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Nintendo’s official Professional Controller for the Swap is mostly a fairly helpful accent, however it has its issues: the D-pad is unreliable, and it doesn’t actually provide any “pro-level” performance. 8BitDo’s newest controller improves on each of these points whereas coming in at a lower cost.
The 8BitDo Professional 2 is an upgraded model of the SN30Professional Plus, already a well-regarded Swap controller. It makes use of Bluetooth and in addition works with PCs and cellular units; there’s a bodily management for flipping between Swap, X-input, D-input, and Mac. You need to use it as a wired controller with a USB-C cable, too. I did strive utilizing it with my PC, however I really feel prefer it makes extra sense on the Swap because of the Japanese-style button structure with B on the underside and A on the appropriate. Or possibly I’m simply too used to utilizing Xbox controllers on the PC.
Aesthetically, it seems form of like a cross between a SNES pad and a PlayStation controller, with a lozenge-shaped physique, two handles, and symmetrically aligned analog sticks. The unit I’ve is decked out in a PlayStation-inspired grey colorway, although there’s additionally an all-black possibility and a beige mannequin that evokes the unique Recreation Boy.
It’s not an enormous controller, however it feels snug in my giant fingers, with quick access to the entire buttons and triggers. Simply as importantly for me, the D-pad is nice. It feels roughly like a SNES pad, and its placement above the left analog stick makes it extra applicable for video games the place it’s a major enter possibility. I’d a lot reasonably use the Professional 2 than Nintendo’s Professional Controller for nearly any 2D sport on the Swap.
The Professional 2’s key function over its predecessor is the customizable again buttons which you can press along with your center finger. These are a standard component of enthusiast-focused controllers at this time, from Microsoft’s Elite controllers to third-party choices just like the Astro C40 for the PS4. Sony additionally launched an attachment that brings comparable performance to the DualShock 4.
These buttons are helpful as a result of they help you enter instructions with out taking your thumbs off the sticks. Most first-person shooters, for instance, assign leaping to a face button, which implies it may be awkward to activate whereas aiming on the identical time. With controllers just like the Professional 2, you possibly can set a again button to work the identical means as a given face button, releasing you as much as design extra versatile management schemes. The Professional 2 makes it a lot simpler to govern the digital camera in the midst of a Monster Hunter Rise battle, which could be well worth the asking worth alone.
The again buttons on the Professional 2 are responsive and clicky, activating with a slight squeeze. You’ll be able to assign them by 8BitDo’s Final Software program app, which is now accessible for the Professional 2 on iOS and Android in addition to PCs. It’s not fairly so simple as some professional controller setups that allow you to remap the buttons immediately on the controller itself, however it does assist a number of profiles and works nicely sufficient. Beside button assignments, the app may also be used to switch the controller’s vibration energy and stick sensitivity.
You do miss out on a few of the Swap Professional Controller’s options with the 8BitDo Professional 2. Whereas the rumble is strong, it doesn’t really feel as exact as Nintendo’s HD Rumble in supported video games. The Professional 2 additionally lacks an NFC reader, so it received’t work with Amiibo collectible figurines. And it might probably’t be used to energy the Swap on, which is widespread to most third-party controllers throughout varied platforms.
For $49.99, although, these omissions are comprehensible. That’s $20 lower than Nintendo’s equal possibility, not to mention the professional controllers you’d discover for the Xbox or PlayStation within the $180–$200 vary. And all issues thought of, I’d take the 8BitDo Professional 2 over the official Nintendo controller most days of the week.
The 8BitDo Professional 2 will begin transport on April 12th.