Playing with a tiny controller isn’t very comfortable. For many, though, having access to tactile buttons, no matter how cramped, is still preferable to having to tap and swipe on touchscreen controls. At least, that’s the best argument we can make for the 8BitDo Micro, a very compact gamepad that’s designed to take up room in your pockets.
How small is it? The whole thing measures just 2.8 x 1.6 x 0.6 inches (width x height x thickness), allowing you to stash it inside any pocket with plenty of room to spare. Yes, it looks absolutely uncomfortable and unergonomic, but it makes carrying a full-fledged controller a lot more convenient than your typical third-party mobile gamepad for smartphones.
The 8BitDo Micro is a bar-shaped gamepad with rounded corners, so there are no grips or anything else that makes it easier to hold. What it does have is plenty of buttons for tactile game controls, allowing you to get a better feel for any game you play on the go. Specifically, they threw in a whopping 16 total buttons, namely a four-way D-pad, standard action controls (A, B, X, Y), four shoulder buttons (L, R, L2, R2), and four system buttons, so you can map a load of actions on any game you play.
According to 8BitDo, it’s compatible with the Nintendo Switch, Raspberry Pi, and Android, so you can use it to play games on your gaming handheld, board computer, and smartphone alike. It’s compatible, of course, with the outfit’s Ultimate Software, allowing you to customize the button mapping, so you can tailor it to your gaming preferences. If you enable Keyboard Mode, you can even use the controller for various applications, giving you a way to quickly bring up shortcuts on any productivity software you use on phones and tablets. In Keyboard Mode, by the way, the controller can also work with iOS, Windows, and macOS.
The 8BitDo Micro pairs with your devices over Bluetooth, so you don’t have to deal with wires when playing on the go. It’s equipped with an equally small 180mAh battery that, the outfit claims, can last for 10 hours of playtime between charges, all while fully recharging in one to two hours. In case you run out of juice in the middle of a game and can’t charge anywhere, it can also work when tethered using a USB-C cable.
There was a time when we wouldn’t have believed that people can be happy playing on controllers of this size. However, we’ve all seen how people took to Joy-Cons and got used to it after a bit, so maybe they’ll take the same way to these minuscule gamepads with its plethora of controls. Not to mention, people have long made do tapping and swiping on those cramped phone screens all the time just to partake in their favorite games and this should, at least, offer a better gaming experience compared to that. At least, we hope so.
The 8BitDo Micro is available now in blue and green colors.