8Bitdo’s sequence of third-party controllers has gone from power to power, and the Professional 2 gamepad is the newest addition. At first look, it appears virtually an identical to the Professional+ that we examined intimately proper right here, however there’s the notable addition of two new button bumpers beneath every controller arm, including some really customizable buttons good for macros and itchy set off fingers.
Just like the Professional+, the 8Bitdo Professional 2 works with Nintendo’s Change, Home windows, macOS, Android and Raspberry Pi and whereas the brand new controller has a PlayStation 1-inspired gray coloration scheme, it nonetheless borrows closely from Nintendo controllers of the previous.
There’s nonetheless a cross-shaped D-pad on the left (one thing you may miss in your Change JoyCons), begin and choose buttons within the center and round A, B, X and Y buttons which might be extra clearly labeled this time. It’s 2021, so in fact, there are twin analog sticks, too. The Professional 2 additionally features a controller profile switcher button that allows you to swap between three totally different enter configurations with out having in addition up the companion app — which now is available in iOS and Android variations along with PC and Mac.
The Professional 2 has a detachable battery pack which you’ll be able to swap out for AA batteries when you’re ever unable to recharge it by way of its USB-C port. I haven’t carried out a full battery rundown, however you’ll be able to anticipate roughly 20 hours of playtime. It’s a stable controller, and 8Bitdo has added a textured end which helps make the Professional 2 really feel just a little extra premium than its predecessor. Nevertheless, the main upgrades are on the again.
I’ve inadvertently turn out to be the again button controller reviewer right here at Engadget, however I’m not mad about it — I want all controllers had them. The Professional 2’s again paddles mix into the physique of the controller, and whereas just a little shallower than set off buttons elsewhere, they’re completely positioned and are delicate sufficient that I’ve already reassigned the L2 and R2 buttons to them. You’ll have to use the aforementioned smartphone app to map features to those new buttons.
8Bitdo’s controller app is extra helpful this time round, as these further controller buttons are a clean canvas on your macro setups, whether or not that’s a shortcut button on your hardest transfer in Road Fighter, and even automated menu inputs whenever you’re seeking to grind an RPG and stage up whilst you sleep/make a grilled cheese.
As an alternative of the easily-forgettable button combos wanted to sync the Professional+ controller to every platform, the Professional 2 has a swap for swapping between all of the totally different supported platforms. That, sadly, nonetheless doesn’t embrace iOS, and when you’re pondering of utilizing it as your go-to Change controller, observe that there’s no NFC help or HD Rumble — options that Nintendo hasn’t precisely been pushing anyhow.
However these are minor quibbles for a controller that provides customizable again paddles and rings in at $50. For those who’ve held off on getting a second controller (or possibly you’re in search of an improve on your Stadia behavior), the Professional 2 makes a convincing case.