Anki Remote 2.0 vs 8BitDo: which one is better?

We get this question so often that we want to address it head-on, so you can make an informed decision. We avoid bias in this breakdown and even support statements with direct quotes from Anki Remote customers.

Summary Chart

Skip the article and hear the thoughts of a 3rd-year med student who has tried both Anki Remote and 8BitDo:

Factors discussed:

  1. Price
  2. Set-up
  3. Privacy
  4. Customization
  5. Technical Support
  6. Longevity
  7. Battery Life
  8. Function and Design
  9. Color and Material
  10. Summary


Let's start with the elephant in the room: price. The Anki Remote 2.0 is $44.99 while 8BitDo is between $20-27, depending on Amazon pricing variance.

Many customers have emailed us saying that it would have been way cheaper to have invested in the Anki Remote than to constantly replace their 8bitdo.

Exhibit A:

I used to replace my 8bitdo remote every 2 months. My friend with the Anki Remote ended up buying me one, and it has been so so so much better. I should have just gotten in the first place. Thank you guys!! - Jharna (med student)

If price is the only factor that matters to you, then the 8BitDo remote could be right for you. However, if you care about anything else, keep reading to learn about why the Anki Remote costs more.


There are a million tutorials on how to setup 8BitDo for Anki. There are zero for Anki Remote 2.0.

Want to know why?

There is no setup for Anki Remote 2.0. You just turn it on and start Anki. The best part is that it is instant on literally any device (Mac, Windows, iPad, iPhone, etc.) This is a big reason many students prefer the Anki Remote 2.0 as their preferred Anki Controller.

Unfortunately, since the 8BitDo remote is not designed for Anki, the 8BitDo setup process is much harder. Typically, you need a friend to help or find some guide online.

This is ridiculous. I actually bought an 8BitDo around 6 months ago and never used it because I couldn't figure out the set-up. But, the anki remote 2.0 took me less time to set up than my Airpods. I'm so happy. - Julia (med student)


Privacy during the set-up and customization is important to us. Therefore, in Anki Remote 2.0, we eliminated all 3rd party software like Karabiner Elements, AutoHotKey, etc. đź‘‹

While this software gets the job done, it comes with many risks. We prioritize protecting your computer and information and do not want to introduce these risks into your life. Therefore, Anki Remote 2.0 does not rely on these programs. However, 8BitDo still requires you to use these programs to let you Anki.

I have the 8bitdo remote and have had problems so was looking for a different one. Have had issues with Karabiner too so I'm excited by the 2.0 option - Kate (dental student)


Anki Remote

Since the Anki Remote is instant set-up, it comes pre-programmed with 2 recommended modes.

However, if you want to optimize your setup, It is easy to customize your Anki Remote with the Anki Remote addon. Our goal was to make it as visual and intuitive as possible. This means you just:

  1. Click the button you want to change.
  2. Change it to the feature you want.


Customization of 8BitDo for Anki uses software like Karabiner Elements (discussed in Privacy above). This tends to work well for most people once they figure it out. However, an issue many people run into is it ends up looking like this and they have no idea what is happening:

I love my Anki Remote. I didn't really think it would save me time but it definitely does, even compared to other remotes since they don't have as much functionality with the keys. - Bridget (med student)

Technical Support

Just like you can run into problems with your $2000 MacBook Pro, there is always a chance you might run into technical issues with both the Anki Remote and 8BitDo.

Anki Remote

With the Anki Remote, you get complimentary unlimited technical support during business hours. No waiting on the phone for hours until you get connected with someone either. Just send us an email ([email protected]). We get emails every day complimenting the speed and efficacy of our customer service.

Based on our customers' stories, the 8BitDo seems to glitch and stop working significantly more often than the Anki Remote.


Unfortunately, since 8BitDo is sold through Amazon, there is no technical support. If your remote starts glitching or stops working entirely, welp.

I like using your company because any time there is an issue with the remote, I have a direct contact to a customer service base to get the problem addressed quickly. I used to use just an amazon remote and it crashed on me plus I had no tech help when I needed it. - Claudia (med student)


Disclaimer: There are no clinical studies comparing the Anki Remote and 8BitDo for longevity. But, we have consistently gotten the same message from our customers:

8BitDo kept breaking and I replaced it a 3 times in 4 months before switching to you guys [Anki Remote]. Never had a problem after switching. - Shreya (medical student)

In our opinion, it is better to buy the Anki Remote once and never worry about it instead of buying and replacing the 8BitDo multiple times.

Battery Life

The 8BitDo remote typically lasts for a few hours, while the Anki Remote gives 8 hours of active use.

I really enjoy my Anki Remote, and the customization it offers as far as button layout. Also, compared to the other ones my classmates use, the battery life is far superior too. - Jacob (med student)

Function and Design

Both the Anki Remote and 8BitDo can be used to do Anki Cards. However, 8BitDo is made to be a video game controller whereas the Anki Remote is made and optimized to do Anki.

This matters because video games require using both hands. Therefore, the 8BitDo remote is made to hold with both hands. Trying it hold it with one hand can be uncomfortable, especially with the buttons on the top of the remote.

The Anki Remote, however, is ergonomically made to fit in one hand. This makes holding the Anki Controller effortless. You don't even feel like you are holding it.

I used to have the 8bitdo one and this is definitely an upgrade. - Jake (med student)

Colors and Material

8BitDo comes in 3 colors (pink, yellow, and light blue) whereas the Anki Remote comes in a Matte Black.

We have only released a Matte Black version because many students want to be able to do Anki discretely. While colors are nice, they do draw more attention to yourself. This makes it harder to squeeze in Anki cards during a lunch break while in the hospital or even during a required non-helpful lecture.

Remotes on amazon looked cheaply made and I liked the appearance of your remote - Brian

Best Anki Controller

Many people ask what is the best Anki Controller.

What's the best Anki Controller? Based on medical student feedback, most students prefer the official Anki Controller over 8bitdo. Students enjoy the lack of Anki Controller setup, easy customizability, additional privacy, and fast tech support.

The Anki Controller support team gets about 5 emails per week from students who were hesitant to get an official Anki Controller due to price but ultimately made the jump and have been happy with their decision.

I normally don't respond to these types of emails, but I've been so happy with my experience with the remote that I wanted to let you know how much I have been enjoying it. - Devon


The Anki Remote is faster to set up and customize, comes with a team for tech support, won't break, has a longer battery life, is more ergonomic, is more discrete, and is endorsed by students from over 158 universities.

8BitDo is cheaper and more colorful.

If you still aren’t sure after this analysis, let us cover your next coffee. Here is a $5 off code for reading this far: IREADFAR.

It's amazing and my productivity is quite good these days because of it. I'm very glad I purchased this, and I've already recommended it to others! - Akshay (med student)

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