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Review 8BitDo Arcade Stick


hey everybody it’s lon seiben and we’re taking a look today at the 8bitdo arcade stick this is an arcade stick that looks pretty cool and it works with a lot of different devices it’ll support the pc of course along with android devices the raspberry pi the mister which we’ll demo in a few minutes along with the nintendo switch it does not appear to work with other game consoles however and what you get is a nice control stick here with micro switches along with a bunch of buttons here that give you a real arcade feel and there’s some things you can do to modify this as well and we’re going to take a closer look at this in just a second but i do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure that this came in free of charge from 8bitdo however all the opinions you’re about to hear are my own no one is paying for this review nor has anyone reviewed or approved what you’re about to see before it was uploaded so let’s get into it now and see what this arcade stick is all about now the price point on this costs a little bit more than other 8bitdo controllers it is dollars but it is a pretty solidly constructed device for that price i was really surprised by how heavy it is it weighs four pounds 10.8 ounces or 2.12 kilograms so it’s really solid on your desk it’s got some really big rubber feet here at the bottom that help with the stability as well so when you’re really jamming away with it here it’s going nowhere in fact my whole desk is shaking as i’m using the control stick here so it’s got a very hefty high quality feel to it it feels really nice the micro

switches on the controller are pretty good i’ll talk a little bit more about the gating on it in a few minutes the buttons here feel pretty nice too they don’t click but they do give you the ability to really go at it pretty quickly on certain games if you need to but everything here is moddable and we’ll take a look at the interior in a few minutes here as we work our way through the review now as i mentioned this works with the switch and with devices that support x input and there’s a switch here at the top to determine which mode you’re in so when it’s in s mode here that is the nintendo switch mode and then when you switch it over to x it’ll go into x input mode and one thing that i found to be really helpful on this i’ll pull up some b-roll to show you is that the button labels will change depending on the mode that you’re in they don’t really show up well under my studio lights here so as you can see here i’m in switch mode and we’re about to switch into x input and you’ll see those button labels change so you know what button does what given that they’re laid out a little bit differently than what you might find on your typical xbox or switch controller so that was pretty helpful there i did manage to get it connected up to a whole bunch of different devices we had it working with an android device nintendo switch obviously the nvidia shield worked just fine worked great on my pc of course now there are some things that don’t work with the controller i tried to get my iphone and ipad working with it because those devices now of course work with playstation and xbox controllers but for some reason the 8bitdo controllers even though they support x input are not recognized by my iphone and ipad at the moment and this one falls into that mix as well it does not work with the playstation or the xbox consoles either but again it does work with the switch and it paired up very quickly with it on a live stream we did with the switch a little bit earlier once you put it in switch

mode and put it into the pairing mode there it pretty much just works and you’re off and running using your arcade stick with your switch and of course the pc was pretty easy and there’s a couple different ways to get this connected to your devices so you can hook it up wirelessly over bluetooth and if you want something a little bit better than bluetooth there is a little dongle here garaged in the side of the controller actually in the back of it and you take out this little dongle and plug it into your device and then you can connect directly to the dongle and in many cases that might deliver a little bit better latency and again a more reliable connection depending on the quality of the bluetooth controller on the device you’re connecting to so there’s a switch here to go between bluetooth and 2.4 gigahertz and again i would say whenever you can use that dongle just because you got it and it will give you a better connection when you have that in use although i found for the devices i hooked it up to bluetooth worked just fine now typically 8bitdo has been very good with latency on their controllers and this one is no exception it performs pretty much the same latency wise in my testing as the xbox one controller and the nintendo switch pro controller we measured that out using my iphone shooting

screens at high frame rates and this one really seems to perform as well as all the other 8bitdo controllers that are out there so it’ll give you the lowest latency you can get out of a wireless device you can also plug it in with a cable if you want and that same door here on the back will also give you the ability to connect up with that usb cable that’s also what’s going to charge the controller as well the battery inside of it will last about 40 hours on the dongle here and about 10 hours less on bluetooth and then of course when you’re plugged in you can game as long as you want with it and the cable here is pretty nice and long too so you should be able to get back from your tv at a fairly decent distance and of course you can always get a longer cable if you need it if you really want to go wired you will get a little bit better latency on the wired connection here but for many gamers you may not notice the difference but if you do want the lowest latency hook it up with usb so here is the ultimate software that you can download to configure the controller you don’t have much control over the controls themselves other than doing button mapping and a few macros so for example right now this button by default on x input is mapped to the left trigger but i could have the button do something differently here by selecting the menu here and having it do something else i can even disable the button completely you can set up different profiles so if you have certain games that work a certain way you can go ahead and configure those that way now if i were to switch it into switch mode here that will change the mode of the software we’ll give it a second here to catch up and now if you look at the bottom of the screen you can see that it’s now in switch mode when i flick the switch again to go back into x input mode it’s

going to cycle once more and we’re back to the windows side so it’ll remember the settings that you set in each of those modes the macros you can set over here basically you kind of program in a macro based on the commands that you have available to you you add it to the mix here and then you can map it to one of the macro buttons here at the top so fairly basic you don’t have a lot of ability to control how the joystick works for example but by and large it is pretty nice to have some degree of configurability on the controller itself now this is a free app on windows called game controller tester and as i push the buttons here on the controller you can see how they are currently mapped again you can jump into that ultimate software and change the mapping so if you don’t like this you have some adjustments you can make as you can see here the left and right triggers are mapped to these two buttons nothing on this stick is analog though so you’re not going to get any subtlety to your button pushes they’re either on or off and take a look over here on this box on the left and as i move the control stick around you can see it registering the position of my control stick but again no analog controls here it’s either on or off and you can hear the clicks here actuate as the controller actuates on screen so that’s pretty cool now there is a switch here next to your mode selection and right now it’s on ls which stands for left stick and then if i flick it into the center here which says dp that will have your little directional pad

here light up and map to that so if you have games that only work on the d-pad you can map them that way and then i can flick it over here to rs which of course is right stick and you can go with that all pretty cool stuff now the one issue that i had with this controller was when i was playing pac-man and i love pac-man i’ve been playing the championship edition game here as well and i really struggled with getting my left right up and down very accurate on the controller and the reason is is that you don’t really feel much of a difference between a diagonal here and just going straight left or right and you can’t disable the diagonals in the software and so there’s really nothing that you can feel here beyond maybe hearing the click to know whether or not you’re left or in a diagonal mode that might get pacman stuck and so one of the cool things about the game controller is that it is modable and they work with a lot of standard arcade parts so what you could do is swap out the gating that it has currently which is just one of these square gates and as you can see there’s really no way to feel any change between a diagonal or a left and right other than just trying to get it into the right position but you can swap out the gating on this of course and put in something like this octagon that will give you a little bit

more tactile feedback to know exactly where your controller is positioned i might pick one of those up and do a follow-up and see if i do any better with pac-man on that now you might be wondering why buy this at all if you just intend to swap out all the parts on it well the reason would be that the electronics on the controller are very good and very compatible with a lot of different platforms and that might be compelling enough to buy the 8-bit dough and then put in some different controller parts you can see what it’s compatible with here on their marketing page now i did play it with some other games though that really worked out pretty nicely so this is icaru which is a great shoot-’em-up that i was playing on my pc you might remember it from the dreamcast days really nice control very very smooth on that i also booted up my mister and we played some zaxon during a live stream the other day and this worked out really well this is one of those games where you got to really mash the button i guess i could have enabled the turbo feature that it has here but i opted to go old school with it and it was really fun to just mash the button there and shoot as fast as possible especially when we got to zaxon a little bit later in the game we didn’t beat him though i have to keep practicing on that but this game felt very good to me and then we also played a little street fighter 2 on my mister and it also pretty worked pretty well here as well again having the square gate was really useful for doing some of those rotational movements that you do to execute the special moves in the game here so all in it was a really good

arcade experience i think i might though just see if that octagon gate might do a little better for the pac-man champion edition which i do play quite a bit of on my nintendo switch so all together this is a very solid offering from 8bitdo both in the figurative sense and the literal sense it weighs almost five pounds it’s super heavy it stays sure-footed on your table as you’re playing your games with it you’ve got the option of wired or wireless you’ve got switch support it works with just about anything that accepts x input with the exception of ios and yes it does work on the raspberry pi as well so it’s a very versatile controller it’s got great electronics inside that 8bitdo has been perfecting over the last couple of years across all these different platforms and i think it’s something that you can definitely mod to make work exactly like you want it to which is something we might experiment with here on the channel in the near future so all together i think it’s something i can recommend that’s going to do it for now until next time this is lon simon thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by the london tv supporters including gold level supporters brian parker jim peter tom albrecht and chris allegretta if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to lawn dot tv support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe

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