Our favorite 8BitDo retro controllers just got a massive upgrade

Sayem Ahmed
8BitDo hall effect controllers on a green gradient background

Looking for a new 8BitDo controller to use on your PC or console? Some of 8BitDo’s best controllers just got a big, hall-effect upgrade.

When shopping around for game controllers, many want to capture the same classic retro feel as the controllers of yore, and while many are not manufactured anymore, a select few brands still offer retro controllers. We’ve tried a handful of 8BitDo’s controllers in the past, and some of their best retro-styled controllers just got a massive upgrade.

While the 8BitDo Ultimate is already equipped with hall-effect sensors, the same cannot be said of the rest of the brand’s lineup, until now. The 8BitDo Pro 2 and SN30 Pro have now both been bolstered by the brilliance of magnetic hall-effect sticks. This tech is far from new but will allow your controllers to resist the dreaded stick drift phenomenon much easier than their resistive counterparts seen in the majority of other controllers on the market. The duo are available to order now over on Amazon.

8BitDo’s SN30 Pro and Pro 2 are incredibly well-designed

SN30 Pro contollers on a green gradient background

Taking inspiration from Nintendo’s classic SNES pad, the 8BitDo SN30 Pro retains the retro look and layout of the controller but adds modern flourishes, such as analog sticks (which are now even better) as well as stacked shoulder buttons to allow you to play most modern titles. I personally use one of these alongside an Ayaneo AM02 for my retro setup, and it’s a dream controller.

While the SN30 Pro is sure to sate any retro enthusiasts looking for a classic pad to use on their emulation setups, those looking for modern ergonomics might want to turn to the 8BitDo Pro 2 instead, which has also received hall-effect upgrades. It houses all of the benefits of the SN30, but with added grips, as well as prile switching, motion controls, and programmable back buttons.

There’s a lot to love with the refreshed 8BitDo lineup, and more controller manufacturers need to begin to implement hall-effect sticks, just to increase the lifespan of the controller, since stick drift is a very real problem for most. We’d go as far as to say that in 2024, if you’re buying a new controller and they don’t include hall-effect sensors, it’s likely not worth your time or money.

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