8bitdo Controller Buying Guide

In my latest video, I take a look at four of of 8bitdo’s premium game controllers: the Ultimate 2.4 & Bluetooth, the Pro 2, and the SN30 Pro.

8bitdo was originally known for crafting replicas of classic gaming controllers. Over the years, 8bitdo has matured its product line, offering a premium gaming experience at a reasonable price. You can follow their progression in my 8bitdo playlist.

The Ultimate 2.4 and Ultimate Bluetooth controllers are similar in design, resembling the layout of an Xbox controller. Both are compatible with PCs supporting X-input devices, including the Steam Deck, Android devices with X-input support and emulation devices like the Raspberry Pi & MiSTer.

However, the Ultimate Bluetooth controller is also compatible with the Nintendo Switch, while the Ultimate 2.4 works better with Android and Apple devices. The Ultimate Bluetooth controller is also equipped with superior control sticks that utilize hall effect sensors. This provides a smoother experience compared to the traditional Alps type of stick in the 2.4 controller.

But the Ultimate Bluetooth controller defaults to the Nintendo Switch layout when it’s switched into Bluetooth mode, and the labels printed on the buttons are in the Nintendo Switch layout which differs from the Xbox. These default settings can be changed with 8bitdo’s configuration software.

Both controllers come with a convenient charging dock that has a USB 2.4ghz receiver installed at the bottom. The receiver works inside of the dock provided the dock is connected to a computer through its USB-C port. But the receiver dongle can be removed for a more portable solution. Additionally the controllers can connect to a device directly via their own USB-C port. They can also charge through that connection.

The Pro 2 controller, designed in a PlayStation layout, is my personal favorite. It combines the best of a Super Nintendo layout and Sony’s analog stick and handle design. The Pro 2 is more versatile in its compatibility, with a switch that allows easy transition between different modes, such as Switch, Android, Direct Input, and X Input. The Pro2 also works with the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV.

The SN30 Pro, a smaller version of the Pro 2 that lacks the handles, offers similar features but lacks analog triggers. I found it works great for classic games but the lack of handles makes it less comfortable for games that rely on the analog sticks.

8bitdo’s Ultimate Software allows users to fine-tune their controllers. From button remapping to adjusting stick sensitivity and trigger dead zones, the software provides a granular level of control. However the software is only compatible with the Ultimate controllers and the Pro 2 – not the SN30 Pro.

Despite their strengths, these controllers do have limitations. The Ultimate Bluetooth controller’s compatibility is not as robust as the Pro 2, and none of these controllers work with Xbox or PlayStation consoles. Nevertheless, 8bitdo has come a long way in developing controllers that offer great features, performance and compatibility.

Disclosure: The controllers featured in this post and video were provided to the channel free of charge by 8bitdo, however they did not review or approve the content before it was posted.