A solution to wonky virtual joypads and fingerprint-ridden mobile screens, Bluetooth controllers have been making things easy for trigger-happy gamers on the go who prefer physical buttons over on-screen ones. The 8BitDo Ultimate Bluetooth Controller is no different - it certainly quenches that thirst for more tactile buttons when it comes to mobile gaming. But while it does its job at the most basic level, is it worth shelling out £59.99 for this third-party device?
As for the controller itself, the 8BitDo Ultimate Bluetooth Controller boasts a robust build that feels incredibly comfortable. The fantastic grip and size were particular winners for me given how easily my arms (maimed by "tennis elbows" from playing too many games) hurt during long hours of gaming. A welcome boon, the comfort with which you can hold the 8BitDo Ultimate Bluetooth Controller for sessions at a time is everything you should look for in a third-party controller for your mobile device.
That said, the configurations on the app (like button mapping and the like) do still work on mobile. The only minor frustration I encountered here was that every time I switched on the controller to play my game, I had to open the app and re-sync to the controller in order to apply the button mapping settings I previously assigned. It might not seem like such a big deal for some - given how quickly you can boot up your game and the app anyways - but it's still a step back to the pick-up-and-play habits of mobile gamers.
Compared to Switch-style nested controllers like my Razer Kishi, however, it might not be as convenient to use when playing games with only partial controller support. For instance, while playing Diablo Immortal, you can hack and slash your way through hordes of demons during combat, but you'll have to manually tap on the touch screen when you're navigating through the menus. It's definitely easier to just move your fingers a little bit from the nested Kishi controller onto the touch screen as opposed to putting your 8BitDo controller down to pick up your phone and tap on the screen instead.
Of course, if the phone's size dimensions can't fit the Kishi's specs (such as my REDMAGIC 7S Pro), or you're simply in the market for a Bluetooth controller you can use across your computer, mobile device, and Switch, you can't go wrong with the 8BitDo Ultimate Bluetooth Controller. It's now available from the official website and across the EU as well via Game Outlet Europe.