10 Best Game Controllers For RetroPie

By | March 26, 2022

If you’re a fan of retro games, RetroPie is a fantastic project. It takes a Raspberry Pi and turns it into just about any old console you can think of. It’s endlessly customizable and a great way to revisit old favorites or discover new classics.

Game consoles, real or virtual, are only as good as their controllers. Pick the wrong controller, and however good the game is, it will feel wrong. Luckily, with so many controllers supported by the RetroPie project, it’s easy to find the best controller for RetroPie for you.

Best Customizable Controllers for RetroPie:
Xbox Elite Wireless Controller

When you think of controllers, customizable is usually not the word that comes to mind. That said, that’s exactly the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller. You can swap tacks, directional pads, or paddles, and that’s just the beginning.

Obviously, it’s meant to be used on the Xbox One, but while it’s most at home on Microsoft’s console, it’s also a great RetroPie controller. The only downside is that you have to install it.

Best Bluetooth Controller for RetroPie:
DualShock 4 Wireless Controller

The DualShock 4 Wireless Controller may look similar to the older Sony controllers, but almost every aspect has been refined. Analog sticks have less play and better sensitivity, while triggers have been improved as well.

Although this controller is meant for the PlayStation 4, it works wirelessly with other platforms. This includes working well as a Raspberry Pi controller, making it perfect for RetroPie. If you’ve used a RetroPie PS3 controller before, this is a great upgrade.

Best Wired Controller for RetroPie:
Xbox Wireless Controller

Yes, wireless is aptly named, but as is the case with the Elite controller, you’ll need to plug in an Xbox Wireless Controller to use it with your RetroPie. Even with that in mind, this is a fantastic controller.

With a better directional-pad than older Xbox 360 controllers, it’s perfect for retro gaming. If you’re looking for something that can pull three tasks between your Xbox One, PC games, and RetroPie, this should help.

Best Affordable Cable Controllers for RetroPie:
AmazonBasics Xbox One Wired Controller

If you like Xbox-style controllers but want something more affordable, the AmazonBasics Xbox One Wired Controller should work for you. At first glance, you may not realize this is a third-party controller.

Even though the price is lower, the quality is not. You won’t feel the same way, but if you’re looking for a second or spare RetroPie controller, this will work perfectly.

Best Modern Retro Controllers for RetroPie:
8Bitdo SF30 Pro Controller

So far all the controllers on this list are very modern in terms of look and feel. If you’re looking for modern features with a retro vibe, the 8Bitdo SF30 Pro Controller is worth a try.

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It looks like a hot-rodded SNES controller, with a retro color scheme but modern analog sticks. It uses Bluetooth and will work well with RetroPie. This makes it a great candidate for the best wireless controller for RetroPie.

Best Varieties Controller Pack for RetroPie:
Retro Power 5 USB Classic Controller Pack

If you try to play games from multiple systems in RetroPie, you may find some controls better than others. Part of this is that certain games work better with controllers from certain systems.

To add some variety, you can add 5 Classic USB Retro Power Controller Packs to your collection. You get NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, Nintendo 64, and PlayStation-style controllers all in one handy bundle.

Best Wireless Controller Packages for RetroPie:
iNNEXT SNES Retro USB PC Super Classic Controller 2 Pack

For many of us, our retro gaming memories involve playing with our friends. If you want to reclaim some of those memories, you’re going to need more than one controller. The iNNEXT SNES Retro USB PC Super Classic Controller 2 pack will make you as cheap and easy as that.

It’s an SNES-style controller, but it’s wireless. They are not Bluetooth. Instead, they use a USB dongle that you plug into your RetroPie, just like you would with a wired controller.

Best Affordable Controller Plans for RetroPie:
iNNEXT SNES Retro USB Controller 2 Pack

If you need a few controllers but don’t need them for wireless, the iNNEXT SNES Retro USB 2 USB Controller Pack will get you there. These aren’t anything fancy, but they’re probably better than the cheap third-party controllers you’re used to when your official SNES controller breaks.

They officially support Raspberry Pi, which means they will work great with RetroPie. They also come in a sleek looking black.

RetroPie’s Best One-Size-Fits-All Wireless Controller:

Logitech Gamepad F710

If you’re looking for a controller that combines the best features of Xbox and PlayStation style controllers, the Logitech Gamepad F710 is for you. It features Xbox style buttons but with a DualShock controller layout.

This model is also wireless, but not Bluetooth. Like other Logitech accessories, it comes with a nano USB receiver that you plug into a USB port.

Best Overall Wired Controller for RetroPie:
Logitech Gamepad F310

Wireless doesn’t always mean better, especially since wireless signals are more susceptible to interference. If you prefer a direct wired connection, the Logitech Gamepad F310 has most of the features of the F710, only for a fraction of the price.

One thing you don’t get with the F310 is rumble. That said, if you’re only using it to play games on your RetroPie, this isn’t a feature you’ll find much use for.

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