8Bitdo’s series of third-party controls has gone from strength to strength, and the Pro 2 gamepad is the latest addition. At first glance, it almost looks like the Pro + we tested in detail right here, but it’s the remarkable addition of two new button supports under each control arm, adding some really customizable buttons that are perfect for macros and itchy trigger fingers.
Like the Pro +, the 8Bitdo Pro 2 works with Nintendo’s Switch, Windows, macOS, Android and Raspberry Pi, and while the new controller has a PlayStation 1-inspired gray color scheme, it still borrows heavily from Nintendo controllers of the past.
There is still a cross-shaped D-pad on the left (something you may miss on the Switch JoyCons), start and select buttons in the middle and circular A, B, X and Y buttons that are more clearly marked this time. It̵
The Pro 2 has a removable battery pack that you can replace with AA batteries if you are unable to charge it through the USB-C port. I have not performed a full review of the battery, but you can expect about 20 hours of playing time. It’s a solid controller, and 8Bitdo has added a structured finish that makes the Pro 2 feel a little more premium than its predecessor. However, the major upgrades are at the back.
I have inadvertently become the controller for the back button here on Engadget, but I’m not angry about that – I wish all controllers had them. The Pro 2’s rear paddles blend into the controller, and while they are a little shallower than the release buttons elsewhere, they are perfectly positioned and sensitive enough that I have already assigned the L2 and R2 buttons to them. You must use the mentioned smartphone app to assign functions to these new buttons.
The 8Bitdo Controller app is more useful this time around, as the extra controller buttons are a blank canvas for your macro layouts, whether it’s a shortcut button for your most difficult move in Street Fighter, or even automated menu entries when you want to paint Role Play and level up while you sleep / make a grilled cheese.
Instead of the easily forgettable button combinations needed to sync the Pro + controller to each platform, the Pro 2 has a switch to switch between all the different supported platforms. Unfortunately, it does not include iOS, and if you plan to use it as your go-to Switch controller, be aware that there is no NFC support or HD Rumble – features that Nintendo has not exactly pushed for.
But these are minor disagreements for a controller that offers customizable backpacks and calls for $ 50. If you’ve been sticking to a new controller (or maybe you’re looking for an upgrade for your Stadia habit), the Pro 2 is a compelling case. .