8BitDo Skilled 2 evaluation: The single ‘Skilled’ controller for $50

A upgrade in nearly each and every intention.

The 8BitDo Skilled 2 adds unheard of extra ‘Skilled’ aspects when put next to the SN30 Skilled+. Nevertheless is this $50 controller the finest option for PC gaming? On this video Adam unboxes the Skilled 2, compares it to the SN30 Skilled+, and talks about his time with the controller.

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The Skilled 2 is the sequel to 8BitDo’s SN30 Skilled+—a beefy-sized controller designed with contemporary aspects and wrapped in classic gaming aesthetics. In the origin survey the recent controller appears to be like nearly precisely savor the outdated one, nonetheless it packs some welcome upgrades whereas conserving the rate at a extremely life like $50. These aspects make the Skilled 2 vital of the ‘Skilled’ title and makes it an easy recommendation for any gamer having a ogle for a sturdy and versatile gaming option.

8BitDo Pro 2 Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

8bitDo Skilled 2 Specs

  • Compatibility with Home windows 7 and up, Android 4.0 and up, Nintendo Swap, macOS 10.10 and up, and Raspberry Pi 2B, 2B+, 3B, Zero
  • Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity
  • 2 additional relief hasten buttons
  • Customized profile switch that could presumably well toggle amongst the three profiles on the hover
  • Mode switch toggle (Swap, macOS, D-enter, X-enter)
  • 1000mAh Li-on rechargeable, replaceable battery that lasts 20 hours on a 4 hour trace over a USB-C connection
  • Enhanced grip
  • 6-axis motion sensor
  • Totally configurable in Final Instrument for PC and mobile

8BitDo evolution

The Skilled 2 builds upon the controller legacy that 8BitDo has laid down over the route of extra than one years—so it’s important to evaluation how we obtained up to now within the event you haven’t been following. The firm started off with a chain of merchandise that became designed to recount contemporary aspects to classic controller designs, a few of them basically unheard of for emulating classic games on most up-to-date hardware.

8BitDo controllers Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

Bottom to top: SN30, SN30 Skilled, SN30 Skilled+, Skilled 2

Amongst one among the early releases became the SNES30 (later renamed to the SN30), which regarded and felt honest savor a Dapper Nintendo controller. This allowed me to make exhaust of one among my current controllers on my PC when playing A Link to the Previous—and it became a staunch address! Taking a ogle to develop its exhaust, 8BitDo then launched the SN30 Skilled. It took the classic ogle and feel of the SN30 and added hardware aspects that rivaled controllers from the most indispensable console manufacturers and allowed for exhaust with contemporary games. It’s quiet one among my current controllers to derive around, because of its compact size.

The subsequent logical repute became to amass the SN30 Skilled and blow it as much as beefy size, which brings us to the SN30 Skilled+. Its higher scale made play feel better for these with bigger fingers, and its recent Final Instrument allowed for a wide differ of customization alternate options. With this launch it became obvious that 8BitDo wanted to play within the mainstream market, additional transferring a ways from catering to retro enthusiasts.

This brings us to the Skilled 2. Gone are the naming and obvious colour ties to the Dapper Nintendo—a scurry mostly likely performed for appropriate causes. It makes the naming transition a bit awkward if there could be ever a sequel to the SN30 Skilled, nonetheless these items are repeatedly a agonize to address.

Skilled 2 vs SN30 Skilled+

The Skilled 2 is equivalent to the SN30 Skilled+ in nearly each and every intention—nonetheless it builds upon the already superior frame with neat upgrades. From the scale to the burden to the intention in which it rests within the palm, the Skilled 2 affords a extremely acquainted feeling for these that unheard of the older SN30 Skilled+.

The first important enchancment is in a textured grip, which helps with handling. It’s a textured plastic so it’s no longer the a similar form of grip you might presumably well presumably presumably bag on a higher-priced controller, nonetheless it has contact.

8BitDo SN30 Pro+ & Pro 2 Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

Prime: SN30 Skilled+, Bottom: Skilled 2

The subsequent upgrade is de facto a fine most indispensable one, and that is where the ‘Skilled’ title if truth be told comes into play. The Skilled 2 aspects two relief paddles located alongside the underside which can presumably well presumably be fully configurable within the most up-to-date version of the Final Instrument (which I’ll quilt later). The buttons provide hundreds of tactile feedback, and sit down flush enough with the handles that it’s if truth be told a bit extra cushty to make exhaust of than the raised paddles on other controllers savor the Xbox Elite sequence. The switches feel a equivalent to the face buttons and give a lovely click when pressed. Whereas I’d derive cherished four paddles, two is quiet a welcome enchancment over the SN30 Skilled+. More control alternate options are repeatedly better!

The subsequent upgrade is available within the attach of a hardware toggle alongside the bottom between the paddles, for switching enter profiles. With outdated 8BitDo controllers the intention in which you configured the enter for exhaust in varied platforms became by conserving down a face button whereas pressing the Originate button to tell the unit on. Defending down X and pressing begin would boot the controller into X-enter mode for exhaust on the PC, Y for exhaust on the Nintendo Swap, etc. Whereas I ended up discovering out the varied combos the route of became by no formulation consumer-pleasant. The Skilled 2 solves this by allowing you to toggle amongst the four alternate options with an easy flick—and boy, is that 100 p.c better. In most cases it’s honest the tiny things that provide mammoth advantages, especially for avid gamers savor myself who most regularly exhaust the controller all over extra than one platforms.

8BitDo SN30 Pro+ & Pro 2 Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

Left: SN30 Skilled+, Moral: Skilled 2

The subsequent enchancment to discuss is the addition of a Profile button located between the 2 thumbsticks. Up to some varied controller configurations could presumably also be assigned without complications inside of the Final Instrument and be switched on the hover. With a press, the button will toggle amongst the profiles in recount, with configurations loaded instantaneously. I came all over this indispensable for assigning varied inputs onto the aid paddles for exhaust in varied sport kinds. I did bag the button to be tough to hit usually, because it became shut to flush with the face of the controller.

The closing important distinction between the 2 objects is the puny transferring of some face buttons. To be beautiful it repeatedly bugged me a bit that the Originate and Clutch buttons on the SN30 Skilled+ weren’t located evenly between the thumbsticks, nonetheless that became honest a non-public nitpick, no longer one which obtained within the intention in which of using the instrument. For the Skilled 2 these buttons derive now shifted over to the symmetrical placement that I savor. I’m no longer sure if that had a knock-on function for the different face buttons, nonetheless these shifted a little bit of as successfully. The inside of distance between the Y and A button went from 1.7mm on the SN30 Skilled+ to 1.4mm on the Skilled 2. This swap is extremely minor, and I didn’t ruin my muscle memory whereas using it, nonetheless it’s quiet important.

8BitDo SN30 Pro+ & Pro 2 Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

Prime: SN30 Skilled+, Bottom: Skilled 2

When it involves the invent there are a few puny tweaks to quilt outdated to we scurry on. Whereas the Sad and G Classic alternate options remain unchanged, the ‘SN Edition’ came all over on the SN30 Skilled+ has been replaced with a extra generic ‘Grey Edition.’ I became a mammoth fan of the Dapper Nintendo coloring on the SN Edition, and I don’t savor the ogle of the Grey Edition. I will perceive making the swap to additional distance 8BitDo from Nintendo stylings, nonetheless they quiet derive the GameBoy invent option within the G Classic, so I’m puzzled on top of being bummed. Of less importance is the lack of the spherical styling in all places in the face inputs. It became invent contact, nonetheless it does make the ogle of the controller extra neat.

The a similar (mostly) immense ride

All the pieces else about using the SN30 Skilled+ applies to the Skilled 2—and that’s a lovely part! The controls are good and tight, and as well they provide the stunning amount of feedback for even essentially the most annoying games. The sticks and triggers provide beautiful resistance, and the feel of every and every below my finger and thumbs is extremely cushty. 8BitDo has repeatedly nailed the feel of the classic D-pad as successfully, so there is just not any must the contact that a hit system!

8BitDo Pro 2 Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

As 8BitDo strikes a ways from the classic stylings it’s enthusiastic by outdated to, I attach hope they scurry a ways from the flat face invent. Whereas it works for tiny controllers, I bag myself reaching honest a bit to hit up on the D-pad and the X button, extra than I’d on a extra damaged-down controller form. Whenever you happen to’re extra sensitive to joint agonize to your thumbs it is truly helpful to amass into memoir that additional strain in case you attach in hundreds of time on a controller.

When it involves the Final Instrument, or no longer it’s nearly a similar for the Skilled 2—nonetheless it is a varied gain from the SN30 Skilled+ option. Configuration alternate options are quiet abundant, including the capability to finest-tune thumbstick begin and forestall distances, and even swap intention off inputs. As adverse to the capability to plot personalized key presses on the PC, it’s obtained every thing you’d need.

8BitDo Pro 2 Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

When the controller is first plugged into the PC, you’re supplied with alternate options to derive varied mappings looking on which platform you savor to pray to make exhaust of. This would presumably well even be configured no topic which enter is currently enabled, which is extremely good.

The single hang up I’ve encountered using the appliance is around personalized mapping. The labeling on the face buttons aspects the Nintendo long-established layout with Y on the left, B on bottom, X on top, and A on the stunning. This would presumably well even be complex in case you’re using it in X-enter mode, which has X on the left, A on the bottom, Y on the terminate, and B on the stunning. So as an illustration, in case you’re in X-enter mode and scurry to plot a face button to a relief hasten, you savor to pray to be certain that you’re mapping the X-enter enter in preference to what’s printed on the face button. I needed to connect the mental hurdle of pondering, “the X enter is mapped to the Y button on X-enter mode, so I must build aside X on P1.” After that preliminary confusion I became finest, nonetheless it is one thing to point out.

8BitDo Pro 2 Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

Speaking of mapping the aid paddles, I also obtained hung up by the proven truth that P1 and P2 are labeled left to beautiful, per how it’s viewed from the bottom. So must you’re conserving the controller in most cases, P2 is de facto on the left and P1 is on the stunning. That also tripped me up after I went to configure the alternate options.

Transferring relief to hardware ride, the Skilled 2 ships with the a similar 1000mAh battery as the SN30 Skilled+. No if truth be told, it’s the staunch identical battery! The unit I obtained contained a battery with a SN30 Skilled+ mark on it. No topic the naming intention, I get dangle of immense lifestyles out of it. The true fact that it’s replaceable is a mammoth bonus in case its lifestyles diminishes over time. On top of that, the attach part enables for long-established AA batteries in recount for you that option. It if truth be told is a take dangle of-take dangle of-take dangle of for users, brooding about most controllers lock you in with a non-replaceable battery or only derive an option for AA exhaust.

8BitDo Pro 2 Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

For we PC users, the Skilled 2 can quiet be unheard of wired in by the USB-C port. Here’s indispensable for these that don’t derive the formulation to make exhaust of Bluetooth, or who need the bottom-latency connection doable. 


All of the hardware upgrades make the Skilled 2 a immense enchancment over the SN30 Skilled+—which became already one among my current controllers obtainable. It’s especially better on the PC, where there could be the formulation to make exhaust of the controller by USB, and the capability to customize configurations fast inside of of the Final Instrument. The Skilled 2 adds as much as being one among the finest controllers obtainable. It’s honest the cherry on top that it charges only $50 and but affords so unheard of.

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  • The Skilled 2 from 8BitDo builds upon the wonderful SN30 Skilled+ in neat methods by hardware and application aspects that make it a really ‘Skilled’ controller, and one among the finest obtainable.


    • Supreme enter feeling
    • Deep customization with the Final Instrument
    • Additional enter alternate options
    • Straightforward-to-exhaust enter configuration toggle
    • Phenomenal trace


    • Flat face invent is no longer essentially the most cushty
    • About a mapping alternate options are lacking or complex
    • The recent Grey Edition colour option is a silly replacement for the SN Edition

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