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Home Tech 8BitDo Pro 2 review: The finest ‘Pro’ controller for $50

8BitDo Pro 2 review: The finest ‘Pro’ controller for $50

8BitDo Pro 2 review: The finest ‘Pro’ controller for $50

A enhance in nearly every method.

The 8BitDo Pro 2 adds far more ‘Pro’ aspects when when in contrast with the SN30 Pro+. Nonetheless is that this $50 controller top-of-the-line risk for PC gaming? In this video Adam unboxes the Pro 2, compares it to the SN30 Pro+, and talks about his time with the controller.

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Table of Contents

Prove Extra

The Pro 2 is the sequel to 8BitDo’s SN30 Pro+—a fleshy-sized controller designed with standard aspects and wrapped in classic gaming aesthetics. On the foundation understand the unique controller appears to be like nearly exactly admire the passe one, but it absolutely packs some welcome upgrades while conserving the rate at a no doubt cheap $50. These aspects gain the Pro 2 grand of the ‘Pro’ name and makes it a truly easy advice for any gamer taking a look for a extremely effective and versatile gaming risk.

8BitDo Pro 2 Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

8bitDo Pro 2 Specifications

  • Compatibility with Windows 7 and up, Android 4.0 and up, Nintendo Swap, macOS 10.10 and up, and Raspberry Pi 2B, 2B+, 3B, Zero
  • Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity
  • 2 extra abet fling buttons
  • Personalized profile change that will toggle among the three profiles on the hover
  • Mode change toggle (Swap, macOS, D-enter, X-enter)
  • 1000mAh Li-on rechargeable, replaceable battery that lasts 20 hours on a 4 hour charge over a USB-C connection
  • Enhanced grip
  • 6-axis movement sensor
  • Fully configurable in Closing Instrument for PC and mobile

8BitDo evolution

The Pro 2 builds upon the controller legacy that 8BitDo has laid down over the course of more than one years—so it’s considerable to study how we got up to now whenever you haven’t been following. The firm started off with a suite of merchandise that modified into once designed to bring standard aspects to classic controller designs, some of them basically long-established for emulating classic video games on most traditional hardware.

8BitDo controllers Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

Bottom to prime: SN30, SN30 Pro, SN30 Pro+, Pro 2

Amongst one in every of the early releases modified into once the SNES30 (later renamed to the SN30), which appeared and felt simply admire a Tremendous Nintendo controller. This allowed me to use one in every of my favourite controllers on my PC when playing A Link to the Past—and it modified into once an actual treat! Having a seek to amplify its use, 8BitDo then launched the SN30 Pro. It took the classic seek and feel of the SN30 and added hardware aspects that rivaled controllers from the predominant console producers and allowed for use with standard video games. It’s quiet one in every of my favourite controllers to personal round, thanks to its compact size.

The next logical save modified into once to buy the SN30 Pro and blow it as much as fleshy size, which brings us to the SN30 Pro+. Its elevated scale made play feel higher for those with bigger hands, and its unique Closing Instrument allowed for a gargantuan replacement of customization alternate choices. With this originate it modified into once evident that 8BitDo desired to play in the mainstream market, additional enthralling away from catering to retro lovers.

This brings us to the Pro 2. Long previous are the naming and evident coloration ties to the Tremendous Nintendo—a drag largely doubtless performed for simply causes. It makes the naming transition a shrimp awkward if there could be ever a sequel to the SN30 Pro, but these items are gradually a distress to manage with.

Pro 2 vs SN30 Pro+

The Pro 2 is the same to the SN30 Pro+ in nearly every method—but it absolutely builds upon the already superior frame with orderly upgrades. From the size to the burden to the fashion it rests in the palm, the Pro 2 offers a no doubt acquainted feeling for those that long-established the older SN30 Pro+.

The predominant principal enchancment is in a textured grip, which helps with facing. It’s a textured plastic so it’s now not the identical create of grip you’re going to procure on a higher-priced controller, but it absolutely has a nice touch.

8BitDo SN30 Pro+ & Pro 2 Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

Top: SN30 Pro+, Bottom: Pro 2

The next enhance is de facto a beautiful predominant one, and right here is the save the ‘Pro’ name no doubt comes into play. The Pro 2 aspects two abet paddles situated along the underside which is per chance absolutely configurable in the most traditional model of the Closing Instrument (which I’ll disguise later). The buttons provide loads of tactile feedback, and take a seat flush ample with the handles that it’s no doubt a shrimp more gratified to use than the raised paddles on other controllers admire the Xbox Elite series. The switches feel identical to the face buttons and offers a palatable click when pressed. Whereas I’d personal appreciated four paddles, two is quiet a welcome enchancment over the SN30 Pro+. Extra alter alternate choices are gradually higher!

The next enhance is available in the create of a hardware toggle along the backside between the paddles, for switching enter profiles. With outdated 8BitDo controllers the fashion you configured the enter for use in assorted platforms modified into once by maintaining down a face button while pressing the Originate up button to point out the unit on. Keeping down X and pressing initiate would boot the controller into X-enter mode for use on the PC, Y for use on the Nintendo Swap, and loads others. Whereas I ended up studying the more than just a few combos the map modified into once by no method particular person-pleasant. The Pro 2 solves this by allowing you to toggle among the four alternate choices with a truly easy flick—and boy, is that 100 percent higher. Generally it’s simply the itsy-bitsy things that provide massive advantages, particularly for gamers admire myself who generally use the controller all over more than one platforms.

8BitDo SN30 Pro+ & Pro 2 Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

Left: SN30 Pro+, Factual: Pro 2

The next enchancment to discuss is the addition of a Profile button situated between the 2 thumbsticks. Up to a pair assorted controller configurations shall be assigned simply correct by the Closing Instrument and be switched on the hover. With a press, the button will toggle among the profiles in expose, with configurations loaded instantaneously. I chanced on this worthwhile for assigning assorted inputs onto the abet paddles for use in assorted game styles. I did procure the button to be laborious to hit generally, due to the it modified into once stop to flush with the face of the controller.

The closing principal dissimilarity between the 2 items is the itsy-bitsy enthralling of some face buttons. To be correct it gradually bugged me a shrimp that the Originate up and Decide buttons on the SN30 Pro+ weren’t situated evenly between the thumbsticks, but that modified into once simply a personal nitpick, now not one who got in the fashion of the use of the system. For the Pro 2 those buttons personal now shifted over to the symmetrical placement that I admire. I’m now not optimistic if that had a knock-on quit for the opposite face buttons, but those shifted a shrimp bit as neatly. The internal distance between the Y and A button went from 1.7mm on the SN30 Pro+ to 1.4mm on the Pro 2. This modification is extremely minor, and I didn’t waste my muscle memory while the use of it, but it absolutely’s quiet principal.

8BitDo SN30 Pro+ & Pro 2 Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

Top: SN30 Pro+, Bottom: Pro 2

Through the produce there are just a few itsy-bitsy tweaks to disguise earlier than we drag on. Whereas the Sunless and G Classic alternate choices stay unchanged, the ‘SN Edition’ chanced on on the SN30 Pro+ has been replaced with a more generic ‘Grey Edition.’ I modified into once a massive fan of the Tremendous Nintendo coloring on the SN Edition, and I don’t admire the seek of the Grey Edition. I will be able to label making the change to additional distance 8BitDo from Nintendo stylings, but they quiet personal the GameBoy produce risk in the G Classic, so I’m at a loss for phrases on prime of being bummed. Of less importance is the lack of the circular styling around the face inputs. It modified into once a nice produce touch, but it absolutely does gain the seek of the controller more clean.

The identical (largely) massive trip

Every little thing else about the use of the SN30 Pro+ applies to the Pro 2—and that’s an spectacular ingredient! The controls are nice and tight, and in explain that they provide the magnificent amount of feedback for even the most anxious video games. The sticks and triggers provide magnificent resistance, and the feel of every below my finger and thumbs is extremely gratified. 8BitDo has gradually nailed the feel of the classic D-pad as neatly, so there could be not any personal to touch that winning map!

8BitDo Pro 2 Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

As 8BitDo moves away from the classic stylings it’s centered on earlier than, I gain hope they drag away from the flat face produce. Whereas it works for itsy-bitsy controllers, I procure myself reaching simply a shrimp to hit up on the D-pad and the X button, more than I’d on a more used controller shape. For people who are more sensitive to joint distress in your thumbs it is miles recommended to buy into yarn that extra pressure whenever you set in loads of time on a controller.

Through the Closing Instrument, it is nearly identical for the Pro 2—but it absolutely is a assorted download from the SN30 Pro+ risk. Configuration alternate choices are quiet plentiful, including the flexibility to beautiful-tune thumbstick initiate and discontinue distances, and even swap trigger inputs. Diverse than the flexibility to plan custom-made key presses on the PC, it’s got every little thing you’d want.

8BitDo Pro 2 Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

When the controller is first plugged into the PC, you are presented with alternate choices to personal assorted mappings looking on which platform you personal to use. That is per chance configured in spite of which enter is at show enabled, which is extremely nice.

The finest hang up I’ve encountered the use of the system is round custom-made mapping. The labeling on the face buttons aspects the Nintendo traditional structure with Y on the left, B on backside, X on prime, and A on the magnificent. That is per chance complicated whenever you’re the use of it in X-enter mode, which has X on the left, A on the backside, Y on the pinnacle, and B on the magnificent. So as an illustration, whenever you are in X-enter mode and drag to plan a face button to a abet fling, you personal to gain optimistic you are mapping the X-enter enter in preference to what’s printed on the face button. I had to gain the mental hurdle of thinking, “the X enter is mapped to the Y button on X-enter mode, so I personal to position X on P1.” After that preliminary confusion I modified into once beautiful, but it absolutely is one thing to gift.

8BitDo Pro 2 Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

Talking of mapping the abet paddles, I also got hung up by the undeniable fact that P1 and P2 are labeled left to magnificent, in conserving with the method it’s viewed from the backside. So whenever you occur to are maintaining the controller on the complete, P2 is de facto on the left and P1 is on the magnificent. That also tripped me up after I went to configure the alternate choices.

Appealing abet to hardware trip, the Pro 2 ships with the identical 1000mAh battery as the SN30 Pro+. No no doubt, it’s the true identical battery! The unit I got contained a battery with a SN30 Pro+ trace on it. No subject the naming plan, I gain massive existence out of it. The truth that it’s replaceable is a massive bonus in case its existence diminishes over time. On prime of that, the create ingredient lets in for traditional AA batteries whenever you’re going to admire that risk. It no doubt is a take care of stop-take care of stop-take care of stop for customers, mad about most controllers lock you in with a non-replaceable battery or simplest personal an risk for AA use.

8BitDo Pro 2 Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

For we PC customers, the Pro 2 can quiet be long-established wired in by strategy of the USB-C port. Right here is purposeful for those that don’t personal the map to use Bluetooth, or who desire the bottom-latency connection doable. 


All of the hardware upgrades gain the Pro 2 a massive enchancment over the SN30 Pro+—which modified into once already one in every of my favourite controllers accessible. It be particularly higher on the PC, the save there could be the map to use the controller by strategy of USB, and the flexibility to customize configurations snappily internal of the Closing Instrument. The Pro 2 adds as much as being one in every of top-of-the-line controllers accessible. It’s simply the cherry on prime that it prices simplest $50 and yet offers so grand.

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  • The Pro 2 from 8BitDo builds upon the magnificent SN30 Pro+ in orderly methods by hardware and system aspects that gain it a in actual fact ‘Pro’ controller, and one in every of top-of-the-line accessible.


    • Excellent enter feeling
    • Deep customization with the Closing Instrument
    • Extra enter alternate choices
    • Easy-to-use enter configuration toggle
    • Amazing discover


    • Flat face produce is now not the most gratified
    • A pair of mapping alternate choices are lacking or complicated
    • The unique Grey Edition coloration risk is a speed of the mill change for the SN Edition