The design is a transparent evolution of the N30 Arcade Stick, one other retro-inspired accent developed by 8BitDo. It’s additionally just like the NES Advantage, an arcade-style controller launched for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987. Both peripherals slope upwards and have a round indentation across the black joystick, as an illustration. If you ever owned Nintendo’s eight-bit system, or have any fondness for that period of online game {hardware}, these visible nods will fill you with child-like glee.

8BitDo Arcade Stick


The visible course isn’t an enormous shock. 8BitDo’s total enterprise is constructed on well-made equipment that reference iconic gaming {hardware}. Sega Genesis. TurboGrafx-16. Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). The firm has already confirmed that it might probably replace basic designs for the trendy period.

The 8BitDo Arcade Stick is one other good mix of Nintendo heritage and fashionable online game sensibilities. The peripheral has eight major buttons, as an illustration, reasonably than the 2 that shipped with the NES Advantage. They’re organized in a Vewlix structure, which has the primary column barely decrease than the opposite three. The set covers each face button, bumper and set off usually discovered on an Xbox or Switch Pro controller. The Arcade Stick additionally has two further buttons, P1 and P2, that are primarily used for customized macros.

Serviceable elements

I just like the joystick and buttons that 8BitDo has opted for. They’re not the perfect that cash should purchase — preventing sport fans will undoubtedly favor elements by Happ, Sanwa or Hori. For the common particular person, although, they’re completely respectable. The joystick is massive sufficient to carry with a basic ‘broomstick’ or cradled ‘wine glass’ grip. It feels sturdy and makes a pleasant clicking sound once you roll it across the gate hidden beneath the highest panel. The buttons, in the meantime, are monumental enjoyable to mash. Sure, they’ve a gloss end that received’t be to everybody’s tastes. My fingers by no means slipped off, although, and each button press was registered appropriately, whatever the sport and platform.

The Arcade Stick is heavy, too. That can be a criticism in virtually every other product class. A battle stick must be hefty, although, so it doesn’t slide round in your lap, desk or desk. 8BitDo’s newest accent weighs 2.1KG, which is barely 100 grams lighter than Hori’s Real Arcade Pro V Hayabusa stick, which additionally helps PC and Switch. It’s narrower than most alternate options together with the Mayflash F500, however huge sufficient that you could steadiness it comfortably on two legs. The base can also be geared up with 4 rubber toes that give it some further grip. That means you might be assured that the Stick received’t transfer whilst you’re in the midst of a tense Smash Bros. match.

8BitDo Arcade Stick


In the top-left hand nook, you’ll discover a well-organized panel with two bodily switches. The first shifts the controller between its Nintendo Switch and XInput (PC) profiles. When you do that, the purple button labels — which are literally LEDs constructed into the machine — will flip to the right set. It’s an extremely trendy characteristic that’s additionally useful for informal gamers reminiscent of my girlfriend, who hardly ever performs video video games and must look all the way down to ensure that she’s urgent the right buttons. The second bodily change tells your console or PC that the joystick is serving as a D-pad, left or proper analog stick. That means, if in case you have endurance and significantly nimble fingers, you may play any 3D sport that depends on a proper stick for digicam management.


Next to the switches are three colourful buttons for pairing, going ‘home’ and switching every other button into turbo mode. Below them are devoted Start and Select buttons, in addition to a wi-fi connectivity toggle. That’s proper — 8BitDo’s Arcade Stick can be utilized wirelessly. Serious gamers will need to use the removable 3-meter cable that’s included within the field, given it provides the lowest-latency connection. If you desire a cleaner setup, although, the Arcade Stick additionally helps Bluetooth and a 2.4G wi-fi receiver that slots into your PC tower, laptop computer or Nintendo Switch dock. Better but, there’s a compartment on the again of the Stick for storing the dongle once you’re touring or utilizing one other type of connectivity.

I like having these choices. For comparability, Hori’s Real Arcade Pro V Hayabusa stick has zero wi-fi choices and a non-detachable USB cable that lives in an enormous compartment on the entrance of the stick. For many preventing sport followers, that’s not an issue — they solely desire a wired connection anyway. But there are many arcade video games that don’t require such precision. You might use the Arcade Stick to play Overcooked, for instance, or perhaps a top-down technique title like Wargroove. In these situations, it’s good to loosen up and never fear about whether or not somebody goes to journey over the cable working between your couch and Switch dock.

8BitDo Arcade Stick


Connectivity varies, nonetheless, for those who begin experimenting with platforms that aren’t formally supported. The Stick labored splendidly with my Android cellphone, as an illustration. With a USB-C to USB-A adapter, I used to be capable of plug within the Stick’s dongle and, for a totally wired connection, the included USB cable. The peripheral additionally appeared in my cellphone’s Bluetooth settings after I held the pairing button down. So far, so good. If you favor Apple {hardware}, although, it’s a special story. The Stick would solely hook up with my iMac and iPad Pro over Bluetooth — wired and a couple of.4G wi-fi had been a no-go. I additionally had no luck utilizing the Arcade Stick with my base PS4.

Software tweaks

Still, it’s a flexible little machine. That flexibility is stretched even farther when you begin diving into the customization choices. With the 8BitDo Ultimate Software, you may remap any of the ten round buttons that sit alongside the joystick. The Turbo button may also be configured to behave because the Switch’s seize button or a shortcut that rapidly swaps two buttons round. The remapping can also be mode-specific. If you modify B to R3 within the Switch profile, as an illustration, it received’t have an effect on how that button behaves on PC. 

If you need to cheat somewhat, there’s additionally a tab that permits you to assign macros to the P1 and P2 buttons. Within seconds, I had two shortcuts that permit me hurl Hadoukens and Shoryukens in Super Street Fighter II Turbo. (Please don’t decide me.) It’s not a characteristic that critical preventing sport fans will need to use. But if somebody that’s scuffling with a particular combo, this can be a nice approach to give them a serving to hand.

Gallery: 8BitDo Arcade Stick Review | 18 Photos