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Videos / How To Pair 8Bitdo Bluetooth Controllers with RetroPie

Aidan's tips for pairing / connecting 8Bitdo Bluetooth Controllers with RetroPie.

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How To Pair 8Bitdo Bluetooth Controllers with RetroPie


Hey guys, Aidan here from Core Electronics, today we’re going to take a look at connecting up some 8Bitdo wireless controllers to a RetroPie Gaming Kit. We’re then going to test that controller out with our own copy of Super Mario Brothers running on the emulator within RetroPie.

The first thing we’re going to need to do is grab out our SFC Wireless Gaming Controller from 8Bitdo, there’s also a couple of other models available and the process is the same right across the board so you don’t need to worry about that.  The other thing you’ll need to do is grab a RetroPie system and you can install that on your Pie, or you can grab your kit from us where it all comes all compiled or you can grab a Pie K, this wonderful unit here.

So the first thing we do is get our SFC out, I’ve got the charge cable here if we do run into any issues there, that comes in the kit, in the 8Bitdo kit, so thats just a micro USB cable for charging and also for connecting it up if you wanted to use it as a wired controller.  And take your 8Bitdo Game Pad out, you can see that case and the packaging is really professionally done by 8Bitdo they are the best, sort of, retro gaming pads you can buy at the moment, in my opinion.  They also come with some instructions, a nice little key pad there which is FC30 full shield, which is cool, and like I said, it comes with that Micro USB cable as well which is really important.

So inside this game pad we’ve got a 480 mAh Lipo battery that can be charged through the USB Port, we’ve got 2 indicator LEDs on the top, and then we’ve got a bunch of buttons like you would always have on a Nintendo game pad.

So, moving on to our RetroPie set up, make sure that you’ve got everything upgraded and updated within your Linux system so go to your terminal and just follow sudo, get update and upgrade. Make sure that’s all up to scratch before you continue.  Because, in the older versions of RetroPie, I think it’s 3.7 and below you need to have some extra sets and files that you need to include to be able to use these controllers, but since then the app has been fixed up. Definitely make sure you’ve got that all upgraded and ready to go. Head to RetroPie config settings and head to Bluetooth, which is that one there. Now there’s a couple of different modes which we’ll go over in a separate tutorial, definitely check that one out if you want to have a look, it’s in the description below.

So, what we’re going to do is hold in the start button and wait for those lights to turn on, both lights, so…… hold it in, both lights are on, let go of it and we’ve got one blinking blue light. Mode 1 is the mode that we’re in now and we’re searching so now we should be able to display and connect to bluetooth devices which is the ideal thing to happen.

Ok, so now we have a few different options here and luckily for us that’s the top option for us today is the SFC30 Game Pad, so go ahead and select that one, display yes/no is fine for the security mode.  And you are successfully paired and we can see that that light is now on permanently so that means that we can use that device as a controller. So now we can also set up a connect mode, so this is something thats very important I think for a lot of people. Ooop we’ve just jumped out of the settings, lets see if we can get back to that real quick as I do believe that it is important  (music) back to bluetooth. There’s a bit of a delay between my screens here so that’s a bit confusing. So Configure Bluetooth Connect Mode, currently Background, so that’s my option that I want to enter in to. Now, I can make this Boot, Default or Background so Background obviously means that if my Pie was here and I came in with my controller that was already paired in the past  and I turned it on, in the background it’s going to pair. Boot means that device has to be present to Boot otherwise you have to reset your device and Default I believe only pairs when you select it to pair. So it’s always a good idea to go in there and change it to Background, it does make it a lot more simple to connect up a couple of controllers and all that sort of stuff and if you were to be using the old RetroPie system that’s the Bluetooth mapping hack. Also older versions of the firmware on your 8Bitdo controllers, but anything that’s sold today is fine, it’s just in there incase you do happen to have an older version.

So, now that we’ve got all that sorted we can get back out of our RetroPie.

Right guys, now we’ve just got to configure our controller again, so UP, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT, START, SELECT, A, B, X, Y, LEFT SHOULDER, RIGHT SHOULDER, LEFT TRIGGER. Once we get to that point we can start skipping through. That will be our game to play and our controller is working I believe, there we go! So, I’m terrible at Mario! But that’s it guys, that’s how you set up your 8Bitdo controller with the RetroPie system. We’re going to now cover how to save games with RetroPie so stay tuned for that video next.