8BitDo makes some of the best third-party gamepads, but now it also makes some of the best keychains as well. The company is launching the 8BitDo Zero 2, which is available to order now for $20. This is a tiny controller that has a mass of just 20 grams and easily fits in your pocket.
The Zero 2 has a lot of the same system compatibility support as other recent 8BitDo gamepads. It can connect to Windows PCs, Android, Macs, Raspberry Pi, Nintendo Switch, and more. But it’s not a full controller with all buttons you would expect to find on a DualShock 4 or something similar. Instead, it has a layout closer to a Super Nintendo pad.
You get a D-pad, four face buttons, two shoulder buttons, Start, and Select. This makes the Zero 2 work best with retro games. And it does work well. I tested it out on a PC, and it is surprisingly comfortable. A lot of that comes down to the weight.
At 20 grams, the Zero 2 is so slight that it is easy to pinch between your fingers. It also shouldn’t cause strain on your hands. Imagine a more comfortable Joycon, and that’s what using the Zero 2 is like.
The 8BitDo Zero 2 works best as an ornament
While the Zero 2 is a functioning controller, it’s honestly more of a novelty. It’s not going to work with modern 3D games and even a lot of current 2D adventures that rely on more buttons. And that’s why it’s actually much cooler as something like a fashion accessory.
8BitDo understands this, which is why it ships the Zero 2 with a strap that makes it easy to attach it to your keys. I’ve used the Zero 2 as a keychain for the past couple of weeks, and I’ve really liked having it with me.
The biggest issue is that if you keep it in your pocket, you’re probably going to activate it. That means the battery may drain while you’re not using it.
But it’s awesome to just have a game controller on me at all times. If I somehow find myself in a situation where I could connect to a device, I’ll have a way to control the game. Sure, that’s probably not going to happen in your average day-to-day, but who cares? The Zero 2 is still a fun keychain that doesn’t feel bulky or weird in a pocket. And one that I can use to play Super Metroid.
So yeah, I’m going to keep carrying it with me.