A Bluetooth controller fixes everything wrong with the NES Classic

For everything that's great about the NES Classic — and there's a lot that is really fun here — one glaring black mark remains.

Wired controllers suck. And more than that, the wired controller that comes with the NES Classic is ridiculously short. Maybe not for 1987, but this ain't gonna cut it by 2017's standards.

And so we turn to Bluetooth.

The NES30 Classic Edition Wireless Controller Set from 8Bitdo was one of the first out of the gate. (At least that I initially found on Amazon.) And it's the first one we're taking a look at.

The obvious differences: No wire. That's a big one. But almost as big is that you get more buttons. It's really more of a hybrid — Super Nintendo layout in the original NES form. So that's taken my brain a little getting used to.

Pairing was simple enough. Turn off the NES Classic, plug in the receiver (I recommend using Port 1 for this, otherwise you won't be able to navigate the NES Classic menu system). Next, hold down the Start button on the controller for 3 seconds, then press the orange button on the receiver to initiate pairing. It shouldn't take too long at all. You'll see the blue LED on the controller and the blue LED on the receiver stop blinking once they're paired. (The second LED on the controller is to show when it's fully charged — there's a very short microUSB cable in the box to help with that.)

And ... That's that. The controller isn't quite the same shade of gray as the one that comes with the NES Classic, and that's a shame. But it's also a small price to pay to get rid of the wires.

See at Amazon{.cta.shop}

Phil Nickinson

Phil is the father of two beautiful girls and is the Dad behind Modern Dad. Before that he spent seven years at the helm of Android Central. Before that he spent a decade in a newsroom of a two-time Pulitzer Prize-finalist newspaper. Before that — well, we don't talk much about those days.

  • Think I'll pick up a couple of those. The wired controller is driving me crazy!
  • DO IT!
  • I'm still trying to even get my hands on the NES Classic Edition. Lol
  • I second that! I bet by the time I can finally get one they will probably have a SNES classic by then. I'm starting to think I will never get one at all.
  • Awesome and a great idea since regular controllers are still hard to come by. $40 is quite a lot though. Basically over half of the systems price. With that said I'm going to keep a watch on this for any sales. Sent from the iMore App
  • This is great and all. But this is what sucks about the great price of the NES Classic. You can't just buy and enjoy it. You need to spend even more money to get a better gameplay experience. Can't have anything nice anymore.
  • To be fair the whole thing is a rip-off, it's essentially just an emulator with pre-installed games, of which you can't add to. Much better just to install an NES emulator on your computer and use the controller with that.
  • But to do that (sort of) legally you'd have to own physical copies of all the games you've downloading.
  • Well yes, albeit these games are so old that almost no one is buying them anyway. It's not legal, but I wouldn't exactly feel guilty especially if you bought these games back in the day. They can be quite hard to find too
  • Have it on my desk so the 2 ft controller is find. Would consider buying even though it isn't necessary but honestly, for that price I'm just better off finding a Wii classic controller if I need a entire meter, give or take.