The‘s Pro controller is superior to the company’s smaller Joy-Con controllers for more demanding games. (Drifting issues aside, the Joy-Cons are fine for simple multiplayer games.) The Switch Pro controller has grips and is more comfortable. A full D-pad and larger buttons help you find the right controls when you’re in the heat of the moment. All of Nintendo’s controller features are supported, such as HD Rumble, NFC for Amiibo scanning, and motion control, and it works wired or wireless. It’s great, but it’s also regularly priced between $60 and $70.
However, there are a number of cheaper third-party controllers available, such as the Switch Pro. That’s why we’ve tested several options to find the best Switch controller you can buy right now. Nintendo’s official game controller still leads the pack in terms of button feel and comfort, but some of these alternatives are coming close. Also, just because Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone doesn’t mean you can’t find a deal on a controller right now. Including our favoritescurrently on sale.
Aside from lower prices, there are some advantages to working with a third-party Switch Pro controller. For example, some have a Turbo button for faster fire rates or buttons that can be mapped to make it easier to launch certain commands. Plus, some of our picks can be used with MacOS, Windows, and Android. We will update this list periodically as we test new products.
Check out GameSpot’s recommendations for more options.
If you can afford an official Switch Pro Controller, do so. It’s the best you can get right now in terms of comfort, performance and features. If you need to buy more than one controller, maybe get this one for yourself and one of the cheaper options below for visiting friends and family.
The PowerA wireless controller comes closest to the feel and design of Nintendo’s Pro controller, and you can usually get it from Amazon, Best Buy, and other sources for $40-$50, depending on the design. The PowerA wireless controller doesn’t have HD Rumble, IR, or Amiibo NFC support like the Switch Pro controller, but it does have motion controls. It is also available in game themed versions including Animal Crossing, Mario and Pokemon.
Its one added feature is two extra buttons on the bottom of the controller that can be quickly mapped. Also, while the original version of the Enhanced Wireless Controller runs on AA-sized batteries, the newest models have a built-in rechargeable battery for up to 30 hours of gameplay.
The Small Wireless Controller – yes, that’s its real name – is slightly larger than the Joy-Con, but it’s more comfortable to use. The buttons are firm and responsive, and the D-pad has no frills. The thumb sticks are longer than the Joy-Con, giving you more precision. Even though the rear buttons are directly on top of each other, they are perfectly shaped to make sure you hit the right button. There’s no buzz or NFC support, but there is motion control. The rechargeable battery is rated for up to 40 hours of wireless use and charges via the USB-C port on the back. Super little travel companion.
Binbok’s Joypad is a combination of Nintendo’s Joy-Cons and its wireless Pro Controller. Similar to Hori’s Switch Split Pad Pro, there are left and right Joy-Con controllers that can fit on the sides of the Switch. This gives you the convenience and greater control of a Pro controller when using a Switch handheld.
However, unlike the Hori controller, the Binbok Joypad can be used off-the-shelf as each has a built-in battery and Bluetooth. Their design makes them awkward to hold like the Joy-Cons, but it can be done and each has adjustable rumble and motion controls. They both have a mappable button and turbo buttons inside their handles. The home button can wake up the Switch when you’re ready to game, and you can even change the color of the LED light rings around the thumb sticks.
The included grip connects the two controllers to create a single Pro-like controller, much like Nintendo’s Joy-Con Comfort Grip. Unfortunately, this won’t allow you to charge both controllers at the same time; each of the controllers must be charged individually via the USB-C ports or while the Switch is charging while plugged into the Switch (you can add controllers when docked). The holder is also unusually spacious, and when the controllers are attached, it’s actually larger than the Pro controller. There’s some flexibility in the way the controllers fit into the grip, which gives it a sleek feel. This flexibility combined with its lightness makes everything feel flimsy. Still, it’s not like Nintendo’s Joy-Cons are known for their reliability, and overall, it’s a great option if you want to pay less and do more.
If you like customization, this Bluetooth controller is for you. Using 8BitDo’s Ultimate software, you can remap keys, adjust stick and trigger sensitivity, as well as vibration control, and easily create macros for complex key combinations. The controls on the left side have been flipped so the layout is more like a PlayStation controller, but everything feels nice and responsive. It’s also comfortable, although the black-and-white design makes it almost impossible to see the button labels, but other colors are available.
The 8BitDo SN30 Pro Plus Bluetooth Gamepad controller, which normally retails for $50, works with the Nintendo Switch console, Android, Windows, and MacOS. Another cool feature: Its rechargeable battery pack can be easily swapped out for a new one so you can keep playing when the included battery dies or no longer holds a charge.
It’s similar to the regular PowerA Enhanced controller, with a smaller exception. The $50 Nano has the look, feel, and features of the larger model, including motion controls, rumble (though not HD rumble), and mappable buttons. However, it runs on an internal rechargeable battery instead of replaceable AA cells. Includes a six-foot USB-C cable for charging; you’ll get up to 20 hours on a single charge.
The Nano is designed for travel (it even comes with a nice little bag for storage), but it’s also great for kids or anyone with small hands. Also, while the shell is more compact, the buttons are full-sized, which is generally great. However, in the few games where I was furiously mashing buttons, I regularly missed Y and pressed Home instead — not great if you’re in the middle of a fight. At least the mappable buttons on the back of the controller solved the problem.
Another small point: I noticed that the Bluetooth range was a few feet off that of the full-size version. It’s something that’s easily solved by sitting a little closer to the Switch and an acceptable compromise for a Pro-type controller on the go.
The $50 SN30 Bluetooth Gamepad controller’s full-featured design makes it a more travel-friendly Nintendo Switch Pro controller alternative. And there are no juicy buttons here: everything feels solid and responsive. Although it looks similar to the PDP controller above, the thumbsticks are set up like a PlayStation controller. And unlike PDP, it can be programmed for use with Android, Windows and MacOS.
It’s wired, but the $20 Horipad is one of the more comfortable controllers we’ve tested, and its buttons and sticks feel great, too. But while there is a Turbo button, there is no vibration or motion control. Its D-pad isn’t a real pad, but a piece of plastic that sticks to four discrete buttons. It works well, but the fact that it’s a wired controller might be a deal breaker for some. Currently, the black version of the controller is hard to find at regular price, but you can find it in blue and red.
Insten falls into the “you get what you pay for” category for me, but for the value it is a favorite of my 8 and 10 year olds. It’s simply a basic wireless controller with aggressive dual shock vibration. It’s comfortable but feels cheap and flimsy. To be fair, the controller survived a high-speed tussle with my TV, and I can’t say the same for the TV. The best part about Insten is the price, especially if you want more than one controller: you can get a two-pack for under $50.