8BitDo Arcade Stick review: a sleek and stylish Switch controller

8BitDo is greatest recognized for its reasonably priced retro controllers, however its newest product is kind of a bit extra formidable. It’s a wi-fi arcade stick for the Nintendo Swap and PCs, merely known as the 8BitDo Arcade Stick, and at $89.99 it’s now the most costly controller within the firm’s lineup.

Arcade sticks may be fairly dear, although. Hori sells a $199.99 PlayStation-licensed PS4 mannequin, for instance, so 8BitDo remains to be on the extra accessible finish of the market in case you do need an arcade stick. And in case you do need one for the PC or Swap, I believe this one is definitely an ideal place to start out.

8BitDo’s stick is particularly designed for the Swap and PC (by way of XInput), and it manages to really feel native to each platforms due to a neat little trick: the button labels are crimson LEDs that change on and off relying on the place you’re taking part in. Flip the knob on the high left of the stick and the labels you don’t want will disappear. It seems cool and makes the stick simpler to make use of, which makes it a fairly impressed resolution in my e book.

The stick’s visible design in any other case comes off just like the offspring of a NES Benefit controller and a Teenage Engineering OP-1 synthesizer, with its grey, crimson, and black coloration scheme offset by spherical coloured buttons within the nook. It’s fairly small, as arcade sticks go, however it feels hefty and well-built. And whereas the compact measurement and wi-fi connectivity make it simple to pack away, the design is modern sufficient that it might fortunately sit on a espresso desk for some time. (No less than it might on mine.)

There are 3 ways to attach the stick: a 2.4GHz USB dongle, Bluetooth, and a USB-C cable. The dongle may be saved in a door behind the stick, which is a useful contact. Hardcore preventing recreation fanatics wouldn’t dream of utilizing a wi-fi stick in competitors, so the wired performance may be very welcome, however I discovered wi-fi efficiency to be nice for informal play. Battery life is nice in wi-fi modes, too — 8BitDo says you need to get 40 hours with the dongle and 30 hours with Bluetooth, and I haven’t wanted to recharge the stick since unboxing it.

By way of really feel, 8BitDo’s stick isn’t fairly up there with essentially the most high-end choices, as you’d count on for the worth, however it’s nonetheless very playable. The micro-switched stick is reassuringly clicky and the buttons really feel strong, plus you might have the flexibility to swap them out in case you really feel like diving into the rabbit gap of stick customization. My one grievance is that I’m used to larger sticks and have a tendency to grip from the aspect, so I generally discovered my (admittedly large) left hand “slouching” on the sting of the boxy chassis, which wasn’t too snug. Nevertheless it did not less than encourage me to enhance my “broomstick” grip method.

I used the stick with play numerous arcade-style video games, largely preventing video games like Avenue Fighter III: third Strike and Garou: Mark of the Wolves, in addition to some scrolling shooters like Ikaruga. Did it make me any higher at any of those video games? Effectively, no, however I had extra enjoyable taking part in them than I’d with a controller. Whereas arcade sticks aren’t for everybody, there are some forms of video games that I’ll at all times favor to make use of one with, and 8BitDo’s Arcade Stick is as much as the duty.

I actually just like the 8BitDo Arcade Stick, and I believe it’d be an ideal product for most individuals in search of a stick for his or her Swap or PC. It’s comparatively reasonably priced however has a uniquely trendy design and user-friendly characteristic set, making it a simple solution to get began on the planet of arcade sticks.

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