The Nintendo Switch has been an undeniable smash hit, selling more than 50 million units and still going strong more than three years after release. Despite this, the standard Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers that ship with the console are a frequent point of criticism. They are expensive and fragile.
Whether you’re looking for an extra controller or a replacement, we’ve put together a list of the best Nintendo Switch controllers. The list includes both first-party and third-party options. If you don’t have a Nintendo Switch yet, click the button below to get one of the best consoles of all time!
Best Nintendo Switch controllers:
- Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
- Nintendo Switch Joy-Con
- 8bitdo SN30
- HORI Split Pad Pro
- PDP Faceoff Deluxe+ Controller
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best Nintendo Switch controllers regularly as new ones launch.
1. Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
While the Joy-Cons are perfect for portability, the best Nintendo Switch controller experience is without a doubt the official Pro Controller. It’s a full controller with a similar layout to the ever-popular Xbox One Controller, with the D-pad on the bottom.
The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is more durable and comfortable than the standard Joy-Cons, making it perfect for playing at home or getting competitive in Super Smash Bros Ultimate or Fortnite. That said, the D-pad isn’t the best for traditional fighting games, and as a first-party Nintendo controller you should expect to pay a premium over other options.
2. Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Controllers
The Joy-Cons hit some early troubles with connectivity, but they’re still one of the best Nintendo Switch controllers. Sure, they’re expensive, but you’re technically getting two fully functional controllers, which is perfect for the occasional co-op.
Nowadays you can get Joy-Cons in a huge variety of colors, including the option to pick and choose the combination you like on Nintendo’s website. That said, there are plenty of color options available on Amazon, and they tend to run slightly cheaper than those in the official Nintendo Accessory shop.
3. 8bitdo SN30
One of the best things about the Nintendo Switch is the sizeable library of retro and indie games available on the platform. In fact, if you have a subscription to Nintendo Switch Online, you already have access to more than 70 classic NES and SNES games.
Read also: 15 best retro games for Android!
Sure, Nintendo sells SNES-style Switch controllers, but they are almost always out of stock. The next best thing is the 8bitdo SN30, which offers the same experience for not only the Switch, but also Windows, Mac, Android, and more. There is a pro version available as well, but it’s more expensive and adds a few buttons that do nothing for retro gamers.
4. HORI Split Pad Pro
If you like the portability of the Switch but don’t like the feel of standard Joy-Cons, the HORI Split Pad Pro is a great option for you. It’s made of two parts that slide right into the same slots on the side of the console. It provides a much more comfortable grip and a fully-functional D-pad on the left side. This design makes traditional fighting games a dream.
Keep in mind, these Joy-Con replacements are beefy and won’t work wirelessly. Plus, they have several programmable turbo buttons and come in significantly cheaper than first-party Joy-Con controllers. If you want the D-pad but not the bulk, HORI also sells a D-pad toting replacement for the left Joy-Con.
5. PDP Faceoff Deluxe+ Controller
If you want something cheaper, look no further than the PDP Faceoff Deluxe+. It features many of the benefits of the Pro Controller plus a few extras at half the price.
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One of the best additional features is a headphone jack at the bottom of the controller, which really helps build immersion. The tradeoff is that it’s wired. Still, it comes with a 10 foot (3 meter) cable. You should have plenty of mobility whether playing at home or on the go.