8bitdo SN30 Pro – Retropie How To Setup & Review

8bitdo SN30 Pro/SF30 Pro Raspberry Pi Retropie How To Setup and Review

The Raspberry Pi running RetroPie is an amazing little retro gaming single board computer.  Playing games from Dos to PS1 (Not including All N64 games) can take all sorts of controllers that are USB to Bluetooth.   I have a couple of controllers like the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PS3 Dual Shock controller.   All 3 work great.  The PS3 controller little less because of the extra driver you need to install to be able to use the vibration for PS1 games.   That driver will disable Bluetooth Manager at startup in the Pixel Desktop.

The one thing I’m working on doing is getting controllers that will be somewhat similar to the original controllers that were designed to play with those types of games.  This is where the 8bitdo SN30 Pro controller comes in.   I wanted a controller that can be able to play games for the NES, SNES, Gameboy, and Gameboy advanced.

I created a video showing my review you can check out here…


Video


How I Setup the controller to my Raspberry Pi

The best thing to do when you get a controller like this is to update the firmware. It’s really simple to do.

  • Just go to the support page of the site and download the latest version of the firmware.  By going here. http://support.8bitdo.com/
  • Their site has a full-on tutorial for installing it.  However, I’ll post it here.Firmware update instruction
    1.Download the firmware file first from http://support.8bitdo.com/
    2.Press and hold L1+R1+START buttons on the controller to put it on its update mode. LED on the top will blink in red.
    3.Connect the controller to your Windows or macOS via the USB-C cable.
    4.Click on “USB Upgrade” on your device, search for bluetooth_firmware.dat in the pop-up window and run it;
    5.Un-plug the gamepad when the upgrade process is done, then restart it before using.
  • After when It’s updated go onto your Raspberry Pi and load up RetroPie.

NORMAL PAIRING MODE

  • NORMAL PAIRING MODE
    Open RetroPie Configuration then enter Bluetooth.
  • On the controller,
    1) Press START + Y to turn on the controller, LEDs will start to rotate from left to right.
    2) Press and hold PAIR to enter pairing mode. LEDs will turn off for a second then start to rotate from left to right.
  • Press enter on Register and Connect to Bluetooth Device
  • When it finds the controller it will be named: Pro Controller.

BLUEMAN PAIRING MODE
You will need the Pixel Desktop.  If you have it then enter it.

  1. Open the terminal and type in:
    sudo apt-get install pi-bluetooth blueman
  2. Then type in:
    sudo apt-get install pulseaudio pavucontrol pulseaudio-module-bluetooth
  3. Then type in:
    sudo reboot
  4. Enter back into the Pixel Desktop. You will see a new Bluetooth Icon in the taskbar.  This is Blueman Bluetooth Manager.
    You can learn more about it here. http://www.destructiveburn.com/apps-for-raspberry-pi-desktop-you-should-get/
  5. Click on the Bluetooth Icon and click on “Devices”
  6. On the controller,
    1) Press START + Y to turn on the controller, LEDs will start to rotate from left to right.
    2) Press and hold PAIR to enter pairing mode. LEDs will turn off for a second then start to rotate from left to right.
  7. Click “Search” on Bluetooth Devices until you see Pro Controller.
  8. Right Click on Pro Controller and go to Setup
  9. Press Next on “Pairing in progress” should popup a window named: Pairing Requested.  press Ok on it.  (Connected successfully) if it fails just remove the Pro Controller and start again.

Map The Buttons

  • Since your controller is now Paired go to Start, Shutdown, Exit to command line.  Or just reboot.
  • Open configure Input and map your buttons.   Your good to go!

All Functions

This shows what I tested with the controller on all settings.

Hold Start to Turn Off

Configure for Raspberry Pi 3B on Retropie using Retroarch 1.7.3 for PSX games. PlayStation 1

Switch: Start Y / Rotate LEDs
Bluetooth Name: Pro Controller
Connect Successfully: Yes
Vibrate: No
Setup Issues on Key Input: None

Android: Start B / 1 LEDs
Bluetooth Name: 8Bitdo SN30 Pro
Connect Successfully: Yes
Vibrate: No
Setup Issues on Key Input: Star button will not configure. Home will on Hotkey Enable.

Windows: Start X / 2 LEDs
Bluetooth Name:8Bitdo SN30 Pro
Connect Successfully: Yes
Vibrate: Unknown
Setup Issues on Key Input: failed to detect Left Trigger on L2 and even R2 so Configuring Not Completed.

macOS: Start A / 3 LEDs
Bluetooth Name: Wireless Controller
Connect Successfully: Extremely Hard But Worked. If turned off it will connect but will not work till
you disable and re-enable it again.
Vibrate: No
Setup Issues on Key Input: Star button will not configure. Home will on Hotkey Enable.


Images

These are screenshots I took of the controller.

  • Demo Image
  • Demo Image
  • Demo Image
  • Demo Image
  • Demo Image
  • Demo Image
  • Demo Image
  • Demo Image
  • Demo Image

What do you think of the controller?  Do you like it or hate it.  I find it feels nice, the buttons and D-Pad is perfect.  It does have a slite delay but can easily be fixed in Retroarch.

8bitdo SN30 Pro
Manual http://download.8bitdo.com/Manual/Controller/SN30pro+SF30pro/SN30pro+SF30pro_Manual.pdf

8bitdo SF30 Pro
Manual http://download.8bitdo.com/Manual/Controller/SN30pro+SF30pro/SN30pro+SF30pro_Manual.pdf

Firmware
http://support.8bitdo.com/

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