Best Controller For Retro Gaming (2024 Update)

When you shop through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. This educational content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice.

If you’re looking for a way to relive the good old days of gaming, retro gaming is the perfect way to do it. However, playing retro games with the wrong controller can ruin the experience. If you want to get the most out of your retro gaming experience, you need to find the best controller for retro gaming.

Before buying a retro gaming controller, there are a number of factors to consider. Firstly, compatibility is key. Make sure the controller works with the console you plan on using. Another important factor is quality. Look for a controller that is built to last and has responsive buttons. Lastly, comfort is important. A comfortable, ergonomic controller can make all the difference during extended gaming sessions.

So, what are some questions you might ask yourself when looking for the best controller for retro gaming? Are you looking for a wired or wireless controller? Do you want a controller that resembles the original controller for the console? Or are you looking for something with a modern layout and features? Whatever your preferences, finding the right controller can make all the difference in how much you enjoy your retro gaming experience.

10 Best Controller For Retro Gaming

# Product Image Product Name Product Notes Check Price
1
Ideal for retro gaming on Windows PC, Mac, and Raspberry Pi 3 platforms with a wired N64-style controller.
2
The product is ideal for gaming on devices such as PCs, Raspberry Pi, Android, and Windows MAC Liunx.
3
The product is ideal for playing classic NES games on various devices such as Raspberry Pi, Windows PC, Mac, and Linux.
4
It is ideal for retro N64 gaming on Windows PCs, Macs, Linux, and Raspberry Pi 3.
5
The product is ideal for gaming on laptops, desktop computers and systems like Steam, Roblox, RetroPie and RecalBox.
6
The product is ideal for building a customized arcade game controller using a Raspberry Pi or PC.
7
The product is ideal for connecting various game controllers to retro gaming consoles via Bluetooth wireless technology.
8
The product is ideal for playing retro NES games on a computer or Raspberry Pi using a USB controller.
9
This product is ideal for retro gaming on Windows PC, Mac, and Raspberry Pi with a wired USB joystick controller.
10
Ideal for retro gaming on various devices such as Windows PC, MAC, Linux, Retropie, and Raspberry Pi 3.
Ideal for retro gaming on Windows PC, Mac, and Raspberry Pi 3 platforms with a wired N64-style controller.
The product is ideal for gaming on devices such as PCs, Raspberry Pi, Android, and Windows MAC Liunx.
The product is ideal for playing classic NES games on various devices such as Raspberry Pi, Windows PC, Mac, and Linux.
It is ideal for retro N64 gaming on Windows PCs, Macs, Linux, and Raspberry Pi 3.
The product is ideal for gaming on laptops, desktop computers and systems like Steam, Roblox, RetroPie and RecalBox.
The product is ideal for building a customized arcade game controller using a Raspberry Pi or PC.
The product is ideal for connecting various game controllers to retro gaming consoles via Bluetooth wireless technology.
The product is ideal for playing retro NES games on a computer or Raspberry Pi using a USB controller.
This product is ideal for retro gaming on Windows PC, Mac, and Raspberry Pi with a wired USB joystick controller.
Ideal for retro gaming on various devices such as Windows PC, MAC, Linux, Retropie, and Raspberry Pi 3.

1. Retro N64 Controllers For Pc & Mac

Introducing the Wired N64 Controller for PC & MAC, a high-performance game controller designed specifically to provide gamers with an exceptional retro gaming experience. Compatible with Windows PC, Linux, Mac, and Raspberry Pi, this controller is perfect for playing classic N64 games on a computer or laptop.

This controller is also compatible with Raspberry Pi 3+ and Retro pie, making it an ideal choice for those who want to build their own retro gaming system. However, please note that while this controller can be used with a switch console, the "start" button for HOME button on switch, and right C is mapped as minus and up C is mapped as plus function, and cannot be mapped artificially. Therefore, we do not recommend using it for switch games.

The Wired N64 Controller supports most N64 classic games, such as Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Super Mario 64, Super Smash Bros, Mario Kart, and Racing Games. It's compatible with a wide range of operating systems, including Windows 98/2000/ME/XP/Vista/Win 7/8/8.1/10 or later, as well as Mac running OS X, Mac OS X, and macOS.

This high-performance game controller features tight and accurate analog control, providing gamers with a smooth and seamless gaming experience. The controller comes equipped with 10 function buttons, including Left and Right shoulder functions, and Z-trigger. The cord is approximately 1.7 meters (6ft) long, and features a standard USB 2.0 port, providing a stable and reliable connection that ensures an extension of game performance.

Please note that the Wired N64 Controller is a third-party controller and does not support N64 Rumble Pack and memory cards. It's important to note that it's only compatible with Desktop/Notebook/Raspberry Pi/switch, and not with Android box and N64 Video Game Console.

2. Rii Classic Game Controllers: Retro Gaming Nostalgia.

This classic game controller is perfect for old school gamers who want to relive the retro feel of their favorite games. It is compatible with a wide range of operating systems such as Windows 98, ME, Vista, 2000/2003, XP, 7, 8, 8.1, 10, Mac OS X, Raspberry Pi, and Raspberry PI 2 model B. This makes it a versatile option for gamers who use different devices.

The game controller is designed for simplicity and convenience, and it does not require the installation of drivers or patches. Simply plug it into a USB port and start playing. It comes with a 1.5-meter external cable, which is approximately 5 feet long, allowing for comfortable gameplay from a distance.

The controller features super-sensitive buttons, including 6 fire buttons, a 'Start' button, a 'Select' button, and a motion control cross. These buttons provide precise control and a great gaming experience. The controller fits perfectly in the hand and is also perfect for two-player action.

The game controller is compatible with most emulators, making it easy to use with your favorite games. Download any free or paid emulator from Google and enjoy your favorite games with the classic retro feel. Please note that this is a third-party controller and not an original SNES/NES controller. However, it works phenomenally with the Raspberry Pi game emulation and other devices.

The product comes with friendly customer service and a worry-free 1-year warranty. If you encounter any problems during use, simply send a message to the support team, and they will help you to solve the issue promptly. Overall, this classic game controller is a great option for gamers who want to relive the retro feel of their favorite games.

3. Retro Nes Usb Controllers – 2 Pack

This third-party controller is a must-have for any retro gamer who wants to play their favorite old-school games on their PC or Mac with ease. It is compatible with a wide range of operating systems, including Win98, ME, Vista, 2000, 2003, XP, 7, 8, 8.1, 10, Linux Ubuntu, RetroPie systems, Mac OS X and beyond. It is also compatible with both 32-bit and 64-bit computers, making it a versatile choice for any gaming setup.

With its simple USB plug and play design, there is no need for any drivers or software, making it incredibly easy to use. However, if you do encounter any issues, simply ensure that the controller is plugged in before starting your NES emulator, and then go into input settings to map the buttons.

The controller has been designed to replicate the classic NES style, complete with a flexible D-pad, rubber start and select buttons, convexed A and B buttons, and a textured finish on the case. This gives you the feeling of playing on an original NES console. The buttons are super sensitive, offering precision control, and the controller comes with a cord that is approximately 5ft long, providing a comfortable distance while playing.

This controller is perfect for family game night, allowing you to fire up an emulator, pick your favorite game, and enjoy hours of fun. It is a great replacement for a mouse or keyboard, allowing for a more authentic gaming experience. It is important to note that this is a third-party controller and not an original NES controller.

4. Retro N64 Usb Gamepad For Pc/mac/linux

Introducing a convenient and easy way to relive your favorite old school games – the Play N64 Games on Laptop Computer PC MAC Raspberry Pi controller. This controller is a perfect replacement for your mouse and keyboard, and allows you to enjoy classic games in a more immersive and traditional way.

This controller is compatible with a wide range of operating systems including Windows 98/ME/Vista/2000/2003/XP/7/8/8.1/10, Mac OS X and beyond, as well as Raspberry Pi and Retro Pi OS. The USB plug and play feature makes it simple to use, without the need for any drivers or software installation.

However, in order to start playing your favorite games, it's important to download the corresponding game emulator, such as Project 64 for PC, OpenEmu for OS X, or Retropie for Raspberry Pi. Additionally, you'll need to configure and map the controller inputs in the program you use to run your games.

The controller features a total of 14 buttons, including 4 arrow keys, 6 function keys, 1 start key, shoulder L and R keys, and an analog joystick. Its ergonomic design fits comfortably in your hand, making it easy and enjoyable to use for long periods of time.

If you experience any difficulties using the controller, ensure that it's plugged in before starting your emulator. Additionally, you may need to map the buttons in the input settings.

5. Wired Game Controller For Ultimate Gaming Experience

This game controller is a perfect choice for gamers who want to experience powerful hardware compatibility and an ultimate gaming experience. It is designed to support Laptop/Desktop PC with Windows 11/10/8/7/XP, Raspberry Pi (4/3/2/1/Zero), RetroPie, RecalBox, Steam, and Roblox. However, it doesn't support Xbox 360/Xbox One/Mac OS/PS4.

The USB interface makes it easy to install and use without any additional software. The CD disc driver is included in the package for computers that don't install drivers automatically. In case you need to download the driver, you can contact the seller to get the driver download link.

The ergonomic design of this game controller is reliable and comfortable. Its 3D ergonomic design ensures that you will have a comfortable grip during extended gaming sessions. The USB cable is up to 4.9 feet (1.5 meters) long, which allows you to connect your game equipment at a sufficient visual range without feeling restricted. The controller's design is not only stylish but also practical, and it is not easy to fatigue your hands.

The controller comes with dual vibration feedback motors and Analog + Digital dual setting, which ensures that you have a realistic gaming experience. The fire buttons are sensitive, and the handy manipulation makes it easy to control the game. Additionally, the controller is super anti-sweat, which ensures that you will have a comfortable grip even during intense gaming sessions.

With this game controller, you don't have to worry about the purchase. You not only get a controller that connects to your device via USB cable, but you also receive an unconditional satisfaction guarantee and lifetime warranty. In case you encounter any issues, you can contact the seller for assistance.

6. Qenker Led Arcade Diy Kit – 2 Player Joy!

Introducing the LED Arace Game DIY Parts – a must-have for any MAME JAMMA project enthusiast! These parts are the perfect fit for a 2 player arcade MAME DIY project, providing a seamless gaming experience.

The LED Arace Game DIY Parts are made with the highest quality materials, ensuring durability and longevity. The heat resistant plastic guarantees that the parts will withstand even the most intense gaming sessions.

The kit includes 100% Zero Delay USB Encoders that work perfectly with all windows systems, making it easy to set up and get started. The LED kit is also perfect for arcade PC game DIY projects and is incredibly easy to install.

7. Wireless Gaming Receiver For Nintendo Retro Gaming.

The Retro Receiver is a cutting-edge Bluetooth dongle that is specially designed for all original SNES/SFC systems. It is a versatile device that enables ALL 8Bitdo controllers, including N30, F30, N30 Pro, F30 Pro, F30 Arcade stick, SF, and SN30, to connect wirelessly to the SNES/SFC. However, it does not support SN30/SF30 2.4G controllers.

This innovative device also allows the use of official original PS3 Dualshock 3, PS4 Dualshock 4, Wii remote, Wii U Pro, Nintendo Switch Joy-Con, and Nintendo Switch Pro controllers, providing gamers with a wide range of options to enjoy their favorite SNES/SFC games.

It is important to note that the Retro Receiver does not support the Firmware Version 5.11.3116 of Xbox One Controller and Firmware Version 5.11.3115 of Xbox Elite 2 Controller.

The Retro Receiver is built with a powerful CPU and FLASH memory chip that allows for easy firmware upgrades, ensuring that it remains up-to-date with the latest technology. It supports Windows (X-INPUT), MacOSX (X-INPUT) and PS3, making it a versatile option for gamers who use different operating systems.

Additionally, the Retro Receiver offers multiplayer capability for 2 to 4 players, ensuring that gamers can enjoy their favorite SNES/SFC games with friends and family members.

With the Gam3Gear Keychain included, this device is a must-have for any serious gamer who wants to experience the ultimate gaming experience wirelessly. The Retro Receiver is an excellent choice for those who want to enjoy their SNES/SFC games in a more convenient and comfortable way.

8. Retropi Usb Gamepad: Nes Edition (8 Words)

The USB Gamepad Controller is the perfect accessory for avid gamers who want to relive the classic gaming experience. This controller is compatible with Windows PC, Mac, and Raspberry PI, and is connected through a standard 2.0 USB port. The best part is that no extra drivers are required for installation, making it an easy plug-and-play solution for gamers of all levels.

The USB Gamepad Controller is widely compatible and can be used on any PC or Mac with a USB port. It supports various operating systems, including Win98, ME, Vista, 2000, 2003, XP, 7, 8, 8.1, 10, Linux Ubuntu, RetroPie systems, and Mac OS X. However, it is important to note that it is not compatible with classic mini, Wii, or Switch.

This Wired NES Controller is designed in a classic NES style and comes with a built-in 5.6ft long cord that is not wireless. The length of the cord allows the gamer to play from a comfortable distance, making it perfect for extended gaming sessions.

The NES USB Gamepad is supported to play old classic games like Super Mario, Teenage Mutant Ninga Turtles, Contra(Operation C), Ninja Gaiden, The Legend of Zelda, DOUBLE DRAGON, Downtown – Nekketsu Monogatari, Tetris, and many more. With its 2 pack set, gamers can enjoy hours of gaming fun with friends or family and create new memories while reliving their childhood.

9. Retro Snes Usb Gamepad By Kiwitata

The Kiwitatá USB SNES Controller is a great choice for anyone looking to play classic old school retro SNES games on their computer or laptop. It is specifically designed for this purpose and is compatible with a range of operating systems including Windows, Linux, Mac, and Raspberry Pi.

The controller is designed with a super precise cross key and function buttons, providing a great gaming experience. The cross direction key is frosted and concave, making it anti-sweat and anti-slip. Additionally, the shape of the controller is designed to fit the contour of your hands, making it easy and comfortable to hold.

The Kiwitatá USB SNES Controller works with any emulator you wish to download and use, such as VirtuaNES, sens9x, Zsens, sensgt, Uosnesw, RetroArch, OpenEmu (MAC), NESEmu, and Jnes, among others. It features a standard USB 2.0 port with a 1.5 meters (5ft) cable, eliminating the need to install any drivers. However, you must manually set the buttons and directionals within the emulator you're using, as the controller does not automatically assign buttons/directional axes.

It is important to note that you should plug in the controller first before opening the game emulator to avoid any recognition issues. If you encounter any incompatibility issues on MAC or Raspberry Pi, please contact the seller for support.

The controller is a third-party product, but it is 100% brand new and of high quality. It comes with a 12-month worry-free product assurance from Kiwitatá. However, it is not compatible with any Android Box, Tesla vehicles, or the SNES Super Entertainment System Console or switch games.

10. Miadore Classic Usb Gamepad For Retro Gaming

This third-party controller is a perfect addition to any retro gaming setup. It is compatible with a wide range of operating systems, including Windows98/ME/Vista/2000/2003/XP/7/8/8.1/10, Mac OS X, and beyond. Additionally, it can be used with emulators, Raspberry Pi, Raspberry PI 2 model B, Retro Pi OS, and Retropi System, providing a versatile gaming experience.

One of the best things about this controller is its ease of use. It is a simple plug-and-play device that does not require any drivers or software to work. However, users who encounter any issues should ensure that the controller is plugged in before starting their emulator. They may also have to map the buttons in the input settings.

The controller is designed to work with any emulator a user wishes to download and use. Users can easily find SNES emulators and ROMs online to get started. The controller is much better than using a regular keyboard and mouse, providing a more authentic and enjoyable gaming experience.

The controller features super-sensitive buttons for precise control, an eight-way directional pad, and six digital buttons. It is designed to provide an authentic retro feel, with an arrowed D-pad, concave X and Y buttons, convex A and B buttons, and rubber start and select buttons. The cord is approximately five feet long, providing a comfortable distance while playing.

This controller is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to play SNES, NES, PSX, Atari, Genesis, or any other vintage games. Although it is not an original SNES/NES controller, it works phenomenally with the Raspberry Pi game emulation and other systems. Overall, this controller is a great investment for anyone looking to relive the nostalgia of classic gaming.

Best Controller For Retro Gaming FAQs

Are third-party controllers reliable for retro gaming?

The reliability of third-party controllers for retro gaming can vary greatly depending on the brand and quality of the controller. Some third-party controllers are designed to mimic the original controllers and can work just as well or even better than the original ones. However, there are also cheaply made third-party controllers that may have compatibility issues, poor build quality, or inconsistent button inputs.

It's important to do research and read reviews before purchasing a third-party controller for retro gaming. Look for reputable brands with positive reviews from other retro gamers. Additionally, make sure the controller is compatible with the specific system you plan to use it with.

In general, if you invest in a high-quality third-party controller, it can be a reliable and cost-effective option for retro gaming. However, if you opt for a cheaply made controller, you may end up with a frustrating and unreliable gaming experience.

Are wireless controllers a good option for retro gaming?

Wireless controllers can be a great option for retro gaming, but it ultimately depends on personal preference. Some retro gamers prefer the feel of the original wired controllers, while others enjoy the convenience and freedom of wireless controllers.

One advantage of wireless controllers is that they eliminate the need for cords, which can be especially useful for those who have a cluttered gaming space or want to play at a distance from their console. Additionally, some wireless controllers offer features that the original retro controllers did not have, such as additional buttons or turbo functions.

However, it's important to note that wireless controllers may have a slight input lag, which can affect gameplay for some. This lag is typically minimal and may not be noticeable for most players, but it's something to keep in mind.

Overall, wireless controllers can be a great option for retro gaming, but it's important to weigh the pros and cons and choose a controller that fits your personal preferences and gaming style.

Can I use modern controllers with retro consoles?

It depends on the specific controller and retro console you are using. Some modern controllers are designed to be compatible with older consoles through the use of adapters or specialized cables. For example, the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller can be used with the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) through the use of a specialized wireless adapter.

However, not all modern controllers will work with retro consoles. It's important to do research on the compatibility of the specific controller and console you want to use. Additionally, even if a modern controller is technically compatible, it may not provide the same experience as the original controller designed for the console.

If you're looking for a more authentic retro gaming experience, it's recommended to use the original controller or a replica designed specifically for the console. However, if you prefer the comfort and familiarity of a modern controller, it's worth researching and experimenting with compatibility options.

How do I choose between a joystick or gamepad for retro gaming?

When it comes to choosing between a joystick or gamepad for retro gaming, there are a few factors to consider.

Firstly, think about the types of games you will be playing. Joysticks are better suited for arcade-style games that require precise movement and quick reflexes, such as fighting games or shoot 'em ups. On the other hand, gamepads are better suited for platformers or games that require more varied inputs, such as racing games or RPGs.

Secondly, consider your personal preferences. Some gamers prefer the tactile feedback and larger range of motion that comes with a joystick, while others find gamepads more comfortable and intuitive.

Lastly, think about compatibility with your chosen gaming setup. Some retro consoles or emulators may only support one type of controller, so make sure to check before making a purchase.

Ultimately, the best choice depends on your individual needs and preferences. If possible, try out both options before making a decision to see which feels more comfortable and natural for you.

What are some affordable retro gaming controller options?

There are several affordable retro gaming controller options available in the market. One of the most popular options is the 8Bitdo controllers. They offer a range of controllers that are compatible with various retro gaming systems like the NES, SNES, and Sega Genesis. These controllers are wireless, have a retro design, and are priced reasonably.

Another great option is the Retro-Bit controllers. They offer controllers for various retro gaming systems like the NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, and more. These controllers have a classic design, are wired, and are priced affordably.

If you are looking for a controller that is compatible with multiple retro gaming systems, the Tomee SNES/NES/Genesis 3-in-1 controller is a good choice. It is a wired controller that has a classic design and is priced reasonably.

Finally, the iNNEXT controllers are also worth considering. They offer controllers for various retro gaming systems like the NES, SNES, and N64. These controllers are wired, have a retro design, and are priced affordably.

Overall, these affordable retro gaming controller options offer great value for money and are perfect for gamers who want to relive the nostalgia of playing retro games.

What are the best controllers for retro gaming?

When it comes to retro gaming, there are a variety of controllers available that can enhance your gaming experience. One of the most popular options is the original controller that came with the console you're playing on. For example, the NES Classic Edition comes with a replica of the classic NES controller, which is perfect for playing retro games.

Another great option is a USB controller that is designed to mimic the feel of classic controllers, but can be used on modern computers and consoles. These controllers often feature the same button layout and design as the originals, and can be a great way to relive the classic gaming experience.

For those who want a more modern feel, there are also controllers that combine the best of both worlds. These controllers often feature the classic button layout and design, but with modern features like wireless connectivity and improved ergonomics.

Ultimately, the best controller for retro gaming will depend on your personal preferences and the console or emulator you're using. However, by choosing a controller that is designed specifically for retro gaming, you can ensure that you have the best experience possible.

What features should I look for in a retro gaming controller?

When looking for a retro gaming controller, there are several features that you should consider. Firstly, you should check the compatibility of the controller with your gaming console or device. Make sure the controller you choose is compatible with your device. Also, consider the number of buttons on the controller, as some retro games require a lot of button presses. A good retro gaming controller should have enough buttons to support the games you want to play.

Another important feature to consider is the build quality of the controller. You want a controller that is durable and will last for a long time. Check for reviews and ratings of the controller to see how well it holds up over time.

Comfort is also important when choosing a retro gaming controller. Look for a controller that fits your hands well and has a comfortable grip. Some controllers come with additional features such as turbo buttons, which can make gameplay easier.

Lastly, consider the design of the controller. Retro gaming controllers come in many different styles and designs, so choose one that appeals to you. Overall, a good retro gaming controller should be compatible, durable, comfortable, and have the necessary features for the games you want to play.

What is the most durable retro gaming controller?

When it comes to retro gaming controllers, durability is an important factor to consider. After all, you want a controller that can withstand years of use and abuse. While there are many options on the market, one of the most durable retro gaming controllers is the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) controller.

The NES controller is known for its simple design and sturdy construction. The buttons and D-pad are responsive and reliable, and the controller itself can take a beating without breaking down. Additionally, the NES controller is compatible with a wide range of retro gaming consoles and emulators, making it a versatile choice for retro gaming enthusiasts.

Another durable option is the Sega Genesis controller. Like the NES controller, the Genesis controller is known for its sturdy construction and responsive buttons. It also features a larger size that may be more comfortable for some gamers.

Ultimately, the most durable retro gaming controller will depend on personal preferences and the specific console or emulator being used. It may be worth investing in a few different controllers to find the one that best fits your needs.

Which controllers are compatible with classic consoles like the NES or SNES?

The original controllers for the classic consoles like the NES and SNES are compatible with their respective consoles. However, if you're looking for alternative options to play these classic games, there are a number of third-party controllers that are designed to be compatible with these consoles. For example, the Retro-Bit Wired Classic Controller for NES and the iNNEXT USB Controller for SNES are popular options. These third-party controllers often have modern features such as longer cords or wireless connectivity, but are designed with the same button layout and feel as the original controllers. It's important to note that some games may not be fully compatible with third-party controllers, so it's always best to check the compatibility before making a purchase.

Which retro gaming controller has the most buttons?

The retro gaming controller with the most buttons is the Sega Genesis controller, also known as the Mega Drive controller in some regions. It has a total of eight buttons, including a directional pad, three main buttons (A, B, and C), and three additional buttons (X, Y, and Z) located on the upper right-hand side. Additionally, there is a start button and a mode button in the center of the controller. The Sega Genesis/Mega Drive controller was first released in 1988 and has become an iconic controller for retro gamers. Its button layout has influenced many other gaming controllers that have come after it. Today, many retro gaming enthusiasts still use the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive controller to play classic games on their emulators or original consoles.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Sharing is caring!