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Best Nintendo Switch controllers of 2022

Updated Aug 10, 2022 4: 05 AM

The Nintendo Switch is really a multi-use marvel which has bought out the gaming world. Whether you’d like to sync it to the silver screen or utilize it for handheld gaming on the run, it includes a user-friendly and intensely fun solution to play. From strategy-heavy games like Fire Emblem to family-friendly Animal Crossing, the Switch is equipped for a wide selection of games to match different interests and ages. Even though those picks may not require much precision control, games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Fortnite, or Pokemon Unite, require more dexterity and finesse. Weve rounded up the very best controllers which will suit your gaming needswhether youre couch-bound or handheld, analog stick or d-pad, weve got you covered with this set of Nintendo Switch controllers.

How exactly we selected the very best Nintendo Switch controllers

We combined hands-on research with insights gathered from fellow gamers on staff and round the international community to provide a list it is possible to trust. Each one of these Nintendo Switch controllers come strongly suggested from multiple playtesters or outlets and everyone has spent some period of time in my own hot little hands to see if it passes the thumbs stress test.

Why arent my Joy-Cons enough?

The typical Joy-Cons which come packaged with the Nintendo Switch are designed to slot in to the sides of the Switch screen for split use when in handheld mode. For most games, this set-up is relatively comfortable and ergonomic. However, as a separated controller, either individually or docked together in the included Switch grip, the Joy-Cons really cant go above fine. The buttons have become small and the directional pad (d-pad) especially will not respond particularly well. Additionally, the analog sticks on the Joy-Con tend to create a problem referred to as drift. Drift happens to nearly every analog control stick in fact it is a concern wherein the neutral position of the stick is either no more neutral due to mechanical deterioration or no more read as neutral due to digital issues within the circuitry of the controller. Whichever is actually the case with Joy-Cons, drift appears to occur more regularly than with competitors first-party controllers (DualShock/DualSense for the Playstation and the Xbox Wireless Controller). The ultimate way to avoid drift developing in Joy-Cons is by using them as infrequently as you possibly can, meaning that a second controller is preferable once the Switch is docked and linked to your TV both for superior control, also to preserve the Joy-Cons for used in handheld mode.

What exactly are my options with regards to extra Nintendo Switch controllers?

You can find four main forms of secondary Nintendo Switch controllers. The foremost is pro-style controllers. These controllers are similar in design to the PlayStation and Xbox controllers which have end up being the standard form factor in the last 10 years. Even PC gamepads have a tendency to mimic most of the design components of both of these controllers and Nintendo Switch pro-style controllers keep on that tradition. Next are retro controllers, whose form factors recall consoles of days gone by. You may get Nintendo Switch controllers that mimic Nintendo and Sega controllers from the 8-bit era (Nintendo Entertainment System) completely to the 128-bit era (Nintendo GameCube). These controllers are adjusted to possess all of the buttons features on a couple of Joy-Cons, but have dimensions and color combinations that harken back again to gaming days past. Third are arcade sticks, which include a joystick rather than a directional pad or analog thumbstick and all of the buttons on the facial skin of a big rectangular base. These controllers appear to be the control set-ups for arcade games and so are sometimes known as a fight stick because of the prevalence used among high-level non-Smash Bros. fighting game players (think back again to putting your quarters on Street Fighter to call next). Lastly, you have controller set-ups, grips, or docks which are designed to enhance or replace the Joy-Cons as the Switch is in handheld mode. These Nintendo Switch controllers may offer wider grip bases or different-style button layouts that could interest many users.

Are these controllers appropriate for the Switch Lite?

The Nintendo Switch Lite, which costs significantly less than the typical Switch and contains controllers bonded to its screen (plus no TV hookup capabilities), works with with any Nintendo Switch Wireless controller without issue. Simply pair the controller with the Switch Lite exactly the same way you’ll with the Switch. Actually, as the Switch Lite will not feature rumble compatibility using its built-in controllers, pairing Joy-Cons or another wireless rumble-compatible controller with it’s the only solution to initiate this feature. Wired controllers certainly are a different beast, however. While you can find no Nintendo-created wired controllers for the Switch Lite, there’s an officially licensed adapter by the controller and accessory company Hori that not merely allows the usage of wired Switch controllers with the Switch Lite but additionally serves as a stand to tilt the screen up towards the ball player.

Which Switch controller is right for me personally?

While there are many Nintendo Switch controllers that stand that beats all others with regards to quality, the most crucial consideration before you get a supplementary controller for the Switch can be your own play tendencies. In the event that you play in handheld mode virtually all the time, you might simply desire to spend money on some additional Joy-Cons. If you need to play certain games, there are specific varieties of controller which are favored by those games, like GameCube-style controllers with Super Smash Bros. Can you need wireless? Wired controllers are generally just a little cheaper, so if your Switch dock is fairly near where you usually sit to play, you might want to opt for a wired option. Assess your personal situation first, then consult professionals.

THE VERY BEST Nintendo Switch controllers Reviews & Recommendations

All the below options serve their functions expertly, have a good history of quality for both controller and the business, and feel pretty great inside our testers hands. As our picks to get the best Nintendo Switch controllers, consider all of them strongly suggested.

Best Nintendo Switch pro-style controller: Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

Why it made the cut: Every feature you need within an ergonomic form factor with the reliability and performance that may only be guaranteed by way of a first-party product, Nintendos premium wireless controller gets everything right, from the weight to the springiness of the shoulder buttons. A joy to utilize.

Specs:

  • Wireless
  • Motion Controls
  • Rumble Compatibility
  • Amiibo Reader
  • Internal battery charges with USB-C to USB-A cable included
Pros: Cons:
  • Great layout
  • More costly than third-party controllers
  • Responsive directional pad
  • Hardly any color choices
  • Every needed feature included
  • With regards to a pro-style controller, you need a couple of things: feel and performance. Nintendos Switch Pro Controller delivers both. Extremely well-fitted to many adult hands, the Pro Controller has the ideal weight, comfortable and responsive buttons and sticks, and a lot of great features. Desire to use motion controls as if you could with the Joy-Cons? Check. Desire to scan the chips in your Amiibo figures, unlocking bonuses in a few of one’s games? Check. Want the buzzes and bzzts which come from rumble feedback? Check. The battery life on the Pro Controller is impressive, too, outperforming both PS4s DualShock4 and the Xbox Ones Wireless Controller. The only real drawback of the Pro Controller is that, as a first-party Nintendo product, it rarely continues on sale. If you would like one (and I believe you do want one), youre probably going to need to plunk down $60. While thats a lot more than almost every other Nintendo Switch controllers, its worth it.

    Best third-party controller for Switch: PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller

    Why it made the cut: Easier entirely on sale compared to the first-party Pro Controller, the PowerA Enhanced offers basically the same form factor and responsiveness while adding programmable buttons instead of a few of the Pro Controllers features.

    Specs:

    • Wireless
    • Motion Controls
    • Internal battery charges with USB-C to USB-A cable included
    Pros: Cons:
  • Programmable buttons
  • No rumble support or Amiibo reader
  • Same great feel because the Pro Controller
  • Some users complain of drift problems with the thumbstick
  • Extra-long battery life
  • PowerA is really a solid brand in the realm of gaming accessories. The companys Pro Controller clone, the Enhanced Wireless Controller, is our pick to get the best third party controller for Switch. With impressive battery life, the Enhanced Wireless Controller can last so long as you need and charges having an included USB-C to USB-A cable. Because of being truly a third-party product, youre more prone to discover the Enhanced Wireless Controller for sale when compared to a Pro Controller, meaning it is possible to save from $10 to $20 on the Pro pretty regularly. What can you lose? Well, there were some reports of the thumbsticks in the Enhanced developing drift worryingly soon, although reviews overall are pretty stellar and Personally, i havent experienced the issue. Amiibo figure chip reading isn’t supported in the Enhanced, nor is rumble functionality. Beyond those negatives, you obtain the opportunity to remap your buttons controller-side, meaning it is possible to swap out button functions even though the settings on a casino game dont allow it. It is a boon for accessibility for several gamers with disabilities or those that exactly like their cancel button and accept button to be consistent across games.

    Best GameCube-style controller for Switch: PowerA Wireless GameCube Style Controller

    Why it made the cut: For serious Super Smash Bros. Ultimate players, only a GameCube-style controller can do. PowerA powers before its competitors because of its improved directional pad and wireless freedom.

    Specs:

    • Wireless
    • Motion Controls
    • Powered via two AA batteries (included)
    • GameCube form factor with slightly larger directional pad
    Pros: Cons:
  • Classic GameCube feel with larger directional pad
  • AA battery-based rather than rechargeable lithium-ion
  • Wireless
  • No Amiibo or rumble support
  • Excellent color options
  • The top-level Super Smash Bros. Ultimate players largely prefer a GameCube-style controller to even the Pro Controller due to the button layout and/or having learned to play the overall game in the Super Smash Bros. Melee era. Should you have an identical feeling, there are a great number of Nintendo Switch controllers available but none quite capture that GameCube feel just like PowerAs Wireless GameCube Style Controller. All of the classic color palettes from the turn of the millennium can be found, you start with classic pack-in purple and going completely to Wavebird grey. Everything concerning this controller feels right, except the directional pad, that actually feels better because of being made larger and much more tactile. A drawback of the particular controller is that its powered not by an interior lithium-ion battery, but by AA batteries. This may result in some expenses as time passes and an annoying have to keep fresh batteries readily available (if you can get your personal rechargeable AA batteries), but also for those who wish to Smash, its 100-percent worthwhile.

    Best arcade stick for Switch: 8BitDo Arcade Stick

    Why it made the cut: Great visual panache, authentic feel, and solid construction make the 8BitDo Arcade Stick stick out among its peers.

    Specs:

    • Wireless or Wired (with USB-C)
    • Mappable buttons
    • PC Compatibility
    • Internal battery charges with USB-C
    Pros: Cons:
  • Gorgeous to check out
  • Expensive in comparison to game pads
  • Mappable/programmable buttons with macro support
  • Can’t be used in combination with games that want two analog sticks
  • Internal battery
  • Could also be used with a PC
  • If youre into retro gaming or 2D fighting games, you almost certainly understand the worthiness of an excellent arcade stick. Dropping both analog sticks for an individual joystick, the 8BitDo Arcade Stick offers that nostalgic cabinet feel with a good, clicky, responsive gumball stick and springy, clicky buttons which are fully programmable. The Arcade Stick is really a unique tool that’s only befitting certain games. For instance, attempting to play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild with this particular controller simply wouldnt work, given having less another stick. However, in order to bust out some Street Fighter 30th Anniversary, Mortal Kombat 11, or Dragon Ball FighterZ with full control over your champion of preference, there is really no choice in the problem. As shown by their adoption in high-level fighting-game tournaments like EVO, arcade sticks are simply just the superior option with regards to non-Smash Bros. fighting games. Your old-school arcade beat-em-ups, shoot-em-ups, and score-em-ups will feel similar to the originals, too. The Arcade Stick is among the more costly controllers were profiling, with a base price of $90, but thats actually excellent among arcade sticks across all platforms, with tournament-quality sticks sometimes reaching $200-$250. Assuming your library has enough games to take advantage of the Arcade Stick, its a solid recommendation to get the best Nintendo Switch controller for arcade games.

    Best handheld mode upgrade for Switch: Hori Split-Pad Pro

    Why it made the cut: Handheld mode may use an upgrade and Hori offers that with the Split Pad Pro, which improves just about any element of the handheld control experience, so long as youre ready to make your Switch considerably bigger.

    Specs:

    • Replaces the Joy-Cons
    • Larger grip, buttons, triggers, analog sticks, and directional pad than Joy-Cons
    • Assignable rear triggers
    • Turbo functionality
    • Should be linked to Switch screen to functiondoes not are a separated controller, rather than appropriate for Switch Lite
    Pros: Cons:
  • All inputs are larger
  • Heavier than Joy-Cons
  • System is simpler to grip
  • Can’t be used when separated from the Switch screen
  • Buttons and sticks are comfortable and responsive
  • Not appropriate for Switch Lite
  • No motion controls or rumble
  • All the Nintendo Switch controllers before have already been separate models which are made with television play at heart. Hori supplies a slightly different improvement within their handheld mode Joy-Con replacement, the Split Pad Pro. The Split Pad Pro tries to create the separate controller experience to the handheld Switch but expanding the sides and depth of the machine, supplying a rounded grip, sizing up all of the buttons and analog sticks, and supplying a true direction pad instead of the button pad of the Joy-Con. Regardless of the size increase, Personally, i didnt discover the added weight off-putting, though children and adults with smaller hands might feel like the Switch is becoming unwieldy initially with the Split Pad Pro. It is possible to still slide the Switch screen in to the dock once the Split Pad Pro is connected; theres enough clearance from the grips that it shouldnt prevent a link. You can find two additional buttons within the crook of the Split Pad Pros left and right grip which are programmable, enabling you to actually add new functionality over a Joy-Con. Action and adventure games like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild or Mario Odyssey benefit greatly from the Split Pad Pro, but remember that a modicum of functionality is lost, such as for example motion controls, rumble, NFC, and IR.

    Best single-game controller upgrade: Nintendo Joy-Con Wheel

    Why it made the cut: Its only a plastic frame for a Joy-Con that resembles a tyre. Yet, for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, thats enough.

    Specs:

    • Plastic cradle for the Joy-Con
    • Resembles a tyre
    • Two in a single package
    Pros: Cons:
  • Resembles a tyre
  • Only resembles a tyre
  • First things first, do not choose the Nintendo Joy-Con Wheel in the event that you answer no to these questions: Do you have, or intend to own, Mario Kart Deluxe 8? Can you use motion controls when playing Mario Kart Deluxe 8? If youre still with me, you should purchase the Nintendo Joy-Con Wheel. Motion controls with the tiny, single Joy-Con are incredibly frustrating when Karting, and by slicking a Joy-Con into one of these brilliant plastic wheels, you obtain a stronger sense of just how much tilts may be the right quantity of tilt to really get your turns going. Do these plastic frames have any use? Definitely not. However they do just what they have to because of their single use and, because theyre created by Nintendo, the plastic is high-quality and the fit for the Joy-Con is ideal.

    FAQs

    Q: Does the Pro Controller drift?

    No analog stick is entirely immune to drift, but there were hardly any reports, even with years to be in the marketplace, of Pro Controller stick drifting. Can the Pro Controller drift? Im sure it could. Does the Pro Controller drift? It looks like a remarkably rare instance.

    Q: Are third-party Switch controllers better?

    While they provide some options that the Joy-Cons and Pro Controller from Nintendo usually do not, I could confidently say the very best controller in the marketplace is, actually, the Pro Controller. However, the very best controllers from third parties aren’t far behind at all. So while no third-party controllers aren’t better, they’re a perfectly reasonable option to save several bucks or if things such as mappable buttons, wider PC compatibility, and turbo functionality are essential for you.

    Q: Why do pro Smash Bros. players use GameCube controllers?

    The Smash Bros. pro scene really didnt begin to develop before second game, Super Smash Bros. Melee for GameCube, premiered. Many players cut their teeth with this version plus some even continued to prefer it to the Wii Smash Bros. game released many years later. Even the ones that did switch to the Wii game tended to utilize GameCube controllers rather than Wiimotes since they offered more precision and the initial few iterations of the Nintendo wii console had built-in GameCube controller ports, requiring no adapters at all. Due to this multigeneration precedent, a lot of the instruction in YouTube videos or strategies discussed online are based on the assumption of players using GameCube controllers. That isnt to state you cant be considered a competitive Smash Bros. player using another controller type; you can find successful players using Pro Controllers at this time.

    The ultimate word on the very best Nintendo Switch controllers

    Overall, the Nintendo Pro Controller may be the easiest of our profiled what to recommend to all or any players. It improved probably the most experiences over the board without sacrificing any compatibility. However, our additional options provide very specific benefits that you ought to consider before making a decision which controller to get. Regardless of what you select, I really do recommend buying at the very least two additional controllers to increase your original right and left JoyCon. This enables for four-player Mario Kart, Mario Party, or Smash Bros. games in your living roomthough there could be some fighting on the superior controllers.

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