Some people like to sit down and play games for a couple of hours as a way to relax after a stressful day. Others devote more time to the hobby, dedicating their free time to 100 percent the darn thing. Then, there are the hardcores among us, the ones who tweak their settings for the slightest advantage, try out every possible trick to execute the same actions, and seek out the most efficient way to solve the same problems. If you’re a hardcore who likes gaming controllers over a mouse-and-keyboard combo, the 8BitDo SN30 Pro+ is designed for you.
At first glance, it looks like one of the outfit’s retro controllers. You know, the ones designed for playing retro games on Windows, macOS, Android, and the Nintendo Switch, albeit in a fuller size reminiscent of controllers for the current-gen Xbox and Playstation. And yes, you can use this to mash buttons on classic games, too, although the range of customization it offers makes it suitable for much more than playing 8-bit Mario, 16-bit Zelda, and whatever games you got running on your favorite PC emulator.
Billed as the outfit’s most advanced controller ever, the 8BitDo SN30 Pro+ is a customizable gamepad that you can tweak to a level most out-of-the-shelf controllers just can’t handle. You can, for instance, change the button mapping, so each one will behave exactly as you like, so you can bind every single button to the exact action you prefer. The analog sticks’ responsiveness can be heightened or lowered, depending on which setting improves your precision, while the same can be done to the trigger buttons, so you can have them respond with a light tap or require a more robust push.
We know, real hardcores don’t use macros. If you want, though, it’s available here, allowing you to execute an otherwise complicated combo with just a single button push. Heck, you can even modify the intensity of the rumble vibrations, so you can tone them down to a slight whimper or raise them to a veritable earthquake in your hands. Even better, you can save multiple controller profiles that you can switch to every time you launch a different game. Suffice to say, this pushes customizability to the pretty far reaches.
The 8BitDo SN30 Pro+ has a control layout that’s actually different from the official Switch Pro Controller, instead adopting a similar layout to the PS4’s gamepad. That means, the D-pad sits on the upper left side and the two analog sticks are in line with each other, with grips on the left and right sides for comfortable gaming. Oh yeah, it’s also got a six-axis motion sensor, so you can use it for motion-controlled games on top of the usual button-mashing roster, along with a USB-C connector (for wired gameplay) and Bluetooth (for wireless gaming). All tweaking and fine-tuning can be done using the companion Ultimate Software, which is available on both PCs and Macs. And yes, it’s compatible with the outfit’s many accessories (e.g. smartphone mount).
The 8BitDo SN30 Pro+ is available now.
- Wireless Bluetooth, rumble vibration, motion controls, USB-C.