Update: The 8BitDo Ultimate Bluetooth controller is currently available at a discounted price on Amazon. The black model is now priced at $59.50 (click the coupon box), while the white model is priced at $63. Both models come with a charging dock that can also be used as a display stand. The 8BitDo Ultimate has been chosen as the best PC controller in 2023 and is a great alternative to the Switch Pro controller. It is also recommended for Steam Deck owners. With its excellent ergonomics, extensive customization options, and support for both 2.4GHz wireless and Bluetooth, the 8BitDo Ultimate offers high-performance pro-style gaming at an affordable price.
If you want to learn more about the 8BitDo Ultimate, you can read our full review below, originally published in November 2022. 8BitDo, a third-party controller manufacturer, has released numerous great controllers for Nintendo Switch and other platforms. However, many of these controllers are specific to certain games or genres. The 8BitDo Ultimate Bluetooth Switch controller stands apart from these options. Not only does it offer excellent ergonomics, pro-style features, and extensive customization, but it also includes a charging stand and can connect via Bluetooth or 2.4GHz.
The 8BitDo Ultimate offers impressive features that make it the most expensive traditional gamepad from the manufacturer, priced at $70, which is the same as Nintendo’s official Pro controller. For the first time since the launch of the Switch five years ago, there is a controller for docked mode that surpasses the Pro controller. If you’re in the market for a new Switch controller, the 8BitDo Ultimate is the best choice.
One of the main reasons why the 8BitDo Ultimate is an excellent alternative to the Switch Pro controller is its form factor and button layout. The Ultimate has the same layout with offset sticks and ergonomic handles as the Pro controller, unlike previous premium Switch controllers from 8BitDo that had aligned joysticks like PlayStation controllers. While the Ultimate is slightly more compact than the Pro controller, it still feels natural to use. However, individuals with larger hands may need some time to adjust to it.
The face buttons on the Ultimate have a dome design that provides a similar feel to Xbox controller inputs. The shoulder buttons and triggers are not as wide as those on the Pro controller, but they are chunkier. The triggers also have a longer pull distance, which makes them ideal for first-person shooters. Additionally, the Ultimate features two rear buttons located on the back of the controller, which are low profile and easy to access.
The Ultimate stands out with its use of Hall Effect sensors in the joysticks. These sensors eliminate the possibility of stick drift and provide a tighter feel compared to the Pro controller. The Ultimate also offers extensive customization options through the Ultimate Software app, allowing users to adjust settings such as stick tension, trigger sensitivity, rumble intensity, and create profiles. This level of customization allows players to personalize their gaming experience according to their preferences.
The Ultimate comes with a charging dock that matches the controller’s color and doubles as a display stand. It can be connected to the Switch or PC via a USB-C cable and includes a compartment to store the 2.4GHz adapter. The controller can be connected either via Bluetooth or 2.4GHz wireless, with stable performance in both modes.
While the Ultimate does have rumble, it doesn’t feature Nintendo’s “HD rumble.” However, the vibration intensity can be adjusted to suit individual preferences. The Ultimate does support motion controls, but it lacks NFC support for Amiibo figures, a feature exclusive to Nintendo’s controllers.
Although the focus has been on the Ultimate as a Switch controller, it is also fully compatible with PC. 8BitDo offers two versions of the Ultimate controller. The $70 edition is compatible with Switch and PC, while the more budget-friendly $50 version only supports 2.4GHz wireless and is compatible with PC, Raspberry Pi, and Android. Both versions offer the same functionality, but the PC version is recommended for those who primarily game on PC. The Switch version has a longer battery life of 22 hours compared to 15 hours for the 2.4GHz-only model.
Regardless of the version you choose, the 8BitDo Ultimate provides a high-quality controller with unique customization features that set it apart from its competitors, especially considering its price point. 8BitDo has consistently been the top third-party controller manufacturer, and the Ultimate controller is the latest testament to their expertise. Please note that the products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. If you purchase anything featured on our site, GameSpot may earn a share of the revenue.
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