Which are the best Nintendo Switch controllers?
The Nintendo Switch is one of the most popular gaming consoles of all time.
It offers so much retro appeal and paraphernalia, with exclusive games and more than a touch of nostalgia. But the Switch is not complete without a dedicated controller.
While the stock Joy-Con controllers work well for relaxing single-player games, more competitive players will require a separate controller to get them through grittier gameplay demands.
Other times, the stock Joy-Cons don’t work correctly and will need to be replaced with other controllers.
The Best Nintendo Switch Controllers Reviewed
In this article, we have scoured the internet in search of the best Nintendo Switch controllers available. Here are our top seven choices, in no particular order.
7. Nintendo Joy-Con (L/R) – Neon Red/Neon Blue
First on our list of Nintendo Switch controllers is the Nintendo Joy-Con. You might be thinking they don’t look special, and you’d be right. These Joy-Cons are just a replacement for the stock options.
They include everything you get with a normal Joy-Con. The customization options here, however, are the main selling point. There are various color combinations, including standard gray, neon yellow, blue, neon purple, and neon orange.
With the vast array of options, the Joy-Cons can add a personal touch of flair to the Switch. While they might not be anything special, they’ll get the job done without any issues.
If you want to separate the Joy-Cons from the Switch, we recommend a Comfort Grip. This will allow you to use them much like a regular controller.
- Standard issue Joy-Cons
- Plenty of color options
- Work on a Switch by default
- No additional options
6. HORI D-Pad Controller (L) (Zelda) Officially Licensed
This D-Pad controller solves some of the Joy-Con issues while also adding a lovely Zelda-influenced aesthetic to the Switch.
The D-Pad on this controller is a design more reminiscent of regular controllers than the standard Joy-Con left pad. It sports better reaction times and a lower chance of the controller drifting over time due to better production quality.
The D-Pad is not capable of working wirelessly (unlike the standard Joy-Cons). Furthermore, most protective cases for the Switch make the D-Pad incompatible with the device, as it can’t be slotted in.
This product only contains the left side of the controller. There probably won’t be a matching right side available any time soon, as it has far more components.
However, the D-Pad also removes the ability to press the buttons on the Joy-Con simultaneously. Be sure to do your research to see if the D-Pad would be more effective than a standard Joy-Con.
- Beautiful Zelda aesthetic
- Officially sponsored and compatible controller
- Uses a D-Pad instead of buttons
- No wireless capabilities
- Incompatible with most cases
5. PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller
Leaving the Joy-Con realm, this separate wireless controller is a great solution to add some customization for your Nintendo Switch gaming needs.
The controller is connected to the Switch via Bluetooth, allowing you to use the controller on the go without the need for messy cables. Two AAA batteries are required to power the controller up, and it has a decent battery life of up to 30 hours, depending on how often you use the Switch.
The controller has a standard button layout and comes with two additional buttons on the back that can be remapped for your convenience.
The controller is not compatible with HD Rumble, IC, or Amiibo NFC.
However, this model has quite a high price tag compared to other available controllers, and we’re not sure that’s enough to separate it from the rest, as it doesn’t have much more going on.
Overall, the ergonomic design, programmable buttons, and compatibility make this controller decent to use with a Switch (and incompatible with most other devices as a result). Still, the higher price tag might make you lean more towards a controller that has similar features without breaking the bank.
- Wireless connectivity
- Two additional programmable buttons
- Slightly more accurate than Joy-Cons
- Higher price compared to the rest
4. Pro Controller with Amibo Function, BEBONCOOL
BEBONCOOL’s controller rightly deserves the spot in our list of best Nintendo Switch controllers. With an ergonomic design and improved accuracy, the Pro controller will allow you to step up your game.
The controller connects to the Switch wirelessly and is compatible with Amiibo NFC. The design emphasizes accuracy and ergonomics at the slight expense of lower playtime. The integrated rechargeable 400 mAh battery lasts for about 12-15 hours of gameplay and can charge in about two hours.
BEBONCOOL also has an additional auto-fire setting to smoothen the gameplay and ensure better response times and stability. The triggers and pads are precise and accurate, with a low risk of stick drift.
The turbo buttons allow you to set up any of the X, Y, A, or B buttons to auto-fire, freeing up your hand and enabling a swifter response than manually pressing the button.
This model also has motion control and vibration support, allowing you to take the wheel in racing-oriented games with ease, and enjoy the haptic feedback to better access the situation in a high-tempo environment.
One added option we particularly like about this product is the integrated screenshot button. With a single press, you can take a snap of the screen to share with friends later.
Overall, BEBONCOOL’s Pro controller will give you the needed edge in games, and its ergonomic and efficient design is perfectly suited for long gaming sessions.
- Auto-fire Turbo button support
- Vibration, motion control, and Amiibo NFC compatible
- Excellent ergonomics
- Slightly lower battery life
3. 8Bitdo Sn30 Pro+ Bluetooth Gamepad (Black Edition)
8bitDo has made one of the best Nintendo Switch controllers, with a beautiful, sleek design that doesn’t sacrifice functionality.
The model comes in an elegant black, white, or retro greyish color, allowing you to pair it with accessories of your choice. This one is slightly smaller than regular controllers, with a focus on simplicity.
However, that doesn’t mean that it performs worse, although you might require some time to get used to the size and grip placements.
The included 1000 mAh rechargeable battery gives you plenty of play-time before you need to recharge the device. It connects to the Switch via Bluetooth, but it also has a cable to link to other platforms, such as a PC or an Android device. This gives you more cross-play potential without the need to purchase additional controllers.
The device comes with fully customizable macros and has state-of-the-art custom software to configure the controller according to your needs. The options include vibration control, but Switch compatibility doesn’t include Amiibo NFC or HD rumble.
The minor downsides of lacking support for the NFC or HD rumble can be easily overlooked. The model does come with a slightly heftier price tag to compensate, but the build quality, accuracy, and responsiveness make up for that.
The grip could’ve been better, but it’s nothing that can’t be overcome with time.
- Customizable macros
- Cross-platform support
- 1000 mAh battery
- Lacks Amiibo NFC and HD rumble
2. ESYWEN Enhanced Switch Controller
ESYWEN has made a product aiming to replace Pro controllers as a Nintendo Switch controller stable for gamers.
This model’s design is reminiscent of older Nintendo controllers, with added ergonomics and a striking red/black color combination.
With support for Bluetooth connections and an internal rechargeable 400 mAh battery, you can go cable-free for up to 15 hours of game time (although you’re more likely to get about 13 hours, which is still efficient).
There is a turbo button for auto-fire support and a dedicated screenshot button to make snaps quicker in the button compartment. The joysticks can be a bit stiff, to begin with, but they’ll loosen over the first few days, and you shouldn’t have any issues with stick drift after that. Turbo works for all the buttons (except for the D-Pad, obviously).
The RB and LB buttons wrap around the sides, which might cause some misfires, but otherwise allows for better finger positioning during matches.
ESYWEN also has customizable vibration settings and motion control but doesn’t seem to support HD rumble or Amiibo NFC. It’s still an excellent product aimed at pro gaming and ready to supplant Pro controllers from the best available Nintendo Switch controllers.
- Ergonomic design
- Turbo and snapshot modes
- Designed for gaming
- Requires some time to loosen sticks
1. PDP 500-100-NA-D2 Nintendo Switch
The last on our list of Nintendo Switch controllers is the stunning PDP 500. This Gamecube-inspired model provides a perfect touch of nostalgia to play memorable games on the Switch.
The buttons feature an octagonal design for the stick, which is a preference for Super Smash Bros. The X, Y, A, and B buttons have an arrangement you might need to get used to if you’re a newer player, but we’re sure the older generation will feel right at home.
The controller plugs in via a USB cable to the Switch and has no wireless capabilities. It also isn’t compatible with older consoles.
The PDP 500 is easy and comfortable to hold, and it comes with the standard array of buttons and functions, including a capture function for screenshots.
However, the controller is prone to random inputs during sudden movements or jerks. This may be disruptive during high-octane matches, as even a slight movement might cause an input you don’t want.
Overall, the design points to nostalgia, but the lack of other functions, wireless capability, and a problem with random inputs makes other models much better.
- Nostalgic aesthetics
- Wired connection for accuracy
- Button setup for Super Smash Bros
- Can cause random inputs if moved around
While looking for the perfect Nintendo Switch controller, there can be a few deal-breakers depending on what you’re looking to get out of the model and your gaming style. We’ve outlined some general advice on what to consider when browsing the web market.
View our list of the most popular Nintendo games of all time!
One of the critical features of many models is a grip that’s easy and comfortable to maintain over long periods.
Hurting your hand during gameplay can be debilitating, and controllers that don’t offer a solid grip and easy access to all the buttons certainly won’t do you any good while playing your favorite game.
There is a vast array of styles and setups for controllers to choose from, each with different grip designs and button layouts that might take some time to get used to.
Overall, we recommend going for a model that looks closest to a controller for other platforms, as that’s the one you’re most likely to respond to sooner rather than later.
Most newer models come with Bluetooth support to connect to the Switch. While it’s a great way to reduce the number of cables lying around, cabled connections are much more accurate and a better response time.
They are also more stable and less likely to break in the middle of a match, but you’re limited by cable length when moving around.
Some models of Switch controllers are compatible with other devices (such as a PC), which gives them the edge as you can buy one for all of your gaming needs.
If you’re a diehard Switch fan, look for controllers that work with all the necessary settings you need, such as motion control, vibration, HD rumble, and Amiibo NFC. Some controllers might lack a few of these, so you have to pick and choose what works best for you.
One of the key features of all controllers is responsiveness. Stick drift can be a real cause for concern after prolonged use of any console. Make sure you get a controller with sticks that don’t go all over the place, to begin with.
They loosen over time, and you’ll need to adjust for it with settings or different gameplay styles.
Switching the Controls
When all is said and done, these seven Nintendo Switch controllers will fill all of your gaming needs, depending on your style and games of choice.
However, if you’re looking for a single best purchase, we’d recommend the 8BitDo Pro+ gamepad. It has most of the bells and whistles you need at an acceptable price.
The added battery life will certainly make a difference here. While the grip design is slightly unorthodox, it’s easy to get used to for smoother gameplay.
Of course, if you’re just looking for a replacement for stock Joy-Cons, you can use the Nintendo Joy-Cons to satisfy that need. While Joy-Cons are not the first choice for fanatical gamers, they are often easy to connect to the Switch.
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