8BitDo’s SN30 Pro+ is not only a better option than nearly every other third-party controller on the market, its extreme customizability and $65 price tag makes it a better choice than even first-party controllers from Microsoft and Nintendo. But don’t run out and buy one just yet, because 8BitDo has an upgraded version en route that fixes some of our biggest complaints with the original.
If you’re not familiar with the SN30 Pro+, its best feature is the PC software that allows the controller to be fully customised, from remapping buttons to programming custom macros that can be quickly triggered with a single button press, to even tweaking the sensitivity of the analogue joysticks. It allows gamers to truly make the controller their own, with multiple profiles that can be customised for individual games.
But switching the SN30 Pro+ controller’s profiles through the 8BitDo Ultimate Software requires the gamepad to be connected to a computer first, which is an inconvenience and a hassle. With the new 8BitDo Pro 2 controller (the company has apparently dropped the SN30 moniker) switching profiles has been streamlined in two ways. The Pro 2 can now be pre-loaded with up to three different profiles that can be easily toggled using a new button on the front of the controller, alongside an added set of LEDs indicating which profile is currently selected.
With the Pro 2 controller, 8BitDo has also taken the computer out of the equation altogether — the company’s Ultimate Software will now also be on Android and iOS devices. This lets the Pro 2 be wirelessly reprogrammed using a smartphone or a tablet, which are devices that are usually in close reach.
Other upgrades to the 8BitDo Pro 2 include a new four-way toggle switch on the back, making it easy to change the controller’s compatibility modes so it plays nice with devices like the Nintendo Switch, PCs, and even mobile devices running Android. On the back of the controller, you’ll also find an additional pair of buttons that can be reprogrammed as needed, whether it’s duplicating the functionality of other buttons on the front of the controller or triggering custom macros.
The 8BitDo Pro 2 controller is available for preorder today for the same price as the original: $65. Given the upgrades, there’s little reason to choose the older SN30 Pro+ unless there’s a significant price reduction as a result of the Pro 2’s arrival. Just keep in mind that while 8BitDo has made its Ultimate Software available on iOS, the new Pro 2 controller can’t actually be used to play games on Apple devices, which remains one of the biggest drawbacks to 8BitDo’s otherwise excellent hardware.