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The best Nintendo Switch controllers for all budgets

Replace Joy-Cons or add another player to your game!
By
February 17, 2022
Nintendo Switch Pro Controller review textured buttons
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

The Nintendo Switch has been an undeniable smash hit, selling more than 91 million units as of February 2022, and still going strong almost five years after release. Despite this, the standard Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers that ship with the console are frequently criticized. 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, you should look at our Nintendo Switch guide!

More: Nintendo Switch buying guide

The best Nintendo Switch controllers

Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best Nintendo Switch controllers regularly as new ones launch.


Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller review in hand
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

While the Joy-Cons are perfect for portability, the best Nintendo Switch controller experience is undoubtedly 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.

Read also: The best Bluetooth gaming controllers for Android, PC, and more!

The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is more durable and comfortable than the standard Joy-Cons. It makes 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.


Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Controllers

PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch 10

The Joy-Cons hit some early troubles with connectivity, but they’re still among 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 vast 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.


8bitdo SN30 Pro

8bitdo SN30 Pro Nintendo Switch Controller

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 100 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 the Switch and Windows, Mac, Android, and more. This 8bitdo SN30 Pro (pictured above) also adds a couple of joysticks to better adapt the classic controller to modern Nintendo Switch games.

We prefer the 8bitdo SN30 Pro’s classic design, but there is an improved version with better ergonomics. If you don’t mind paying more for improved performance, you should take a look at the 8bitdo Pro 2.


PowerA Fusion Pro

PowerA Fusion Pro

PowerA has been widely recognized in the world of third-party console controllers. The PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller has treated many of you great, but the newer PowerA Fusion Pro Wireless Controller offers a much better proposition for more serious gamers.

It has excellent build quality and programmable paddles for added functionality. You’ll also get exciting features like wireless motion control, replaceable thumbsticks, a 3.5mm headset jack, and a 10ft braided cable for when you want to use it wired. Of course, you can stick with wireless connectivity too.

You can save some money by going with the PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller, too. It’s still a great product, and one of the best Nintendo Switch controllers.


HORI Split Pad Pro

HORI Split Pad Pro

Those who like the portability of the Switch but don’t like the feel of standard Joy-Cons will find the HORI Split Pad Pro to be a great option. It’s made of two parts that slide right into the standard slots on the sides 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.

Read: The best exclusive games for the Nintendo Switch

Remember that these Joy-Con replacements are beefy and won’t work wirelessly. However, they have several programmable turbo buttons and are 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.


PDP Faceoff Deluxe+ Controller

PDP Faceoff Deluxe Plus

Look no further than the PDP Faceoff Deluxe+ for a more affordable Nintendo Switch controller. It features many of the benefits of the Pro Controller plus a few extras at half the price.

One of the best additional features is a headphone jack at the bottom of the controller, which helps build immersion. The tradeoff is that it’s wired. Still, it comes with a 10 foot (3 meters) cable. It would be best if you had plenty of mobility, whether playing at home or on the go.


Binbok Joypad Controller

Binbok Joypad Controller

All the other best Nintendo Switch controllers are great, but they seem to have a playful and cartoonish style. Gamers have particular aesthetic preferences, which usually involve darker colors and RGB lighting. The Binbok Joypad Controller will meet both standards while offering a great gaming experience.

Don’t miss: The best Nintendo Switch accessories

The design is made to adapt to the Nintendo Switch’s sides, and the unit comes with plenty of features. These include dual vibration motors, a six-axis gyroscope, up to four hours of battery life, turbo buttons, and more.


8Bitdo Zero 2

If you want the cutest Nintendo Switch controller, this is definitely it. You can throw the tiny 8Bitdo Zero 2 in any bag or pocket. It is the smallest of the bunch at 73 x 36.5 x 14.7mm, and you’ll also save some cash with it.

The 8Bitdo Zero 2 is mainly made with mobile gaming in mind, but it’s compatible with the Nintendo Switch. That said, its ability to connect to Android, iOS, and other devices also offers more value.


FAQs

Can I use Nintendo Switch controllers on other devices?

Luckily, Nintendo makes it easy to use your Switch controller with Windows, macOS, and Android. Sadly, iOS devices aren’t supported, unless otherwise specified by third-party manufacturers.

How much should I pay for a good Nintendo Switch controller?

Prices vary, but we believe anything between about $40-$100 will get you a high-end gaming experience. More affordable pads will come with some compromises, or are meant for advanced portability instead of performance.

How many controllers can I connect to a Nintendo Switch?

The Nintendo Switch supports up to eight wireless connections to controllers. Features and controller types may change this number, though. For example, each side of a Joy-Con controller connects as a single controller. This means you can technically only connect four sets of Joy-Con controllers to a single Switch console.

Should I go with a traditional controller or Joy-Con?

It depends on your gaming style. Traditional gaming pads like the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller are much more ergonomic and comfortable to game with during longer sessions. Joy-Con controllers can be used directly on the device, making it a better portable option. Some of these can be used as a couple of small controllers for casual multi-player sessions.


If you’re not convinced with the Nintendo Switch, we also have a list of the best gaming consoles. You have plenty of options in there. Furthermore, serious gamers might also want to take a look at upgrading to a full-on gaming laptop or PC.