Videogame Controller Whores Anonymous


Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Tell us about your controllers.

Regale us with horror stories of terrible third-party gamepads.

Inform us of the problems you've had with first-party pads.

Give us of your best kludge to fix something.

Show us your DIY fight stick.


Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
I'll start with the 8Bitdo SF30 Pro controller. 'Cause there's nothing like an old dogbone controller.

I've been getting a little wrist pain from the joycon grip (it's small enough that you have to, y'know, really grip it to keep ahold of the thing...while you die in Ikaruga for the 100th time). One of my favorite controllers of all time is the old Wii Classic Controller, which is basically a chubbier SNES pad, and I never felt any pain at all during my marathons of playing Xenoblade with it. So I bought this to see if it'd be a reasonable approximation of that. Only $40, less if you look around; you can pretty much get one of these for half the price of a Pro controller.

-Pairs easily.
-Superb D-pad.
-Damn good face buttons.
-Four shoulder buttons on there, believe it or not, and the lower triggers are sculpted and feel marvelous.
-The sticks are extraordinarily good; far better than the old Classic Controller, and probably better than the DS3 I'm borrowing (granted, this isn't broken in yet, so the sticks may get a little looser).
-No discernible lag.

-Can't wake the Switch up with the Home button. (You have to power, then pair.)
-The rumble is a little raspy. OK in Splatoon. In a heavy-rumble game like Xeodrifter, it's worth turning off.
-No Amiibo functionality. I don't care about Amiibo, but in Splatoon, the game checks for Amiibo NFC. It bogs for a moment (where you will feel some lag in the menus), then gives you an error message, then goes away and you're fine.
-Not quite as large as it could be:



I put up a 1350 with it in Splatoon, so yes, it will twin-stick shoot (and also has motion controls, although I haven't tried 'em, because I suck with gyro). And I'm not hurting. But you do have to reorient yourself a little. Using a lighter touch helps. Like the grip+joycon, you can place your hands where your index and middle fingers are sitting on the four shoulder buttons, but it really feels like you should be using index-fingers only there. So it probably shouldn't be your first FPS/TPS choice. It'll 100% happily do it, but it doesn't feel as natural.

For a 2D platformer, though? Yeah. You'll want this to play Silksong. The D-pad is freaking awesome. And it's in the right place. I never felt completely comfortable using the faux-D on the joycons+grip, or even the GamePad's proper D. What I'm trying to say is you want the D, and this controller will give you great D.

Also can be used for Windows, Mac, and Android. And although it's not as large as I'd hoped it would be, it's compact enough to travel with. I might finally use my Switch's kickstand.

High marks. This feels like a first-party controller.


All mods go to heaven.
I have a modded fight stick and I will post pictures soon. But also I realized I never tested it on the Switch, and if it works, it's shmup time for me.
Only controller troubles I had with first party Nintendo is my old Wii U Pro. Sometimes the left stick would just drift slightly. I got a used one currently being shipped to me through Amazon so I will finally replay Bayonetta. I like the Gamepad but I find it's better for handheld mode or if the game uses it. If I use it to play a game that doesn't use it at all like BotW then I prefer to use something else. For a game like Wind Waker or Deus Ex? Yes please.

Not Nintendo related but once upon a time I had two PS3 controllers. One was a sixaxis and the other wasn't. I can't remember why I didn't use the sixaxis (something prevented me from wanting to use it). The non-sixaxis controller is just too light for me, I like a bit of heft to a controller, not something that feels like I can crack it in half. So I thought I would take the shells of both of them, use the shell of the non-sixaxis and cover up the sixaxis one (I guess going from that, something about the sixaxis shell was off/broken?).

Turns out it's not that simple. The circuit board and whatnot on the inside are different so the shells are slightly different, and those shoulder buttons are a right bitch so work around with. They're not really bolted down, just a loose pin going through the L2/R2 buttons to keep them in place, and once you move them at all, good luck getting them to work properly again, they either become way too loose or can't fit in the shell.

I realize there are some people who can probably take controllers apart in their sleep, but I like to tell myself the PS3 controllers are something not really meant to be taken apart. The end result? I got a drawer with two taken apart controllers and a zip-loc baggy of shoulder buttons and random pieces. Shit.

So yeah Bayonetta will be fun.

Also thanks for the review of that controller ET, when I get a Switch in the year 2026 I'll have to keep that one in mind.


Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Only controller troubles I had with first party Nintendo is my old Wii U Pro. Sometimes the left stick would just drift slightly.
Tbh, this is one of the reasons I decided to try a third-party controller. For whatever reason, Nintendo's controllers have had a higher variance of QC these past two gens.
Also thanks for the review of that controller ET, when I get a Switch in the year 2026 I'll have to keep that one in mind.
Slight update on it: the firmware update process is a little finicky.

You have to DL the firmware/installer from their site, then install and extract the files (and they're not entirely clear; on my first attempt, I must have extracted from the wrong folder, because the update didn't work). I had to look at a YouTube tutorial to find the right path.

Then you have to reset the controller (because the updated firmware will skew actions and assign them to the wrong buttons at first). But. There are no instructions included on how to reset your controller. Back to YouTube. L+R+Start+Select reboots the controller. But that also forgets any synch-ing you've done, so you have to re-pair from scratch.

Seamless, it ain't. But the trade-off is fair, since it also means a lot of issues can be remedied via firmware updates.


Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Battery update. So the 8BitDo is advertised with "16 hours" of battery time. I hadn't charged it since I did the firmware update, and over the last two weeks I played all of Hollow Knight with it, which took 20 hours (and I don't know if that counts my deaths). Plus, I dunno, 4 hours during the last Splatfest? Maybe an hour of NESflix? And I'm pretty sure it wasn't even fully charged after the firmware update.

So that's pretty good. I dunno if the battery life will be as long-term robust as the Joy-cons (which I have run out of juice several times, but it still seems to last about 20 hours after a full charge), but it's good out of the box.

[I'm almost tempted to go buy their wireless adapter. If I found an old Wii U Pro to pair with it for cheap, that could be useful.]