So, from the very first time I played Blaster Master on Switch I knew something was wrong. The D-Pad was all kinds of terrible. It’s really keeping me from buying ACA and Retro Games or Retro Styled games in general. When I got Puyo Puyo Tetris it confirmed my suspicions that the Pro Controller D-Pad sucks.
The Joy Cons have face buttons not a D-Pad so that isn’t going to be a good option. The Analog sticks work but I just don’t like using them over a D-Pad. I want to try the D Pad Mod you can do for the left joycon. I really can’t imagine why anyone would use the mini controllers so much they would give up a dpad for the 2 player-rarely-going-to-happen-use-case.
Hearing that the Xenoblade 2 Pro Controller had a better D-Pad I bought one. Hoping this would resolve my issues. I also bought an 8bitdo SFC Pro as well because I wanted to compare. I use the 8bitdo controllers most of the time when I play the SNES on my HDTV and I use the wired controller when on my CRT.
I used 2 games to test my findings. Blaster Master Zero & Puyo Puyo Tetris. I used my launch day pro, the new xenoblade chronicles 2 pro & the 8bitdo Super Famicom Pro controller.
The D Pad on my day 1 unit isn’t as bad as some would think but I can definitely feel that its off. Often my character will change direction I think I am not pressing. It doesn’t happen often but i feel i am having to baby sit it a lot more. I noticed, I naturally gravitated back to the analog stick.
Xenoblade 2 Pro feels night and day here. I am going to the correct angles when I press diagonal. When I compare the two I have to say I prefer the D Pad on the XBC2 controller.
8bitdo controller was great. Feels like a snes pad in the hand. Not as comfortable as the Switch Pro but for the use case I have in mind I don’t see any reason not to own one outside of the $50 buy in can be steep just to play retro & retro style games on the switch.
Puyo Puyo Tetris
I am going to say a mistake is accidentally pressing up to force the tetromino to drop instantly.
Day 1 Switch Pro Controller. I was averaging 5-6 mistakes in vs mode per game. So in a 20 minute sessions I think I was close to doing the wrong action because of the controller about 1-2 times per minute.
Xenoblade Pro controller. I was averaging about 1-3 mistakes in vs mode per game. 20 minute session was 1 mistake every 1-2 minutes. Still making mistakes based on the dpad should never happen.
8bitdo Pro. I can’t say I ever pressed up by mistake in my 20-30 minute session with the controller. It felt night and day better than the other two. Buy this for retro games if you have the funds.
The pro controllers are still really good for everything else. I don’t recommend buying a Xenoblade 2 Pro controller if you want a better D-Pad. Buy the 8bitdo one. The 8bitdo has some issues that you should be aware of. The vibration is insane. Way too strong and sometimes will get stuck on vibrate. I assume this is due to the way they are forcing it to pair with the switch. It will also disconnect randomly and 8bitdo said they fixed it with the new firmware update that I didn’t try yet. The 8bitdo controller doesn’t pair to the retro receivers. I tried a few times and I couldn’t get it to work on my snes or nes. All in all i would say this is a great 2nd controller if you already have a pro.
I am going to sell or return my Xenoblade 2 controller and I am going to pick up a wired hori pad to see how it goes. They are $20 on Amazon so I think it’s worth a shot.
I am trying to find a spare left joycon to do the d-pad mod on it. Buying a new left joycon costs $50 and the new housing costs another $25-30 so it’s fairly expensive to buy just to try.
I might buy the 8bitdo Arcade stick but I am kind of allergic to junk sticks and I get the feeling it might be. The Hori RAP is really expensive for the switch and I would much rather buy a new stick for xbox or ps4 where I might actually use it for for more than a crappy version of Street Fighter 2.