Any Nintendo Switch owner knows all too well the pain of the dreaded Joy-Con drift. While we understand that Joy-Cons not only look neat, but they’re essential for games like Mario Party or Fitness Boxing, those games can lose their lustre when the drift hits your favourite pair of controllers. With a RRP of $119.95, Joy-Cons also happen to be the least affordable option on the market. That’s why it’s always handy to have a back up controller for your Switch.
Of course, choosing a new Nintendo Switch controller isn’t an easy case. While we’re sure you can always turn to the one that looks the coolest, you risk missing out on valuable features such as configurable buttons, motion control or Amiibo compatibility.
That’s why we’ve done our research to handpick the best Nintendo Switch controllers, so you can make the executive decision on your new gaming accessory. We’ve narrowed it down to five of the best controllers in terms of comfort, design, price and additional features that’ll help you cheese your way through most boss battles.
That said, it’s always best to investigate any controller you’re interested in and determine whether it’s the best one for you and your play style before you make a commitment.
This GameSir T4 Pro controller has made the list because it’s a) cross-platform compatible and b) its translucent design with backlit buttons makes it somewhat resemble a hybrid between an Xbox and N64 controller.
Despite its Xbox appearance, the grip and feel of it is surprisingly similar to a Nintendo Switch Pro controller. The GameSir controller has been equipped with a six-axis gyroscope, so it’ll support somatosensory play and capture players’ movements accurately in-game. The controller also sports dual vibration and linear trigger buttons, which makes it the perfect first-party shooter companion.
Not only does it allow you to play on a series of other platforms (such as your mobile phone) but it also features four editable buttons that you can configure for additional functions on other consoles, if you wish. It does lose points though, because the A and B buttons are installed like an Xbox controller’s.
Price-wise, we like it because it offers the most bang for your buck if you live in a multi-platform household.
Available in a number of unique colours and designs (such as this officially licensed Pikachu and Eevee skin), the HORI Split Pad Pro is ideal for gamers who prefer to play in handheld mode.
Not only is this controller aesthetically pleasing, but it feels uber comfortable in your hands. If you have big hands and you struggle with handling those itty-bitty Joy-Cons, a HORI split pad pro is the best way to go.
Overall, the analog sticks buttons and the D-pad are all bigger. In addition to your regular triggers, there are two bonus ones that you can assign functions to as well. The design of this controller is targeted towards marathoners who don’t want to worry about their hands cramping up during long gaming sessions. They also slide straight into the sides of your Switch with the same satisfying “snap” the Joy-Cons have.
The downsides are that it lacks motion controls, HD rumble and it can only be played in handheld mode. While that’s nice and all, it’s useless if you want to dock your Switch on the TV. It’s also not compatible with Nintendo Switch Lites.
8BitDo has carved itself a fancy reputation for busting out a wide range of retro-themed controllers, and the 8BitDo Pro+ controller is no exception. If you want to play arcade games on the NES like Donkey Kong or Super Mario Bros. and feel as though you’ve travelled back in time, this is the controller for you.
The pros? The 8BitDo controller sports multi-platform compatibility, modifiable rumble vibration, button mapping and a six axis motion sensor for precision movement.
If we have to fault it, we’re going to call out its lack of Amiibo compatibility, the fact that it doesn’t wake with the Switch and its lacklustre colour range.
The PowerA Enhanced wireless controller is a real hero on the Nintendo Switch scene. It’s just as comfortable and similar in design to the Pro controller, while also adding a pop of colour to a lack of available customisation options.
PowerA is known for going above and beyond with its Nintendo Switch controllers by mixing it up and appealing to fans of a variety of games, including Animal Crossing, Pokemon and Zelda to name a few.
But aside from its superiority in the design department, it defeats previous controllers thanks to its battery indicator, motion controls and extra buttons. This makes it an ideal choice for button-mashing in Smash Super Bros. or some good old-fashioned Street Fighter.
However, we’re going to have to deduct points for the lack of rumble and Amiibo compatibility. And let’s not forget that they’re generally one of the more expensive controller options on the market, depending on which design you choose.
If you were thinking that the Nintendo Switch Pro controller couldn’t possibly top this list, then sorry, it has. You simply can’t knock all of its unique features if you want to play completely unhindered.
Its one and only con is the total lack of customisation Nintendo has to offer. They really said “take it, or leave it” when it comes to design here. That said, you can always jazz it up with a wide variety of Nintendo Switch skins, decals or shells.
Otherwise, the Pro controller has everything you could look for in a controller — a comfortable grip, extra long battery life, quick charging, motion controls, HD rumble and hallelujah, Amiibo compatibility. These features are what makes it the king of the controller game.
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