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Home / Tips and Tricks / 8BitDo's SN30 Pro + Controller handles PC and Switch games with equal skill – Review Geek

8BitDo's SN30 Pro + Controller handles PC and Switch games with equal skill – Review Geek


  • 1 – Absolute hot garbage
  • 2 – Sorta lukewarm garbage
  • 3 – Heavily defective design
  • 4 – Some advantages, many disadvantages
  • 5 – Acceptable imperfectly
  • 6 – Good enough for that Sale
  • 7 – Great, but not best in class
  • 8 – Fantastic, with a few footnotes
  • 9 – Shut up and take my money [19659004] 10 –
    ; Absolut Design Nirvana

Price: $ 50

  The SN30 Pro + controller, surrounded by other controllers
Michael Crider

8Bitdo has made a (weird) name with retro-inspired controllers that work with a range of different hardware. But with the SN30 Pro + (also a strange name) they are expanding into a "serious" area.

What we like

  • Easy switching between PC and Switch
  • Customizable controls and analogue inputs
  • USB-C charging or AA battery support
  • Good value for money

And what we do not

  • The switch can not be awakened from sleep
  • Not quite as comfortable as some alternatives

The SN30 Pro + SNES-inspired looks hide some surprisingly complex bowels. In addition to Bluetooth, which is compatible with PCs, mobile devices and the Nintendo Switch, it offers something all too rare: user-friendly key mapping and analog customization settings. This compatibility and customization make it ideal for my gaming setup, with time sharing between my PC and the switch. The convenience and flexibility of the design make it easy to overlook the one big bug in the controller – it can not turn my switch on itself.

This looks familiar

The SN30 Pro + recycles the button layout and look of the SN30 Pro, which basically holds a few thumb bars and two additional shoulder buttons on the bone-shaped Super NES layout for compatibility with modern 3D -Play to ensure. The additional "+" comes in the form of full-size handles, which equates to the typical console controls in terms of weight and comfort.

  The SN30 Pro + from the front shows shoulder buttons.
The controller has all the functions of the buttons for modern games. Michael Crider

And it works. Despite the retro look, the controller is heavy and clunky enough to allow for hours of play. I particularly like the light texture of the plastic on the handles, which is so "handy" that it sticks to your palm and still can be easily adjusted. It's not quite as ergonomically perfect as the Xbox One or Switch Pro controller, and I wonder why 8BitDo feels the need to stick to the SNES cut if it's clearly a much more powerful controller it's more than comfortable enough for use as the primary gamepad.

As the controller first developed for the switch, it includes default start and select buttons associated with "+" and "-" as well as recessed buttons for the home and screenshot functions. Four LEDs on the bottom indicate which position the controller is for multiplayer, and a single "pair" button on the top is used to prepare tiny panini sandwiches. I mean, Bluetooth pairing.

  The Sn30 Pro + with telephone handle installed.
The phone handle is an optional add-on for playing mobile games. 8BitDo

Note the recesses in the plastic top and bottom: Like many of its earlier controller designs, 8BitDo offers an extra grip when you want to use this controller with your phone.

] Da-Da-Da-Da-Da-Da, charging!

Surprisingly, the SN30 Pro + offers both rechargeable and disposable batteries: the internal lithium-ion battery can be removed and immediately replaced with standard AAs if necessary. You can not wait to be charged via the USB port. It's a clever feature you might not expect on a $ 50 controller. Kudos.

  The SN30 Pro + with battery and AA batteries.
You can charge the supplied battery via USB-C or use your own AAs. Michael Crider

And I need to provide 8BitDo props to accommodate a USB-C charging port that's fast becoming the standard for consoles, as Nintendo has set it up for all first-party switch accessories. Again, it would have been easy and perhaps even understandable for 8BitDo to be cheap with a MicroUSB port.


The highlight of the SN30 Pro + is the ability to customize the key layout and analog settings. This is not as easy as you might expect: there is no way to do this on the switch or even on the phone. You need to locate a Windows or Mac computer, install the software from 8BitDo and connect it with a USB-C cable.

  Main screenshot of 8BitDos software tool.
The tool allows two simultaneous layouts: one for the switch and one for everything else.

Once you do this, you'll find that it's surprisingly robust. The customization options are not as extreme as the Super Premium controllers such as the Xbox Elite controller or the SCUF Vantage for the PS4. However, you can easily assign any key to another key and set two assignments: one specifically for the switch and one for the PC and other common devices.

This is something I've wanted since I first got my switch because Nintendo insists on placing the primary interaction key "A" on the right side of the main button rather than the bottom ones like Xbox, PlayStation and every PC Game I played in a decade. There is no way to change this in the console software of the switch (and in some games this is just a user option). With the SN30 Pro + I can push the A button down as intended by God.

 Screenshot of 8BitDos software tool trigger.

The best part is that I can do this without compromising more Standardized layout for my PC games thanks to these dual profiles. I used the software to streamline the slightly slack detection zones on the analog sticks and triggers to better beat people in Smash Bros . It is also possible to implement macros, but without additional buttons on the pad, I did not recognize the point.

Mostly Painless Wireless

I've tested the controller in my most demanding multiplayer games, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on the Switch and Rocket League on the PC, where problems would be immediately recognizable with the wireless connection. I did not find any, though it took me a while to adapt to the shorter, stiffer stroke of the main buttons. The D-Pad is especially good, something that 2D combat fans should appreciate. The vibration motor was a bit weak, but could be maintained.

The controller can be activated in four different modes: toggle, Windows, Android and macOS by holding down the Start or Y, X, B or A button. This turns on the controller and sets the pairing for the last device it remembers. In a few seconds, I could quickly and easily switch between the Nintendo and my PC. This works fine. , , except on the switch.

  A closeup of the SN30 Pro + control cluster.
This color scheme is based on the SNES, but there are also black and NES styles available. Michael Crider

For some reason, third-party controllers find it difficult to "wake up" the switch, as is easily done with the Joy-Cons or Pro controller. I know a third-party controller can do this: PowerA manages it with the wireless GameCube pad. 8BitDo does not work even though the presumed Home button is activated. Why, I could not say, but this shortcoming was confirmed by the 8BitDo support.

This is a minor annoyance – it just means that you need to remember to turn on your switch before you turn on the controller, and may require an increase of the couch. I wish the SN30 Pro + had worked as well as the Pro controller, and maybe it can come with a firmware update. But right now it's definitely a low point.

Perfect for Multi-Platform Games

For only fifty dollars (US $ 10-20 cheaper than the official Microsoft or Nintendo controllers), 8BitDo offers fantastic value for money. The SN30 Pro + offers full vibration support, motion detection and excellent software mapping, although there is no NFC for Amiibos. And if you happen to use both a switch and a PC, it can be your only controller thanks to multiple mapping profiles.

  The SN30 Pro + Controller with a Surface Tablet and Nintendo Switch Console
The SN30 Pro + can be easily switched between the PC and the switch. Michael Crider

Because it is loosely based on an older design, it is not quite as comfortable as the Switch Pro or the Xbox One controller, and its inability to wake the switch is disappointing. (It also does not work with the PS4, Xbox One or iPhone, but that's not an 8BitDo bug.) Still, the SN30 Pro + is the best and most customizable option in its class, in addition to a lot. [19659060] What we like

  • Easy switching between PC and Switch
  • Customizable controls and analogue inputs
  • USB-C charging function or AA battery support
  • Good value for money

And what we do not

  • ] The switch can not be awakened from sleep
  • Not quite as comfortable as some alternatives

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