I’d previously written a blog post covering how to install emulators and ROM’s onto the incredibly versatile Amazon Fire TV Stick. If you missed it, click here.
So once you have the emulators and ROM’s on there – you have the outstanding task of finding a compatible game controller that you can use to re-live your experiences. The primary recommendation is the Amazon Fire TV Game Controller which is compatible with sideloaded emulators, however this wasn’t available for purchase at the time and it’s £40 – though had it been available I’d have bought it.
I assumed that given the Fire TV Stick runs on Android that any Android Compatible controller would work but this appears not to be the case.
The emulators that I’d run most would be the MD.emu (Mega Drive/Genesis) and Snes9X (SNES) so I needed something with at least four configurable game buttons with shoulder buttons.
Then the 8BITDO SFC30 controller popped up on my radar. I found one rather shady review that suggested it work with the Fire TV Stick but more reviews around how good the controller is. Let me tell you, this is identical in feel and operation to the original SNES controller that we all love and remember. (I still believe the Mega Drive was superior to the SNES in many ways, but the SNES had the better controller)
Upon receiving the controller it connects well to the Fire TV Stick like the official controller would do – the Select button behaves like the Home button on the Fire TV Stick remote control, A selects and B goes back on the menus and the D-Pad moves around as you’d expect. Zero configuration required.
Fire up an emulator and you can quickly and easily map the buttons as you’d like – the emulators I used didn’t detect the controller type and map automatically, whilst it isn’t a difficult job to map it would be a nice feature.
The controller is of course wireless and can charge via a supplied Micro USB cable it charges quickly and is better on battery life than my Xbox One controller – but as the Xbox controller drives vibration motors in both sides of the controller and triggers this may be a little unfair. Nevertheless – battery life is great on the controller.
Away from the Fire TV Stick the 8BITDO is compatible with a number of other devices including emulation of touch screen on iOS devices that are jailbroken. Connected to a Windows PC via USB it’s detected as a USB controller thus not requiring a bluetooth adapter.
Overall I highly recommend the controller and suggest you buy if you plan to game on the Amazon Fire TV Stick. If you have any questions, please reach out and I’ll help if I can.