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edweird13

Replacement N64 contollers

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I only have one working N64 controller. Buying a used one is not happening without testing it first.

 

Are any of the third party replacement worth trying?

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I have the Retro Fighters controller, which is okay but not perfect. But word of mouth from some folks on classic gaming streams got me interested in the Retro-Bit Wireless Tribute 64 and this review from someone that seems pickier than I even am has sealed the deal that I'll be giving it a try.

Edited by Atariboy

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I've got the Retro Fighters controller and the Retro-bit Wireless Tribute.

 

I was VERY disappointed with the Retro Fighters controller.  Although it feels very solid and comfortable to hold, the D-pad is horrible and I found Killer Instinct Gold to be basically unplayable with it.

 

On the other hand, I was pleasantly surprised with the Wireless Tribute 64.  It's pretty light but feels quite comfortable, and the D-pad is great—no problems doing rolling motions for special moves in KI Gold.

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Wow just wow you two...seems you and that one reviewer as uptight and annoyed with anything not 1st party when it comes to N64 controllers, largely due to the crap design of the stick usually and maybe dpad too.  I'm shocked something so nice came out of retro-bit, but I guess they've been improving finally taking a hint in recent years.  I mean hell they got a license from Sega and get solid comments of approval on their 6 button Genesis pads and stuff, yet that's far less complex than the annoying issues the 64 gave people.

 

I'm reading that WT64 review linked and seems it may have hit the crown jewel of quality, wave bird 64 level style quality basically.  I could see retiring a N64 controller before they erode if they're that top notch.

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I agree on the Retro-Bit wireless. It's the only N64 I use anymore, and I have quite the selection.

I bought it for the built-in rumble feature, but I keep using it for the precision of the analog pad (especially compared to the retro fighters unit)

 

 

Edited by Reaperman

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I've just bought the wired Retro Bit Tribute. Seems pretty good for the (very low) price, even though the d-pad is right in the middle-bottom, which probably makes it awkward for games which use it as a main control method.

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I changed out the sticks with cheap sticks i ordered online for less than 10 bux each on three of my controllers so far.  They work great and no more dusty wobbling sticks.  Some people say they might be too sensitive, i don't know.. they work great for me and I don't see any problems on any of the racing games on N64.  Maybe other genres, but I don't play enough of other genres.  I say try and do the stick replacement on one of your controllers and see how it is, you might like it.  You could always put the old stick back in.  They have metal expensive sticks, but I just used to cheap ones made from china and they are fine.

 

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I've been disappointed with every stick replacement I have done. It's a cheap solution, but I don't think it's worth it unless your original stick is completely unusable.

 

I have the wired Retro-Bit controller and it seems all right. D-pad position is not convenient or comfortable so it's generally not a pad I reach for (I do play several d-pad games on the system). If I remember correctly, the stick itself was sort of a mixed bag. Worked well with Castlevania and other 3D platformers, but still seemed on the sensitive side for something like F-Zero X.

 

The Retro Fighters seemed OK, but its analog stick wasn't particularly good to me. The range of motion was just poor.

 

I'm still of the mindset that if you have access to a nice, clean N64 controller, keep using that. Obviously easier said than done in this day and age. Thankfully I have a couple and I'm not rough on the sticks.

 

16 hours ago, newtmonkey said:

I was VERY disappointed with the Retro Fighters controller.  Although it feels very solid and comfortable to hold, the D-pad is horrible and I found Killer Instinct Gold to be basically unplayable with it.

I'll have to fire up a fighting game with that controller. I remember having the exact same problems with their Dreamcast controller, so it makes sense the N64 one would exhibit those issues.

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Sounds like the later wireless Retro-Bit Tribute 64 has a much improved analog stick compared to the original wired model. And while I'm unsure if the d-pad design has been changed, they at least shifted its position to make it more comfortable.

 

Hopefully it's as solid of an option as it sounds for anyone on the look out for a fresh N64 controller or someone that's just in need of a wireless option.

Edited by Atariboy

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1 hour ago, Atariboy said:

Sounds like the later wireless Retro-Bit Tribute 64 has a much improved analog stick compared to the original wired model. And while I'm unsure if the d-pad design has been changed, they at least shifted its position to make it more comfortable.

 

Hopefully it's as solid of an option as it sounds for anyone on the look out for a fresh N64 controller or someone that's just in need of a wireless option.

I love wireless controllers so no cords or mess.  But I can't get a wireless controller for each system because that is too much.  So maybe instead just drag one long hdmi from the tv to the edge of the sofa and then keep the console right next to me so I can use the wired controller.  And then wrap it up after wards.  Or anybody use anything like this.  

 

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/j5create-hdmi-over-wireless-extender-kit-white/6407839.p?skuId=6407839

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In your situation you could also always check out cheap extension cables for controllers like the Nintendo 64. Past some oldies like the Atari 2600, interaction with a console's buttons basically consist of turning it on and then turning it off when finished (Or if you switch to a different cartridge). So not too crucial to keep the console itself in arm's reach.

 

My interest in a subject like this largely revolves around being curious about new controller options for classic systems like the Nintendo 64 rather than a real need for a replacement gamepad. It is nice though to have a wireless option when one has a cat like I do that thinks a controller cable being dangled in front of her is a new cat toy (And I keep some systems hooked up at my computer desk, where wireless helps with the clutter). 

 

I'm happily in Austin's situation where N64 controllers are concerned. I've always been one of those oddballs that liked the controller's design and both the gray and the atomic purple controllers that came new with my Nintendo 64 back in 1999 are still in fine shape. I've always been gentle with them, so no Mario Party syndrome happening to them after 22 years of use. So any interest in alternatives basically comes down to just being curious about what options are out there. 

Edited by Atariboy
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Controller extensions are not long enough.  Plus I still need one for every system.  And changing carts still requires getting up.  An hdmi or rca extension is still the way to go.  Better to keep it next to me.  Works for all systems then.

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On 12/27/2021 at 11:34 PM, Atariboy said:

 

I'm happily in Austin's situation where N64 controllers are concerned. I've always been one of those oddballs that liked the controller's design and both the gray and the atomic purple controllers that came new with my Nintendo 64 back in 1999 are still in fine shape. I've always been gentle with them, so no Mario Party syndrome happening to them after 22 years of use. So any interest in alternatives basically comes down to just being curious about what options are out there. 

Same for me.  All my N64 controllers still work perfectly fine after all these years but I don't abuse them. 

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Never been a fan of the Gamecube style of replacement sticks. But why not just fix the original and get new parts? 

https://store.kitsch-bent.com/

 

That way you maintain the proper sensitivity and range of motion. If you use those junky Gamecube style replacements it’s irreversible assuming you throw out the original module. Which just seems like a bad idea and just takes one more potentially fixable controller out of the world. 

 

That being said I do like the Brawler 64 controller. Tge only issue being the shoulder buttons having WAY to much travel. Like they were designed to be analog, which N64 doesn’t have. But Ive been told that has been fixed on their wireless version, but I haven’t had one of those to confirm 

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On 12/30/2021 at 10:23 PM, Punisher5.0 said:

Same for me.  All my N64 controllers still work perfectly fine after all these years but I don't abuse them. 

Same here, I've got the same lack of motivation to keep up on replacements as well.  I never found any fun out of Mario party which is the #1 violator of ruining N64 sticks by far more than any other titles, so mine aren't beat to hell.  I have picked up some and a few have been a little loose, rarely a lot as I'd just leave them as junk.

 

21 hours ago, 0078265317 said:

Also just found this.  Its for pc but very cool none the less.  Don't know if this was official or not.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/194676573579?hash=item2d53a0c58b:g:kRUAAOSwNgVhy4zW

Check the last images, it's old school joystick game port for PC, but the guy included a radioshack that to common USB adapter to use it on a normal modern (post win98se era since) style PC.  The price isn't terrible, might be worth it if you need a stick but it is just a N64 marketing gimmick.  There were N64 radios, clocks, film cameras and more in the mid later 90s.

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On 1/6/2022 at 5:16 AM, TheGameCollector said:

I got a lot of good gaming done with one of these old ones. (Picture found on Google)

 

741948003004.jpg

I have two of these, one black like the one in the picture and one with clear plastic. They are pretty nice. I used them for years until I rebuilt my original sticks

 

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I always wanted to try one of those, after the era, and never could locate one I could get my hands on to buy, and eventually I did see one but the shop wanted over ebay and that was after others caught on to it not being garbage and before the era of the recent wired then wireless pads which made them laughably high considering.  I liked the idea of where Z got popped so the stick and pad were on the same side.

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1 hour ago, Tanooki said:

I always wanted to try one of those, after the era, and never could locate one I could get my hands on to buy, and eventually I did see one but the shop wanted over ebay and that was after others caught on to it not being garbage and before the era of the recent wired then wireless pads which made them laughably high considering.  I liked the idea of where Z got popped so the stick and pad were on the same side.

It would be interesting to try it out as an adult but bitd it was totally a second player controller.

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13 hours ago, Punisher5.0 said:

It would be interesting to try it out as an adult but bitd it was totally a second player controller.

My adult left hand still isn't big enough for those Super Pads, so it's a total shelf-queen. 

It turns out my hands are also functionally incompatible with those Hori controllers that everybody raised to 'holy grail' status.  Once those were re-released by retro-bit, I was pretty glad I never went for a real one. (the slightly redesigned retro-bit wireless tribute I posted above fixed most of my ergonomics problems with the hori)

 

One rather genre-specific controller I will bring up loving is the Ultra Racer 64. N64's 3d platformers (which I didn't care for) were what introduced me to modern racing games, which instantly became my 'main' gaming genre from then to present. But there's a catch with the Ultra Racer. Many popular N64 racers actually need up and down on the analog stick. Players are somewhat handicapping themselves in, say, f-zero X or rush 2049 without up/down, but for the ones that just use analog l/r, it's a real wonder. They're cheap as dirt, and take up way less room than a real wheel, so anybody with an interest in racing games should pick one up.

 

EtAiYIym.jpg

Edited by Reaperman

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19 hours ago, Tanooki said:

I always wanted to try one of those, after the era, and never could locate one I could get my hands on to buy, and eventually I did see one but the shop wanted over ebay and that was after others caught on to it not being garbage and before the era of the recent wired then wireless pads which made them laughably high considering.  I liked the idea of where Z got popped so the stick and pad were on the same side.

My uncle got my first one in a Craigslist lot and he resold it to me with some games. I have since found one label variant of it on ebay and another at Value Village. One of the Value Village ones I passed on because the top of the stick was missing. All that was left was the metal pin sticking up... I found one of those driving controllers posted above too. 

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