What is the Best Controller for Retro Gaming


The Best Retro Game Controllers – Top 10

Best Controllers for RetroPie!

Don’t skimp on your RetroPie controller—get the best! Ash (341)Mar 30, 20210Share7Discuss0Favorite1

If you want to play retro games on RetroPie, you need a controller. But not all controllers are created equal and the best one for you depends on what you want to play, how you like to play, and how much you’re willing to spend.

Most of these controllers are USB only, but there are a few wireless options sprinkled throughout the list. You should be able to find at least one controller to suit your retro gaming needs. Table of Contents

BEST RETROPIE CONTROLLERS:

  1. All-around best wireless
  2. All-around best wired
  3. Best Bluetooth controller for RetroPie
  4. Best 8BitDo controller for RetroPie
  5. Best budget RetroPie controller
  6. Best Nintendo 64 RetroPie controller
  7. Best NES controller for RetroPie
  8. Show all 10

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All-around best wireless

8Bitdo SF30 bluetooth controllerCheck Price on Amazon

Cables? Forget ’em. The 8BitDo SF30 is your best option when it comes to wire-free gaming on RetroPie. 8BitDo has established itself in the retrogaming community as a reliable brand and somewhat of a staple. If you’re after a retro-themed controller with plenty of buttons, check out the SF30 from 8BitDo.

SpecSF30
Battery Life16 Hours
Price$44.99 on Amazon
Connection TypeWireless / Bluetooth / USB – C
MaterialPlastic
StyleSNES
QualityHigh

 Used hereSee all8Bitdo SF30 bluetooth controllerCheck Price on Amazon

SF30

All-around best wired

Xbox One Wired ControllerCheck Price on Amazon

If wired controllers are your speed, you need something reliable. This official Xbox One controller from Microsoft connects via USB and has the nearly instantaneous response times you want from a wired device. Because this is an officially licensed controller, you can expect industry-standard quality with the feel of a modern console.

SpecXbox One Wired Controller
Battery LifeN/A (Wired)
Price$58.75 on Amazon
Connection TypeUSB
MaterialABS
StyleXbox One
QualityIndustry Standard

 Used hereSee allXbox One Wired ControllerCheck Price on Amazon

Xbox One Wired Controller

Best Bluetooth controller for RetroPie

Xbox One Wireless ControllerCheck Price on Amazon

The Xbox One Wireless controller relies on a Bluetooth connection. Because of the number of buttons, it’s versatile enough to use with many different console emulators—from NES to Dreamcast. You will need a Bluetooth compatible Pi to connect. Check out our list of Raspberry Pi models for detailed specs to see if yours will work. If not, you can always try using a USB Bluetooth adapter. Setting up your Xbox One Controller on RetroPie is a cinch, too.Raspberry Pi Models and Specs: A Comprehensive GuideWhat flavor of Pi is your favorite?How to Use an Xbox One Controller on the Raspberry PiGet a grip and control your Pi!

SpecXbox One Wireless Controller
Battery Life30 Hours
Price$62.99 on Amazon
Connection TypeWireless / Bluetooth
MaterialABS
StyleXbox One
QualityIndustry Standard

 Used hereSee allXbox One Wireless ControllerCheck Price on Amazon

Xbox One Wireless Controller

Best 8BitDo controller for RetroPie

8Bitdo SN30 bluetooth controllerCheck Price on Amazon

Like we said before, 8bitDo is a hit in the RetroPie community. But which controller is the top-dog when it comes to 8BitDo? We believe that honor goes to the SN30 Pro+. It uses Bluetooth to connect and has a classy retro look—perfectly shaped for an SNES experience. It’s definitely pricier than some other models, the payoff is worth it for retrogaming aficionados. It has rumble support, motion controls, and USB-C support.

SpecSN30 Pro+
Battery Life20 Hours
Price$49.99 on Amazon
Connection TypeWireless / Bluetooth
MaterialPlastic
StyleRetro Original
QualityHigh

 Used hereSee all8Bitdo SN30 bluetooth controllerCheck Price on Amazon

SN30 Pro+

Best budget RetroPie controller

RetroFlag Classic Gaming Controller (Jpad)Check Price on Amazon

If the retrogaming hobby is burning a hole in your wallet, take control and invest in a reliable budget controller. The cheapest knock-offs will cost you more in the long run. The RetroFlag Classic Gaming Controller (Jpad) is perfect for anyone who wants something that looks old-school but plays with modern finesse.

SpecRetroFlag Classic Gaming Controller (Jpad)
Battery LifeN/A (Wired)
Price$13.95 on Amazon
Connection TypeUSB
MaterialPlastic
StyleSNES
QualityGood

 Used hereSee allRetroFlag Classic Gaming Controller (Jpad)Check Price on Amazon

RetroFlag Classic Gaming Controller (Jpad)

6

Best Nintendo 64 RetroPie controller

iNNEXT Saffun N64Check Price on Amazon

When it comes to emulating the Nintendo 64, controller shape is almost everything! The buttons and joysticks need to be ready for some serious abuse, especially if you plan on playing anything remotely as off-the-wall as Mario Party. Check out this USB N64 controller from iNNEXT for the reliable tri-grip delight you’re most familiar with.

SpecSaffun N64
Battery LifeN/A (Wired)
Price$15.99 on Amazon
Connection TypeUSB
MaterialPlastic
StyleNintendo 64
QualityGood

 Used hereSee alliNNEXT Saffun N64Check Price on Amazon

iNNEXT Saffun N64

Best NES controller for RetroPie

Hyperkin Premium NES ControllerCheck Price on Amazon

If you want a realistic NES experience, a SNES controller won’t do. This classic Nintendo platform had a unique controller with a distinct look and feel. That’s why we chose Hyperkin’s Premium NES controller as the best option for NES emulation on RetroPie. It brings the quality and feedback you expect from a modern controller with the design and button placement you remember.

SpecHyperkin Premium NES
Battery LifeN/A (Wired)
Price$34.99 (2-pack) on Amazon
Connection TypeUSB
MaterialPlastic
StyleNES
QualityGood

 Used hereSee allHyperkin Premium NES ControllerCheck Price on Amazon

Hyperkin Premium NES

Best SNES controller for RetroPie

RetroFlag Classic Gaming Controller (Upad)Check Price on Amazon

The SNES controller was a well-received upgrade to the NES controller. It had more buttons and a rounded design that fits comfortably in your hands. This controller is one of the most preferred when it comes to retrogaming emulation. If you want a reliable device for SNES emulators, check out the RetroFlag Classic Gaming Controller (Upad). This is from the same team that brought us the Raspberry Pi GPi Case.Retroflag GPi CASE: The Raspberry Pi Game Boy We’ve Been Waiting For!Finally, a plug-and-play Game Boy Zero!

SpecRetroFlag Classic Gaming Controller (Upad)
Battery LifeN/A (Wired)
Price$14.99 on Amazon
Connection TypeUSB
MaterialPlastic
StyleSNES
QualityGood

 Used hereSee allRetroFlag Classic Gaming Controller (Upad)Check Price on Amazon

RetroFlag Classic Gaming Controller (Upad)

9

Best PlayStation controller for RetroPie

DualShock 4 Wireless ControllerCheck Price on Amazon

Whether you want a PlayStation experience or just prefer the classic design, PlayStation controllers are definitely a good option when it comes to RetroPie. They have plenty of buttons for older and newer platforms and come with industry-standard quality. The DualShock 4 Wireless Controller from PlayStation works seamlessly with the Raspberry Pi while delivering the highly-responsive feedback you want while gaming.

SpecDualShock 4 Wireless Controller
Battery Life4 – 8 Hours
Price$68.99 on Amazon
Connection TypeWireless / Bluetooth
Material
StylePlayStation 4
QualityIndustry Standard

 Used hereSee allDualShock 4 Wireless ControllerCheck Price on Amazon

DualShock 4 Wireless Controller

Best arcade controller for RetroPie

Switch Fighting Stick MiniCheck Price on Amazon

This arcade controller, known as the Switch Fighting Stick Mini from HORI, is officially licensed for the Nintendo Switch, but works just as well with the Raspberry Pi. It has a classic arcade-style joystick and button layout, connecting with USB support. Short of making your own Raspberry Pi arcade controller, this is one of your best options when it comes to simulating arcade hardware.Pi Retrobox: Build Your Own DIY Raspberry Pi All-In-One Arcade JoystickBring the arcade to your tabletop!

SpecSwitch Fighting Stick Mini
Battery LifeN/A (Wired)
Price$49.99 on Amazon
Connection TypeUSB
MaterialPlastic
StyleArcade
QualityIndustry Standard

 Used hereSee allSwitch Fighting Stick MiniCheck Price on Amazon

Switch Fighting Stick Mini

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