The Best RetroPie Controllers – Top 10 (2022)

RetroPie requires a controller if you want to play old games. There are many controllers on the market, but not all controllers are equal. The best controller for you will depend on your preferences, what you enjoy playing, and how much money you have.

While most of these controllers can be used with USB, there are some wireless options. There should be at least one controller that suits your retro gaming needs.

Table of Contents

Best RetroPie Controllers:

  1. All-around best wireless
  2. All-around best wired
  3. Best Bluetooth Controller for RetroPie
  4. RetroPie best 8BitDo controller
  5. The best budget RetroPie controller
  6. Best Nintendo 64 RetroPie controller
  7. RetroPie best NES controller
  8. RetroPie best SNES controller
  9. Best PlayStation Controller for RetroPie
  10. RetroPie best arcade controller

All-around best wireless

 

Cables? Don’t bother with them. RetroPie’s best choice for wire-free gaming is the 8BitDo SF30. 8BitDo is a trusted brand that has become a standard in retrogaming. The SF30 controller from 8BitDo is a retro-themed controller that has lots of buttons.

 

Spec SF30
Battery Life 16 Hours
Price $44.99 on Amazon
Connection Type Wireless / Bluetooth / USB – C
Material Plastic
Style SNES
Quality High

 

 

The best wired

You need something reliable if wired controllers are not your speed. The official Xbox One controller by Microsoft connects via USB. It has almost instantaneous response times and is compatible with all wired devices. This controller is officially licensed and offers industry-standard quality, with modern console feel.

Spec Xbox One Wired Controller
Battery Life N/A (Wired) Price $58.75 at Amazon Type of connection USB Material ABS Style Xbox One Qualitative Industry Standard

 

Best Bluetooth Controller for RetroPie

Bluetooth is required for the Xbox One Wireless controller. It’s easy to use with many console emulators, from NES to Dreamcast, because it has so many buttons. To connect, you will need a Bluetooth compatible Pi. For more information, see our list of Raspberry pi models to check if it will work. You can also try a USB Bluetooth adapter if yours doesn’t work. RetroPie makes it easy to set up your Xbox One Controller.

 

Spec Xbox One Wireless Controller
Battery Life              30 Hours
Price $62.99 on Amazon
Connection Type Wireless / Bluetooth
Material ABS
Style Xbox One
Quality Industry Standard

 

RetroPie best 8BitDo controller

As we mentioned before, 8bitDo has been a huge hit in RetroPie. Which controller is the best at 8BitDo? The SN30 Pro+ is our choice. It connects via Bluetooth and is designed with the SNES experience in mind. Although it is more expensive than other models, retrogaming enthusiasts will find the price worth it. It supports motion controls and rumble support.

 

Spec SN30 Pro+
Battery Life 20 Hours
Price $49.99 on Amazon
Connection Type Wireless / Bluetooth
Material Plastic
Style Retro Original
Quality High

 

The best budget RetroPie controller

Retrogaming can be a drain on your finances. You should take control and get a budget controller. You will pay more for the best quality controllers than the cheapest. RetroFlag Classic Gaming Controller (Jpad), is the perfect choice for those who want something old-school, but with modern finesse.

 

Spec RetroFlag Classic Gaming Controller (Jpad)
Battery Life N/A (Wired)
Price $13.95 on Amazon
Connection Type USB
Material Plastic
Style SNES
Quality Good

 

Best Nintendo 64 RetroPie controller

Controller shape is everything when it comes to imitating the Nintendo 64. If you intend to play anything as far-fetched as Mario Party, the buttons and joysticks must be able to withstand some abuse. For the tri-grip joy you are most familiar with, check out the USB N64 controller by iNNEXT.

 

pec Saffron N64
Battery Life N/A (Wired)
Price $15.99 on Amazon
Connection Type USB
Material Plastic
Style Nintendo 64
Quality Good

 

RetroPie best NES controller

A SNES controller is not the right choice if you want a true NES experience. The classic Nintendo console had a unique controller that was distinctive in appearance and feel. We chose the Hyperkin Premium NES controller for RetroPie’s NES emulation. You will be able to get the same quality feedback and design as a modern controller, but with the button placement and design you already know.

 

Spec Hyperkin Premium NES
Battery Life N/A (Wired)
Price $34.99 (2-pack) on Amazon
Connection Type USB
Material Plastic
Style NES
Quality Good

 

RetroPie best SNES controller

The SNES controller was a popular upgrade to the NES controller. The SNES controller had more buttons and a round design that is easy to hold in your hands. This controller is the best for retrogaming emulators. RetroFlag Classic Gaming Controller (Upad) is a reliable option for SNES emulators. This device is the same one that was used to create the Raspberry Pi GPi Case.

 

Spec RetroFlag Classic Gaming Controller (Upad)
Battery Life N/A (Wired)
Price $14.99 on Amazon
Connection Type USB
Material Plastic
Style SNES
Quality Good

 

Best PlayStation Controller for RetroPie

RetroPie controllers are a great choice, whether you’re looking for a retro experience or prefer the traditional design. These controllers have a wide range of buttons that can be used on both older and newer platforms, and they are made with industry-standard quality. DualShock 4 Wireless Controller by PlayStation is compatible with Raspberry Pi and delivers highly responsive feedback while gaming.

 

Spec DualShock 4 Wireless Controller
Battery Life 4 – 8 Hours
Price $68.99 on Amazon
Connection Type Wireless / Bluetooth
Material
Style PlayStation 4
Quality Industry Standard

 

RetroPie best arcade controller

Officially licensed for Nintendo Switch, the Switch Fighting Stick Mini (HORI) arcade controller works equally well with the Raspberry Pi. It features a traditional arcade-style joystick with buttons and connects via USB. This is the best option for simulating arcade hardware, if you don’t want to make your own Raspberry Pi arcade control.RetroPie for the Pi 4: Official Raspberry Pi4 Support Added

 

Spec Switch Fighting Stick Mini
Battery Life N/A (Wired)
Price $49.99 on Amazon
Connection Type USB
Material Plastic
Style Arcade
Quality Industry Standard

 

RetroPie

A year before the Raspberry Pi 4’s release, RetroPie developers added support for it with an open and stable beta. The Raspberry Pi 4’s improved CPU, GPU and RAM capabilities will undoubtedly allow for more games and systems to emulate the Raspberry Pi 4 while also improving the experience for existing emulators.

Why was it so slow?

RetroPie, an open-source project run by volunteers, has full-time developers (consider donating for support). The Pi 4’s architecture was fundamentally different so it took a lot of work to add support. Volunteer time is also limited.

RetroPie for Raspberry Pi 4: How to Use It

RetroPie now has 4.6. You can use RetroPie with the Raspberry Pi 4 by following the same steps as for other Raspberry Pi models. Download the RetroPie image from The RetroPie downloads, and then install it on your Pi.

 

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