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The 5 Best USB SNES Controllers: Ultimate Guide

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System exploded into homes across the world in 1990 and lives on in the hearts and minds of gamers to this day!  Nowadays, all of the best platforms for playing SNES games have one thing in common – a need for USB SNES Controllers.  The following are the best USB SNES Controllers available today!

The Top-Rated USB SNES Controllers

Editor's PickControllerRating
Top Pick8Bitdo SN30 Pro90%
Budget PickLANDZO Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+84%
Luxury PickBuffalo iBuffalo Classic94%
Best WirelessMODESLAB 2.4GHz Wireless88%
Best Wireless DoubleSAFFUN SNES Retropie87%

Top Pick: 8Bitdo SN30 Pro

8Bitdo SN30 Pro
  • Wireless Bluetooth, Rumble vibration, Motion controls, USB-C
  • Rumble vibration, Motion controls, USB-C
  • Wireless Bluetooth and direct USB connectable with built in lithium ion battery
  • D-Input and X-Input functionality
  • Compatibility Windows 7 and above bluetooth 4.0, Android 4.0 and above, macOS 10.7 and above, Steam Windows 7 and above macOS 10.9 and above, Switch 1.0.0 and above, Raspberry Pi Bluetooth 2.0 and above 2B, 2B+, 3B, Zero

The 8Bitdo SN30 Pro is a stellar product from the renowned classic peripheral maker, and it’s among the highest-rated controllers of time!  This one earns the top spot in a very crowded field by offering so much for so little – including a standard array of SNES, dual analog sticks, rumble and turbo function.

For good measure, this pad is compatible with just about every system you might want to plug it into, including PC, Mac, Android and Switch.  If you want to buy a great USB SNES controller that covers all of the bases, you can’t go wrong with 8Bitdo SN30 Pro!

Budget Pick: LANDZO Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+

LANDZO Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+
  • Compatible with raspberry pi 3b and pi 3 model b+
  • CPU and LAN chips are sized to accommodate heat sinks for raspberry pi 2b,3b,3b+
  • Two camera mounting options (on the base or hidden beneath the lid) make this the perfect case for use with a camera.
  • raspberry pi motherboard not included

The LANDZO Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ is a solid and unbelievably cheap controller that is a victim of poor translation!  For whatever reason, the manufacturer labels this as a controller intended for use with Raspberry Pi – which it does excel at – but it also works great with PC and other platforms!

Whatever the reasoning behind the exclusionary name is, the price of this controller is roughly half the price of the next-cheapest options on this list!  If you want a great, cheap controller – this one is going to be very hard to outdo!

Luxury Pick: Buffalo iBuffalo Classic

Buffalo iBuffalo Classic
  • 8 Buttons
  • for PC
  • USB Connection
  • Support Windows 7/ME/2000/XP/Vista

The Buffalo iBuffalo Classic is an SNES enthusiast’s dream come true!  The classic Famicom (the name of the Japanese version of the SNES) color scheme is always a fan favorite, as are the inclusion of turbo and clear buttons.  Many of the numerous glowing reviews for the Buffalo iBuffalo Classic mention that the controller feels great in the hand and has lightning-fast response times, which is what makes this pad the pro’s choice for competitive play.

Unlike traditional “luxury picks” in gaming peripherals, the Buffalo iBuffalo Classic is relatively reasonably-priced, and as such it’s rather hard to recommend that anyone avoid this one!  If you don’t mind spending just a bit more in pursuit of perfection, go ahead and splurge on the Buffalo iBuffalo Classic!

Best Wireless: MODESLAB 2.4GHz Wireless

MODESLAB 2.4GHz Wireless
  • 🎮Connectivity:2.4G wireless game controller gives you a range of up to 10-meters range, and your program or application accepts USB controller input, There’s no additional setup involved when using the remote controller, JUST PLUG AND PLAY!
  • 🎮Supported Game Emulators: NES, SNES, Snes9x, ZSNES, Higan, Handheld GBA emulator, Sega Genesis emulator, Sega OpenEmu (Only support OS X), RetroArch (Works perfect on Android), BSNES
  • 🎮Supported Device (With USB storage device): PC, Notebook Computer, Laptop Computer; Mac; Android Smartphone: connect via an USB OTG cable; Raspberry Pi (RPI, Raspberry pie): Raspberry Pi 1 Model B, Model A, Raspberry Pi 1 Model B+, Raspberry Pi Zero, Raspberry Pi 2, Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, Raspberry Pi 3, Retro Pie. --- Note: NOT SUPPORT Android TV BOX.
  • 🎮Supported Operating system: Windows 98, ME, Vista, 2000, 2003, XP, 7, 8, 8.1, 10; Linux UBUNTU, Linux Mint, Android Linux (via an USB OTG cable); Mac OS X and beyond; Retrogaming operating systems: RetroPie, Recalbox, Happi Game Center, Lakka, ChameleonPi, Piplay.
  • 🎮Package & After Sale Service: 1 x Wireless Controller for SNES; 1 x 2.4Ghz USB Receiver; 1 x USB Charging Cable; 1 x User Manual. Before play games, test if the controller sticks are clickable.If you couldn't configure input correctly, please contact us and tell us your device and emulator, we could help to solve it.

The MODESLAB 2.4GHz Wireless is a reasonably authentic USB SNES controller in most of the ways that really matter – such as controller shape, button layout and even the varied textures of the plastic comprising the controller’s face.  Any SNES purist will tell you, however, that wireless control options were science fiction in 1990!  

If you don’t mind the occasional berating from the “back in my day” crowd, you’ll quickly come to appreciate the 30 foot range provided by this pad’s 2.4ghz adapter and battery that lasts at least 10 hours between charges!

As for the brand itself, you’ll be pleased to know that MODESLAB is no stranger to retro USB controllers — they also make a great N64 controller.

Best Wireless Double: SAFFUN SNES Retropie

Sale
SAFFUN SNES Retropie
  • Connectivity: Advanced 2.4 GHz wireless RF. Gives you a range of up to 10-meters range. SIMPLE SETUP – Generic USB controller, this uses a standard USB port, if your program or application accepts USB controller input, There’s no additional setup involved when using the remote controller, JUST PLUG AND PLAY! Simply plug in the Unifying receiver, and you’re ready to go. Super sensitive buttons for precision control. Third party controller, not original SNES / NES controller. But it works phenome
  • Supported Operating system: Windows 98, ME, Vista, 2000, 2003, XP, 7, 8, 8.1, 10; Linux UBUNTU, Linux Mint, Android Linux (via an USB OTG cable); Mac OS X and beyond; Retrogaming operating systems: RetroPie, Recalbox, Happi Game Center, Lakka, ChameleonPi, Piplay.
  • Supported Device (With USB storage device): PC, Notebook Computer, Laptop Computer; MacBook; Android Smartphone: connect via an USB OTG cable; Raspberry Pi (RPI, Raspberry pie): Raspberry Pi 1 Model B, Model A, Raspberry Pi 1 Model B+, Raspberry Pi Zero, Raspberry Pi 2, Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, Raspberry Pi 3, Retro Pie. --- Note: NOT SUPPORT Android TV BOX.
  • Supported Game Emulators: NES, SNES, Snes9x, ZSNES, Higan, Handheld GBA emulator, Sega Genesis emulator, Sega OpenEmu (Only support OS X), RetroArch (Works perfect on Android), BSNES (Perfect for two player action)…
  • Extended battery life: The Wireless SNES Controller has a battery life of up to 3 years. Battery capacity: 240mA; Charging time: 1 hour; Charging voltage: 3. 7V; Usage time: 3 hours. Battery Level Indicator: Yes

The SAFFUN SNES Retropie solves a problem that many gamers will never have even considered – crossed, tangled controller cords during multiplayer sessions!  Old-school gamers will remember (with little or no fondness) minor tragedies involving siblings, cousins and neighbors becoming entangled and pulling game consoles to the floor.  Heart-stoppers such as these are a thing of the past thanks to products such as this one.

Avoidance of horror stories is only one of the great bonuses on offer here; perhaps more importantly, this package is priced to move!  If you need some SNES multiplayer action in your life, this is the best pack for plug-and-play couch sessions!

What to Look for in a USB SNES Controller

Not all USB SNES Controllers are created equal; make sure you consider the following when shopping:

Compatibility

The SNES controller format is especially versatile and great for use with various consoles and computers.  Make sure you’re capitalizing on this by buying a USB SNES Controller that works with all of the systems you intend to play on!

Price

More so than most classic controller formats, USB SNES Controllers are available at a wide array of price points.  The more costly ones tend to be of higher quality and possess more features, but that doesn’t necessarily merit the cost bump for everyone!

Functionality

Need turbo buttons?  Analog sticks?  How about triggers?  Consider what additional features you want before shopping, lest you spend a lot of extra money on features you don’t have much use for!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here are some of the most common questions users ask when choosing a USB SNES Controller:

Why use a USB SNES controller in 2021?

That really depends on what you might want to use it for. Foremost, you’ll want one if you intend to play emulated SNES on pretty much any platform. Other common applications include NES emulation (although you can also get dedicated NES controllers) and Wii/Wii U VIrtual Console games.

Should you get a USB SNES or universal controller?

That really depends on what sort of games you intend to play. If you’re playing modern games that require additional buttons or analog sticks, you should opt for something more universal; otherwise, USB SNES Controllers are a great buy!

Other USB SNES Controllers We Reviewed

We looked at two other USB SNES controllers. Even though they didn’t make our top 5 list, they’re still some of the market’s best.

Retroflag Classic

Retroflag Classic
  • SWITCH:Plug and Play
  • Support XINPUT, DINPUT mode and Turbo function
  • Compatible with RASPBERRY PI,Windows,Switch
  • Windows: please hold X and plug in
  • MacOS: please hold Y and plug in

The Retroflag Classic will look immediately familiar to anyone who’s ever seen an authentic, original SNES controller; this thing is nearly identical!  The only profound difference is the logo and wording – things that you simply won’t notice mid-game! 

This one is a great pick for anyone hoping to stay as authentic as possible.

Nintendo Retrolink

Nintendo Retrolink
  • Plug and Play
  • No extra driver required
  • Super sensitive buttons for precision control
  • Supports Windows 98/SE/ME/XP/Vista/MAC

The Nintendo Retrolink will immediately raise red flags for anyone who’s familiar with Nintendo’s heavy-handed approach to protecting their intellectual property, but all accounts from verified buyers seem to be that this controller may as well be the genuine article!  

That being said, this controller is a solid alternative to the previous picks and shouldn’t be dismissed!

Last Updated on February 15, 2021