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8BitDo tests your fine dexterity with its newest keychain-size controller

8BitDo tests your fine dexterity with its newest keychain-size controller


8BitDo crams 16 buttons into its new ultracompact ‘Micro’ Bluetooth gaming controller, which is available for preorder for those who don’t fear carpal tunnel syndrome.

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Close-up of two-handed play on blue micro-size controller with a green one sitting on the table
The itty-bitty 8BitDo Micro.
Image: 8BitDo

8BitDo is launching a new supersmall wireless gaming controller designed for Nintendo Switch and Android devices that could literally fit inside the palm of your hand. The company’s new Micro controller, which comes in blue and green, is available to preorder on Amazon for $24.99 each and will start shipping next week.

Fans of 8BitDo’s excellent retro gaming controllers will probably remember the company’s previous hand-cramping and ultracompact wireless controller: the Zero 2. The Micro seems to be the Zero 2’s spiritual successor, increasing its button count from 12 to 16 while still staying keychain-sized and lightweight at 24.8 grams. (The Zero 2 is 20 grams, and Joy-Cons are around 50 grams comparatively.)

tablet and phone on table with the phone running software to tweak each button and a hand is holding the blue micro controller
8BitDo’s Ultimate Software lets you remap and program buttons.
Image: 8BitDo

The Micro includes new L2, R2, Home, and Star buttons, increasing compatibility with more Nintendo Switch games. 8BitDo also put a proper USB-C port on the top of the Micro, which not only takes on the task of charging the controller’s baby 180mAh battery (good for 10 hours of playtime) but also enables a wired gaming option, which the Zero 2 lacked. The Micro can’t exactly replace a Joy-Con, though. The Micro’s manual points out that it lacks gyro, rumble, IR, NFC, and player LEDs — plus, it can’t wake up the Switch.

A switch on the bottom of the Micro lets you jump between Nintendo Switch and Android devices, plus there’s a mode that lets it masquerade as a computer keyboard. The controller can also be customized with special layouts and more using 8BitDo’s Ultimate Software. Still, you might have difficulty playing 3D titles like Metroid Prime Remastered without analog sticks, so expect to play only 2D games with the Micro.