While everyone either bickers about the Playstation vs Xbox, they all agree that Nintendo has the best handheld console. While playing games on the Switch is quite an experience, the joy-cons have their own share of trouble. But there are alternates, so here are the best Nintendo Switch Controllers for helping you improve your gameplay experience.
Although late to the party, the Nintendo Switch was a huge comeback for the company. People were either siding with Xbox or the Playstation, Nintendo, however, has its own audience. The games that are available on Nintendo consoles are mostly exclusives. To play them you either need a console or an emulator, but emulators don’t give you that satisfaction.
The Nintendo consoles, on the other hand, have such fun features. Using technology such as motion control for most of their exclusive titles, the company has no competition. When the Switch was released, it took the spot as the best handheld console on the planet.
Earlier on, that title would have belonged to the PSP or PSP Vita. But the features that the Switch packs are unavailable in any handheld console to date. It is a direct competition to the bigger consoles like the Playstation and Xbox. But it has its own specific audience that enjoys the Nintendo experience.
We personally love some of the exclusives like Legend of Zelda and Mario Series. These games are so much fun and light-hearted entertainment. Although the present with their own set of puzzles, making them equally challenging.
Nintendo Switch comes with Joy-Cons which are pretty useful for Mario Kart and such. But if you want some serious gameplay experience, you need a pro controller. There are plenty in the market, with some officially licensed by Nintendo company. Others are fully compatible with the Switch as well so don’t worry.
You gotta love Nintendo for their innovative consoles and games. With motion-controlled gameplay, their consoles have always been a unique addition in the console market. Nintendo Wii and Wii U had enjoyed a huge boost in sales thanks to that. Even the GameCube was a huge success with many titles porting from other consoles to it.
It had better graphics than most consoles of that time. Even now when people play those games they cannot believe that the games are so old. The controllers of these consoles have also been very unique. That is why today we will be checking out the best Nintendo Switch controllers in the market.
Before we dive headfirst into the world of Nintendo Switch Controllers, let’s view a small guide.
Nintendo Switch Controller Buyer’s Guide
There are many features that are exclusive to the Nintendo Switch. These require specialized controllers, like the joy-cons to fully utilize. So we need to discuss what features are important for an alternate Nintendo Switch Controller. This way you can choose the controller you need from the list after considering your usage.
Earlier on we discussed how motion control plays an important role in many Nintendo Switch games. While the joy-cons have them, not all controllers do. Without the motion control feature, you might not be able to play some games properly that require motion control support.
Especially in racing games, you use your controller like a steering wheel. To enjoy the experience of such games you will definitely require a controller with a motion control feature. So if you are planning on playing games that require it, be sure to check in the description if it has the support.
But if you want a controller for casual gaming, you can always get a compatible controller. This will not have that feature so you might have to switch to a Joy-Con if you want to play a game that highlights motion control.
Wired and Wireless
While wired controllers give the least amount of latency, you cannot fully enjoy the perks of the Switch with one. Though there are official wired controllers in the list, these are for games that do not utilize the special features of the console.
Not to mention the fact, you are limited by a wire as well, so if you want to enjoy gaming from the comfort of a couch, a wireless option is much more appropriate. Though they might be a tad bit more expensive and you are limited by battery life, they are still pretty good.
You get to enjoy some exclusive features while staying at a comfortable distance from the TV. The Joy-Cons and Nintendo’s own pro controller is wireless with this in mind.
When you are picking up a wireless controller, one thing that sets back a wireless controller compared to wired one is the battery life. While you are more comfortable with a wireless controller you still have to take a break to charge the controller.
How long you can play before charging is determined by the battery life though. So taking a good battery life controller will be beneficial for you if you like to play for long hours before charging.
But there is one catch, the more powerful the battery, the heavier the charger might become. But some controllers out there have a huge battery life span but still weigh less because of an advanced battery.
Best Nintendo Switch Controllers For Improving Your Gameplay
Although there are other controllers in the market which are also pretty decent, the Switch Pro Controller has the best performance of them all.
If you can overlook the price tag, there is no better controller in the market. The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller has all of the functions that you require from a wireless Switch controller.
Nintendo, of course, must have made the controller with the optimum performance for the Switch in mind. But there are still some complaints regarding the controller’s thumbsticks being sub-par quality.
But the majority of the people have had satisfactory results from the controller. So the chances are that the controllers might require a bit more care than normal controllers do. Or there are faulty controllers out there that stop working after a few weeks.
So the controller comes in all-gray which might be a bit dull for most people. But it has designs and patterns on it to make it a bit more interesting than a completely dull gray controller.
The designs remind us of the Legend of Zelda series, which is understandable because the Switch was released along with Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. So they might have been marketing the game with the design.
The thumbsticks are smooth, there are no issues with pairing. Of course, if Nintendo made a product for their own console which wasn’t working well with it then that would be an embarrassment.
It has a huge battery life, people have said that you don’t need to charge it very often. It charges using a USB Type-C cable, which is pretty convenient.
You can also pair the controller with your Amiibo figurines to unlock extra features in games. The controller will cost you around $70 on BestBuy and a bit more expensive on Amazon.
The HORIPAD wireless just lacks one thing, but other than that it is a complete Switch controller while being cheaper than the pro version. This makes it the perfect value replacement for the Switch Pro Controller.
Hori seems to have licensed products for all consoles out there, whether it is PlayStation or Nintendo Switch. The HORIPAD Wireless controller is officially licensed by Nintendo for the Switch.
The controller features different colors, which gives it a slight advantage in aesthetics over the official pro controller. It is also lighter and has a more ergonomic feel to it. But Hori had to sacrifice the vibration function of the controller for that.
But that sacrifice has more pros than cons, as not only does it make the controller lighter, but it also makes the battery life last longer. Though the experience is reduced by a fraction, you are gaining more than you lose.
Speaking of battery life you are getting around 15-hours of battery life on the controller. So if you play a few hours a day, it will easily last you a week without needing to charge.
The HORIPAD Wireless controller also had rubberized textured grips. This gives a person a better hold on the controller even if your palms get sweaty from an intense gameplay session or a really hard boss fight.
There is also a Mario and Legend of Zelda themed controller, with red and black colors. Both have their respective game’s logo on them but other than that there isn’t much difference in the controllers.
The controller has all the features that are required from a Switch Wireless controller. This includes complete motion control with Accelerometer and gyroscope so you can use the controller as a steering wheel during a Mario Kart match.
Other than that the controller is very light in weight so you won’t get tired of holding it anytime soon. This controller will cost you around $50 on Amazon, which is a good buy.
As usual, this wired controller is officially licensed by Nintendo for the Switch. The controller only has basic functions, so if you do not require any special features you are set to go.
Nintendo Switch games utilize motion control very well, but there are some ports that do not require motion control. For such games, this controller will serve perfectly.
This controller has all the basic functions of the controller down, though you might feel the buttons are a bit stiff. There is also a removable d-pad adapter if you want to take out the adapter and use the buttons directly instead.
The HORIPAD Wired controller does not have a wide variety when it comes to design. It only has 2 colors, one in blue and second in red, so it does give you some choice, although it is very limited.
The controller is very simple, it does not even have rubberized textured grips. You do not get NFC functionality to pair it with an Amiibo either.
If you want all those functions then you better buy the HORIPAD Wireless controller. It is around $30 more expensive than this one but is a really great alternative for the official pro controller for the Switch.
We really liked the Joy-cons for such a cheap controller. Because this controller is so cheap, we thought it would have some issues. But so far no one has said anything bad about it.
PowerA brings another officially licensed product by Nintendo. The PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller comes in so many different skins, you will have trouble choosing one from them.
The PowerA controller comes in skins ranging from Legend of Zelda to Pokemon. If you are a fan of Pikachu, you can get a skin just for that. But there is also in the design of a Pokeball if you are an overall Pokemon fan and do not want to stick to one Pokemon’s skin.
There are two buttons on the back where you grip the controller. This serves the purpose of remapping buttons there of your choice. The controller is really comfortable in your hands and it pretty light.
But the reduction in weight does come at a cost, it does not have vibration and NFC function. Cutting out vibration motors is understandable, but taking out the NFC feels unnecessary.
The batteries on the controller will remind you of the Xbox 360 controller with removable batteries. This does add weight to the controller a bit but not as much as one would expect. Because the Xbox 360 controllers were pretty heavy and bulky.
The controller will include the removable batteries in the pack. So the first pair you get for free, but afterward, you might have to purchase the batteries separately.
The included batteries give you a charge time of 30-hours easily, which is a huge amount of battery life. The controller does not have rubberized textured grips though, it has a matt finish to the whole body.
Overall our experience with the controller was fine, we did not encounter any problems during our testing. The analog sticks felt pretty smooth, the sensitivity could be a problem for some people but not for us.
The PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller for Switch costs about $50 on BestBuy which is cheaper than the Amazon listed pricing.
The 8bitdo brand is back with another SNES designed controller for the Nintendo Switch. The SF30 Pro Controller is the second-best wireless controller if not for its odd design.
Of course, some people might prefer this design over the others because of the retro look. But that does not mean that the design is perfect as an alternate for the Switch Pro Controller.
But if you have grown up playing with Nintendo consoles, you will feel right at home. This controller has all the features that are in a wireless Switch controller.
The controller has a vibration feature, which most of the other licensed controllers do not have. It also has full motion control support, this and the shape of the controller do make it a great pair for playing games like Mario Kart.
A pro feature for people with Nintendo Switch and a gaming PC that this controller works on both. It also works on Android phones so it has a wide range of compatibility.
The 8Bitdo SF30 Pro Controller charges using a USB-C type cable which is included with the controller. It does not have NFC support though since it is not officially licensed by Nintendo.
It uses Bluetooth 4.0 to connect wirelessly to the various devices it is compatible with. Having multiplatform support really does make a difference.
The controller is light and very comfortable but can be a bit awkward for people with big hands. Since the controller is small, not everyone will like to use this controller unless they are fans of retro consoles.
Lastly, it is adequately priced at $45 on Amazon, which is pretty affordable.
Another blast from the past for people who loved the Nintendo Gamecube console. The Gamecube was one of the best consoles of its time with such advanced graphics that didn’t exist at that time in other platforms.
The console was pretty famous for its oddly designed controller which many people came to love and adore. But regardless of the sentimental affection with the controller, it is very oddly designed.
The PowerA Wireless GameCube Style Controller uses Bluetooth 5.0 for advanced wireless connectivity. The gamepad does make Super Smash Bros. Ultimate matches easier if you are familiar with the old Gamecube version of it.
It also has removable batteries like the PowerA Enhanced, with 30-hours of battery life. The controller is also a licensed product from Nintendo for the Switch console.
It has full motion control support for playing games that require the feature. It fits perfectly in most hands, even if you have small hands the controller will not look too big. Same goes for big hands, it will not feel small for them.
If you want to ace your Smash Bros. Ultimate matches against opponents, this controller is for you. If you have a sentimental attachment with the Gamecube controller then you will also enjoy using this controller.
The PDP Faceoff Deluxe might be the best controller when it comes to customizable skins as it comes with detachable faceplate. So if you own different faceplates you can change the look of the controller without having to buy multiple ones. You can also change the rubberized thumbstick caps to give the controller a complete overhaul.
The wired controller also has low friction metal analog sticks. During our testing, we found the thumbsticks to be highly responsive. But since it is wired it does not come with wireless functions like motion control or NFC.
The PDP Faceoff Deluxe is officially licensed by Nintendo for the Switch as well. One of the special features of this controller is the paddles on the back of the controller on the grip.
These can be mapped or programmed to the button of your choice for easier access. Many console controllers use the backpaddle feature these days, which is really helpful for competitive gaming.
The wired cable which is included in the package is detachable and is 10-feet long. This is more than enough distance to play from the comfort of your couch from the console itself.
The controller costs $7 more than the best budget choice making it a good value if customizability is a priority. It is priced $27 on Amazon, which is not a bad value keeping in mind all of its features.