The Nintendo Switch is a fantastic console, but its standard Joy-Con controllers, while innovative, aren’t always the best for extended gaming sessions. They’re small, can be uncomfortable to hold for long periods, and have had some well-documented drifting issues.
That’s where third-party controllers come in! There are a ton of great options on the market, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. So, which one is right for you?
Best Overall: Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is the gold standard for Switch controllers. It’s comfortable to hold, has excellent build quality, and features all the bells and whistles you could want, including HD Rumble, gyroscope support, and amiibo functionality. It’s a bit more expensive than some third-party options, but it’s worth the investment if you’re a serious gamer.
Best Budget: 8BitDo SN30 Pro Plus
The 8BitDo SN30 Pro Plus is a fantastic budget option that punches well above its weight. It’s modeled after the classic SNES controller, so it’s instantly familiar to anyone who grew up playing Nintendo games. It’s also very comfortable to hold, has great battery life, and supports all the same features as the Pro Controller.
Best for Portability: Hori Split Pad Pro
The Hori Split Pad Pro is a great option for gamers who value portability. It replaces the Joy-Cons with larger, more ergonomic grips that are much more comfortable to hold for long periods. It also features programmable back buttons, which can give you a competitive edge in online games. However, it doesn’t support HD Rumble or amiibo functionality.
Best for Fighting Games: PowerA FightPad Pro
The PowerA FightPad Pro is a wired controller that’s specifically designed for fighting games. It has a six-button layout, a D-pad that’s perfect for pulling off precise combos, and shoulder buttons that are well-positioned for blocking and parrying. It’s also very affordable, making it a great option for casual gamers.
Best for Retro Vibes: 8BitDo Lite SE
The 8BitDo Lite SE is a small, lightweight controller that’s perfect for on-the-go gaming. It’s modeled after the classic NES controller, so it has a nostalgic feel that older gamers will appreciate. It also has a great battery life and supports Bluetooth connectivity, so you can use it with your PC or Mac.
Best for Kids: Hori Joy-Con Comfort Grip
The Hori Joy-Con Comfort Grip makes the Switch’s Joy-Cons more comfortable to hold for kids. It’s a simple plastic grip that slides onto the Joy-Cons, but it makes a big difference in terms of ergonomics. It also comes in a variety of fun colors, so your kids can choose their favorite.
Ultimately, the best Nintendo Switch controller for you depends on your individual needs and preferences. If you’re looking for the best overall experience, the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is the way to go. If you’re on a budget, the 8BitDo SN30 Pro Plus is a great option. And if you’re looking for something specific, like a controller for fighting games or retro vibes, there’s sure to be a controller out there that’s perfect for you.
No matter which controller you choose, you’re sure to have a great time gaming on your Nintendo Switch. So get out there and start playing!