Best USB controller to use with the Commodore 64 Mini

With all the time I have spent with the Commodore 64 Mini, I am well aware of the shortcomings of its controller. It's bulky, awkward, and takes away from an otherwise awesome gaming experience. I looked into some other controller options to see what would actually work with this killer little retro system. This is what I came up with.


Replace that one terrible C64 controller with two more comfortable controllers

An effective alternative

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Some people may not have any problem with the controller that the C64 Mini comes with and that is totally fine. In fact, I am a little bit jealous if you are one of those people. However, if you are like me, you are looking for something that will feel better in your hand over long gaming sessions. I found the Innext to be exactly that.

Play on a controller that feels way better

Lately, I have been spending nearly all of my free time playing all the fantastic forgotten games on the C64 Mini. It's an incredibly satisfying piece of throwback hardware that runs Commodore 64 games like a dream. However, if you read my review or if you have one yourself, then you know that the joystick that comes with the system leaves a little to be desired. In fact, it leaves a lot to be desired. It has a short cable, the buttons and sticks feel bad, and it's even awkward and unwieldy to hold.

I found playing with this controller far more enjoyable...

Now, the Innext is not a totally perfect solution. However, I found playing with this controller far more enjoyable than the stock controller. The biggest drawback is the button mapping. All of the buttons do get mapped to the Innext controller. However, the fire button gets mapped to the right shoulder button. Not a deal breaker at all but I would have preferred fire to be mapped to the A or B button.

Hopefully, in the future, we will see a firmware update from the developers of the C64 mini that will include some sort of rudimentary button mapping configuration which will allow users to move the buttons around a bit.

Alternatives to the Innext

Unfortunately, there is not yet a perfect replacement for the stock C64 joystick. I found the Innext to be perfectly suitable for the time being. However, if you have an old PS2 Dual-Shock lying around, you might want to consider an alternative

Mcbazel PS2 DualShock adapter

If you have an old DualShock, this adapter will allow you to use it with your C64 Mini

Buttons feel better than stock
Far less cramping risk
Better for longer gaming sessions
Or the cons
Odd button mapping
No stick

One of the downsides about the Innext is that it has no stick. There are certain games for the Commodore 64 that just won't be the same without one. With this adapter and an old DualShock, you can have the stick that you want in a much more comfortable controller. It may not keep with the retro visual style of the C64 Mini but I am sure that there are more than a few people out there that are totally OK with that.

3-meter USB extension

Sit back on the couch with this 3-meter USB extension

I guess part of the retro experience is being tethered to your console by a controller. I don't know about you but I am getting a little bit older and sitting on the floor looking up at the TV makes my back hurt just thinking about it. At only $6 I bought of few of these extensions and now I always have one lying around for occasions just like this.

Bottom line

Until the developers of the C64 Mini offer a better controller with the console I imagine that a lot of folks are going to be looking for a good alternative. I found the Innext to be a perfectly suitable solution. And hopefully, we will see a firmware update for the C64 Mini that will make the Inext work with the console even better.

Jaz Brown