Let’s compare: 8bitdo Ultimate Bluetooth vs Xbox One Controller

When it comes to gaming, choosing the right controller can make all the difference. It can affect everything from the fluidity of your gameplay to your level of comfort during extended gaming sessions. In this article, we’ll be examining two popular choices in the world of gaming controllers: the 8BitDo Ultimate Bluetooth Controller and the Xbox One Wireless Controller.

Main differences between 8bitdo and Xbox controller

  • 8BitDo Ultimate Bluetooth controller uses hall effect sticks and Xbox One controller has analog sticks. Hall effect sticks are far better, because they don’t develop stick drift and are more durable, meaning this controller should last you for a few more years. I love Xbox controllers, but I usually replace mine every 2-3 years.
  • 8BitDo Ultimate is lighter as it has a built-in battery inside and not AA batteries like Xbox controller
  • 8BitDo Ultimate is compatible out-of-the-box only with Windows, Switch and Android. For Xbox or Playstation connection you need to buy a $20 adapter.
  • 8BitDo controller has rear paddles, Xbox does not.
GuliKit No Stick Drift KingKong 2 Pro Wireless Controller for Switch/Switch OLED, First Bluetooth Controller with Hall Effect Sensing Joystick, No Deadzone, Auto Pilot Gaming, Motion Sense[New Patent]
Xbox Wireless Controller – Black
Hall effect sticks
Analog sticks
Comes with a dock and can be charged using USB-C cable
Works with AA batteries, can be used via USB-C cable
22 hours of battery life
40 hours of AA battery life
Xbox Wireless Controller – Black
Analog sticks
Works with AA batteries, can be used via USB-C cable
40 hours of AA battery life

The 8bitdo Ultimate has also a Wired version and its biggest con is the affixed cable, but it’s cheaper than the Bluetooth version.

Design and Comfort

The 8BitDo Ultimate Bluetooth Controller exhibits a sleek design that sits well in the hands of gamers. Weighing in at a modest 228g, it features 2 Pro back paddle buttons and textured grips that ensure a firm hold even during intense gaming moments.

On the other hand, the Xbox One Wireless Controller has been redesigned by Microsoft for enhanced comfort. It weighs 275g with batteries and 220g without batteries (if you want to use it with wire). Its features include textured grips for a more secure hold, responsive thumbsticks, and an enhanced D-pad for greater precision. It also offers quick access triggers and bumpers, along with Menu and View buttons for easy navigation.

Both controllers have a comfortable grip and a design that suits long gaming sessions, but the Xbox One controller edges slightly ahead due to its well-thought-out ergonomics and additional button features.

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Connectivity and Compatibility

When it comes to connectivity, both controllers excel. The 8BitDo controller offers Bluetooth 5.0 and 2.4g connectivity along with a USB-C port. It’s compatible with Switch 3.0.0 and above, SteamOS Holo 3.4 and above, and Windows 7, 8, 10 and 11.

The Xbox One controller has an edge in terms of its compatibility. It can seamlessly connect with Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, Windows 10/11, Android, and iOS. Besides, it supports Xbox Wireless for connectivity with Xbox consoles, and Bluetooth for wireless connections to Windows 10/11 PCs, tablets, iOS, and Android devices.

8bitdo vs Xbox controllers: Features and Customizability

The 8BitDo controller features a custom Profile switch button with three profiles, allowing users to switch profiles on the fly. It also features the Ultimate Software on PC and mobile (Android/iOS) for further customizability, motion controls for the Switch, and vibration functionality. Notably, it also comes with a charging dock.

The Xbox One controller, however, has an enhanced feature set that includes custom button mapping through the Xbox Accessories App, and Impulse Triggers that deliver vibration feedback. Furthermore, it can connect up to 8 Wireless Controllers at once to a console and is compatible with Xbox One Play and Charge Kit, Xbox One Chat Headset, and Xbox One Stereo Headset.

8bitdo vs Xbox controllers: Battery Life

In terms of battery life, the 8BitDo controller features a 1000mAh Li-on battery that provides 22 hours of playtime with 2-3 hours of charging time. The Xbox One controller, however, uses AA batteries that can provide up to 40 hours of battery life. While the Xbox One controller may last longer, the 8BitDo controller comes with a rechargeable battery, making it a more environmentally friendly choice.

Reddit User Feedback

Users who have tried out both controllers have shared their experiences on Reddit and other forums and provided valuable insights that can be helpful when making a decision on which one to purchase.

  1. The Ultimate Bluetooth version of the 8BitDo controller has been reported to work great on PC, specifically with Steam games. It’s detected as a Microsoft Xbox 360 controller, both when using the included 2.4GHz wireless dongle and via a USB hardwired connection. The controller also works well when used with Samsung phones to play side-scrolling games.
  2. There have been reports of users wanting to use the built-in gyroscope functionality with 2.4GHz on the 8BitDo controller, but this feature currently only works in D-input/Bluetooth mode. It’s rumored that a beta firmware version may allow D-input via 2.4GHz, but as of now, D-input is locked to Bluetooth and X-input is locked to 2.4GHz or a cable connection.
  3. It should be noted that the “2.4GHz/Xbox” versions of the Ultimate lineup offer the same experience as the Ultimate Bluetooth version. The difference is that the former versions do not come with a gyroscope, so they are likely always locked to 2.4GHz X-input, while the Ultimate Bluetooth version can switch between modes.
  4. Some users have expressed frustration that the buttons on the 8BitDo controller cannot be remapped to keyboard buttons, but only to other buttons on the controller. However, others feel that despite this, the controller is still very useful and offers superior quality and comfort over other controllers, including the Gulikit and the Xbox One wireless controller.
  5. The Ultimate Bluetooth controller is also known for its hall effect sensor joysticks, which are highly valued by some users.
  6. One user reported using the Ultimate Bluetooth controller mainly on their PC and occasionally as a second “Pro Controller” for the Switch during game nights. They have never had any issues with stick drift, which may add to the controller’s value proposition.
  7. The dock of the 8BitDo controller has an integrated but removable dongle that can be used when the dock is connected to the PC via USB. When the gamepad is set to 2.4G, it connects to the dongle and Steam recognizes it as an Xbox One pad. If connected via Bluetooth, it’s recognized as a Pro Controller (Switch) pad.
  8. A user noted that the game Minecraft on the Windows Store does not work with the 8BitDo controller when using the dongle and only allows use of the Bluetooth/Switch version. However, aside from this one game, everything else works as expected.
  9. Note that the back buttons on the 8BitDo controller cannot be mapped separately. They can only be mapped via 8BitDo’s own software, and only to other buttons on the pad. A keyboard shortcut cannot be mapped to the controller.
  10. Finally, one user mentioned that the 8BitDo controller is much more comfortable and feels of higher quality compared to other controllers. This user also appreciated the controller’s hall effect sensor sticks.
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Also, there’s more hall effect controllers on the market with Gulikit Kingkong 2 Pro being the biggest 8bitdo competitor as of late.

In short, both the 8BitDo Ultimate Bluetooth Controller and the Xbox One Wireless Controller are excellent choices, each with their own set of strengths. The 8BitDo shines with its hall effect sensors, unique profile switching and rechargeable battery, while the Xbox One controller excels in terms of compatibility, additional features, and long battery life. Your final decision will likely come down to personal preference and specific gaming needs.

Marcus Richardson

I love testing and writing about new tech. I'm also a gamer and an engineer. Check out my Twitter for keyboard stuff.

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