a result of they permit you to enter instructions with out taking your thumbs off the sticks. Most first-person shooters, for instance, assign leaping to a face button, which implies it may be awkward to activate whereas aiming at the similar time. With controllers like the Pro 2, you possibly can set a again button to work the similar means as a given face button, releasing you as much as design extra versatile management schemes. The Pro 2 makes it a lot simpler to control the digital camera in the center of a battle, which is likely to be value the asking worth alone.

The again buttons on the Pro 2 are responsive and clicky, activating with a slight squeeze. You possibly can assign them via 8BitDo’s Final Software program app, which is now obtainable for the Pro 2 on iOS and Android in addition to PCs. It’s not fairly so simple as some pro controller setups that allow you to remap the buttons instantly on the controller itself, however it does help a number of profiles and works effectively sufficient. Beside button assignments, the app will also be used to change the controller’s vibration energy and stick sensitivity.

You do miss out on a few of the Switch Pro Controller’s options with the 8BitDo Pro 2. Whereas the rumble is stable, it doesn’t really feel as exact as Nintendo’s HD Rumble in supported video games. The Pro 2 additionally lacks an NFC reader, so it received’t work with Amiibo collectible figurines. And it might probably’t be used to energy the Switch on, which is widespread to most third-party controllers throughout varied platforms.

For $49.99, although, these omissions are comprehensible. That’s $20 lower than Nintendo’s equal possibility, not to mention the pro controllers you’d discover for the Xbox or PlayStation in the $180–$200 vary. And all issues thought of, I’d take the 8BitDo Pro 2 over the official Nintendo controller most days of the week.

The 8BitDo Pro 2 will begin transport on April twelfth.

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