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What bluetooth controller Just Works™?

Started by MysticLord, August 03, 2022, 04:53:13 PM

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MysticLord

I just spent $70 on a Moga XP5-X Bluetooth controller with the expectation that for this much money I shouldn't have to worry about it working. Turns out that was a lie; it works with NOTHING using bluetooth. It works plugged in with Steam, and I didn't try it on an emulator or my phone while plugged in.

I want a controller for 3 things:
Android Phone, ideally with some sort of clip to hold the phone attached to the controller
Steam
Emulators on PC

Needs bluetooth, but a long battery life and the ability to use it as a battery bank for my phone is great. I don't like wired controllers because it's hard to game when Mystic Lad is napping and I can't move or else he'll wake up and demand attention. He also like to unplug things, swat them off tables, pick them up and run with them, throw wires, hide wires, bend wires, chew on wires, drool on wires, pull out wires and wipe boogers in charging holes, and hit things with wires.

Please do not recommend something you have not personally used in these circumstances, and say which circumstances you used them in.

Jorpho

I've used my PS3 controller over Bluetooth in Windows 7. Can't say I'd really recommend it, though; the drivers are unofficial and kind of a mess.  (I'm referring to the ScpToolkit drivers, to be sure; the MotionInJoy drivers are an even worse idea.)

Have you used Bluetooth controllers before? Did you pair your controller with your system correctly? Or check the manufacturer's troubleshooting documentation? Or is that a silly question?
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Supergamerguy

Quote from: MysticLord on August 03, 2022, 04:53:13 PMI just spent $70 on a Moga XP5-X Bluetooth controller with the expectation that for this much money I shouldn't have to worry about it working. Turns out that was a lie; it works with NOTHING using bluetooth. It works plugged in with Steam, and I didn't try it on an emulator or my phone while plugged in.

I want a controller for 3 things:
Android Phone, ideally with some sort of clip to hold the phone attached to the controller
Steam
Emulators on PC

Needs bluetooth, but a long battery life and the ability to use it as a battery bank for my phone is great. I don't like wired controllers because it's hard to game when Mystic Lad is napping and I can't move or else he'll wake up and demand attention. He also like to unplug things, swat them off tables, pick them up and run with them, throw wires, hide wires, bend wires, chew on wires, drool on wires, pull out wires and wipe boogers in charging holes, and hit things with wires.

Please do not recommend something you have not personally used in these circumstances, and say which circumstances you used them in.

The 8bitdo SN30 Pro Plus 2. I have used it in all 3 situations you've described with no issues. Switching pairing modes is as easy as an actual switch on the back. You can also purchase a cheap phone clip from 8bitdo as well, if you want to hold up your phone with your controller. It's a technological beast, and I can personally verify that it works with Android (mobile games and emulators), Steam games, and PC emulators (Retroarch and more).

Plus it's less than $50. A steal, honestly.
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Gemini

DualShock 4 and 5 work pretty much with anything out of the box (you can run most games through Steam to have XInput compatibility). 8bitdo controllers are pretty great too and they can switch mode depending on whatever you need (Switch, PS4, Windows, Android). All of the above have bluetooth compatibility.
I am the lord, you all know my name, now. I got it all: cash, money, and fame.

fomad

I'm gonna have to give another vote for 8bitdo.  I have an N30 pro 2 that I love.  The SN30 looks like it would be more functional but I like the small size of the N30 so I can take it in my pocket easily.  I have it paired with my phone and 2 different computers and can switch between them in seconds without having to re-pair.  Most 8bitdo controllers have a clip available for attaching a phone.  The battery lasts quite a while, definitely more than a dualshock and can be used while charging.  The dpad is the same as the NES and SNES which is a huge bonus, I cannot stand the dpad on xbox controllers and don't consider the buttons on the dualshock as a dpad.  The analog sticks take a little getting used to since the N30 has small ones and the triggers are not analog.  The SN30 has analog triggers and bigger sticks.  I use the controller for just about everything, I love using it for emulators because it really does feel like a Nintendo controller.  It also supports switch and has a gyro, with a little effort you can use the gyro on pc when the controller is in switch mode.

MysticLord

Quote from: Jorpho on August 04, 2022, 12:24:15 AMI've used my PS3 controller over Bluetooth in Windows 7. Can't say I'd really recommend it, though; the drivers are unofficial and kind of a mess.  (I'm referring to the ScpToolkit drivers, to be sure; the MotionInJoy drivers are an even worse idea.)
I wasn't aware that unofficial drivers were a thing for controllers. Can you direct me to a relevant site?

Quote from: Jorpho on August 04, 2022, 12:24:15 AMHave you used Bluetooth controllers before? Did you pair your controller with your system correctly? Or check the manufacturer's troubleshooting documentation? Or is that a silly question?
I used them with a PS4. I paired this one with my laptop, and it worked with nothing in bluetooth mode.

Quote from: Supergamerguy on August 04, 2022, 09:28:42 AMThe 8bitdo SN30 Pro Plus 2. I have used it in all 3 situations you've described with no issues. Switching pairing modes is as easy as an actual switch on the back. You can also purchase a cheap phone clip from 8bitdo as well, if you want to hold up your phone with your controller. It's a technological beast, and I can personally verify that it works with Android (mobile games and emulators), Steam games, and PC emulators (Retroarch and more).

Plus it's less than $50. A steal, honestly.
Quote from: Gemini on August 04, 2022, 10:32:01 AMDualShock 4 and 5 work pretty much with anything out of the box (you can run most games through Steam to have XInput compatibility). 8bitdo controllers are pretty great too and they can switch mode depending on whatever you need (Switch, PS4, Windows, Android). All of the above have bluetooth compatibility.
Looks like I'm getting an 8bitdo if I can't troubleshoot this thing over the next few days. Thanks for the advice!

Jorpho

So a little Googling indicates that this Moga controller might only function as a DirectInput device in Bluetooth mode.
https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/xbox/forum/all/xbox-moga-controller-not-working-on-certain-games/4c6b7fca-9cf1-4592-800f-3b091555b5b3

That will indeed prevent it from working with games that expect an XInput device.  The solution in that case would be a DirectInput-to-XInput wrapper; https://www.x360ce.com/ used to be popular but I am not sure if it has been superseded. Besides, that is something of a departure from Just Works™ .

Quote from: MysticLord on August 04, 2022, 06:24:40 PMI wasn't aware that unofficial drivers were a thing for controllers.
Well, there were never official drivers for the PS3 controller. Not sure about PS4.

QuoteCan you direct me to a relevant site?
Google says https://github.com/nefarius/ScpToolkit , except that says that the project is dead and suggests DsHidMini instead – though that wouldn't be an option on my Windows 7 machine.
This signature is an illusion and is a trap devisut by Satan. Go ahead dauntlessly! Make rapid progres!

Bonesy

If you are trying to get a PS4 controller to work on PC your options are the discontinued Sony dongle, steam, or the ryochan ds4windows fork over on GitHub.
Regarding 8bitdo, I haven't used the pro2 via Bluetooth but I do own one of their smaller n30 controllers and it worked via Bluetooth just fine.
You're probably better off with the 8bitdo. It just works. I would've gotten the pro2 but I got an insanely good deal on a series x Xbox controller which obviously doesn't fit your use case.

MysticLord

I appreciate the help Jorpho, but this thing is going to the pawn shop. Too late to return it, and I already ordered an 8bitdo Pro 2.

Thanks for the help, everyone. I'll update this thread when I get it with my impressions for any future readers with the same question.


Sliver X

I own 7 8bitdo Pro 2s at this point and they're really good: The two back buttons on the grips are something I never knew I wanted but now that I have can't imaging giving up (I typically map them to L3 and R3, which is much nicer than having to click the analog sticks) and they work with Windows, Linux, Android and even the Switch (Even more consoles if you buy one of 8bitdo's USB adapters and update the firmware).

The first one I got has probably close to 2,000 hours of use at this point and it's still holding up really well, though I would highly recommend getting silicone thumb grip covers made for JoyCons since the rubber on the sticks is like most modern controllers (i.e. low-quality garbage): Skin oils eventually make them dissolve and break down.

MysticLord

Quote from: Sliver X on August 07, 2022, 02:44:04 PMI own 7 8bitdo Pro 2s at this point and they're really good: The two back buttons on the grips are something I never knew I wanted but now that I have can't imaging giving up (I typically map them to L3 and R3, which is much nicer than having to click the analog sticks) and they work with Windows, Linux, Android and even the Switch (Even more consoles if you buy one of 8bitdo's USB adapters and update the firmware).

The first one I got has probably close to 2,000 hours of use at this point and it's still holding up really well, though I would highly recommend getting silicone thumb grip covers made for JoyCons since the rubber on the sticks is like most modern controllers (i.e. low-quality garbage): Skin oils eventually make them dissolve and break down.
Silocon thumb grip covers? Do I have to disassemble the controller to put those on?

Sliver X

No, they fit over the tops of the analog sticks.

Be sure to get ones made for Joycons and not Playstation/XBox controllers, as the sticks on the Pro 2 sit fairly low and PS/XB covers will generally be too thick so the stick can't be pushed 100% in any direction.

MysticLord

Quote from: Sliver X on August 08, 2022, 10:02:15 PMNo, they fit over the tops of the analog sticks.

Be sure to get ones made for Joycons and not Playstation/XBox controllers, as the sticks on the Pro 2 sit fairly low and PS/XB covers will generally be too thick so the stick can't be pushed 100% in any direction.
Do you have a shop you want to shill for me? I deeply appreciate doing less research.

Sliver X

I've used literally over a dozen different brands and found these to be the best:

https://www.amazon.com/Skull-Joystick-Analog-Nintendo-Switch-Controller/dp/B071FMCLZ7

The one in the center of this picture is using the deeper concave ones, the other four the more "standard" pair:

https://www.mediafire.com/view/njn61asaxwb03g4/voltron.jpg/file

(Note: I put Super Famicom buttons in some of them to make the buttons those colors)

MysticLord

3/4 of what I buy on Amazon ends up being a cheap Chinese knockoff; I prefer to buy from the manufacturer. Seems like this is them, does it check out with you?

https://skullnco.com/products/thumb-grip-for-xbox-one

Spooniest

Not too much to add to what's already been said but the SN30 Pro 2 is basically the Swiss Army Knife of game controllers. It works with just about anything you can throw at it with a minimum of fuss and it's built like a brick house.

I have had exactly 0 frustrations with it, which is saying something, since I tend to get frustrated easily.
Yamero~~!

Sliver X

Quote from: MysticLord on August 09, 2022, 03:09:58 PM3/4 of what I buy on Amazon ends up being a cheap Chinese knockoff; I prefer to buy from the manufacturer. Seems like this is them, does it check out with you?

https://skullnco.com/products/thumb-grip-for-xbox-one

No, those aren't for Joycons.


SmasherK

I own one. also a brand-new computer with Bluetooth 5. The latency is poor, and it won't connect without being added as a new device each time.

I've heard that if you have the official XBOX USB dongle, all of these issues disappear.
Life is A Gift

Sliver X

Bluetooth radios are all over the place in how well they work with something like a controller: It probably doesn't even need to be whatever Microsoft makes (Though I guess it's guaranteed since they should all use the same radios...).

I have an Intel Bluetooth/WiFi M.2 card in one of my machines that's absolute garbage with BT controllers (High latency, connection drops for no good reason, etc) yet the $15 no-name USB dongle I put in the machine afterwards drives four controllers at once perfectly.

The amount of RF noise in the room also plays a big part in how well it all works: Things that spam signals in the 2.4GHz bands will absolutely murder reliable connectivity.