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Drakkorcia

Bluetooth Controller Recommendations

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Wanted to get some opinions on a good bluetooth game controller for emulation and general game playing. Should have enough controls and buttons for Playstation and Gamecube emulation.

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Dual Shock 4, it has ridiculously low input latency, approx 3-4 ms compared to 20+ in just about every other bluetooth controller.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks. There are conflicting reviews as to how well it works as a PC controller but I assume you wouldn't be recommending it if it didn't work via BT on a non PS4. One thing I'm debating amongst myself is getting any controller with batteries. I really don't want batteries. Like my BT headphones I like to plug them in via mini USB and charge between uses. Looks like the DS4 charges via USB and I have several mini cables lying around. I'm gonna pick this up and hope for the best.

Edited by Drakkorcia

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I personally don't use a DS4 for emulation because I prefer wired controllers but I do know that they are a bit more effort to get up and running on a PC and you need some extra 3rd party software to get it to work. This is the software I have seen recommended to be used but someone else may have better advice for you: https://ryochan7.github.io/ds4windows-site/

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I have a DS4 but I'm not happy with it. I consistently have bluetooth connectivity issues. The thing just doesn't want to stay paired.

But I only got it for modern games that require dual sticks. For emulation, I use original controllers.

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I didn't have much luck with the DS4 in Bluetooth mode either. It was constantly unpairing and requires 3rd party software to work. I highly recommend the 8bitdo SF30 or SN30 Pro. There is a little bit of lag but it's hardly noticeable, and much better than other Bluetooth controllers I've tried

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Thanks everyone. I have a wired Xbox controller currently. No issues. Just trying to unplug for a more comfortable experience. Guess I'm tired of tripping over cords and destroying usb ports that go along with the forcible yank of the cord. Steel Series Stratus Duo is my next consideration. 

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I personally use two different controllers, i use a xbox one controller, but its a old school one without bluetooth, so needs the dongle, but not being bluetooth means its input lag is low. I havent used the bluetooth versions so cant comment on there input latency. The other controller i use is the sf30pro from 8bitdo, thats the eur/jap style one with analogue sticks, that is bluetooth via a £5 dongle on my PC, it does have more latency than my xbox one via its dongle, but its still very slight.

I have also used my DualShock 4 using inputmapper, which is the newer version of ds4windows and is made by the same person, and while it works well for the most part, i stick to the two controllers i mentioned.

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My wireless controller is a xbox one s controller + dongle (was on sale as a package), it took me a bit of getting used to as I never had any xbox but now I love it. It does use batteries but using good old rechargeable enelope batteries it aint as bad as I initially thought about going the battery road.

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Interesting people are having a hard time with the DS4. Mine connects to my computer via bluetooth and never loses connection. I dont use ds4windows either.

 

I use DS4 for all games from NES to Gamecube. Never had a problem personally. 

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I like Playstation style controllers because I was a PSX guy back in the day. I have a 360 but the old lady took the Xbox One when we separated. The wench. Nice to see some more recommendations; thank you all for your input. 

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Posted (edited)

To add onto what everyone else has said, I'm currently using the 8bitdo SF30 Pro controller (I also have the SN30, same thing, but with SNES style buttons), and find that it works wonderfully for balancing between a retro feel with modern functionality. They just released a new model, called the SN30 Pro+, which has some software that lets you customize some aspects of it. I just watched this review of it, and the guy who tested it said that it has 44 ms of lag via USB, which is the same as the X-Box One controller, and 64ms via Bluetooth, which he claims is among the best he's tested.

The only problem I have with the SF30/SN30 Pro is that, after a bit of wear-in time, the d-pad, analogue sticks, and X/Y/A/B buttons become *slightly* stiff. Not that I've had any problem with them, but after a few weeks, they lost a bit of the smooth quality. To be fair, I'm not sure most people would really notice, but people reading a message board on the subject of controller recommendations for emulation are going to be a bit more discerning than your average gamer. They still feel fine, but I do wish they were slightly better. I read that the Pro + has improved components, but that's according to the manufacturer, so I'd be curious to see if anyone else has tested it. I also wish that it had analogue L & R buttons for consoles that benefit from incremental values to their L&R buttons instead of just on or off. Not sure if the Pro + has it.

I also bought the 8bitdo M30, which mimics the 6 button controller for the Sega Genesis. It didn't feel right playing Genesis games on a SNES style layout, and I wanted a D-pad closer to the Genesis style, and this filled that need for me. Retro-Bit also makes a similar style controller, but it's wired.

Edited by PurpleTentacle
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36 minutes ago, PurpleTentacle said:

To add onto what everyone else has said, I'm currently using the 8bitdo SF30 Pro controller (I also have the SN30, same thing, but with SNES style buttons), and find that it works wonderfully for balancing between a retro feel with modern functionality. They just released a new model, called the SN30 Pro+, which has some software that lets you customize some aspects of it. I just watched this review of it, and the guy who tested it said that it has 44 ms of lag via USB, which is the same as the X-Box One controller, and 64ms via Bluetooth, which he claims is among the best he's tested.

The only problem I have with the SF30/SN30 Pro is that, after a bit of wear-in time, the d-pad, analogue sticks, and X/Y/A/B buttons become *slightly* stiff. Not that I've had any problem with them, but after a few weeks, they lost a bit of the smooth quality. To be fair, I'm not sure most people would really notice, but people reading a message board on the subject of controller recommendations for emulation are going to be a bit more discerning than your average gamer. They still feel fine, but I do wish they were slightly better. I read that the Pro + has improved components, but that's according to the manufacturer, so I'd be curious to see if anyone else has tested it. I also wish that it had analogue L & R buttons for consoles that benefit from incremental values to their L&R buttons instead of just on or off. Not sure if the Pro + has it.

I also bought the 8bitdo M30, which mimics the 6 button controller for the Sega Genesis. It didn't feel right playing Genesis games on a SNES style layout, and I wanted a D-pad closer to the Genesis style, and this filled that need for me. Retro-Bit also makes a similar style controller, but it's wired.

Hey, I just watched the same review on YouTube. I am VERY curious to hear about any real world thoughts by others. The customization software 8bitdo offers with the Pro+ looks like a good 1st generation attempt. I hope they change things in their next generation to be able to store more than one custom config in the controller. If I missed this feature, please let me know.

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Their website says, "Easily save your settings on a game by game basis with custom profiles", but I have to assume that requires you to use the program to switch profiles. I don't know anything more about the software than what that video review shows. It is an interesting concept, though! 

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DualShock4 for everything emulated in RA -- I like the grips, layout, and the d-pad. Agree with monkus on the very low latency. DS4 will work out-the-box with Windows, but I find it's a much better experience when used with DS4Windows (which essentially turns it into an Xbox controller as far as Windows is concerned). When used with DS4Windows, connects and disconnects when turning the controller on and off are handled much better, and DS4Windows also modulates the DS4 light to show battery status.

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On 8/13/2019 at 3:58 PM, eatkinola said:

DualShock4 for everything emulated in RA -- I like the grips, layout, and the d-pad. Agree with monkus on the very low latency. DS4 will work out-the-box with Windows, but I find it's a much better experience when used with DS4Windows (which essentially turns it into an Xbox controller as far as Windows is concerned). When used with DS4Windows, connects and disconnects when turning the controller on and off are handled much better, and DS4Windows also modulates the DS4 light to show battery status.

Have you done 2 ds4 controllers at same time? I'm having issues and have tried ds4windows. Im trying to connect two PS4 controllers to one usb-bluetooth adapter. Both will pair up, both will show in ds4windows but R2 L2 aren't selectable in big box or LB.. so just seems like weird stuff happening.

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Posted (edited)
57 minutes ago, zoemorn said:

Have you done 2 ds4 controllers at same time? I'm having issues and have tried ds4windows.

Yes I have. I've not run into that problem, though I did not specifically try mapping the R2 and L2 buttons in BB. One issue I had early on with DS4Windows was that it would result in two controllers being available for every DS4 plugged in -- you can prevent this by using the "Hide DS4 Controller" option under the Settings tab in DS4Windows.

P.s. Just confirmed I also cannot map the R2 and L2 (trigger) buttons in BB, but the R1 and L1 (shoulder) buttons work fine. I never noticed this before, but it doesn't bother me anyway. I wonder if this is something @Jason Carr could handle in his xinput interface for gamepads?

P.p.s. I don't have a real Xbox controller (only the emulated one whereby DS4Windows turns my DS4 into an "Xbox Controller". I wonder if a real Xbox controller's L2/R2 or "trigger" buttons work in BB.

Edited by eatkinola
R2/L2 buttons
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2 hours ago, eatkinola said:

Yes I have. I've not run into that problem, though I did not specifically try mapping the R2 and L2 buttons in BB. One issue I had early on with DS4Windows was that it would result in two controllers being available for every DS4 plugged in -- you can prevent this by using the "Hide DS4 Controller" option under the Settings tab in DS4Windows.

P.s. Just confirmed I also cannot map the R2 and L2 (trigger) buttons in BB, but the R1 and L1 (shoulder) buttons work fine. I never noticed this before, but it doesn't bother me anyway. I wonder if this is something @Jason Carr could handle in his xinput interface for gamepads?

P.p.s. I don't have a real Xbox controller (only the emulated one whereby DS4Windows turns my DS4 into an "Xbox Controller". I wonder if a real Xbox controller's L2/R2 or "trigger" buttons work in BB.

Thanks for the response and checking that out, much appreciated, sometimes just knowing how someone elses is working helps my own insanity.

So, i worked with it again tonight and discovered that apparently i just have a dumb ps4 controller that refuses to work paired to my pc. we have 4 ps4 controllers so i simply tried another and it worked fine without even using DS4Windows. (made me feel 'duh' but yet i've no clue yet why the one controller just wouldn't register button presses even though it appeared to pair fine.)  Oh and FYI, not using DS4windows for some reason allows use of the R2 L2 as buttons.. now again there may be too many advantages to using DS4Windows... i'll play around with it later using your "hide DS4 controller" tip! and are you using the newer fork of ds4windows (1.7.15 currently) or the older one by the orignal creator?

o well, so currently i've got two controllers that work and my and my boy had great fun! for some reason though when i use my button automation to go back to launchbox/big box it tries to jump into retroarch... so i need to find where that is being mapped.

 

thanks again, appreciate your taking time to check that stuff out and reply

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19 hours ago, zoemorn said:

Oh and FYI, not using DS4windows for some reason allows use of the R2 L2 as buttons

Interesting -- I suspect without DS4Windows the DS4 is used via dinput ... maybe that's why the difference?

20 hours ago, zoemorn said:

are you using the newer fork of ds4windows (1.7.15 currently) or the older one by the orignal creator?

I'm using the newer forked version by ryochan

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On 8/7/2019 at 4:53 AM, bundangdon said:

I didn't have much luck with the DS4 in Bluetooth mode either. It was constantly unpairing and requires 3rd party software to work. I highly recommend the 8bitdo SF30 or SN30 Pro. There is a little bit of lag but it's hardly noticeable, and much better than other Bluetooth controllers I've tried

I am going to get two 8bitdo controllers, the SN30 Pro as my familiar Playstation style controller for most systems, and the M30. Not only is it a Genesis style controller perfect for my Sega systems but the A, B and C layout is perfect for 3DO, CDi, and any other system with a 3 button layout.

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