What is the Best Controller for the Switch?

If you are planning on getting a controller for the Switch, this guide will have you covered! Today, we will try to help answer the question that bugs many new gamers, “what is the best controller for the Switch?”

Top Nintendo Switch Controllers at a Glance

Here, we’ll dive into the official Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, as well as some of the best third-party controllers I could find on the market. Additionally, we’ll take a closer look at the default Joy-Cons, and maybe some alternatives.

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is the official controller released by Nintendo, designed to provide a more traditional gaming experience. It boasts a sleek and ergonomic design, resembling classic console controllers with two analog sticks, a D-pad, four face buttons, and shoulder buttons.

Pros and Cons

+ Comfortable Ergonomics: The Pro Controller’s ergonomic design makes it comfortable to hold, even during extended gaming sessions.– Higher Price: As the official controller, the Pro Controller tends to be more expensive than many third-party alternatives.
+ Responsive Buttons and Analog Sticks: The buttons and analog sticks offer precise and responsive inputs, crucial for various gaming genres. Lack of Motion Controls: Unlike the Joy-Cons, the Pro Controller lacks built-in motion controls, which might limit certain gaming experiences.
+ Long Battery Life: With an impressive battery life of around 40 hours, the Pro Controller rarely needs charging.
+ Amiibo Support: The controller includes NFC support for Amiibo functionality, allowing you to interact with compatible figures and cards.

The Verdict

When it comes down to comfort, battery life, and overall a great experience, the official Pro Controller by Nintendo is the ultimate way to go. Boasting large face buttons and a whopping 40 hours of battery life, you really can’t go wrong with this one.

Diswoe Controller for Switch

This third party controller made by Diswoe is an excellent option for those who are looking for a “cheaper Pro Controller”. This controller is fully compatiable with the Switch and can even be used on PC! It features Bluetooth connectivity and a 6 axis gyro sensor, making it all the easier to aim in games like Tears of the Kingdom. Its cheap cost comes at a price of not having Amiibo support.

Pros and Cons

+ Sleek Comfort: This controller has rounded edges to make it easier to hold, making it more ergonomic those long gaming sessions.– No NFC Support: If you use Amiibos, this may not be an ideal controller.
+ Responsive Analog Sticks: The analog stick is very precise and they have no dead zones. Lower Battery Life: With 8 Hours of playtime, they don’t stand up to the official Pro Controllers, so you’ll have to charge it more often.
+ Turbo Button: For those games that need some repeated button pressing, a turbo option is great.Initial Setup takes time. Since this is third party, the Switch won’t recognize this controller unless you actively connect it.
+ Grippy Controller: The controller has a rubbery texture that makes it a little nicer to hold as well.

The Verdict

This controller is best for those who are gaming on a budget. While it may lack the Amiibo support and battery life that the Pro Controller has, the Diswoe Controller is still a great option for casual gamers looking to game in comfort.

VOYEE Wireless Pro Controller

I had a lot of success with my VOYEE Xbox 360 controller, so it’s nice to see this brand expanding into more platforms. This controller is compatible with all Switch models, and is a great option for those looking for a cheaper controller. It has 2 programmable buttons on the back of the controller that let you set up macros and button presses, saving you the effort of memorizing those combos.

Much like other Switch controllers on the market, it boasts 6-axis gyro sensors for aiming with the controller, and also has rumble feedback. One feature that stands out from the Diswoe controller listed is the higher battery life. With up to 15 hours of gaming, this is another controller that doesn’t need to live on a charging cable.

Pros and Cons

+ Sleek Stylish Look: This controller is nice to hold and great for long gameplay sessions.– No NFC Support: This may not be a good controller if you rely on Amiibos.
+ Grippy Analog Sticks: The analog stick is textured like a tire, making it easier to make precise movements. Programming Buttons is Tedious: Even thought it’s only 2 buttons, it can take some time to understand how to set up macros.
+ Turbo Button: For those games that need some repeated button pressing, a turbo option is great.No “AutoConnect”. Since this is a third party controller, you have to manually sync the controller with your Switch console.
+ It has Warranty: Not many sellers offer a 45 day money back guarantee.

The Verdict

This controller is another great budget pick, especially if you don’t use Amiibos. While it may also lack the NFC support, it still has a decent battery to make gaming session last without any interrruptions. And even better is a warranty.

Joy-Cons: A Closer Look at the Default Controllers

The Nintendo Switch’s default controllers, Joy-Cons, are compact and versatile. These detachable controllers come in various colors and can be used independently or attached to the included Joy-Con grip for a more traditional controller feel. They also offer unique motion control functionality, enabling immersive gaming experiences.

Pros and Cons

+ Versatility: Joy-Cons are incredibly versatile, supporting multiple configurations for different gaming scenarios.– Small Size: Some players might find the Joy-Cons too small for extended gaming sessions, leading to discomfort.
+ Motion Controls: The built-in motion controls add a new dimension to gaming and enhance immersion. Lack of Traditional D-Pad: The Joy-Cons use separate buttons instead of a traditional D-pad, which may not be preferable for certain games.
+ Multiplayer Capabilities: With two Joy-Cons included with the console, local multiplayer gaming is accessible right out of the box.– Drift Issues: Over time, the control sticks can sometimes move and mistakenly input commands to the console, even when not being moved.
+ Amiibo Support: The controller includes NFC support for Amiibo functionality, allowing you to interact with compatible figures and cards.

The Verdict

While the classic Joy-Cons may not be optimal for hardcore gamers, the best thing about these is how adaptable they are. Whether used in a pair or on their own, they closely resemble classic controllers which is great for retro gamers who play the Virtual Console. You can also make use of special grips to improve their ergonomics.

Why Get a New Controller?

The Nintendo Switch, released in March 2017, has revolutionized the gaming industry with its unique hybrid design. Blurring the lines between a traditional home console and a portable handheld device, the Switch offers unparalleled gaming for pretty much any kind of gamer.

Fast forward to today, and the Switch is still a big hot seller. The Switch’s success is largely attributed to its modular controllers known as “Joy-Cons.” These detachable controllers can be used individually, attached to the sides of the main console for handheld gaming, or connected to the included Joy-Con grip for a more traditional gamepad experience.

With that being said, it’s not flawless. One of my biggest gripes is with the controllers is the comfort, or lack thereof. As much as I enjoy the concept of the Joy-Con controllers, I feel that they just don’t cut it for long gaming sessions. Even with the “comfort grip”, prolonged play with the Joy-Cons can leave adult-sized hands feeling cramped.

Understandably so, this is probably why Nintendo promotes the Pro Controller for those looking for a much better solution to ergonomic gaming. I wholeheartedly agree, and is one reason why I personally reviewed the controller for curious readers.

Things to Consider when choosing the Best Switch Controller

Just as with any kind of buying guide out there, it is important to consider a few things that can truly factor into your decision. Every controller out there has its own unique features along with the standard controller features that we’ve come to expect.

What Kind of Games do you Play?

One big thing to consider when choosing a controller for your Nintendo Switch is your gaming preferences. Different game genres have varying control schemes, and certain controllers may do better than others.

For example:

  1. Action-Adventure Games: These games often require precise controls and quick response times. A controller with responsive buttons and analog sticks, like the Pro Controller, can be ideal for a smooth gaming experience.
  2. Platformers and Racing Games: Games that involve precise jumping or intricate maneuvers benefit from controllers with comfortable grips and precise D-pads. The Pro Controller or some third-party controllers may offer a better D-pad design for these genres.
  3. Fighting Games: Players who enjoy fighting games might prefer controllers with responsive buttons and a well-placed directional pad. Some third-party fight sticks cater specifically to this genre.
  4. Motion-Controlled Games: If you enjoy motion-controlled games, the default Joy-Cons are your go-to option. They allow intuitive motion-based gameplay, adding an immersive dimension to your gaming.

Ergonomics is Crucial!

If you plan on playing games for long sessions that last for hours, then having a comfortable controller is absolutely critical. We’ve come a long way since the old NES controller, and it seems funny that the Joy-Cons somewhat resemble them when tilted sideways. But anyways, I digress…

The ergonomics of a controller really goes a long way in preventing hand cramping and and discomfort. Controllers with a comfortable grip and well-positioned buttons (such as the Pro Controller) can ensure hours of gaming without strain.

Keep in mind that comfort is a subjective thing. What suits my needs may not always suit yours, so if you have the chance, always try out different controllers in-store, or read online reviews to get a feel for a controller.

Wired or Wireless Controllers?

Another factor to consider is the connectivity option for a controller. Nintendo Switch supports both wired and wireless controllers, each with its advantages:

  1. Wired Controllers: These controllers connect directly to the Switch’s USB port, providing a stable and instant connection. They are usually plug-and-play and don’t require batteries. However, the wired connection restricts movement to some extent, so you may need to invest in cable extenders.
  2. Wireless Controllers: Wireless controllers offer more freedom of movement, allowing you to play comfortably from a distance. However, they rely on batteries, and there might be occasional latency in response time, although it’s generally minimal when compared to the old controllers of past generations.

Battery Life: Long Lasting is Important!

Battery life is a crucial factor, especially for wireless controllers. Running out of battery in the middle of an intense gaming session can be frustrating. When comparing controllers, take note of their battery life specifications. The official Pro Controller is known for its impressive battery longevity, providing roughly 40 hours of gameplay on a single charge.

For wireless controllers with replaceable batteries, investing in rechargeable batteries can be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly option.

Other Features: Motion Controls, Vibration, and Amiibos

Lastly, but certainly not least, always consider any extra features offered by the controller. Some controllers, like the default Joy-Cons, have built-in motion controls, which add a new dimension to certain games, and may even make it easier to aim. Vibration feedback enhances immersion and tactile experience during gameplay.

If you’re an Amiibo enthusiast, you’ll want to ensure that the controller you choose supports Amiibo functionality. Not all third-party controllers offer this feature, so always check if it’s important to you.

The Bottom Line on the Best Controller for the Switch

Overall, each controller option has its strengths and weaknesses, catering to different gaming styles and preferences. In my opinion, the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller remains the best overall option with excellent performance and comfort, while third-party controllers offer various features and price ranges. The versatile Joy-Cons come bundled with the console, providing unique motion controls and multiplayer capabilities, but on their own, may not be ideal.

Evaluating gaming preferences, comfort, connectivity, battery life, and additional features will help you make an informed decision when choosing the perfect controller for your Nintendo Switch. As always, consider your gaming needs, budget, and prioritize the features that matter most to you.

With that said, I hope this information helps you out, and happy gaming!

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