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dsheinem
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Best Retro Controller Options for PC?

by dsheinem Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:18 am

I know that over the years there have been a number of USB-based or Bluetooth-based retro controllers as well as USB-adapters for original controllers for the PC, but I thought it might be good to create a thread where we could keep an updated list of the best ones available (and easily purchasable) at present.

If you can, list a retro-inspired controller or two that you use to play retro console games on PC, or post an accessory that lets you use an original controller. I'll try to keep the OP updated.

For example:

Sega Genesis
USB - Hyperkin GN6 - a good approximation of the original 6-button Genesis controller - http://www.hyperkin.com/sega/genesis/ge ... erkin.html

Super Nintendo
BT - 8bitdo SNES30 - a good wireless SNES-style controller - http://www.8bitdo.com/snes30/
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TSTR
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Re: Best Retro Controller Options for PC?

by TSTR Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:27 am

This thread bout to get long, daddeh.

Them iBUFFALO joints are pretty good, they make FC and SFC styled USB controllers and sticks. The site's in Japanese.

Basically any USB arcade stick can be used for retro purposes, though for 4-way stuff they may be a little hinky, as they all (AFAIK) come with 8-ways as standard.

Mayflash makes USB controller adapters for pretty much every console ever, most work well from experience/what I hear. This is really the only way to go with N64 stuff, as that controller is so damn unique that it's hard to do without strange mappings of the C-stick.

Retro-Link makes some stuff too. I tried one of their Saturn knockoffs once. It didn't work. YMMV. Same with a Dreamgear 6-button pad. Not sure about RetroBit, Tomee, or Gtron.

Of course, you can always just go with a 360/XB1 or a PS3/PS4 controller too. Driver stuff is pretty much sorted out these days from what I can tell, and you can do all of those badboys wirelessly.

I think that's about all from the top of my head/my own tests, I'll come back if I think of/run across more.
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CRTGAMER
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Re: Best Retro Controller Options for PC?

by CRTGAMER Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:33 am

Another option is discovering all the inexpensive game port controllers at Thrift stores. So many unique game pads and flight controllers that are now considered obsolete and can easily be made to work with a specialized inexpensive adapter. Throw in a utility program such as JoytoKey adds even more versatility for even newer USB controllers such as the WiiU Pokken Pro Pad. :idea:

Gameport Controllers in a USB Port - http://www.racketboy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=646565#p646565
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Re: Best Retro Controller Options for PC?

by Tanooki Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:42 am

Now this one probably is out of left field, find an Adaptoid, if you like N64 controller use for the PC or just for N64 emulation. It has been out of production since the Vista era but the drivers still work. Problem is collectors and scalpers battle over them so they easily top $100 for a little dongle with a file but it's fantastic. Not only can you use the controller, but it also doubles as a dex drive as you can throw and read-write save games to the PC to back them up. Triples also for Pokemon(etc) transfers if you have that device, and the rumble pak works for whatever too when in the slot.

Though for $15 you can get the N64 RetroLink knockoff, but they hollowed out the module area so it's just a base controller.

Buffalo as everyone knows makes a solid 1:1 quality SNES/SFC knockoff USB controller for under $15 that works in any game you won't need a joystick(analog) for.

Is Wii retro enough yet? Dolphinbar, can't recommend that highly enough for around $15 too. You can play Wii games on your computer, it doubles as a bluetooth receiver if you lack that in general, and it triples if you care to use it as such as a point and click mouse using the Wiimote kind of like a laser pointer.
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TSTR
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Re: Best Retro Controller Options for PC?

by TSTR Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:44 am

Oh yeah, mappers like Xpadder, JoyToKey, and Pinnacle Game Profiler should definitely be mentioned. I find them extremely valuable in getting things to work the way I like. Although, supposedly Steam does this now too through its overlay/API, but I've yet to try it.
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Re: Best Retro Controller Options for PC?

by Ziggy587 Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:47 am

I would definitely link http://www.raphnet-tech.com/ in the first post. He has a large variety of controller adapters. Specific for this thread would be his USB adapters, of which there are 32 products. Some of his products might be a tad expensive compared to alternatives, but I've come to trust his products (I've never had an issue with input delay or build quality). He also offers parts and circuit boards for the DIYers.

dsh, since he sells so many products, do you want to list them all in the OP?

TSTR wrote:Them iBUFFALO joints are pretty good, they make FC and SFC styled USB controllers and sticks. The site's in Japanese.


There's a thread from 2014 that recently got bumped, pretty much everyone agrees that those Buffalo SNES USB controllers are awesome.

https://www.amazon.com/Buffalo-Classic- ... s=snes+usb

It has 4.5 stars on Amazon from 1,788 reviews! Lots of great user pics in the reviews as well.
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TSTR
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Re: Best Retro Controller Options for PC?

by TSTR Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:49 am

Yep, that thread got us a shout on everyone's favorite gaming news source—KOTAKU. :lol:
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Re: Best Retro Controller Options for PC?

by marlowe221 Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:45 pm

I would second the recommendations of the Buffalo SNES pad. It can often be had for $10-15 and is, in my opinion, every bit as good as the original it is copying.

What I would really like is a good USB Atari-style joystick. Most of the ones I have seen get very poor user reviews and seem to be pretty craptacular in build quality. A USB adapter is probably the answer to this one though.
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Re: Best Retro Controller Options for PC?

by samsonlonghair Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:58 pm

Last August I made a post in the Gamestop Good, Bad, and Ugly thread.
viewtopic.php?p=1064929
Hey Racketeers,

I rolled into Gamestop for the first time in a while. I didn't find the item I actually wanted to buy, but I did find this:
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Gamestop apparently doesn't have a SKU for used Pokken controllers, so it gets labeled a wii classic controller. I'd call this a decent savings, so I bought this one. I plugged it into my PC, and now I have a really nice controller for SNES emulators. I fired up ZSNES and played a round of Super Castlevania IV. This Pokken controller has really solid build quality. I don't say this lightly: This controller is possibly superior to the real SNES controller.


To reiterate, the Pokken controller is not only a suitable substitution for the SNES controller; The Pokken controller is actually SUPERIOR to the legendary SNES controller.

dsheinem wrote:USB - Hyperkin GN6 - a good approximation of the original 6-button Genesis controller - http://www.hyperkin.com/sega/genesis/ge ... erkin.html

Absolute garbage. I cannot recommend the Hyperkin GN6. The buttons feel like oatmeal. The d-pad points in vaguely the correct direction.

You want a Sega Genesis USB controller? I know of three suitable options.
1) Plain and simply use a real Sega Genesis controller with a usb adapter such as the ones from raphnet and/or retroUSB.
2)The official Sega Saturn USB pad. Six face buttons. Sega quality 8-way d-pad. Even the cheaper clones of these are better than Hyperkin's GN6.
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3)Microsoft sidewinder USB. It's kind of ugly looking, but it does work well. The buttons have the exact right amount of travel. The 8-way d-pad is nearly Sega quality. You can tell Microsoft was doing their darnedest to copy Sega with this guy. Microsoft sold this in both USB and Gameport versions; Make sure you get the USB version.
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Re: Best Retro Controller Options for PC?

by fastbilly1 Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:01 pm

Sega made official USB model 2 Saturn controllers about a decade ago. They came in a couple colors and pop up on the used market occasionally.

But if you are looking at a collection of adapters, just buy the blissbox 4play. Its $120 for the starter bundle and it supports most major retro consoles. Pretty much everything works on it but Interact Dreamcast Controllers. Once you use it, it is hard to go back to any other adapter.
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