The “reluctantly” good gamepads lack analog sticks and broader functionality such as compatibility with 3-D titles, and extra buttons, which is unlike the Best Controller for Retropie that I review in this post.
I conducted an analysis for Best Controller for Retropie using 2D games such as Darkstalkers, Samurai Shodown II and The Last Blade. You can use the Retropie controllers for your Retro-gaming Emulation build.
For the 3D games, I used the Splatoon 2 for your Nintendo 64. If you use your Raspberry Pi like a console emulator, download and run Retropie.
Best Controller for Retropie 2018
|Controller||Dimensions (inches)||Weight (ounces)|
|Nintendo Wii U Pro (Best)||3.2 x 6.4 x 6.7||15|
|DualShock 4 Wireless Jet ||7.3 x 2.6 x 6.7||12|
|Buffalo iBuffalo Classic USB||8.1 x 5.8 x 1.4||1.6|
|8bitdo SNES30 Wireless||6.3 x 1.6 x 3.9||9.6|
|Logitech Gamepad F710||6.6 x 3.1 x 7.9||14.4|
|Wireless Game STOGA||6.4 x 5.4 x 2.4||7|
A Retropie controller is indispensable in Retro Gaming on either the custom-built Raspberry Pi console, Mac, and on Windows. Evidently, you’ll find many non-specific Genesis, NES or SNES replica controllers in the market, but with bad performance ratings.
I chose to test the controllers with Darkstalkers since it needs fast response time in the directional pad and buttons. Also, The Last Blade is unique as it will utilize all the 6 gamepad buttons and need d-pad dexterity.
You don’t want to get a non-specific retropie gaming controller with or button actuation and design quality.
Best Controller for Retropie 2018
Nintendo Wii U Pro Controller is good for people with old school and hard-core gaming. It allows increased gameplay comfort and accessibility. Comes with more ergonomic button and dual analog sticks, in addition to batteries that will last about 80 hours.
The Wii U Pro Controller will function excellently with Retropie 4.1 and RPi3s.
Wii U Pro Controller is designed for “staunch” gamers but comes with a traditional build and, according to Forbes, it looks like Xbox 360 Controller.
Also, the device has a fantastic battery size. The controller has a full button layout that has analogs, LR Triggers, and LR shoulders.
Further, it has an excellent D-Pad to allow you to isolate the L-R and not hit the U-D.
Wii U Pro has a design that matches the Xbox 360 controller. For example, it has solid trigger, rounded wings as its grips and bumper shoulder buttons.
Further, the analog sticks sit parallel to one another.
To connect the controller, you’ll only need to push the Sync button behind the USB ports’ covers and then push the controller Sync button.
It is compatible with all the Virtual Console Wii U games and most Wii U Video games such as Mario.
2. PS4 DualShock 4 Controller – For 2D & 3D Games
DualShock 4 has double analogs button layout with a softer texture that will fit perfectly in your hands. It has new analogs with indents at the player’s thumb top that allow it to sit raised.
With an amazing touchpad, you’ll easily swipe zoom flick. Further, the controller has a speaker that you can integrate your gaming with a headphone jack that is below the r2 and l2 button.
Further, the controller has an additional share button that would enable you to share with friends.
Therefore, share button will allow you to share your amazing flashes through the push button. Also, you can screenshot and upload your videos or stream live your gaming with no disturbance to your gaming.
DualShock 4 take the trophy for best controller for 2D and 3D games. It has analog sticks that are great for 3D games while the directional pad works great for the 2D games.
Despite being too pricey and heavy for playing 2D games, the controller can play a range of games such as PlayStation One and NES.
It has trigger buttons and analog sticks that will give you amazing control in our gaming. DualShock 4 has highly responsive buttons and the pads have a spongy click feeling.
Interestingly, the controller is rechargeable, and thus you’ll just plug the device and charge hence does not require batteries and you can use it while charging.
3. Buffalo Classic USB Gamepad – For 2D Games
The Buffalo iBuffalo Classic controller is great for 2D GAMES in consoles like SNES and NES. The Buffalo Classic USB Gamepad is almost similar to your original super Nintendo gamepad but it has the clear and turbo buttons. You’ll find the controller excellent for gaming in Super R-Type and F-Zero.
Notably, the Buffalo iBuffalo Classic is more comfortable and highly suited for the retro games. Also, the gamepad is endorsed by NeoGAF.
The controller has more resilient buttons which will increase their durability.
Further, the controller has an excellent “click” sound during every movement.
The controller is easy to use as you’ll just require to plug and play.
However, if you need a wireless controller for your Retropie gaming, you should try the 8BitDo gamepads that are Bluetooth enabled.
After testing various options of the 8BitDo Wireless Bluetooth Controller, we noted that they have a similar design. 8bitdo SNES30 is among the Best Wireless Controller for Retropie for its compatibility.
However, they are not exactly similar to the Nintendo controllers. For example, the d-pad and buttons of the 8bitdo SNES30 are more clicky compared to the Nintendo controllers. Further, it has Nintendo switch support.
The 8bitdo SNES30 Controller is highly customizable and supports key remapping and firmware updates.
The wireless controller is both compact, stylish and high quality. Further, the controller has a Retron5 mode support through a 720p HDMI output.
The controller supports both touchscreen games and key control. You can set up the turbo key and combo key using the programmable keys.
With a 480mAh battery (rechargeable), you’ll get 18 hours of gaming. You’ll quickly connect the controller to the micro USB cable or the Bluetooth 4.0.
Logitech Gamepad F310 with an additional dual-analog sticks, this controller is great in PlayStation emulation.
Notably, I have employed the Logitech Gamepad F310 in playing retro game such as Ridge Racer and I found it to be precise.
You can use the profiler software and set the controller switch to “D”, which will enable you to map the gamepad controls to your keys (keyboard).
The gamepad will function excellently with the various Emulators and Nintendo DS. Also, the controller has adequate cord size that will enable you to game freely at some extended distance.
Its analog sticks are excellent and the buttons are highly responsive. Logitech Gamepad F310 is produced from sturdy plastic that will survive harsh gaming conditions.
It has an ergonomic design that will make you feel its comfort while gaming in retro games like Payday 2.
Logitech F710 Best Wireless Controller is the second Best Wireless Controller for Retropie and has a perfect for retro pie with its dual vibration motors, 2.4 GHz wireless connectivity capability, and customizable controls.
Logitech Gamepad F710 by Logitech is a wireless controller that has great dual vibration.
With the Xbox controllers face buttons and DualShock design and particularly good for people with small hands. Rubber covered analog sticks and smooth gamepad feel.
The controller is truly comfortable with its a mode button, 2 analog sticks, a Dpad, and the DirectInput and Xinput supports.
Also, the controller will give you an excellent battery life and will be truly comfortable in our hands. You’ll not experience any delays in transmission of data with the 2.4 GHz wireless connection.
With a USB Nano-receiver and cordless controller, you’ll easily plug the device into the retropie and continue with your gaming effortless.
The motors (dual vibration feedback) will allow you to feel all the explosion, crash and hit in your gaming in games which support vibration feedback.
Also, the game controllers will function effectively with your Sony Android TVs. With the contoured rubber grips and smooth curves, you’ll have cozier gaming.
With an ergonomic button and twin analog sticks, the Wireless Game STOGA Controller will give you a cozy gaming experience.
The inexpensive STOGA Black Classic Gamepad enables seamless gaming. Dual analog sticks and responsive controls and fits well into the hands.
It is an excellent gamepad for Nintendo Wii U Pro with great precision. Won’t work with games 8 or Wii system.
If you fond of gaming for long periods of time, then do not worry, as this controller is a comfortable hold for your games.
Its design will fit excellently into your hands.
Further, the controller is fast and easy to operate and control.
Therefore, you will not regret trying gaming with this controller.
8. Carelove8Bitdo Bluetooth Wireless Classic NES Controller
Carelove8Bitdo NES wireless Controller works excellently for Retropie, Android, and iOS Gamepad.
Notably, the controller operates effectively with various touchscreen gadgets.
Also, you’ll get more versatile use with the controller since you can program the keys and upgrade its firmware. It allows dual-mode Bluetooth support: touch screen and Bluetooth keyboard simulation.
Therefore, if you are into touchscreen fighting games, the Carelove8Bitdo NES wireless Controller has the drag and drop functions that will allow you to map keys.
What about Retrolink Nintendo 64?
For playing the Nintendo 64 games, I love the RetroLink controller as it excellently replicates the Nintendo 64 controller.
However, note that the RetroLink controller has only one analog stick and thus will not be effectively usable with other games.
From all the tests we conducted, Nintendo Wii U Pro Controller on Amazon is our Best Controller for Retropie. The devices’ compatibility and quality are excellent.
Also, we have outlined the steps you should take to set up the Bluetooth controller for retro pic.