N64 Controller Review

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When Nintendo released the Joypad for the Switch, everyone who saw and were fortunate enough to hold the device knew that Nintendo is not yet ready to give up analog control. It is impossible to play a modern video game without this excellent precision. And one of all the worthwhile analog controllers produced by Nintendo is the Nintendo 64 N64 pad.

The N64 pad was the first mainstream console to use analog control that’s standard with its default system. It also has that cool three grip style for a variety of gameplay options. Let’s find out why this analog controller remains supreme, whether you’re playing on a Nintendo console, your PC, or laptop.

Things to consider before buying an N64 controller

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But before you buy an N64 controller, remember the following

  • The gaming system you’re playing

The N64 controller is a retro Nintendo controller and thus may not be compatible with newer systems. But lately, the Nintendo Switch has released an update that says that the gamepad is now compatible with retro-style controllers from the old NES30 to the much older N64 controllers.

  • The game you’re playing

The N64 will work on almost all retro games played in the Nintendo 64 console. Initially, this controller was designed to play Super Mario 64 with the creator Mr. Miyamoto said that analog controllers will help him design the game and how it would look like.

  • Your style of playing

If you’re into using retro controls, then this M-shaped controller may be your best pick. It comes with ten buttons on the controller surface plus a large analog stick in the middle. It also comes with digital directional control on the left side. And at the back of the controller is an extension port to use different accessories for this system.

  • Your preference

Using an N64 may be according to your preference. If you want a modern, minimalistic game controller, then you may go with updated game controllers. But if you’re welcome with the idea of retro controllers, then the N64 is your best choice.

Features and Benefits

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First impression

This is a large, bulky, and classic game controller that seems too overwhelming because of its many different colored buttons. It is the first controller created by Nintendo that allowed expansion. It is battery operated but must be connected to the console to work. It also comes with a rumble pack and a memory card attachment.

In the middle are a red start button and an analog switch in the middle. There are four yellow C buttons, A and B buttons, a D-pad, L, and R buttons. N63 is the first console that permits using four controllers all at once. Some consoles only allow controllers to connect.

There are three grips, but users agreed that it was impractical to use the L and R buttons while using the analog stick. And thus, the L and R buttons were rarely used even in games that were specifically developed for the console.

Many agreed that the N64 looks like a GameCube controller; however, it has an M shape that’s seen in Virtual Boy. Finally, you can only play the N64 on a classic controller or the GameCube. Lately, new third party components became available, and this allowed you to use the Wii on backward N64 controllers.

Buttons and controls

The analog stick is the primary control button that’s at the center of the controller. The A and B buttons are used to move through games and game menus. The start button is used to pause the game and is located above the analog stick. It has C buttons used mostly for game movement. The C buttons are small and yellow for game directions.

The D-pad is a directional control found on the left side of the controller. The R button is gray and is located on the right side of the controller. The L button is grey and is located on the left of the controller on the opposite side of the R button. The Z is a trigger button at the back of the controller.


There is an expansion slot where the player can insert small cartridges to improve the gameplay of the controller. The expansions are in the form of a card and can be removed by the grey button located under the slot.

The Rumble Pak is the first expansion pack and has completed the N64 as the first console game controller to have rumble effects. The rumble has been adapted in many games and future games in Nintendo. Another expansion is in the form of a memory card. These cards store games that are compatible with the N64. Some expansions are only available if the controller is played in an N64 console. This is seen in games like Donkey Kong 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask.

Social Proof

Reviews for the N64 were mostly from people who have had experience with playing with the Nintendo 64 system. One of these is C. Black, who loved his purchase and said it made his retro console usable once more.

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D_Gsus said that the refurbished N64 controller he purchased worked fine. He decided to buy a refurbished but genuine N64 controller rather than a generic one.

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An Amazon Customer praised the N64, calling it a marvel of the era. It has set analog controller standards that are still being recognized to this day.

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The N64 may be a classic Nintendo game controller, but nonetheless, it’s a controller worth the experience. It works perfectly with the Nintendo 64 where the most popular games were born. It has a weird M-shaped body with switches and buttons that were harder to use, but despite these, games like Super Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong were played seamlessly. It is expandable, and this is where game controller expansions came to be. The N64 controller may not be a part of mainstream gaming today, but it’s worth having one to bring you back in time when games were flawless and easy.

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