8BitDo’s Arcade Stick is a sleek and stylish Switch controller

The most expensive 8BitDo controller is now the new Arcade Stick, designed for the Nintendo Switch and PC. Is it worth the $89.99 outlay?
8BitDo’s Arcade Stick is a sleek and stylish Switch controller
8BitDo’s Arcade Stick is a sleek and stylish Switch controller

8BitDo is finest identified for its affordable retro controllers, but its latest product is sort of a bit extra bold. It’s a wireless arcade stick for the Nintendo Switch and PCs, merely called the 8BitDo Arcade Stick, and at $89.99 it’s now the most expensive controller in the firm’s lineup.

Arcade sticks could be fairly expensive, though. Hori sells a $199.99 PlayStation-licensed PS4 mannequin, for instance, so 8BitDo is still on the extra accessible finish of the market in case you do need an arcade stick. And in case you do need one for the PC or Switch, I feel this one is actually a great place to begin.

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8BitDo’s stick is specifically designed for the Switch and PC (by way of XInput), and it manages to really feel native to each platforms due to a neat little trick: the button labels are pink LEDs that Switch on and off relying on the place you’re playing. Flip the knob on the high left of the stick and the labels you don’t want will disappear. It appears to be like cool and makes the stick simpler to use, which makes it a reasonably inspired decision in my book.

The stick’s visible design in any other case comes off just like the offspring of a NES Benefit controller and a Teenage Engineering OP-1 synthesizer, with its grey, pink, and black shade scheme offset by spherical coloured buttons in the nook. It’s fairly small, as arcade sticks go, but it feels hefty and well-built. And whereas the compact size and wireless connectivity make it simple to pack away, the design is sleek enough that it could happily sit on a espresso desk for a while. (At the least it could on mine.)

There are 3 ways to attach the stick: a 2.4GHz USB dongle, Bluetooth, and a USB-C cable. The dongle could be saved in a door behind the stick, which is a useful contact. Hardcore preventing game fanatics wouldn’t dream of using a wireless stick in competitors, so the wired functionality may be very welcome, but I discovered wireless efficiency to be fine for informal play. Battery life is nice in wireless modes, too — 8BitDo says you need to get 40 hours with the dongle and 30 hours with Bluetooth, and I haven’t wanted to recharge the stick since unboxing it.

In terms of really feel, 8BitDo’s stick isn’t fairly up there with the most high-end choices, as you’d count on for the value, but it’s nonetheless very playable. The micro-switched stick is reassuringly clicky and the buttons really feel stable, plus you’ve the ability to Switch them out in case you really feel like diving into the rabbit gap of stick customization. My one complaint is that I’m used to larger sticks and tend to grip from the side, so I generally discovered my (admittedly huge) left hand “slouching” on the sting of the boxy chassis, which wasn’t too snug. But it surely did not less than encourage me to enhance my “broomstick” grip method.

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I used the stick with play varied arcade-style games, principally preventing games like Avenue Fighter III: third Strike and Garou: Mark of the Wolves, in addition to some scrolling shooters like Ikaruga. Did it make me any better at any of those games? Well, no, but I had extra enjoyable playing them than I could with a controller. Whereas arcade sticks aren’t for everybody, there are some kinds of games that I’ll at all times prefer to use one with, and 8BitDo’s Arcade Stick is as much as the duty.

I actually just like the 8BitDo Arcade Stick, and I feel it’d be a great product for most individuals in search of a stick for his or her Switch or PC. It’s relatively affordable but has a uniquely fashionable design and user-friendly characteristic set, making it a easy method to get began on the planet of arcade sticks.