8Bitdo continues to kill it with third party peripherals.
The SN30Pro+ is a killer controller with multiple device connectivity, a great d-pad and solid ergonomics all around. All-around might be the best way to describe this controller, it works with the most devices and it’ll do nicely with the most types of games.
There’s definitely an argument for this controller providing the best value, for roughly 50 bucks, you get a controller that works on Switch, PC, Mac and Android with a rechargeable battery pack and USB-C, definitely consider an SN30Pro+ if you’re into retro or Switch gaming.
- Great D-Pad
- Can connect to multiple devices at once
- Great software for customization
- Rechargeable battery included with AA support
- USB Type-C port!
- Button layout can cause some confusion for Xinput prompts
- Start and select are hard to reach
The SN30 Pro+ evolves from the SN30Pro and adds the handles and analog triggers. It’s what would happen if you take a SNES controller and Dual Shock 3 controller and merged them.
The SN30Pro+ is has three main colourways:
- G Classic Edition
- SN Edition
The SN30Pro+ seems to deviating into its own style more so than its predecessor the SN30, the 8Bitdo logo is now on the middle of controller in its own design rather than the font-style of the Super Nintendo controllers.
I found the LEDs at the bottom of the controller to be a little faint, not really complaining if its saving battery life but it did seem noticeably more dull than the other controllers I’ve used.
The thumbsticks of the SN30Pro+ is in the traditional symmetrical position. The sticks themselves do resemble a Dual Shock 4 controller with its outer rim and convex shape.
The SN30Pro+ sticks feel a little bit more stiff than the DS4 sticks with a thinner outer rim. The sticks are about the same height as the Dual Shock 4, with the press being more tactile as well.
The controller software allows you to edit the deadzone of the sticks, this setting is saved into the controller itself, really handy to have the option to set deadzone outside of just Steam.
Being able to set a deadzone is something that’s not even possible on the Switch, it’s a huge plus.
This controller should feel pretty familiar if you’re coming from a Dual Shock 3 or SNES controller for that matter.
The main thing to note about the SN30Pro+ is that it’s a little wider than the Dual Shock 4 and Xbox One controller. The width does take some adjustment to get used to but its not anything that would hold back the 8BitDo, you would be used to the grip in a day.
Select and Start can be a little bit more difficult to press due to their central placement, but you don’t use those buttons often enough for it to be a huge problem.
The vibration motors are in the handle of the controller, they are pretty strong motors but I don’t find them all that immersive, it’s a pretty basic rumble.
The d-pad on this controller is one of the best, resembling a classic Nintendo d-pad. Diagonals input cleanly, with good responsiveness in all directions. So far, the d-pad has held up, I haven’t seen too many complaints about the d-pad wearing down quickly.
This is the d-pad to use if you’re into retro gaming, I couldn’t think of a better modern controller to play classic games with, it feels sublime to play games like Mario 3 and Blades of Steel on the SN30Pro+.
The buttons on the controller follow the Nintendo layout, this can definitely cause some confusion if you’re using this controller on PC with Xbox prompts. The buttons have a slight convex shape, the SN30Pro+ has a version where the X and Y button are concave like the classic SNES controller.
The buttons are more tactile than the Dual Shock 4 buttons, the tactility feels more like the Xbox One controller.
The triggers are a new addition to 8BitDo’s controller line up, they’re true analog triggers with the ability to adjust actuation via software. The shape of the trigger resembles the Dualshock 4 mostly, with a flat surface and slight curve, the feel on press is more similar to the Xbox One, the analog doesn’t have that squishy bottom out that the DS4 has, just a solid bottom out.
The triggers are cleanly separated from the bumper L and R buttons, no issues with locating the buttons in-game.
The Sn30Pro+ connects to multiple devices via Bluetooth, it basically works with everything: PC, Mac, Android, iOS and Switch. The SN30Pro+ can keep 4 connections concurrently, to do this, you use a button combination to attempt to connect to that device’s pairing:
- Start + Y for Switch
- Start + X for PC
- Start + B for Android
- Start + A for Mac OS
To pair, you hit the button combination, then hold the the pairing button found on the top of the controller, and follow the basic steps of how you would connect any controller via Bluetooth or on the Switch.
The SN30Pro+ has you covered if you’re looking to go wired, there’s a USB-C port at the top of the controller for charging and connectivity.
On PC and Mac the SN30Pro+ emulates Xinput for maximum compatibility with games, it is recognized on Steam as a configurable controller so you can set Steam settings for this controller as a Switch emulated controller.
The Sn30Pro+ has an included 20 hour battery pack that recharges in 4 hours via USB-C. The controller is also compatible with AA batteries as well. The combination of included rechargeable pack with AA compatibility is not seen on any other controller, it’s really appreciated to have the flexibility to recharge or use your own batteries.
The controller feels very sturdy, the SN30Pro+ shell has clips and screws ensuring a tight seal of the two halves, I’m unable to make any creak or flex when twisting at the arms, if Battletoads makes you chuck your controller across the room I think SN30Pro+ could handle it.
There have been some reports of the rubber on the thumbsticks degrading over time, but I don’t penalize the controller for that as basically all controllers have this issue.
The triggers seem solid and I don’t think the analog function or the spring will degrade quickly.
All in all, the SN30Pro+ is likely going to last quite a while no matter what playstyle or usage it gets.
I have not noticed any perceptible input lag connected via PC, Switch or Mac.
The controller looks to have a 40 ms input lag in wired and 60 ms over Bluetooth, both of these figures are inline with common controllers like the Xbox One and Switch Pro Controllers. There have been reports of input lag on the Switch when using multiple wireless controllers in a single game like Smash, but I haven’t seen that happen as of yet.
The software is a cherry on top of an already very solid package. The 8BitDo software lets you customize a lot of the aspects of the controller. Even better, the controller saves all changes onto the controller itself, allowing you to take your tuning to every device you use the 8BitDo with.
To make any settings changes, the SN30Pro+ must be connected via USB. You can download the 8BitDo software on their download page.
All of the features are fairly easy and intuitive to set, once you’re happy you can hit the big purple Sync to Controller and all settings will be set.
8BitDo does put out regular firmware updates to address bugs or improve performance from time to time, you can update your controller firmware through the software, it’s as simple as checking for the latest version when the controller is plugged in via USB.
Conclusion and Recommendation
If you have multi device needs it’s hard to ignore the SN30Pro+, especially if you have a Nintendo Switch. The SN30Pro+ is every bit as good as the Pro Controller, for Switch folks looking for a symmetrical stick design, look no further. For PC gamers that also play on laptops, phones or the Switch, this controller does the job very well.
At its price, the SN30Pro+ is a great value, if you’re not overly reliant on Xinput prompts and like symmetrical sticks, this controller should be a heavy consideration.