Cameron Stumm

Jan 31, 2021

3 min read

8BitDo SN30 Pro+ Review

In regards to controller options for the Nintendo Switch, there aren’t many Nintendo-made options available to choose from. The included joy-con can be used as a traditional controller when using included the grip to hold them together, but the tiny, pill-shaped controllers are not the most comfortable or accurate when playing for long periods of time. The other option is Nintendo’s fantastic Pro Controller, which is a traditional console gamepad. With limited offerings from Nintendo, this leaves an array of wired and wireless options to sift through, but it leaves the question if many are actually worth using in the first place. In a sea of peripherals, one that rises to the top above most is the 8bitDo SN30 Pro+.

Made by game accessory maker 8BitDo, the oh-so-nicely-named SN30 Pro+ is the Frankenstein-esque combination of an Super Nintendo controller body, PS4 joysticks, and the handles of the pro controller for the Nintendo Wii released years back. This greatest-hits controller takes all of these elements and combines them into one of the best-feeling gamepads available for any modern console or platform. The joy of this controller is its sheer flexibility, working for PC, Switch, Android, and more.

The SN30 Pro+ takes up approximately the same amount of space as a ps4 controller, but with slimmer handles on the lower half. The entire controller is very comfortable to hold, though I do slightly prefer the larger body and grip provided by the Nintendo Pro Controller. However this is subjective and I still found the SN30 Pro+ very comfortable to use in every game I’ve tested it with thus far.

Games like Super Mario Sunshine feel great to play with the controller’s textured, concave joysticks providing just the right amount of grip and accuracy for tricky platforming and maneuvers in the 3D platformer. Sure, I died in a lot of platforming segments of the game, but that was my dang fault and not the controller’s. The controller’s plastic body also has just a hint of texture, making it feel less like a cheap toy and more like a premium accessory. It may seem like a small detail, but it made a big difference.

Another great aspect of this controller is that motion sensors and rumble are also included, which means games with motions controls baked in can also be enjoyed. For games like Breath of the Wild, subtle motion controls for aiming bows and powers feel integral to the game’s experience based on my play style, so this was a great feature to see included in the controller. For other games like Super Mario Galaxy, this sensor is used to replicate a Wii remote’s pointer and is required to play the game on a tv, so it’s nice to see this included with the controller so games of any kind can be enjoyed without worrying about compatibility. While the rumble included is not Nintendo’s proprietary ‘HD Rumble’ it still feels great to use.

In addition to modern games, the controller also shines with retro and 2-D games thanks to its fantastic D-Pad. The controller’s D-pad feels taken striaght from a Super Nintendo controller, making all of the NES and SNES games available on Nintendo Switch a pleasure to play, not feeling much different than the original console controllers.

The SN30+ is a great controller for any compatible platform, especially the Nintendo Switch. It’s comfortable, long-lasting, and more affordable than Nintendo’s own Pro Controller. If you’re looking for an extra traditional gamepad that’s also very versatile, look no further.