Snapback, gates, PODE, polling. If you’re a competitive Super Smash Bros. Melee player, you’ve probably heard some or all of these words thrown around at tournaments, as the technical differences between controllers caused by Nintendo’s manufacturing process have gained increased scrutiny in the age of arduinos and the Universal Controller Fix. There are some good documents out there already for players interested in learning of some of these terms, such as Aziz “Hax$” Al-Yami’s “B0XX Manifesto,” but in-depth knowledge of controller mechanics has in large part been relegated to the controller nerds and engineers of the scene.
However, Top Notch Controllers—one of the scene’s premier controller fixing organizations, headed by Jonah "Goomy" Eskin and Noah Ray “n3zModGod” Valdez and represented by top-20 player Armando “ARMY” Del Duca—has produced a short, but informative video that helps explain the vagaries of snapback to the casual controller enthusiast. Check it out here:
Though Top Notch Controllers is based out of Southern California, its members have traveled throughout the country to spread their gospel—and charge others a premium for their talents—at various events. Notably, Top Notch had a controller repair booth at Boston major Shine 2018 last weekend.
As Nintendo gears up for another production run of GameCube controllers to sell alongside Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, it’s unclear if these controllers will be manufactured to the same specifications as the original run of GameCube controllers or the new-style controllers sold alongside Smash 4. It’s imperative that competitive players understand the factors that differentiate controllers as this new wave of controllers enters the market. Stay informed by watching videos like this one!