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Retron 5 gets 3rd Party Controller support via the Nes30

Lifesperience is now Raycommend, which can be found here:  Ray Commend 

8bitdo, the creators of the Nes30 and other clone gamepads, have recently released a firmware updates that allow them to directly link to Hyperkin's Retron 5 system wirelessly via bluetooth.  If you have a Nes30 pad, then simply update your firmware by following the directions via this link, and start playing!!

You can see the official Retron 5 controller default to Player 2, while the Nes30 is Player 1.
Due to the Retron 5 gamepad having more buttons than the Nes30, mapping isn't absolutely perfect, but works well enough with the NES, SNES, Sega Master System (with adapter), Gameboy, and Gameboy advance systems.  The Genesis mapping is missing buttons "^" and ">" which would correspond to "C" and "Z" buttons on the official six button Sega Genesis controller.  Fortunately, there are options to remap gamepad buttons via the Retron 5's settings menu and create alternate profiles which can be saved to system memory.

Once you have updated your firmware; turn on your Nes30 controller by pressing and holding the START + L buttons for RETRON 5 console mode.  Once the green and blue lights flash, it will sync with just the blue light remaining lit.  The Retron 5 console must already be powered on before you do this.

Per 8bitdo, here are is the default mapping:

HOME = L + R + A + B (together)
Y = +
B = -
X = <
A = v
L = L
R = R

In actual use, the Nes30 feels a lot more responsive than the admittedly terrible Retron 5 gamepad.  The controller is a lot more comfortable to hold, feels better in the hand, and has a "solid" feel to it.  If you have held the original NES controller, it feels nearly identical in build quality to it, and just slightly heavier, most likely due to the extra button hardware.  In comparison, the Retron 5 feels hollow, and cheaply made. 

In terms of response time, I was able to play through Megaman 2's Bubbleman, Heatman, and Quickman stages with no problems at all.  Due to the precise nature of the jumps in those stages, any lag or inaccuracy between your controller, console, and TV will surely cause your demise.  With the Retron 5 pad, these stages are way tougher than they already are.  On the SNES side, Street Fighter Turbo, and Street Fighter Alpha 2 were playable, but not precise with either controller.  Maybe someone else will have better luck on those games.  I will add that when plugging in an original SNES controller, I had no problem beating the CPU opponents by pulling off special moves on demand.  Other games such as the Secret of Mana, and Castlevania IV worked great.

Once synced, pressing "mode" on the original Retron 5 controller defaults it to Player 2.

On the Sega Genesis side, as discussed, the buttons are not mapped correctly by default.  You can get away with playing Sonic the Hedgehog as all the buttons perform the same jump action, but other games such as "Streets of Rage 2" are unplayable unless you remap.  For example, you cannot jump in Streets of Rage 2 until you map a "C" or ">" button. Once you do remap, the controls all work as expected with minimal lag.   Gameboy advance controls also work great, which I tested by playing "King of Fighters EX 2." Unlike the Street Fighter games for the SNES, I had a lot less trouble pulling off special moves and combos in this game.  Go figure.


If you are a retrogamer that owns or plans to own a Retron 5 and you would prefer to play wirelessly via something that feels solidly built and fairly authentic to real NES hardware, or even SNES hardware, then the Nes30 is a product that I can highly recommend.  As a bonus, it works with Android, iOS, Windows, OSX, and even the Wii as well.  In some usage scenarios, you can even use it as a wired controller (YMMV) if your battery is low or dead.  It also has a built in 480mah Li-on rechargeable battery that is rated for 20 hours of use, and 1000+ charges.  It's definitely the better deal of the two available options right now with prices for both controllers hovering around $35 USD.

My Retron 5 review: Link
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  1. What is mode button on retron 5 controller i cant figure it out how to force it to second player


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