8BitDo has been gracing Nintendo fans with a whole range of controllers and accessories for some time now, with fancy wireless setups for the NES and SNES-themed pads, Switch controller alternatives, and more. Now, though, the company is giving you the opportunity to mod your own official controllers from home.
To celebrate its fifth birthday, 8BitDo has launched a range of do-it-yourself mod kits for your original NES, SNES and Mega Drive controllers. These packs allow you to convert your official, wired controllers into Bluetooth devices, allowing you to use them wirelessly with Nintendo Switch, Windows, macOS, and more.
8BitDo claims that your controllers are easy to modify, with no tricky soldering or the like required to make your wireless dreams come true. The video below shows the DIY process taking place and it really is incredibly simple - only a screwdriver (which even comes in the box) required.
There are options for your original NES, SNES, and Mega Drive controllers, as well as for the new NES and SNES-style controllers that come with the recently-released 'mini' console variants, all available to order now for $19.99 a pop. If you're sick of using wires, or have a dodgy controller with a temperamental cable, this could be a perfect solution.
Would you like a set of wireless controllers for your classic consoles? Let us know if you'll be giving this small DIY project a go in the comments.
just beautiful, tearing up
At this rate I might as well set up an direct debit with 8Bitdo.
As very cool as that is, there’s no way I’m taking apart my retro controllers. I might buy a new one to do that, but definitely not with the ones I have right now.
Cool and all, but I want 8bitdo to release a bluetooth Gamecube controller already, or short of that, one of these DIY kits that can work with Gamecube controllers.
I was hoping they would do something like this for years.... However not like this. 8bitdo is notorious for having bad PCB design, that gives you issues with dpad inputs. Unfortunately this mod makes you use 8bitdos PCBs still. The idea I wanted to see, was using the original controller completely, but removing the cord. On the SNES this would be really easy, since the cord detaches (it's not soldered). Just make a Bluetooth chip and battery that connects to the built in port on the controller.
Nice to know there's a mod-lite option. Even I'd consider this.
NOOOOOOOO! That's like ripping out the Mona Lisa and replacing it with a Digital printout
This is excellent how much will they be in the Uk and where can I get one from
@Bunkerneath agree. Original cord is a part of the beauty.
Very nice. And looks relatively painless too.
I'm still not clear how you turn it on and off though, so it's not just draining the battery all the time, or how you actually go about charging it.
Any further details would be appreciated. . . .
@impurekind It charges via the 3.5mm jack that sits in the original cable hole. They supply a USB -> 3.5mm cable for charging.
Awesomeness! I definitely want the Genesis board. I have a surplus of pads, so this works nicely for me.
FYI, looking at the sample video closer, and you'll need to carve out a hole for the charging port. So, unless one is willing to open the controller spell each time to charge, expect to sacrifice the whole controller for the project.
Nah. Then I'd hafta pay for batteries.
I love my 8BitDo NESPro30 and the NES receiver. But I really do hate charging and pairing them. Not a concern with the OG.
Super cool! This looks like fun for my sons and I. Plus I wanna play Street Fighter online with a Genesis controller.
Sega Saturn controller mod kit when?
Sorry but 8bitdo makes really unreliable accessories, they are basically the new Madcatz.
I think I can find used controllers for cheap (if I don't already have a few 'lost' on my mother's storage room) so this PCB kit could save me quite a bit of $$$ to be honest!
@Savino They do make really good and reliable products. Just Google 8Bitdo reviews and you'll see; 4 stars or better and many happy users. Even reviews on this site are good. As for any comparison to Madcatz, that's ridiculous. 8Bitdo listens to feedback, is responsive and has already released firmware updates for their controllers to address specific feedback they have received. Moreover, their controllers are good enough that Analogue partnered with them for wireless controllers for their 'Super Nt', which I own. The controllers are awesome. And considering one of the Nt's selling points is having nigh on zero lag, you know they were picky about what controllers to offer on their site. The build quality is awesome and I've had zero issues.
Pointless if I can't use them on the console they were designed for.
This is actually pretty freakin awesome. I have probably dozens of classic controllers for these systems in varying conditions. Most are is really good shape, but I've picked up boxes full for a couple of bucks at garage sales, so those are prime candidates. Really cool.
@timson72 8bitdo does sell bluetooth dongles/receivers for retro systems, so that could be an option. But even so, playing classic games (like the Genesis Collection) with the original controllers would totally be worth it.
I was ready to dislike this, but then I saw no destruction is involved and I love it.
I don't think I could bring myself to destroy these controllers, just to make them wireless. They are a diminishing commodity.
Pretty cool but like others, I'm not touching mine! Plus I fear the cord is part of how it balances in your hand. Minus the cord, I feel like the balance would be all wrong. Kind of like putting the Charge & Play pack in an X1 controller, I realized the balance of the whole controller is based on the extra weight up top of heavier batteries...with the lighter lithium pack, it's actually more straining to hold because it's not applying it's own weight to the back of your hand so you tend to grip it more when you have to hit inputs. I think the absence of the heavy cords on here might make it worse more than better without some other means of counterweight.
@Bunkerneath But the smile that was always missing can finally be photoshopped on, making it better for a new generation! We all know that's what it was supposed to look .like all along!
Can you use them on the original consoles? That's what I want, why can't anyone make Bluetooth controllers for all the retro systems. I have some of the original infrared wireless controllers for Genesis and Saturn, but they are slightly annoying since you always have to be pointing them at the system
I remember when ZSNES came out and there were guides to mod actual SNES controllers... to gameport PC controllers... but gameports haven't been around on PCs since the millenium. So how do we know this won't in time be the same thing?
@Tempestryke nope, wired charging
Whoah. This is the greatest thing ever.
@timson72 You can, it'll just set you back 20 bucks for a retro receiver, that is, only for one console and one controller so it'll cost more to have more controllers and to use them on more devices, ain't that great!
Bought the sn30 pro, it was great besides a slightly sticky joystick, but I could deal with that, then it stopped charging. Amazon wouldn't let me return it because it had been over a month, so I contacted 8bitdo, and had to send It to China, which took 1 month, and I had to pay 35 bucks to get it there, for them to replace it. Finally got the new one back yesterday night, two months later. The new one doesn't have a sticky joystick either which is nice. I love the controller and use it on switch, pc, and snes classic, but found it annoying that I had problems with a company I've heard great things about, anyone else have this problem?
@CptProtonX That's not the case thankfully, the round rubbery indicator on the top where the cable used to be doubles as a charging port using a proprietary to USB-A cable, which is frankly lovely.
@SaturnHero 8bitdo makes wireless receivers for the SNES and NES I believe
Don’t agree with this at all.
@KcebEnyaw In the video you can see that everything is 100% reversible. I would guess it is the same for all controllers.
I’ve already taken mine apart once to give them a good scrub, putting them back as god intended. I don’t plan on opening them up again for another 10 years. Or at the current rate I get to play games, another 25 years.
These will be huge with the NES/SNES mini.
I wonder if you still have to go through all the usual 8bitdo jumping jacks to get the thing to sync to a system.
I would pay a lot for one of these with GCN remotes. I'm still likely to look into those Gamecube-styled pro controllers but an actual mod of an official remote is just as, if not more, enticing.
@countzero Yeah, but no one is going to reverse it. They'll just keep them wireless until they lose or break the original cord and then they will throw it away when the rest of it stops working.
@Tsusasi They have been getting feedback for years about their awful PCB design that lead to the dpad not functioning properly, but they only fixed the issue when they made a new PCB for the SNES30 pro. But they are still using older PCBs for some new controllers they put out. Just Google "8bitdo dpad".
I've owned the FC 30, nes30, and SN30, and they all had the issue. I own the SNES30 pro and it is greatly improved, but still not as reliable and accurate as far as the dpad goes, as original controllers.
I have the NES adapter and it's made of really junk plastic. My Life in Gaming the YouTube channels had their USB port snap.
I mean, I like 8Bitdo, and I like classic controllers, but I feel like this is a bit much.
@Tim_Vreeland I can only say that mine have been very good to me. Really like them a lot and zero issues. I've been playing the crap out of my old SNES games and they've been a joy. I watch My Life in Gaming. Missed that. Of course, they've got a LOT of content! Haven't watched it all. I've heard them say some pretty good stuff about 8bitdo. Other YouTubers too... and this site. It's why I finally took the plunge. But like I said... I probably haven't gotten through half of their videos. Any idea if the build is different for the matching controllers you get through Analogue? Because like I said, These work great, feel great and I haven't had any issues.
@Tsusasi Those controllers you get with the Analogue systems are newer, so it's possible they got updated. I haven't tried them myself though. The SN30 pro is definitely good enough as far as the dpad goes. That was the first controller I noticed an improvement on the dpad. I had a lot of their stuff from before the SN30 Pro, and they all had the dpad issue. Other than that the controllers are good and feel like the real real.
The NES adapter they broke on My Life in Gaming is made out of a cheaper plastic. I own one myself. It doesn't feel up to the build quality of the controllers. They broke it by accidentally pushing the USB cord into it too far, and the USB socket broke off of the plastic.
Good news is, someone in the YouTube comments for these new 8bitdo boards said it looks like they updated the copper inputs for the dpad. I hope that's true.
I have just ordered one, should arrive from China in 5-45 days
Also is this board compatible with the Nincade board?
@Tsusasi I don't see a mega drive receiver on their site. I have one of their pads for my NES/SNES and it's awesome.
Amazing. Simply amazing!
@Tim_Vreeland I guess I came on board at the right time. I took the 'wait and see' route and it paid off. Now if I had just done that with the warpy, cracky Switch...
(Full disclosure: Kidding... sort of - Mine's warped, but not cracked. I HAVE had the worst issues with joy-con connections though)
@JayJ That's harsh. I haven't yet issues with my SNES30. Maybe quality has dropped since I bought it?
As for the PCP mod: It's interesting, but I don't know if it's worth it for me. I do like the idea of having a BT
6-button Genesis controller for fighting games. Sadly out only seems to fit in JPN controllers 😫
I was pretty happy with their plug-in adaptor to my SNES, that allows me to use my Wii U pro controller. I'm not a big fan of taking stuff apart, if I don't have to. Plus, the Wii U controller is much more comfortable!
Making Wireless receivers for the NES and SNES is a good start but I really hope they continue to make them for all the mainstream retro consoles: Genesis, Saturn, n64, dream cast, PS1
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