8bitdo DIY kit hero

8bitdo make some magnificent retro-inspired wireless controllers that work well with Steam, Android, Nintendo Switch, and the Nintendo “Classic” series of mini consoles.

But the company’s latest product is a bit different.

Convert wired game pads for the NES, SNES & Mega Drive into wireless controllers that work with Steam

The “8BitDo Mod Kit” is a DIY package that gives you everything you need to convert an existing wired game pad for the NES, SNES, or Sega Mega Drive/Genesis systems into a fully-fledged wireless controller.

A wireless controller you could then use with Ubuntu.

No soldering is required. You just unscrew the case of an existing controller and the PCB inside and replace it with the one included in the mod kit. Screw it all back up and, hey presto, wireless gaming on a classic controller.

Modded controllers are compatible with Steam on Windows and macOS (one assumes Linux too), as well the Nintendo Switch, and the Raspberry Pi — that’s a versatility classic game pads rarely had!

8bitdo SNES controller DIY PCIB

Mod kits aren’t mega cheap, but not too expensive either

Each mod pack costs $19.99, which isn’t exactly cheap (especially if you have to go out and buy a retro pad to start with) but, on the flip, it’s also not as as expensive as buying one of 8bitdo’s own retro-inspired controllers.

If you are cost conscious then sites like Amazon and eBay are packed full of cheap, frill-free options (many of which are modelled after SNES, NES and Genesis pads). Just be sure to use Google to check their compatibility with Linux before buying one.

8bitdo SNES controller DIY street fighter

Smug sense of satisfaction included for free!

Is paying a small premium to “upcycle” and upgrade (or in some cases repair) an existing controller using an 8bitdo mod kit worth it?

Don’t throw your broken SNES pad away: convert it and use it with Steam

I think so — and you get plenty in return:

You get a decent PCB, made by a company who know their stuff, with built-in battery. You get the joy of using a pad you already know, love, and whose build quality you like. Plus you get the warm, fuzzy, satisfied feeling that comes from “building” something with your own hands absolutely free!

Like the sound of that? Hit up 8bitdo website below for more details or to buy a conversion kit for yourself.

Buy a 8BitDo DIY Mod Kit

What’s your go-to controller when gaming on Linux?
Hardware 8bitdo controllers diy retro gaming