Nintendo 64 Controller Testing

MrCokeacola

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Sup GBAtemp recently got the Retrobit and Retrofighters N64 controllers in my hands and decided to do some testing on them. As well has a bunch of other 64 controllers that I also have.

So this is what I will be testing on all the controllers.
1. The stick (duh). I will run the stick in the N64 controller test program and also rate how well it works in Super Mario 64 as well as Goldeneye 007.
2. The D-Pad and L&R buttons. This is the big test that I like to call the wrestling test as these are what are used the most to play the WWF and WCW aki games on the 64
3. The rumble pak test. I own many different rumble paks for the N64 some need batteries and some don't. What I have found over the years is that some 3rd party controllers do not run enough power into the rumble pak like the 1st party controller do and thus only work well with battery supported options.

Stock Nintendo 64 Controller
20190609_222427.jpg atomicpruple.jpg

1. Stick works great. This N64 controller came bundled as an extra controller with the system and was hardly used. Works well with Super Mario 64 and Goldeneye.
2. D-Pad and L&R both work great and the controller as a whole works best with gripped for D-Pad based games like No Mercy,
3. All rumble paks work with this controller even battery-less ones.

Stock N64 With Gamecube Style Stick Mod
20190609_222549.jpg grayGC.jpg

1. This controller was my main controller for years and as with 64 controllers I broke the stick. The Gamecube style stick works fine for Super Mario 64 but is too sensitive for Goldeneye 007.
2. Same D-Pad as a stock but the stick imo works better in the wrestling games for taunts and supers and is my go to controller for WWF No Mercy.
3. Same all rumble paks work no issue.

Hudson Joycard 64
20190609_222727.jpg joycard64.jpg

1. Moving on a 2nd party controller. The Joycard was made by Hudson to be used in the Bomberman games and the analog stick's axis can be changed to help with those games. The stick is rock solid just like the stock controllers and the smaller prongs feel nicer too. Makes Super Mario 64 & Goldeneye perfectly.
2. D-Pad and L&R both are solid and feels great holding it for WWF games too.
3. Works with all rumble paks no issues.

Superpad/Sharkpad Pro 64
20190609_222834.jpg sarkpad.jpg superpad.jpg

1. These sticks are made of a metal rod with a plastic tip and they rock! Plays both Super Mario 64 and Goldeneye 007 with no issues. I can snipe very well with the sniper in Goldeneye with this controller.
2. The circular d-pad is very nice for No Mercy and takes very little pressure to work. Also allows for the thumb to roll on the pad great feature. The L&R buttons are also very snappy. The controller hurts my hands after awhile holding it this way though.
3. Does not send enough power to the rumble pak for battery-less paks. Works with standard paks.

Superpad 64 Plus
20190609_222511.jpg superpadblue.jpg superpadyellow.jpg

1. Same style metal sticks. Work just as well if not better then the regular Superpad. No issues with Goldeneye 007 or Super Mario 64.
2. D-Pad is very sensitive and the L&R buttons are nice and sort of clickly. Very nice for playing WWF No Mercy if you can get used to this controllers shape.
3. Controller does not work at all with Battery-less rumble paks and will not accept button inputs at all. Battery powered rumble paks work fine however.

Yobo Gameworks
20190609_222902.jpg yoboGwork.jpg

1. Features a PS1 style stick which is way too sensitive and just doesn't work right. It even crashed the stick testing program every time I tried to test it. Plays Super Mario 64 barely and Goldeneye 007 is unplayable.
2. D-Pad is mush and uses a small point in the middle. L&R also need to be pressed very hard or they don't respond. Stick also phantom presses sometime for unwanted taunts and supers.
3. Clip does not hold rumble paks in place properly and they fall out. I tried taping a rumble pak in place one and the controller freaked out and woundn't work.

Retrobit Tribute64
20190609_223020.jpg tribute64.jpg
1. Stick on this controller works like a dream and plays Super Mario 64 very well and lets me snipe in Goldeneye 007 like a pro. Very good overall Edit: as shown on the test stick does not push all the way to the right and has issues over time. Very bad stick actually.
2. D-Pad is small-ish and digs into my thumb over time. L&R also need to be pressed in quite hard to work. Edit: R button also hits a wire on the controller and can cause issues over time. No very good for WWF No Mercy play sadly.
3. Works well with battery-less and battery powered rumble paks.

Retro Fighters Brawler64
20190609_222949.jpg brawler64.jpg

1. Stick on this controller is also great if not better than the Tribute. Plays Super Mario 64 and Goldeneye 007 perfectly and sniping is very easy as well.
2. D-Pad is ever so slightly stiff but I can see it getting better with wear. L&R feel perfect and controller plays WWF No Mercy like a dream. This controller very well might become my main wrestling game controller.
3. Controller does not work very well with battery-less rumble paks but works fine with battery powered ones.

Well there it is all controllers that I have found over the years tested. If anyone has anymore questions feel free to ask them in this thread.
 
Last edited by MrCokeacola,

Litle_Bird

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Nice thread :)

One question though, are you running the stick-testing program in an emulator or on a real n64? Because I find your first picture of the stock controller to be quite used, a good new controller would have all axis values at around 85.
 
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MrCokeacola

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Nice thread :)

One question though, are you running the stick-testing program in an emulator or on a real n64? Because I find your first picture of the stock controller to be quite used, a good new controller would have all axis values at around 85.
Ran it on a real N64 (with an ED64Plus) and I was surprised too. The controller never really got used except to play Pokemon Stadium or WWF No Mercy both which don't even really use the stick. Maybe I need to clean the dust out of it and re-lube the stick?
 

MrCokeacola

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updated the Tribute 64 controller blurb controller is not as good as I thought after more use. Will try and get a Hori Mini pad when I save up enough funds.
 

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So it sounds like the Brawler64 was on the whole the best, right?

Curious to see how you rate the Hori. I love mine, but it's not very good for FPS games. JSG is pretty much impossible.
 

MrCokeacola

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So it sounds like the Brawler64 was on the whole the best, right?

Curious to see how you rate the Hori. I love mine, but it's not very good for FPS games. JSG is pretty much impossible.
No Brawler is not the best. There really is no best. My personal daily driver is stock N64 controller with Cube stick. But I mostly play d-pad only games. If I had to only use 1 N64 controller I'd go with a Superpad 64 Plus it's kinda a jack of all trades master of none controller.
 

regnad

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No Brawler is not the best. There really is no best. My personal daily driver is stock N64 controller with Cube stick. But I mostly play d-pad only games. If I had to only use 1 N64 controller I'd go with a Superpad 64 Plus it's kinda a jack of all trades master of none controller.

What dpad only games do you play? I don’t remember there being very many on the N64.

Which would you say is best for 3D platformers like Mario 64?
 
Last edited by regnad,

MrCokeacola

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What dpad only games do you play? I don’t remember there being very many on the N64.

Which would you say is best for 3D platformers like Mario 64?
Well there are actually quite a few dpad only games. Kirby 64, Pokemon Station 1&2 and Mischief Makers to name a few. But I personally play the AKI WWF and WCW games a lot on my N64 and they are all dpad only.

As for best analog stick I find both versions of the Superpads have really really good sticks but many people don't like the feel of those controllers. If you wanted a brand new controller that you can buy off the shelf I'd say go the the Brawler. All other controllers on the market being sold new today have issues.
 

regnad

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Well there are actually quite a few dpad only games. Kirby 64, Pokemon Station 1&2 and Mischief Makers to name a few. But I personally play the AKI WWF and WCW games a lot on my N64 and they are all dpad only.

As for best analog stick I find both versions of the Superpads have really really good sticks but many people don't like the feel of those controllers. If you wanted a brand new controller that you can buy off the shelf I'd say go the the Brawler. All other controllers on the market being sold new today have issues.

My go to controller is a Hori. The stick feels a lot like a GCN but is slightly larger and slightly looser. I'm curious to hear your opinion of one. I live in Tokyo. If you live here and you're patient and persistent you can find them cheaply here in the countryside. I got two for less than five bucks each in rural Saitama. But you have to go to a lot of places to find one.

What program did you use to test? I could run tests on mine and post on this thread if you like.
 
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MrCokeacola

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My go to controller is a Hori. The stick feels a lot like a GCN but is slightly larger and slightly looser. I'm curious to hear your opinion of one. I live in Tokyo. If you live here and you're patient and persistent you can find them cheaply here in the countryside. I got two for less than five bucks each in rural Saitama. But you have to go to a lot of places to find one.

What program did you use to test? I could run tests on mine and post on this thread if you like.
I hear the sticks on the Hori are very nice. But I have pretty big hands. I found the Hori knock off the Tribute kinda small and the dpad placement horrible. I would still like to try one but my only way to get a Hori Mini Pad is ebay which they go for around 80 Canadian dollars. If you like to sell me a cheaper Hori Mini Pad we could work something out in PM if you'd like.

As for what program I used, I used the N64 controller test which can be found on this github https://github.com/sanni/controllertest/tree/master/N64-Port I ran it off of my ED64Plus which is a knock off EverDrive64 so it works on either.
 
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regnad

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I hear the sticks on the Hori are very nice. But I have pretty big hands. I found the Hori knock off the Tribute kinda small and the dpad placement horrible. I would still like to try one but my only way to get a Hori Mini Pad is ebay which they go for around 80 Canadian dollars. If you like to sell me a cheaper Hori Mini Pad we could work something out in PM if you'd like.

As for what program I used, I used the N64 controller test which can be found on this github https://github.com/sanni/controllertest/tree/master/N64-Port I ran it off of my ED64Plus which is a knock off EverDrive64 so it works on either.

I only have the two unfortunately. They’re quite rare unless you want to pay the same as ebay prices at a collectors shop in Akihabara. If I see one though I’ll be sure to snatch it up and PM you! I’m always scouring used electronics shops for discarded gems! I did some time ago find a third and traded it to Raphael from Raphnet in exchange for one of his adapters. He needed one to make his adapters compatible. The picture of the blue one on his website is the one I sent him!

From what I hear the Tribute is slightly larger than a real Hori, so I suspect you’re not going to like the size!
 
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MrCokeacola

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I only have the two unfortunately. They’re quite rare unless you want to pay the same as ebay prices at a collectors shop in Akihabara. If I see one though I’ll be sure to snatch it up and PM you! I’m always scouring used electronics shops for discarded gems! I did some time ago find a third and traded it to Raphael from Raphnet in exchange for one of his adapters. He needed one to make his adapters compatible. The picture of the blue one on his website is the one I sent him!

From what I hear the Tribute is slightly larger than a real Hori, so I suspect you’re not going to like the size!
Thanks man. Crazy, I want to get one of Raph's adapter for the Gamecube so I can use a SuperNES controller for the GameBoy player. I was also thinking about getting his Gamecube to N64 adapters but stopped after I saw the MyLifeinGaming video. The Gamecube controller is just too different to make a good 64 replacement IMO.

Ya I do have a preference for larger controllers I am an OG Xbox guy first and foremost and I always use a Duke when playing OG Xbox. But I actually didn't mind the Tribute too much playing Mario Tennis and Super Mario 64 on it but WWF No Mercy and Kirby 64 were a no go.
 

regnad

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Thanks man. Crazy, I want to get one of Raph's adapter for the Gamecube so I can use a SuperNES controller for the GameBoy player. I was also thinking about getting his Gamecube to N64 adapters but stopped after I saw the MyLifeinGaming video. The Gamecube controller is just too different to make a good 64 replacement IMO.

Ya I do have a preference for larger controllers I am an OG Xbox guy first and foremost and I always use a Duke when playing OG Xbox. But I actually didn't mind the Tribute too much playing Mario Tennis and Super Mario 64 on it but WWF No Mercy and Kirby 64 were a no go.

I have a few of Raphael’s controller adapters because I like original controllers. His stuff is super quality and he’s a very nice guy. If you have any problems he’s happy to do what he can to get things working.
 
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regnad

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Raphael is just a guy, which is certainly preferable to an anonymous Chinese company with shitty customer service.

The Hori dpad is absolute crap. As is the GCN dpad.
 
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https://www.google.com.sv/amp/s/amp..._stick_repair_tutorial_easy_100_original_and/

Here's a tutorial on how to restore worn down original sticks, it's easy and it costs pretty much nada. Just some epoxy to fill the rails and fill the worn down bowl, then silicone grease to have it not wear out again (should be applied to all n64 controllers to prevent wear).

The other option is to buy replacement gears and bowls. I would never pick a repro stick module or different controller for this system, they're never the same spec :S some are flat out awful like the GC styled replacement due to their inaccurate degrees of motion.
 

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I love the controller you have listed as the superpad 64 plus. Stick is great, looks odd, but fine to hold once you are used it to. The little z button on the back could be a bit bigger, but other than that it's my favourite.

Comes in other variations as well for some reason. One of mine is just Superpad 64, exactly the same as the plus you have listed, just no turbo. Not sure why they named both the non-turbo version and the other style controller with the same name. Other is a makopad, which is the same as the superpad 64 plus, but is a clear shell.
 
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MrCokeacola

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I found a new N64 controller today! The Teknogame N64 controller with Gamecube style stick. I found it at a local game store that got in just 1 of these controllers to test as a demo to see if they wanted to sell them. From what I understood this controller will be available in retail later this year. From the looks of it, it looks just like a regular knock off N64 controller but from what testing I've done it has one of the best sticks I've ever used on a cheap N64 controller.
AAJ4cCAABdBw.jpg
 

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I recently bought a Teknogame N64 controller, but am currently waiting on my EDx5 to be delivered to be able to run the test program.

For $15 for a controller for my 4yr old, I'm decently impressed. The analog stick is an interesting hybrid, it looks like a standard N64 stick, but internally it's a modern style mechanism. From anecdotal testing with SM64, it's like going to have values like the gamecube stick replacements.

A couple things that they could have done to make it a bit better:
1. The numb on the bottom of the d-pad is too shallow, allowing you to press all directions at once (I don't play any games with the d-pad, so not a big issue for me)
2. The base of the analog surround is a circle, while the top has the octagonal indents, but the top of the stick isn't thick enough to hit them, so they are merely cosmetic. That's probably the biggest issue for me, since I'm so used to playing games with the 8 direction indents.

I'll wait to test to confirm, but it'd be nice if these guys who use all these modern analog stick mechanisms, would calibrate the ADC to range the values to 0-90 or so to more closely match the original. Overall, this controller is quite a good copy of the original, and just a few tweeks would make it so much better.
 
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