People have been raving about the SN30 Pro Plus saying it’s actually better than the Official Pro Controller… but I have a completely different opinion! Hello everyone, my name is Adam and welcome to TimeLag Gaming! In this video I’m going to be reviewing the recently released 8BitDo SN30 Pro Plus Controller, but I’m also going to compare it to the several other Pro Controllers and break down which is best for you! 8BitDo has been making controllers for a long time now and they have been praised for their D-Pads, the overall quality, and compatibility.
The SN30 Pro Plus takes their classic well known SN30 controller and adds grips to it along with a few other improvements that turn it into a pro controller. It comes in 3 different color variations, two retro themed and the blackout edition you see here. The SN30 Pro + retails for $50 which is only $5 more than the regular SN30 Pro without grips. Now 8BitDo also offers a $25 wired version or a $30 version without the analog sticks. They even have a $25 Switch Lite controller with 2 D-Pads on it. They offer a wide range of controllers but most of them are really just good for retro.
Or 2D games that utilize the D-Pad. This all new SN30 Pro+ is aimed to specially compete with pro controllers such as Nintendo’s official $70 pro controller and PowerA’s many $50 pro controllers. In my opinion the SN30 Pro+ controller is in no way a replacement for the Official Pro Controller. Yes the build quality is top notch, it does have extensive software to customize every aspect of the sensitivity, button remapping, and more. It does offer a good battery life with USB-C charging and the option to use AAs instead. It has a great D-Pad and a good texture on the analog sticks.
It has the LED ring around the home button, gyro and decent rumble. All of that plus the different color options and it only cost $50. So yeah it is a very attractive controller on the surface, but when actually using it extensively over the past 2 months I just don’t like using it. While the controller is initially comfortable to hold, the placement of the grips with the angle of controller face doesn’t add up to a comfortable gaming experience for most games. Now this is completely subjective so it may be comfortable for a lot of people. I did think it was fine for games that used the D-Pad as the main input and didn’t use.
The triggers, but for any other type game it just didn’t feel right. The issues for me come down to the triggers and the analog sticks. I’ve used the dual shock controller and a similar Switch controller that has this stick placement. But for some reason it just doesn’t feel that great on the 8BitDo. I tested it out a lot on games like Enter the Gungeon, Splatoon, Minecraft and others that heavily use both sticks and triggers and it was awful. The placement of sticks with the weird angle of the grips just doesn’t add up to a comfortable experience.
There are other miscellaneous issues with the controller as well. It can’t wake the console from sleep. It takes a long time to pair and sync back up to the Switch and is just a hassle to connect sometimes. Besides this there are reports of people receiving units with defective D-Pads and I personally have had issues with the joysticks drifting. Yes you heard me right the controller suffers from drifting. This first happened within a few days and then happened again about a month later. I wouldn’t be touching the controller at all but the sticks were drifting acting like.
I was pushing it. Luckily though this issues isn’t permanent as all it took to fix was unpairing it and pairing it back up. But the fact that it has happened multiple times seems like it will be a reoccurring issue. What makes all this worse though is the triggers. Now the top bumpers are good but the triggers are bad, at least when using it with the Switch. These triggers are analog which means there is a ton of travel distance. For certain platforms and games a half press registers differently than a full press. But for Switch the triggers only register when you click all the way down which feels.
Terrible and consistently results in false presses where I thought I pressed down but the game didn’t register because I didn’t press it down all the way. For people who use Xbox or PS4 controllers that might not be as big of an issue because they might be more use to it but for me it was a big deal. You can try to mitigate this by adjusting the trigger press with the customization software but even then you don’t get any feedback when you press down the button and It just doesn’t feel good to hold down the trigger. I will say this does help soften the issue so you don’t get as many false presses. The customization software is really great!.
The other way to get around the bad triggers is to change the mapping of the triggers to the bumpers through the customization software. However that feels different than usual triggers because it’s so much different than how Switch triggers feel. It also can backfire depending on the game you are playing. It would be better if you could Switch the customization profiles on the controller itself but unfortunately you have to plug in the controller to your computer to Switch it and it just becomes a hassle. For those wanting to use this controller on PC with games that utilize analog triggers.
Then these triggers are a good thing. But for Switch users these triggers are just all around bad. You can try these methods to help fix the issues but no matter what you do the official Switch Pro Controller and the Power A pro controllers just feel much better when it comes to the triggers The placement of the sticks may me optimal for some people but for me they just felt awkward even after using it for months. The sticks on the official pro controllers feel much better and more natural. My friend Aamir who often joins me on live streams also used this controller a lot over.
The past few months and he basically feels the same way as me. It’s not bad but it’s just not good for a large portion of the games out there. If you are really invested into tons of 2D games that use the D-Pad and don’t use the triggers then I will say this controller is perfect for that and you will love it. But if you play lots of other types of games as well then this controller just isn’t worth it. The 8BitDo SN30 Pro Plus controller doesn’t work as a replacement for the Switch pro controller, it could work as an alternative for those who already have a pro controller and want a controller dedicated for 2D games or want an additional controller for co-op.
But at that point you might as well get the Official SNES Online Controller or one of 8BitDo’s other SN30 controllers. The regular SN30 Pro is the exact same on the controller face but doesn’t have the grips and has better triggers which are two of the things that make the plus awkward to use. For $5 less I would honestly rather have that controller. But really If I’m going to get a controller dedicated for 2D games I would rather have the cheeper official SNES controller. My point is if you are looking at getting this for the D-Pad there are cheaper more.
Portable options that may actually be better. If you are looking at getting this as your one single dedicated pro controller then don’t. Spend the extra money for the Official Pro Controller. Yes it cost $70 but it is always on sale for $60 or under. You can also find them super cheap used. Or there is the Officially Licensed PowerA controllers. These retail for $50 but are always on sale from $35-$45. These pro controllers are basically the same as the Official Pro Controller just without the NFC, Rumble, or recharging.
They are solid controllers all around, have gyro plus extra buttons on the back that are super useful. If you aren’t willing to spend $60 on the Official Pro Controller go with one of these awesome PowerA Controllers. They also come in tons and tons of different designs. But honestly the extra money for the Official Pro Controller is completely worth it. The official controller has everything, amazing HD Rumble, NFC amiibo support, great triggers, very solid analog sticks, amazing face buttons and a good D-Pad. The launch units of the pro controller were known to have a few issues but since then.
There have been 2 revisions to the Pro Controller to help fix these issues and it’s just an amazing controller. The D-Pad isn’t as good as the 8BitDo D-Pad but I’d rather buy an additional cheeper SNES style controller for those fewer times I play games that really utilize the D-Pad. The Official Pro Controller also pairs instantly, updates super quick over the air, can be used as a wired controller and works with Android, PC and Mac as well. Additionally it’s easy to find accessories for the official Pro controller like thumb grips, controller grips, charging stands, different shells, and even an accessory that lets you attach the Switch directly to the Pro controller.
It’s just all around a much better controller than anything else out there. So to recap if you play tons of games like Mario Maker 2, Tetris 99, NES and SNES online, or other 2d style games such as retro fighters, platformers or indie games like shovel knight or celeste then yes the SN30 Pro Plus is a great controller for those types of games. But if you play lots of other types games such as shooters or 3D platforms etc then this is not the all in one controller for you. The best all in one pro controller for Nintendo Switch is the Official Pro Controller, the best cheaper alternative is the PowerA and there are other great cheap alternatives out there as well.
Now PowerA also offers many different variations as well. They have a wired version, a NERF version, a version with a headphone jack, they even have an AfterGlow version. If you are looking for a second controller dedicated for 2D and retro games it might just be better to go with one of 8BitDo’s other cheaper options with great D-Pads. Or when it comes back in stock the official SNES online controller. But if you already have the Official Pro Controller and want a premium controller dedicated for 2D and retro games then the 8BitDo SN30 Pro Plus is a great option with an amazing D-Pad, great build quality, tons of customization and a good range of compatibility working.
With windows, Mac, Android, raspberry pi, and Switch. There is definitely a market for SN30 Pro plus but if you don’t already have the official pro controller get that first. But hey remember this is just all my opinion and you may find this controller to be a perfect all in one controller. If you know what you’re getting into and you are getting this to be your dedicated controller for 2D and retro games or you really prefer the symmetrical sticks and long adjustable trigger pulls, then yes this controller will be amazing for you! But now I want to hear from you!.
What do you think about the SN30 Pro Plus? What controller do you use for docked play on Nintendo Switch? Let me know your take in the comment down below Thanks again, for watching!