My first ever console was the N64, and I made sure that I had all of the best Nintendo 64 accessories to go with it. If you’ve ever read my articles before, then you’ll know how much I love this machine. I had all of the best N64 games, subscribed to Nintendo Magazine, and spent my childhood years running around Hyrule or racing that fat polar bear in Freezeezy Peak (bonus points if you can guess that last game).
The N64 had so many amazing add-ons throughout its seven-year reign that not only complimented new games for the system but also enhanced old titles too, providing the player with an upgraded experience either visually or physically with accessories like the first item in our list (be patient, we’re getting there slowly!). Many of these can still be picked up today, and many are items that you might not have actually come across before…because they are new!
Now I know what you’re thinking; new items in our list of the classic best Nintendo 64 accessories! Is it a joke? Is it sacrilege? It’s true, and it’s one of the reasons why we at Retro Dodo love the retro gaming community and are always pleasantly surprised with the new and exciting inventions that they come up with for our favourite retro consoles. Dedicated minds will stop at nothing to give their favourite machines a modern-day boost, and we salute them for their efforts!
So, without further ado, let’s kick off with our list of the latest, greatest, and best Nintendo 64 accessories for my very first (and the best ever) console.
N.B – They’re in no particular order, because they’re all awesome!
1. Transfer Pak
If you ever bought Pokemon Stadium (if you didn’t, then you should buy a copy from eBay before continuing with this article), then you will have received one of these GameBoy Transfer Paks in the box. The port on the back of the N64 Controller was used for lots of different accessories and connectors, and although the Transfer Pak made it look like a Star Trek blaster and around as heavy as a pregnant Kangaskhan, it was a great bit of kit and one that I always had to hand.
This device allowed you to transfer around thirty of your favourite DMG and GBC carts onto the N64 and was widely used for Pokemon titles. You could also equip it with the GameBoy Camera to map the players face into Perfect Dark and Mario Artist for the N64DD (you can find out more about the GameBoy Camera in our list of the best GameBoy accessories).
You could use the Transfer Pak to send Pokemon caught and trained on your Pokemon Red or Crystal games, for example, into Pokemon Stadium to use in battles. This little device most certainly sparked multiple updates like the GBA link for connecting the GBA to the GameCube, and also the Hyperkin Retron Jr in later years, a device that transfers all GBA games up onto the big screen!
2. Hyperkin Admiral Bluetooth N64 Controller
Hyperkin are working hard to update my favourite machine. This next item is one that none of us thought that we would ever see back in the day, mostly because Bluetooth technology had just come out and many people thought that it was a bit pointless. Still, being able to thrash your mates at Super Smash Bros. while sitting away from the screen and not getting caught up in wires would have been amazing, and now you can experience it for real!
The ‘Admiral’ uses a GameCube style wireless receiver that plugs straight into the console itself. The receiver has a port for your original memory card too, so you don’t have to worry about starting all of your favourite games again.
The only downside is that this Bluetooth controller doesn’t have any rumble capabilities or space to plug a Rumble Pak in, but I guess you can’t have everything! If you want to give wireless play a go, then click the link below (yes…we rhyme now).
3. Rumble Pak
If you’re a newbie to the world of the best Nintendo 64 accessories and are wondering what on earth a Rumble Pak is, then wonder no longer. I first got this bad boy in a copy of LylatWars (Star Wing 64 for our American readers); it came in a MASSIVE box that was cool in itself and allowed you to feel every explosion and crash with a hand trembling rumble.
Can you believe that we used to live in a world without Rumble!
While my Rumble Pak came with Fox, Slippy, Falco, Peppy and the gang, you could also buy it separately in the box shown above. All you had to do was slot it into the magical all-knowing port on the back of the N64 controller, and you had rumble in your hands (literally).
You couldn’t use your memory card and Rumble Pak at the same time, but the memory card was used mostly for 3rd-party games that didn’t have Rumble Pak functionality anyway so it didn’t really matter. Cheaper Rumble Paks could and can still be bought, but why bother with the rest when you can buy the best (I reckon we could go into advertising slogans at this rate).
4. EON Super 64 Upscaler
One of the biggest challenges is getting your favourite N64 games to look good on one of today’s modern high-definition televisions. The N64 was never meant to be played on a 55-inch widescreen TV, mainly because they didn’t exist back then, but help is it hand if you want to play Goldeneye and Majora’s Mask without feeling like your eyes are being burned by a hot poker.
At £109, The Super 64 from EON is the most expensive item on our list of the best Nintendo 64 accessories, and while you can buy other upscalers that vary in price and quality, it makes sense to splash out on a quality bit of kit that is guaranteed to give you the desired results.
The Super 64 plugs straight into the back of your N64, converting the signal from the source and turning an output of 240p into 480p. It custom tunes colours and audio and even has a ‘Slick Mode’ that buffers out jagged edges to give your favourite games a smooth new look.
Unfortunately, the Super 64 only works on NTSC and NTSC-J consoles, so it’s a perfect option if you have a North American machine. It might be possible to connect it up to a NTSC-PAL converter, but don’t quote us on that. Do a bit of research first if you live in the UK or Europe, or purchase an American machine!
5. N64 Carry Case
It would have been utter madness to carry around your favourite console an in an unofficial carry case, and every true Nintendoid still has or owned one of these at some time in their gaming lives. It’s a durable carry case that, while not providing the same protection as a Thule laptop case which is as protective as a tank, will stop your console from getting scratched and scuffed while carrying it over to a friends house or taking it on holiday.
Everything straps in neatly and securely, and the fact that it has the official logo on it makes it even cooler/nerdier (delete as appropriate).
The notion of carrying a games console to a friends house seems so crazy now, especially when everyone has a console and plays online, so you don’t actually need to even be in the same room anymore.
Still, if you want to put your N64 down on rough terrain while out on a journey (maybe you like to take it for a walk like a pet) or you drop it while catching a Pokemon on your phone, those rubber feet are going to prevent any cracks shooting through the console’s plastic housing and keep you from crying like a child. Treat yourself to some nostalgic official merchandise.
6. Classic Crystal Clear Controller
How many ‘C’s can you get in a title! If you’re looking for that classic ‘crab claw’ controller experience and prefer having a wired unit, then there are no better controllers than these see-through remotes from Miadore.
Choose from Jungle Green or Orange and take a look at the inner workings of your remote while waiting for boring cutscenes and loading pages to pass. They look seriously cool and work perfectly with any game!
I was always jealous of my friends that had the clear N64 units when I was a kid, so I definitely made sure that I got one of these bad boys when I was an adult (ok, I’m still a massive kid).
7. Voice Recognition Unit
It might have only had two compatible games, but this little VRU was way ahead of its time and an impressive bit of kit. It was mostly set-up to recognise the higher tones of a child’s voice, so if you’re an adult and want to give this a go, then you might have to squeak a little bit if you want it to recognise what you’re saying.
Like the Rumble Pak and LylatWars package, this VRU came with every copy of Hey You, Pikachu! and could be used throughout the game. It could also be used for a game called Densha de Go 64!, but as it wasn’t an integral controller you had to buy it separately.
Yet again, this is one of our best N64 accessories that can only be used on American or Japanese consoles, so if you’re sat looking at your PAL machine with a hopeful smile, then I’m afraid you will be a little disappointed. Still, this VRU isn’t that expensive, and it might be worth having a couple of machines from different regions if you want to add all of these accessories into your collection!
8. Tsuricon 64
Ok, so I never had this controller because I don’t have a Japanese system and I don’t have any interest in fishing whatsoever, but I thought it would be wrong to leave it out of our list of the best Nintendo 64 accessories because it’s such a weird bit of kit!
This controller resembles a fishing rod handle and even has the turning wheel on the side to draw your virtual fish in. All of the buttons have been downsized and slotted underneath the main analog stick, and the product looks a little like a mutated version of the original N64 remote.
This device only works with a handful of fishing games and has no other use, but it really does highlight the efforts that Nintendo has always gone to give the user the best playing experience possible. It’s accessories like this that make you realise that the inspiration for the Wii was always there in the background and just waiting for the right technology to make it a reality.
9. Expansion Pak
Like so many of the other best Nintendo 64 accessories in our list, I received the Expansion Pak in a game box. This gadget came with Donkey Kong 64, which was and still is one of my favourite N64 games of all time.
The Expansion Pak upgraded the consoles ram from 4MB to 8MB. It was required to play Donkeys debut 64 adventure as well as Majora’s Mask and Perfect Dark and allowed developers to create games with a better visual appeal. The Pak also enhanced colours on other existing games too – just another gadget that Nintendo used to continuously keep up with the times.
I was fortunate enough to receive one of these pre-installed into a second machine that I bought a while back and was pleasantly surprised when I opened up the port and found it there. It’s quite strange how some games have very limited functionality without it and that some games just can’t cope with the extra power at all.
Do your research before you plug your cartridge in, and hopefully you’ll be enjoying better textures, increased enemy numbers, and improved gameplay in no time.
10. Steering Wheel
I remember playing racing games with my dad on the N64 with this bad boy, dragging the coffee table over to the sofa and setting everything up like a real car. It was incredible, and though I couldn’t drive very well with it (I was only a kid) it made the games feel so much more exciting. My dad still can’t drive to this day, and it’s probably a good job considering how fast he used to bomb around those corners!
This Mad Katz unit comes with foot pedals, wheel, gear stick, and all of the buttons that you need to select and start your favourite racing games. Please don’t throw it at the wall when you lose; your controller might bounce off, but this thing would probably go straight through!
I did want to include more items in this list, but some of them are just so rare and expensive that they will be out of reach for many people (myself included!) Still, here are some of the harder to obtain best Nintendo 64 accessories for the brave, noble, and rich second-hand warrior.
- 64DD – A disk drive add-on for the N64, originally meant to be released with the Expansion Pak
- WideBoy 64 – A cartridge adapter that could play GameBoy games from DMG to GBA on the N64.
- N64 Glove Controller – A controller worn on the hand like a Power Ranger
- Doctor v64 – The original N64 backup system for save files
- N64 Camera – A camera with the N64 logo on it, which makes it 1000 times better.