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Videos / Our 8Bitdo SF30 Pro Controller Overview

The 8Bitdo SF30 Pro was launched at the end of 2017 by 8Bitdo in an effort to create the ultimate, ‘portable’ gaming controller. Having become known for their faithful recreations of vintage gaming controllers, the SF30 Pro is a step away from that with a new layout, but there’s no disputing it’s nostalgic colours and contours.

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Hi guys, Sam here and today I'm taking a look at the brand-new controller from 8bitdo, it is the SF 30 Pro and it is the most fully featured controller that 8bitdo have released so far. So, I'm excited to look at it and explore the features of it the new controls that it brings to the table and how usable it is not just for retro gaming but for all the different console modes that it supports.

So, opening it up in the box we've got the controller itself so check out the plastic insert and so we protected plastic over the buttons. Now we've got the controller you also get a manual which is useful it covers off on you know the basic things what the controls are label does which you can probably get that yourself. It is important a couple goes through the four-different platform specific modes and how to start into them so by holding the start button a different combination of buttons will start up in a different mode which is designed to easily configure and connect to a different platform such as Android a Nintendo switch Windows or Mac OS. Now something it doesn't tell you is that there is a fifth option which is a bit of a generic hid device option which we recommend for using with retropie. Now also in here is a USBC cable which is a the most noticeable change that they've implemented moved away from the microUSB port, which is a bit of an interesting move because I like it that they're embracing new technology and new standards. On the plus side it does render all the micro USB cables that you inevitably have ordered away useless for charging this controller which is a bit of a bummer but just make sure you don't lose the USB C cable and in a couple of years they're going to be so commonplace that it's not a big issue. So, I do like that they are embracing that new standard though and yeah, it's a nice cable.

Now moving on to the controller this is the most important part it's got a fully featured control set and by that I mean it has all of the controls that you would see on a modern gaming controller, dual analog sticks, a d-pad, ABXY, shoulders, triggers, thumb sticks, it's got all of that so it's going to be compatible with modern games that support Bluetooth controller connection. You know as indicated by the Nintendo switch mode. Now the buttons themselves are fantastic, 8-bitdo are known for their faithful recreations of vintage gaming controllers and they blew us away with their original nes and snes releases and they've come a long way since then but it's good to see that that still maintains the impeccable build quality. That they first you know made their name from the buttons on spongy they've got a nice click and response to them. So, the controllers as I've mentioned before you've got A B X Y you've got, a d-pad, we've got shoulders bumpers and triggers now the triggers aren't analog triggers they don't have a varying response they're just digital on/off triggers which is all you're going to need for retrofire games anyway because controllers didn't have analog triggers back then. We've got the analog sticks, now these in my opinion are the most important aspect of the controller they previously released earlier last year another pro controller which was sort of the predecessor to this one and it had analog joysticks the first two control from them to have it but they were quite small they'll probably half the size and movement range of these ones and they had noticeable indentations when you cross the axis a little bit of wobble. They worked but they weren't the most satisfying useable sticks in my opinion. These however are amazing they feel exactly like you know full-size sticks that you would expect on a modern console controller they've got a smooth response, no dead room, no wobble at all and they've also got clickable sticks. All of this to say you can map every available input control on retropie, which is cool because it means you can play any emulator with this one controller if you're willing to deal with a layout change if it's a specific controller layout. You've also got an 8-bitdo and a turbo function button now these are just generic buttons depending on how its configured in the generic mode between map to retropie we just mapped this as the hot key button it shows up as any other button. The turbo mode depends on what mode you're using and whether there later supports it so it's a bit finicky if you don't really need to use it unless you know you've got a platform that supports that feature. Then on the back we've got the USBC connector, the pairing button which you can use to repair it to a device along with the status and activity LED indicator and then on the bottom here we've got these functions LEDs I call them. Which represent the modes that it's starting up into and whether it's connected to the device or not and which play a number controller it is. You've also got haptic vibration you can see I took it apart and there's a photo here the tutorial there where I highlight where the vibration motors are so you're going to fill those right on your fingers as you're holding which is a good thing and on top of that you've also got motion control inside. Not really taken advantage of with retro power systems but because it does support modern consoles no doubt that will be taken advantage I haven't tested that particular feature out yet, but I would be willing to say that it's going to work well

So that is the control set of the 8bitdo the SF 30 pro controller as it feels fantastic every aspect of this controller is nicely laid out. If you want some more information on pairing it specifically there's a tutorial just for this controller and then another tutorial for the rest of the 8bitdo line up and then if you want to know how to set up retropie, if you haven't dived into that or perhaps you've got this as part of our ultimate retro gaming console bundle, then check out the tutorial for that and it walks through how to set that up as well.

So that's all for today guys, I hope you enjoy this wonderful controller from 8bitdo, happy gaming.