The majority of gamers can get by with a simple built-in controller, but those that take their gaming seriously or even compete professionally expect a little bit more from their gamepads. Typically, this entails spending a lot of money on expensive custom pro-grade controllers. Nevertheless, the brand-new 8BitDo Pro 2 Wired Controller for Xbox provides a lot of the same capabilities for a far lower price.
This wired version for Xbox consoles (One, Series X, and Series S) is a superb option for budget-conscious players who wish to take better control over their in-game performance thanks to some outstanding customization choices. It takes cues from the equally-amazing 8BitDo Pro 2 controller.
The 8BitDo Pro 2 Wired Controller for Xbox is quite different from your typical Xbox pad, despite having a color scheme that closely resembles that of genuine Xbox gear. It is more akin to a PlayStation pad than the standard Xbox controller design, with symmetrical analogue sticks placed below the D-Pad and face buttons.
Although the 318g weight of the controller doesn’t exactly make it a little or compact controller, it also feels a touch smaller, and some with smaller hands might prefer its size.
Together with the shoulder, trigger, Share, Menu, Start, and Xbox buttons, you’ll also find all the standard X, Y, B, and A buttons. However, on either side of the sticks are distinct Star and Profile buttons for adjusting button mapping settings, and two more easily accessible buttons on the back of the controller handles can be programmed to mimic any other button on the pad.
Although a little more stick tension would have been appreciated by me, and a bit more cable length (just under 10 feet) would be nicer for those playing in larger areas seated away from their consoles, there is fantastic travel to the buttons and pleasant clicks to the shoulders.
The D-Pad on the 8BitDo Pro 2 Wired Controller for Xbox, however, is truly exceptional. It’s great for fighting games, 2D games, and vintage games from the past. It’s big, sensitive, and similar to what you’d find on a Nintendo pad. Emulation makes it possible for the pad to be used with decades’ worth of vintage games designed for a good D-Pad, which makes it a particularly interesting controller for PC.
A 3.5mm headphone jack between the thumb sticks on the pad’s lower side completes the design.
The 8BitDo Pro 2 for Xbox is a wired controller, however it does include a hidden Bluetooth connection. But, its only use is to connect to an 8BitDo Ultimate Software app while your pad is connected to an Xbox or PC, not a console.
You may then modify the button mapping, stick sensitivities and deadzones, trigger actuation ranges, and the degree of the pad’s rumble feature once the app is launched. You can also “swap” the D-Pad and Left Stick inputs for a more Xbox-like layout, though you won’t receive analogue-level control from the digital D-Pad. You can also switch the sticks for southpaws and flip stick orientations. Comparatively speaking, the app is self-explanatory and simple to use, and the visual clues make it obvious what changes are being performed.
Buttons cannot be given “Shift” capabilities to offer them additional functionality when used with grip buttons, nor can macro button press sequences or simultaneous button press combinations be retained. This is a squandered opportunity. If it were possible, it would greatly increase the controller’s usefulness, especially for PC players who play games with a lot of hotkeys.
It’s important to note that you can still remap several buttons on the controller hardware even if you don’t have the software. Holding down the “Profile” button while pushing up or down on the D-Pad will adjust volume levels, while doing the same while pushing left or right on the D-Pad adjusts game and chat balance. Pressing and holding any two buttons while simultaneously pushing the “Star” button will switch their functions.