large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How to bring your old SNES, NES and Mega Drive pads back from the dead

Instead of buying up all of these approximations of accessories for retro gaming set-ups, wouldn’t it be nice if we could just use the original controllers?

Well, a new accessory from the the nostalgia-purveying folks at 8bitdo allows you to do just that. The $20 8BitDo DIY kits for OG Nintendo NES, SNES and SEGA Mega Drive controllers lets you convert the pads for wireless use.

These kits replace all the circuitry within the original 80s/90s controllers and add a wireless Bluetooth receiver that can connect to Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android, Switch, Raspberry Pi or the original consoles.

And, because it’s Bluetooth enabled, there’s also a battery charged via a 3.5mm headphone to USB cable. This method is important because it means you don’t have to compromise the original housing as it just slides in where the old cable used to be.

A black Samsung Q80T standing on a table displaying a man in purple outfit sitting on a chair

The new charging solution also features an LED light telling you how much gas is left in the tank. Bonus.

If you’re not a tech tinkerer, don’t worry. There’s no soldering involved here and the process itself looks really straightforward. All you need is a screwdriver and you’ll be able to complete the task in about a minute.

Here’s the video explaining how it’s all done

The only other thing you’ll need is a Bluetooth adapter for the device you’re playing your games on, providing it isn’t already built-in. If you’re playing on the original consoles, 8BitDo sells those too and they plug directly into the original controller port.

Now all that’s left to decide is whether you can really bring your self to take apart the old faithful friend.

Have you used 8BitDo’s accessories for gaming before? Have they served you well over the years? Would you recommend them to fellow retro gamers? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.


Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.