Review: FC30 Bluetooth/USB gamepad - Android Review (Hardware)
FC30 Bluetooth/USB gamepad - Android Review: Official GBAtemp ReviewHardware 5,984 views 5 likes 9 comments
The first thing you will notice about the FC30 GamePad is that it looks strikingly similar to the original Famicom (Japanese NES) control pad. This is no coincidence as the FC30 name actually stands for 'Famicom 30th Anniversary' as this is the year of the 30th birthday of one of Nintendo's most successful home consoles!
The pad is really lightweight, which I actually prefer in a portable device, if I am going to be carrying it around a lot I want it to be as light as possible. For those who prefer a weightier controller, the casing is held together by 6 Phillips head screws so adding weight to the pad could be possible.
If you have larger hands like me, you may find hitting the trigger buttons a bit of a game in itself. As the pad is a replica of the original Famicom joypad, it is very small. I did not however feel any discomfort whilst playing.
- FC30 GamePad (12CM x 5CM x 2CM)
- MicroUSB to USB Cable (about 1 metre in length)
- Gamepad Cover - Phone/Tablet Stand
- Metal FC30 commemorative keychain
Before using the pad, I charged it up for a few hours using my PS3. There is a green light on the pad that shows when it is charging, which flashes red when the battery is nearly out of juice. You can see if the Bluetooth is active via the flashing blue light on the gamepad.
Setting up the FC30 couldn't be easier. I was initially a bit weary about using the pad as I didn't want to root any of my devices, luckily it was as simple as turning on the Bluetooth and scanning for devices.
Once the gamepad is connected it worked almost like a cursor on my tablet. The dpad controls the same way like arrow keys would on your desktop. It is possible to use precise touch control with the FC30, however, this requires root, and as I was mainly testing out the controller for gaming, I decided not to try it out.
- Nostalgia.NES (NES)
- SNES9x EX+ (SNES)
- MyBoy! (GBA)
- Drastic (DS)
All of the emulators support gamepads and all of them detected the FC30 GamePad. To map buttons it is as simple as selecting the button in the app and then pressing the button you want to map on the gamepad.
Here is a video of me using the pad with all of the above emulators:
I chose to play Castlevania II for the NES, Super Castlevania IV for the SNES, Castlevania Aria of Sorrow for the GBA, and Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow for the DS. The video shows each of these games running flawlessly with no input lag from the FC30. You can also hear the loud button clicks coming from the A, B, X and Y buttons. The L and R buttons aren't loud at all. The D-pad is great, although it does move around slightly in the shell casing. Directional input is good, as you can see in Super Castlevania IV, stair cases are not a problem!
The FC30 GamePad is a real pleasure to use. It functions well and makes playing retro games so much more fun than using touch controls. The outer plastic shell casing feels cheaply made, but the rest of the controller is high quality and I think it will last a very long time. The buttons feel good to press but some are quite loud when clicked. Overall I think the FC30 is a great controller option for anyone who is looking to buy a gamepad for their Android devices. It also functions with PC, Laptop and iOS devices. Look out for a PC functionality review coming soon!
+ Easy set-up
+ No ROOT required
+ No noticeable input lag
+ Can be used via Bluetooth or USB
- Face button clicks are loud
- Plastic shell casing feels cheap
out of 10
If you are considering a Bluetooth controller for any of your Android devices then I strongly recommend the FC30. It's well made, easy to use and performs amazingly well. I can't really fault the device apart from the cheapish feel of the plastic casing.