SNES Controller

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The original SNES controller.

The SNES Controller is a video game controller and the original gamepad for the SNES. It was created by Nintendo and released on 1991-08-23 along with the American release of the console. It features a 4-directional D-pad, four facing buttons labeled X, Y, B, and A, two function buttons labeled start and select, and two shoulder buttons labeled L and R. The controller is the American version of the Japanese Super Famicom Controller, released in Japan several months earlier. The controller has its roots with the earlier NES Controller, but Nintendo added two additional facing buttons (tilted for better thumb access) and two shoulder buttons.

The SNES Controller is included in the Controller Font.


I got my SNES around 1992, and it came with two SNES controllers which I really enjoyed.



  • For me at least, the controller has the right amount of buttons. Not too many to be confusing or to encourage bad game design, and not so few to prevent creative game play.
  • The controller's shape is certainly a step up from the NES Controller ergonomically speaking. The curved edges are far more comfortable than the old right angles.
  • The textured body makes it slightly easier to grip, especially when your hands are sweaty and the D-pad is made of a soft-feeling plastic which is easier on the thumb.
  • The graphic design with its gray and purple color scheme is aesthetically pleasing.


  • The controller isn't nearly as rugged as I'd like. In one of my more frustrated moments with the cheating AI in Street Fighter II: Turbo - Hyper Fighting, I threw the controller and broke it. The shoulder buttons are particularly fragile.
  • The shoulder buttons aren't very comfortable to use, the L button is especially bad because it requires you to hold the D-pad in an uncomfortable manner. Compare it to the feel of the PlayStation Controller to see what I mean.
  • I don't care for the letters reading right to left, but at least it's consistent with the precedent of the NES Controller.


  • Nothing.