Despite being over 26 years old, the Nintendo 64 still continues to gather an enormous following of players. Often ranked among the top consoles of interest in the retro scene, players new and old alike find plenty to enjoy from the 64-bit system. With Nintendo 64 being added to the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pass, new players are discovering the system for the first time, with a number of those jumping into buying the original hardware to experience more games than the service has on offer.

RELATED: Nintendo 64 Games With The Best Graphics

Even though using the original hardware is a blast, there are certain aspects to using a 26-year-old console that doesn’t work as well in the modern day. The aging N64 trident controller is prone to thumb stick failures. Being limited to Composite/S-Video output on a 4K screen that can sometimes lack these ports is also less than ideal. For any players just jumping into the N64 scene or any who have been longtime fans, here are some items to consider to help make the experience more pleasing!

Best Wired N64 Controller Alternative

Retro Fighters Brawler 64 V2

Retro Fighter Brawler 64 V2 Product Shot
Retro Fighters Brawler 64 V2 For Nintendo 64

A modern take on the classic N64 controller! The Retro Fighters Brawler 64 V2 offers players a new way to enjoy their N64 library without the hassle of a third handle. With larger buttons and dual Z triggers, players of all ages will be able to play their favorite N64 games in more comfort. Compatible with the N64 Rumble and Controller Pak ensures full use of these features in supported titles!

Retro Fighters
Nintendo 64
Available Colors
Classic Gray, Transparent Blue, Extreme Green, Black
Cable Length
10 Feet
Compatible Accessories
Rumble Pak, Controller Pak
Extra Buttons
Turbo, Clear
  • Modern Layout
  • Bigger Buttons
  • Dual Z Triggers
  • Turbo Functionality
  • Good D-pad
  • Rumble And Controller Pak Support
  • Good Performance In All N64 Titles
  • Thumb Stick Doesn't Match Original N64 Controllers
  • No Transfer Pak Compatibility

When Retro Fighters first revealed their modern N64 controller alternative, fans of the 64-bit system were fully onboard. The new controller featured bigger face buttons a modern 2-handle design and dual triggers to make contemporary gamers feel more comfortable. Smashing through one Kickstarter goal after another the Brawler 64 easily met its funding and was released to the masses. Unfortunately, the N64 controller is an odd beast to replicate and the original model of the Brawler had a few shortcomings and compatibility issues with certain titles. After Retro Fighters released their wireless version of the Brawler 64 which saw massive improvements in all aspects of the design, the changes were then backported into the original wired Brawler 64.

While still not a perfect match to the thumb stick found in a brand-new Nintendo N64 controller, the Brawler’s stick offers full compatibility with the N64 library with a good response curve and working diagonals. Z buttons were changed back into a digital format over the original design, making them far easier to use. The extra turbo button also makes any games reliant on button mashing far less finger-destroying. The expansion port found on the underside of the controller allows for support of the N64 Controller and Rumble Paks, allowing for game saves and rumble features to work as intended in supported titles. Unfortunately, Transfer Paks are not supported with the Brawler 64, so an original Nintendo branded controller will be needed to have access to the peripheral.

Best Wireless N64 Controller Alternative

Retro-Bit Wireless Tribute 64 V2

Retro-Bit Tribute 64 Product Shot
Retro-Bit Wireless Tribute 64 V2 For Nintendo 64, PC, And Nintendo Switch

The Retro-bit Wireless Tribute 64 V2 gives you the freedom to enjoy your classic N64 library without being tethered! With a modern 2-handle design and dual Z triggers players will feel more at home replaying their classic libraries. With the included USB receiver the controller can pull double duty as a Nintendo Switch controller perfect for playing N64 games on the NSO service!

Nintendo 64, PC, Mac, Nintendo Switch, Mobile
12-20 Hours
2.4 GHz Wireless
Extra Buttons
Home, Select
Available Colors
Classic Gray, Atomic Purple
Compatible Accessories
Controller Pak
  • Wireless
  • Low Latency
  • Rumble Supported
  • Controller Pak Supported
  • Dual Z Triggers
  • Good Performance In Most titles
  • Multiple Systems Supported
  • Thumb Stick Diagonals Are Problematic In Some Games
  • No Transfer Pak Compatibility

Upon its launch, the Retro-Bit Wireless Tribute 64 made a powerful statement as being the first third-party wireless N64 controller to offer support for rumble capabilities in N64 games. The controller also features a 2-handle design and dual Z buttons to give the controller a more modern feel. Unlike the designs from Retro Fighters, Retro-Bit N64 controllers use standard N64 face buttons, giving it a more familiar feel to long-time players. Latency in the V2 Tribute is topnotch, resulting in no noticeable input lag during play. The Tribute receiver features the controller's expansion port with a mode switch allowing for Controller Pak compatibility. Sadly, Transfer Paks are not supported.

RELATED: Shigeru Miyamoto's Best N64 Games

Unfortunately, the V2 Tribute’s thumb stick has some slight caveats. The absolute Axis of each stick has been refined to be near N64 original controller perfect, but the diagonals have taken a hit and don’t reach their intended max values. While not noticeable in the vast majority of N64 titles, games like GoldenEye 007, Perfect Dark, Star Fox 64, and Star Wars: Rogue Squadron showcase the limitation with sluggish or nonexistent performance. With the majority of the library not seeing any ill side effects, the V2 Tribute makes for a strong replacement controller for players looking for a wireless option with rumble and save capabilities. Best of all, the package includes a USB receiver to let the controller be used on PC and Nintendo Switch extending its capabilities even further!

Extend A First-Party Controllers Range

Tomee Controller Extender

Tomee N64 Extension Cable Product Shot
Tomee 6 Foot Controller Extension Cable For Nintendo 64

Extend the reach of your Nintendo 64 controllers with this extension cable from Tomee!

Nintendo 64
Available Colors
Cable Length
6 Feet
  • Extends The Range Of A First-Party N64 Controller
  • Controller Port Connector Can Be Tight

As nice as it is to have third-party replacement options available, the Nintendo 64 is best played with its original trident-shaped controller. The buttons and thumb sticks are as intended by Nintendo and its third-party developers, ensuring perfect gameplay for the 64-bit system with a well-maintained pad. Unfortunately, the original N64 controller has a relatively short cable coming in at 6 feet. In the modern living room, 6-foot cables likely won't cut it to have the controller reach a couch.

Controller extension cables from Tomee offer an additional 6 feet for cheap. With 12 combined feet to work with, most setups should be properly served. N64 Rumble, Controller, and Transfer Paks also work as intended ensuring no loss of original functionality. One downside to these cables however comes from the console connector not always being properly sized, resulting in a tighter fit in the console.

Controller Pak Alternatives

Tomee Memory Card For N64

Tomee Memorey Card Product Shot
Tomee 256KB Memory Card For N64

Save your game progress with ease using the Tomee 256 KB Memory Card for Nintendo 64! Compatible with all games that support the Controller Pak, Tomee's memory Card makes for a low-cost alternative.

Nintendo 64
Available Colors
Memory Capacity
256 KB
  • Compatible With All N64 Games That Use The Controller Pak
  • Low-Cost
  • Battery Backed SRAM Will Lose Saves When The Battery Dies

While most first-party and popular N64 games include saving capabilities on their cartridges, the majority of the N64 library relies on a Controller Pak for saving game progress. With original Controller Pak's being discontinued for over 2 decades, newcomers to the N64 will need to rely on third-party alternatives. The Memory Card from Tomee has been a solid option.

RELATED: The Best N64 Remakes

The Tomee Memory Card is the same size physically and digitally as Nintendo originals, ensuring full compatibility with the N64 library. Sadly, this does mean sports titles can suck up the entire space of a card single-handedly. Being relatively inexpensive, however, players can pick up a couple to have on hand for the various titles that require more space. The only real downside to these Memory Cards is that they still rely on battery-backed SRAM. Once the battery dies in 10-20 years, all the saves stored within go with it.

Best Inexpensive HDMI Adapter

LevelHike HDMI Adapter

LevelHike HDMI Adapter For N64 Product Shot
LevelHike HDMI Cable For N64

Hooking up an older Nintendo console to a modern display can be a problem if the TV in question no longer supports analog input options. With the LevelHike HDMI Adapter, you can hook up a classic Nintendo system with ease using HDMI! While it is an entry-level option it will get the job done well enough for the casual player.

System Compatibility
Nintendo 64, Super Nintendo, Nintendo GameCube
Externally Powered
  • Easy To Use
  • Hook N64 Up To TVs That No Longer Support Analog Input Options
  • Uses S-Video Line For Extra Visual Clarity
  • 4:3, 16:9 Switch To Support Proper Aspect Ratios In Games
  • Video Signal Can Be Noisy
  • Can Suffer From Input Lag
  • Externally Powered

As a forewarning, these types of HDMI adapters are typically only just a good starting point option for getting an older system connected to a modern display. Because of their cheaper build quality and feature sets, they can cause a number of unwanted side effects like image degradation or input lag. That being said, the HDMI adapter from LevelHike will get players up and running with their N64 consoles on a modern display that may lack composite or S-Video input options for a cheap entry cost.

The LevelHike adapter in particular pulls from the S-Video output of Nintendo 64 consoles, giving it sharper output compared to standard composite video with minimal artifacting typically present in these types of adapters. Input lag is present but, for most casual players, should remain relatively unnoticeable. A nice feature found on the adapter itself is an aspect ratio switch, allowing players to easily swap between 4:3 and 16:9 on the fly. The adapter also needs to be externally powered through a USB cord with a TV’s built-in USB port being a suitable powering point. While this option gets the job done, fans of retro gaming should look into the RetroTink line of products for the best possible experience!

Play Japanese N64 Games On An American System

Hyperkin Hyperconvert: Universal Cartridge Adapter

Hyperkin Hyperconvert For N64 Product Shot
Hyperkin Hyperconvert: Cartridge Adapter For N64

Play Nintendo 64 games from any region without having to modify your console using the Hyperkin Hyperconvert: Cartridge Adapter For N64!

Nintendo 64
Region Compatibility
  • No Mod Solution To Play Import Titles
  • Good Cartridge Support

N64 game prices have sadly shot up over the past few years to the point of absurdity in some cases. Because of this, finding a Japanese copy of certain titles is a cost-effective way to add them to your library. Unfortunately, Nintendo region locked the cartridge ports on N64 systems to prevent players from playing cartridges of differing regions. One easy solution to this problem is to 3D print a replacement cartridge slot or to grind down the original with a Dremel.

RELATED: The Best N64 Fighting Games

Not every player wants to open their system to perform such a modification, which is where the Hyperkin Hyperconvert: Universal Cartridge Adapter comes into play. With the adapter players simply plug it into their N64 systems and then insert any game from any region and begin playing as normal! Unlike some adapters out there, Hyperkin gave the Hyperconvert raised edges to ensure cartridges are held in place to prevent accidental damage.

Replacement N64 Shells

Yoidesu Replacement N64 Shell

Yoidesu Replacement N64 Shell Product Shot
Yoidesu Replacement N64 Shell

Breathe new life into an aging or damaged Nintendo 64 with a replacement shell from Yoidesu!

Color Options
Blue, White
ABS Plastic
  • Restores Damaged N64 Consoles
  • Good Build Quality
  • Sleek Look
  • Needed Tools Included
  • No Screws Included

The N64 is 26 years old at this point in time, and depending on a particular system’s previous owner could suffer from varying degrees of cosmetic damage. With replacement shell options, players can give their damaged N64s a new lease on life. The process to swap out the N64 shell is straightforward with the needed tools being included in the kit. Do note that no screws or springs are included, so they have to be swapped in from the original shell during assembly. The clear blue and white shells are quite the sight when completed!

MORE: Best Accessories For Nintendo Switch


Q: Are Nintendo 64 accessories still available on Amazon?

A number of different first and third-party accessories are available for the Nintendo 64 through various Amazon sellers.

Q: Are new N64 controllers still being made today?

New third-party N64 controllers are still being made today by reputable companies like Retro-Bit and Retro Fighters in both wired and wireless formats.

Q: Do I need an N64 Controller Pak/Memory Card?

Out of the 296 N64 titles released in North America, 251 of them will rely on a Controller Pak/Memory Card to save data making it an essential purchase for the system.

Q: How Do I hook my N64 up to a 4K TV?

Numerous HDMI adapter options exist that can give casual players a decent N64 experience on a modern 4K display. For more serious players, looking into the RetroTink line of products is highly recommended.

Q: Can I play other region titles on my N64?

Import titles can easily be played on any Nintendo 64 system by either modifying the system's cartridge slot or with the purchase of an adapter.

Q: Is the Nintendo 64 still worth playing today?