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Ziggy587
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List of Retro Controllers Currently on the Market

by Ziggy587 Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:44 pm

NEWS: Hyperkin announced 3 new controllers! viewtopic.php?f=44&t=52551&p=1142169#p1142169
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The purpose of this thread is to list controllers for retro consoles that are currently on the market. If you search Amazon and eBay, there's an endless list of generic controllers without a brand name. These are usually poor quality. Even controllers with trusted brand names can be hit or miss. Here we are looking to list only the cream of the crop.

Please suggest any controllers that you know of, excluding generic ones with no brand name. I would also appreciate any words (good or bad) you might have about any controller. We're looking for controllers that are currently being manufactured. Yes, the Hori mini pad for the N64 is great, but it hasn't been manufactured in 20 years and is super expensive. When buying used controllers, especially ones of this age, you have to worry about condition. "Tested, Works!" means that the button presses work, but not if they're all gummy feeling from being worn out or still very clicky. Hence this thread.

The focus is replacement controllers for retro consoles, but I'll also include USB controllers. Many of these controllers have color variants but I will only link one version.

Update: I decided to reorganize everything. There's two sections now. One for original console controllers and another for USB controller. There's a spoiler tag for each entry which will either contain testimony from a RB forum member, a link to review(s), or state "Review Needed." Of course, Amazon reviews can be helpful. For any entries that need a review, please contribute if you have first hand experience with one. Or, post a link if you know of a good review that seems unbiased.


Controllers for Retro Consoles:

Nintendo:

Cirka N85 (NES)
Review needed.

Retro-Bit Dogbone (NES)
Review needed.

RetroUSB Wireless Controller (NES)
Review needed.

RetroZapper Gun (NES, lightgun)
Review needed.

Power Stick (NES, Advantage)
Review needed.

Hyperkin Cadet (NES)

CirKa S91 (SNES)
Ziggy587 wrote:This has been my main SNES controller for a year or two now and I've played through several games using it. Although I haven't used a brand new first party SNES controller in many years, this is exactly what I would expect from one. Every button is very responsive, and very clicky feeling. The D-Pad feels identical to a first party SNES controller. The shape and weight feel identical to a first party SNES controller.

Hyperkin Scout Premium Controller (SNES)

8Bitdo SN30 Retro Set SN Edition (SNES, wireless)
Jmustang1968 wrote:I have the 8bitdo NES30 pro and the SN30 Pros and they are both awesome.

Tanooki wrote:Maybe it's just me, but I feel that both the battery in the adapter for the controller port and the SN30pro that I got with my Super NT doesn't seem to last very long at all, quite short really. I got annoyed with it and just let it die and went back to a wired controller.

Retro Bit Super Retro (SNES)
Review needed.

Hyperkin Hyper Click (SNES, mouse)
Ziggy587 wrote:Although I haven't used the Hyper Click extensively, from my brief experience with it so far it seems to work as well as you would expect. I can't tell how close the sensitivity is to the original because my SNES mouse has been worn out for many years now. And on that note, this is currently the only replacement mouse for the SNES.

Retro Fighters Brawler64 (N64)
The original run of this controller has been reviewed pretty extensively on YouTube. Here's one from Metal Jesus. I haven't seen any negative reviews on it. The only minor complaint I can find is that the sensitivity of the joystick doesn't perfectly match the original (when it's not worn out). The link above is to purchase a preorder from Amazon (as of 1/2/19). Additionally, you can purchase them straight from Retro Fighters. Link.

Retro-Bit Tribute 64 (N64)
Copy of a Hori mini pad. My first impressions are that I actually like it better than a real Hori mini pad. I will add my full thoughts after spending more time iwth it. Also note that Hyperkin announced a Hori mini pad clone.

CirKa N64 Controller
All of the Amazon reviews site a horrific joystick. A lot complain that the stick doesn't work correctly, one way or another. One reviewer even posted pictures because the stick broke off!


Sega

Joyzz (Genesis / MegaDrive 6-button, wireless)
Review needed. Also for sale from Stone Age Gamer: https://stoneagegamer.com/sega-genesis- ... oller.html

8Bitdo M30 (Genesis / Mega Drive)
goatlll wrote:I picked up the 8bitdo M30, if anyone wants my thoughts on it here it goes:

I have played this on both my HDTV and my PVM, and I have yet to notice any discernible lag. It feels great after hours of play, and I was able to play through Ghouls 'n Ghosts with no issues what so ever. The charge seems to last longer than the SNES version. Now on the downside it has a slippery feel at first, especially on the back of the controller. Other than that I have no issues with it so far. It really does feel like a Saturn controller.

Hyperkin GN6 (Genesis 6-button)
Xeogred wrote:Not a serious review, but I was not very impressed with the Hyperkin GN6 (Genesis 6-button). Quality seems subpar at best and some of the buttons were getting sticky after little use. Doesn't feel as good as the real stuff, when serious quality like the Buffalo Classic USB Gamepad (SNES, turbo) exists thesedays.

Sega Master System model 3020
Quick post about an interesting outfit called "RetroGameBoyz." I recently purchased their C64 controller. They don't have a website, but are on Twitter, Etsy, and eBay.


Other

Hyperkin Brave Warrior (PS2)
Review needed.


RetroGameBoyz controllers (Atari 2600, 7800, C64, MSX, SMS, Amiga, ColecoVision)
http://racketboy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=52551&start=10#p1145159
BoneSnapDeez wrote:As per Ziggy's request...

Quick post about an interesting outfit called "RetroGameBoyz." I recently purchased their C64 controller. They don't have a website, but are on Twitter, Etsy, and eBay.

https://twitter.com/retrogameboyz?lang=en
https://www.etsy.com/shop/RetroGameBoyz
https://www.ebay.com/usr/retrogameboyz

Basically, they are making new and improved 9-pin controllers for (very) old consoles. Many of these consoles came packed with controllers that aged poorly, or were downright awful from day one.

Since I'm familiar with these old systems, I'll walk y'all through things.

Atari 2600 / C64 controller
Both the Atari 2600 and C64 utilized one-button joysticks. These days, many find it easier to use a Genesis controller to play 2600 games; however a Genesis controller can damage a C64. That's where this comes in. Why the two action buttons? Because many C64 games were platformers that used up (on the joystick) to jump. Here, up is also mapped to an action button, so you get that NES feel. Brilliant. As mentioned, this is the controller I own. Great build and functionality. Makes playing these old C64 games so much easier.

MSX controller
Another two-button deal. Authentic old MSX sticks and controllers are extraordinarily tough to find, and can be quite pricey. Seems like a solid replacement.

Sega Master System controller
For those who wished their Master System controller felt more like an NES controller, I suppose.

Amiga controller
Again, easier than a a joystick.

ColecoVision controller
This is the most interesting one. For the uninitiated, the original ColecoVision controller was one of those "keypad" things. It worked fine for certain elaborate strategy type games, but was way too excessive for the arcade ports of the era (which were the most popular games of all). You don't need a big keypad to play Donkey Kong and so on, and most CV games seemed to just ignore the majority of available buttons. This controller is well-suited for those simplistic action titles.

Atari 7800 / 2600 controller
The Atari 7800 used a joystick with two side buttons. It's a tad awkward. There was, eventually, an official controller available, but it's pretty rare. And European, from what I recall. This here controller is a nice alternative. Works with 2600 games as well, naturally.




USB Controllers:

Nintendo

Buffalo Classic USB Gamepad (SNES, turbo)
Ziggy587 wrote:This is an amazing controller, worth every penny! Anyone you ask will give this controller a very positive review. Just check out the overwhelmingly positive reviews it gets on Amazon.

CirKa S91 USB (SNES)
Review needed! I've used the console version of the S91 and have been extremely pleased with it, but I've never used the USB version. You would think this is identical quality, but I've learned never to make assumptions.[/quote]

Retro-Bit Nintendo 64 (N64)
Tanooki wrote:There is a RetroLink USB N64 controller on the market that works for emulators or normal games and stuff on PCs. I have it, don't ever use it so it'll end up ebay fodder at some point but I have no complaints about it.


Sega

Hyperkin GN6 (Genesis 6-button, USB)
Review needed.

CirKa Saturn-Style USB Controller
Review needed.


Other

Logitech Gamepad F310
Ziggy587 wrote:I've owned one of these for a few years now. What I like about it is there's a switch on the back to select Direct Input (the old standard) or X Input (the new standard) so it basically supports any game. It's the Playstation Dual Shock layout but with Xbox face buttons which makes it great to use for modern PC games.

pook99 wrote:I use a logitech f310 for my retro gaming. It is shaped like a dual shock controller but the d pad is nice and responsive and feels very comfortable.

The big draw for me is that the controller has a mode button that lets the d pad act like the analog stick and vice versa. The reason this is so important for me is because there is an annoyingly large number of indie platformers that are only compatible with the analog stick and this allows me to use the d-pad instead which is huge, also MAME defaults to the analog stick and this allows me to use the d-pad on MAME as well.

My only complaint is the triggers are a bit rough, I do use this controller for modern gaming as well, but if you are playing a FPS hitting R2 a bunch is really annoying. The controller is only 20 bucks and also features a switch to go back and forth between xinput and direct input which has randomnly come in handy,




Refurbishing old controllers:

I was debating if I should make a seperate thread for this, but I'll just post this here for now. Let me know if you think I should split this section into its own thread.

The buttons in most retro controllers use rubber pads with a conductive material on them. These rubber pads wear out, and sometimes even crack, making them feel mushy or even unresponsive. And sometimes the conductive material wears out or becomes dirty which will also lead to buttons becoming unresponsive.

There's a certain amount of TLC you can give to a controller that isn't working properly. You can disassemble the controller and clean the pads. A lot of times this alone can get them feeling a lot less mushy. You might also have to clean the conductive part of the pads and/or PCB. If they don't make good contact, your button press wont register. But do NOT clean the conductive material with alcohol. That will make it worse!

Cleaning is all well and good. But if the rubber pad is too worn out, no amount of cleaning will make it feel clicky again. And if it's cracked, well, there's really not much to do about that. Fortunately, replacement pads are currently being manufactured for a number of retro controllers.

I haven't used any of these personally, so I cannot vouch for them. I would like to try them out though, as I have many worn out controllers. I will update my findings if/when I get

NES:
https://www.amazon.com/RepairBox-Replac ... 44&sr=8-14

https://console5.com/store/nes-replacem ... -pads.html

SNES:
https://www.amazon.com/RepairBox-Replac ... 844&sr=8-1

https://console5.com/store/snes-replace ... -pads.html

Pads for a lot more consoles are available from Console5.com: https://console5.com/store/parts/joysti ... icone.html

If the controller has damage to the wire or plug, a replacement can be had. This may or may not require soldering. A number of replacement cables can be had from Console5: https://console5.com/store/parts/joysti ... ables.html

An alternative would be to get an extension cable and cut off the one end, that will leave you with what you need. Extension cables can be purchased from eBay and Amazon. Console5 also carries a lot of extension cables: https://console5.com/store/accessories/ ... ables.html


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Last edited by Ziggy587 on Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:16 am, edited 33 times in total.
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pook99
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Re: List of Noteworthy Controllers Currently on the Market

by pook99 Mon Dec 31, 2018 2:06 pm

I use a logitech f310 for my retro gaming. It is shaped like a dual shock controller but the d pad is nice and responsive and feels very comfortable.

The big draw for me is that the controller has a mode button that lets the d pad act like the analog stick and vice versa. The reason this is so important for me is because there is an annoyingly large number of indie platformers that are only compatible with the analog stick and this allows me to use the d-pad instead which is huge, also MAME defaults to the analog stick and this allows me to use the d-pad on MAME as well.

My only complaint is the triggers are a bit rough, I do use this controller for modern gaming as well, but if you are playing a FPS hitting R2 a bunch is really annoying. The controller is only 20 bucks and also features a switch to go back and forth between xinput and direct input which has randomnly come in handy,
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Ziggy587
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Re: List of Noteworthy Controllers Currently on the Market

by Ziggy587 Mon Dec 31, 2018 2:34 pm

You know what I really like about that controller? It has a switch for Direct Input or X Input, making it compatible with basically any game on the PC. It's basically a hybrid PS2 / 360 controller.
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Re: List of Noteworthy Controllers Currently on the Market

by Tanooki Mon Dec 31, 2018 5:33 pm

There is a RetroLink USB N64 controller on the market that works for emulators or normal games and stuff on PCs. I have it, don't ever use it so it'll end up ebay fodder at some point but I have no complaints about it.
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Re: List of Noteworthy Retro Controllers Currently on the Ma

by SpaceBooger Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:25 pm

I am using the following as the main controllers for the original consoles:
Hyperkin GN6
Hyperkin Cadet (NES)
Hyperkin Scout Premium Controller (SNES)
and the Old Skool Sega Saturn Controller

The Hyperkin Nintendo controllers have longer cords and are designed to either be gripped better (SNES has raised sides on the bottom and the NES one has beveled edges for comfort) and fell as good as the originals to me. The Old Skool Saturn one feels good in weight but not as good with the buttons, but its the best aftermarket one since my original ones were getting too smushy.
I honestly love the Hyperkin controllers... except for the PS2 one. That one is equivalent to the Duke of the oXBOX.
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Re: List of Retro Controllers Currently on the Market

by Ziggy587 Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:51 pm

OK, I fixed up the first post a bit. There's now two sections, one for console controllers and another for USB controller. Each controller has its own spoiler tag. I think it makes better sense this way.

I think SpaceBooger has two controllers that I still need to add to the first post.
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Re: List of Retro Controllers Currently on the Market

by Tanooki Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:34 pm

You know would it be something perhaps to add notes on the wireless devices?

Maybe it's just me, but I feel that both the battery in the adapter for the controller port and the SN30pro that I got with my Super NT doesn't seem to last very long at all, quite short really. I got annoyed with it and just let it die and went back to a wired controller.
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Re: List of Retro Controllers Currently on the Market

by Xeogred Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:43 am

Not a serious review, but I was not very impressed with the Hyperkin GN6 (Genesis 6-button). Quality seems subpar at best and some of the buttons were getting sticky after little use. Doesn't feel as good as the real stuff, when serious quality like the Buffalo Classic USB Gamepad (SNES, turbo) exists thesedays.

I'm hoping the 8Bitdo M30 turns out as good as it looks:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HB1XFQW/
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Re: List of Retro Controllers Currently on the Market

by Ziggy587 Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:13 am

Tanooki wrote:Maybe it's just me, but I feel that both the battery in the adapter for the controller port and the SN30pro that I got with my Super NT doesn't seem to last very long at all, quite short really. I got annoyed with it and just let it die and went back to a wired controller.


Thanks, I added your quote to that controller.

Check out the Joyzz by Krikzz, he states up to 150 hours on one charge! Hopefully he'll make controllers for other consoles.

Xeogred wrote:Not a serious review, but I was not very impressed with the Hyperkin GN6 (Genesis 6-button). Quality seems subpar at best and some of the buttons were getting sticky after little use. Doesn't feel as good as the real stuff, when serious quality like the Buffalo Classic USB Gamepad (SNES, turbo) exists thesedays.


No, that's perfect. We don't need end-all reviews, just a few words of your experience will do fine.
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