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Hyperkin "Ranger" Atari 2600 Controller Overview

Kris Randazzo
7 minute read

Control your favorite Atari games in a way you've never done before. The Ranger for Atari 2600™ and RetroN 77 is a gamepad-style controller meant for a more relaxed hand position, providing comfort and quicker reactions. It also includes a built-in paddle dial for compatible games.

Get yours here:

Multiple Paddle adapter:

Retron 77:

Transcript of the video:

The Atari 2600 joystick, or CX40 if you're nasty. This little guy right here is one of the most iconic controllers in the history of video games, and I myself have spent many an hour fiddling with this thing, playing great games like Midnight Magic, Pitfall and yes, even Pac-Man. What can I say? I was young. But there's no denying that this is a simple little thing and control technologies and evolved a lot over the years. So if you're looking for something a little bit more modern to play on your Atari 2600, Hyperkin has you covered with the Ranger Premium Wired Controller for Atari 2600. Let's take a look. 

OK, let's say hello to the Ranger from Hyperkin. You know it's Hyperkin because it's got a big old H right there in the middle. This is a nice little thing. It's got this look here that kind of matches the Retron 77 that Hyperkin made, which is a console that you can plug your Atari 2600 cartridges into and play them on your HDTV. And it's a nice little thing that we sell here at Stone Age Gamer. But we're here to talk about this guy, the Ranger. 

This doesn't need to work for the Retron 77. This in fact works on any Atari 2600 model, which will show you a second replacing the main joystick, you have this guy right here which feels like a modern analog stick. Now you can see that this kind of comes to a bit more of a point. So it feels a little bit more like when you put your thumb on top of the Atari 2600 joystick itself rather than one of the concave modern analog sticks. And it doesn't change your games to be analog or anything like that. It works just like an Atari 2600 stick. But you would hold it left to right like this. And here is your single button because 2600 games only had a single button. What's cool about this is, so you're playing modern games and you're right handed. Back in the old days I'd hold the joystick like this and I would use my right hand to do the movement. So if you want to change things up, it has these switches on it right here so you can change it to the left stick or right stick and you can actually move it like this if you want to. And just because they're snazzy, look at this, the cord can actually change directions so it's coming out of the top no matter how you're holding it. And if this feels more natural to you or if you're left handed and this feels more natural to you, then you have that as an option, which is pretty nice. 

Now, the other big thing with this is it has its paddle built right in. So there are several games on the 2600 that use the paddle controllers. And what you would do is you would take this and put it on P mode for paddle mode, and then you just kind of hold it vertically like this. You've got your access to your button here and then you twist the paddle along the top like so which is it's pretty nice. Now, these are the original paddles right over here for the 2600. And you can see that there's it's kind of hard to visually show this, but there's less resistance on it. I don't know if this is because my paddles are super old or whatnot, but they they hit a stopping point at just this. But this has much more resistance, which I found in my play sessions has given me a little bit more of a tighter control on things, but it really would be all down to personal preference. 

But you have likely noticed and if you're a fan of the Atari 2600 that the Paddles came in a set like this was two to controllers connected to one, and this is just one controller. Now, how exactly do you go about playing something like this on the multiplayer games? Because it needs to plug into the same controller port? Well, good news. There is an adapter that we sell here at Stone Age Gamer and look at that. Here it is. So this is the Ranger adapter for multiple paddles compatible with Retron 77 and Atari 2600. And it could not be more self-explanatory. Just a quick little unboxing here. Yank this sucker out. And here it is. It's just this little doodad here. Got a couple of control reports on the end of it for plugging in your trusty Ranger controller. You plug in the left one first and then you would plug a second ranger controller into the second port if you had one, which I don't. And then we'll just move this here and get your Atari 2600 of choice. This is my my old unit. Just you just go into the back left controller, plug this sucker in there and it works just like having your double Paddles plugged into your console. And you can play yourself some Warlords, and you can actually daisy chain this thing. So if you get more than one of these adapters, you can plug a second one in there, two more ports and another one for you can get yourself a proper game of. Warlords going on. It's pretty snazzy. 

So what doesn't it do? Right. This looks like this is the great thing. Well, I mean, obviously, you're not going to get your replacement for a keyboard controller, right, because it doesn't have an alphanumeric keyboard on it. And similarly, if you're playing Star Raiders now, you're not going to be able to replace this with the Ranger. But it does work pretty well in tandem for playing some star raiders with your Video Touch Pad. This is also something worth pointing out is it does not replace this guy. This is the Driving Controller for the 2600. If you've got yourself a copy of Indy 500, even though this looks just like the Paddles, it does function pretty differently. You can look up that kind of stuff online, exactly what makes it different. But it does. It reads things differently, and it spins all the way around. There's no stopping point. And unfortunately, this does not work with the driving game. I think it's just the one. I think Indy 500 is the only one. But I could be wrong. I am no expert. But outside of that, this does do pretty much everything you want an Atari 2600 controller to do. 

It's sleek, it's comfortable, it's stylish and. Well, I like the Ranger premium wired controller for Atari 2600. It's available right now at Thanks for watching. If you enjoyed this video, be sure to like comment and subscribe. We'd all really appreciate it, but most importantly, keep playing games. 

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