The Best Controllers for Nintendo Switch (Oct 2023)

Today, we are going to go over some of the best controllers for Nintendo Switch, and see what options are out there.

The Nintendo Switch, with its revolutionary concept of combining handheld and console gaming, has taken the gaming world by storm. I’m not surprised that the Switch’s versatility has captured the attention of seasoned gamers and casuals alike. Its library of games, from the epic adventures of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild to the fast-paced battles of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, has something for everyone.

But what really takes your gaming experience to the next level? It’s all about having the right controller in your hands.

Why is Having a Good Controller Crucial?

Imagine embarking on a quest to save Hyrule or competing in intense Mario Kart races with a subpar controller that hampers your precision and comfort.

The controller you choose can make or break your gaming adventures. It’s the bridge between you and the digital worlds you explore, affecting your performance, enjoyment, and immersion.

So, whether you’re battling foes, solving puzzles, or racing against friends, having the perfect controller can be the difference between a frustrating experience and gaming nirvana.

What Kinds of Controllers can you Expect?

In this buying guide, we’ll delve into the world of Nintendo Switch controllers. We’ll examine the options, features, and factors you should consider when selecting the ideal controller for your gaming needs.

Whether you prefer the standard Joy-Cons, crave the precision of the Pro Controller, or want to explore third-party alternatives, we’ve got you covered. Get ready to discover the best controllers that will unlock the full potential of your Nintendo Switch gaming experience.

Let’s dive in!

Joy-Cons: the Pocket-Sized Powerhouse?

When you unbox your Nintendo Switch, you’re greeted by a pair of Joy-Con controllers—a marvel of engineering that epitomizes the Switch’s unique blend of portability and versatility.

These controllers may look small, but they pack a punch in terms of functionality. Each Joy-Con can be used independently in each hand or attached to the console for on-the-go gaming. They’re equipped with motion sensors, an IR camera, and HD rumble technology, allowing for immersive experiences like no other.

Joy-Cons offer a unique gaming experience. Their small form factor makes them incredibly portable, and they are designed for multiplayer fun with one Joy-Con per player. They come in various colors, allowing you to personalize your gaming setup. However, some users find them less comfortable for extended gaming sessions.

With that said, the world of Nintendo Switch controllers goes well beyond the Joy-Cons. Depending on your gaming preferences and style, you have several options to choose from to enhance your gaming experience. This is where I’ll discuss more options.

Pro Controller: Precision and Comfort

The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is a premium offering for gamers who seek a more traditional controller experience. It boasts a comfortable grip, responsive buttons, and precise analog sticks.

The Pro Controller is perfect for those who prefer longer gaming sessions or play a lot of action or precision-demanding games. Its battery life is impressive, and it offers a more substantial feel compared to the Joy-Cons.

Third-party Controllers: Diverse Options for Anyone

If you’re looking to expand your controller options, the world of third-party controllers has you covered. Various manufacturers offer controllers with unique features, designs, and price points. These controllers can be more budget-friendly while still providing excellent performance. However, it’s essential to research and read reviews to ensure compatibility and quality when choosing a third-party controller.

Whether you’re a solo gamer, a party enthusiast, or someone seeking a more comfortable grip, there’s a Nintendo Switch controller that caters to your needs. In the following sections, we’ll explore these options in more detail and help you decide which one aligns best with your gaming style.

Thing to Consider When Choosing a Controller

When you’re on the quest for the perfect Nintendo Switch controller, it’s not a one-size-fits-all scenario. Your ideal controller will depend on various factors, each of which can significantly impact your gaming experience. Let’s dive into the key considerations:

Ergonomics and Comfort

One of the most crucial aspects of a controller is how it feels in your hands. Comfort and ergonomics are essential, especially if you plan on long gaming sessions. Consider the grip, button layout, and overall design. Controllers with a natural fit to your hands will reduce fatigue and enhance your enjoyment.

Battery Life

Battery life matters, especially if you’re a mobile gamer who frequently plays in handheld mode. Different controllers have varying battery durations, so think about how often you’ll need to recharge or replace batteries. The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, for instance, boasts impressive battery life, lasting around 40 hours on a single charge.

Connectivity Options

How your controller connects to your Switch is another critical factor. The Joy-Cons attach seamlessly to the console, while the Pro Controller connects via Bluetooth. Consider whether you prefer wireless or wired connections and the convenience of each option.

Price Range

Your budget plays a significant role in your controller choice. Joy-Cons and the Pro Controller, while high-quality, are on the pricier side. Third-party controllers often come at a more budget-friendly price, but quality can vary. Strike a balance between your budget and the features you desire.

Compatibility with Games

Not all controllers are created equal when it comes to game compatibility. Some titles, especially those with unique control schemes, may work better with specific controllers. Check for compatibility lists and read user reviews to ensure your chosen controller will work seamlessly with your favorite games.

Customization and Extra Features

Some controllers offer extra features like programmable buttons, customizable profiles, or built-in motion controls. These extras can enhance your gaming experience and cater to your specific preferences. If you value customization, seek out controllers that offer these options.

Taking these factors into account will help you narrow down your options and find the Nintendo Switch controller that perfectly aligns with your gaming style and preferences. In the following sections, we’ll delve deeper into the best controllers available, considering these factors to help you make an informed choice.

The Best Nintendo Switch Controllers

Now that we’ve covered the essential factors to consider when choosing a controller, let’s delve into the top contenders for the title of the best Nintendo Switch controllers. These controllers offer various features and cater to different gaming preferences, so check out the pros and cons to discover which one suits you best.

My Top Picks:

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is often considered the gold standard among Nintendo Switch controllers. It provides a traditional gaming experience with its ergonomic design, precise analog sticks, and responsive buttons. Its battery life is impressive, and it supports motion controls, NFC for amiibo, and HD rumble. It’s an excellent choice for gamers who want a comfortable, versatile controller.

  • Pros: Comfortable grip, excellent build quality, long battery life, traditional layout.
  • Cons: Pricier than other options, lacks NFC touchpoint for amiibo.

Joy-Con Controllers

The Joy-Con controllers, which come bundled with your Nintendo Switch, are incredibly versatile. They can be used separately for multiplayer gaming or attached to the console for portable gaming on the go. With motion controls, an IR camera, and HD rumble, they offer a unique gaming experience. However, some users find them less comfortable for extended gameplay sessions.

  • Pros: Versatile, motion controls, HD rumble, come bundled with the Switch.
  • Cons: Small size may be uncomfortable for some, shorter battery life.

Hori Split Pad Pro

If you’re looking to enhance your handheld gaming experience, the Hori Split Pad Pro is a game-changer. This third-party controller replaces the standard Joy-Cons, providing a more substantial grip and full-size buttons. It’s ideal for gamers who prefer handheld mode and crave better ergonomics.

  • Pros: Comfortable grip, larger buttons, ideal for handheld mode, affordable.
  • Cons: Lacks wireless functionality, may not fit in some carrying cases.

8Bitdo SN30 Pro 2

For those who appreciate a touch of nostalgia, the 8Bitdo SN30 Pro 2 is a top pick. It combines a classic SNES controller design with modern features. It’s highly customizable, allowing you to remap buttons and adjust sensitivity settings. It’s also compatible with a wide range of devices, making it a versatile choice beyond the Nintendo Switch.

  • Pros: Classic design, highly customizable, versatile compatibility.
  • Cons: Smaller size may not suit all hands, may require firmware updates.

Budget-Friendly Options

While top-of-the-line controllers like the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller offer a premium gaming experience, they may not always fit within everyone’s budget. Fortunately, there are budget-friendly alternatives in the form of third-party controllers. Let’s explore these options and discuss the trade-offs of opting for a more affordable controller.

Some Honorable Mentions of Affordable Third-party Controllers

Third-party controllers are designed by companies other than Nintendo and often come at a lower price point. These controllers aim to provide a cost-effective solution without compromising too much on performance. Some popular third-party controller manufacturers include PowerA, PDP, and 8Bitdo.

The Trade-off? You get What you Pay for

While budget controllers can be enticing due to their lower price, it’s essential to consider the potential trade-offs:

  1. Build Quality: Budget controllers may not be as durable as their first-party counterparts. Cheaper materials and construction can lead to a shorter lifespan.
  2. Features: Some budget controllers may lack advanced features found in premium controllers. You might miss out on features like NFC for amiibo support, HD rumble, or motion controls.
  3. Comfort: Ergonomics can vary, and some budget controllers may not provide the same level of comfort during extended gaming sessions. It’s crucial to read reviews to gauge user experiences.
  4. Compatibility: While many third-party controllers are designed to work seamlessly with the Nintendo Switch, compatibility issues can arise. Ensure that the controller you choose is compatible with the games you want to play.
  5. Warranty and Support: Warranty and customer support may not be as robust as what you’d receive from Nintendo. Be prepared for potentially limited support if issues arise.

It’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to budget controllers, though. Many gamers find that these controllers provide excellent value for their price, especially for casual gaming or as a backup controller. Additionally, some third-party controllers come with unique features that may appeal to specific gaming niches.

The Bottom Line on Controllers

When considering any kind of controller, it’s always a good thing to read reviews, check for compatibility, and weigh the pros and cons carefully. Ultimately, the right choice depends on your gaming needs, budget, and personal preferences.

At the end of the day, remember that the best controller for you is the one that makes your gaming better. Whether it’s the versatile Pro Controller, the unique Joy-Cons, a budget-friendly third-party option, or a specialized controller for a specific gaming genre, your choice should ultimately bring you closer to the immersive and thrilling experiences the Nintendo Switch has to offer.

Anyways, with all of that said, I hope this information is helpful.

Thank you for reading, and until next time, have fun!

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