The Skeptical Geek gets asked a lot (A LOT) about Bluetooth controllers. My response is always the same: I haven’t yet found a BT controller that I can recommend to my customers with a clear conscience. After experimenting with the Switch Pro Controller from Nintendo, I can honestly say, I still haven’t found one.
Now I hate Bluetooth. Not just for gaming but in general. Seriously, it keeps me up nights. that being said, I REALLY wanted to like this controller. It is a first party controller, from the big N themselves, so it is a solid, if expensive piece of equipment. The thumb pads, D-Pad and buttons are all easily accessible, This is one of the best controllers from an ergonomic standpoint I have ever seen.
Unfortunately, it is still a Bluetooth controller, with all the problems that entails. You need to have a standard controller plugged in, and go to Bluetooth in the Retropie screen. You need to pair it while simultaneously pressing down on a tiny button in front of the controller, and hope it works. You then need to configure the controller, but this is straightforward.
Gameplay wise, it is excellent for the most part. Arcades and most consoles play like a dream. Robotron in the Arcade section is especially good, you can move with the D-Pad and fire with the right analog stick, just like with the Xbox controller.
Now comes the bad news. Like every other BT controller I have ever tried, it does not automatically resync with the Retro Box upon reboot. You have to go back into Bluetooth in the Retropie screen and choose Connect to All Devices while simultaneously holding down the tiny button on the controller. (Did I mention how tiny the button is? REALLY TINY). So there is no way this can be your only controller. What really killed it for me, thought was how it does on N64 games. To test the left analog stick performance, I fired up Super Mario 64. The game started up, and Mario just started walking across the field. Not running, like a bat out of hell, the way he is supposed to, but just casually meandering, as if on a stroll. Multiple attempts at reconfiguring the controller failed to resolve this. Complete deal breaker for me.
As much as I wanted to recommend this controller, I have to advise you to stay away from it, at least for Retro Box purposes. As I write this, the Strike NX Wireless controller from Speedlink is still available on Amazon, for less than 1/3 the cost, and works flawlessly. See my earlier review.