Best controllers for Nintendo Switch iMore 2021

One could argue that one of the most important elements of a satisfying gaming experience is a comfortable and effective controller. If you don't have a good controller, it can affect how you engage with the game world. While the Joy-Cons for the Nintendo Switch are fun little controllers, they do have their downsides. If you're going to use your Switch in docked mode, then you might as well upgrade your controller altogether — but which controller should you get? Well, we're here to help.

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

The best: The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

Staff Pick

The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is the best choice if you're looking for an alternative to your Joy-Cons. The design of the controller is familiar, and most important, it's comfortable. This controller is like coming home if you're used to playing on an Xbox or a PlayStation. Couple comfort with a 40+ battery life and all the built-in Joy-Con features, and you've got yourself one of the best controllers for any console. The only downside is the price.

Power A Pokemon Controller

Power package: PowerA Wireless Controller for Nintendo Switch

The PowerA wireless controller mimics the layout of the Pro Controllers but removes the HD rumble, Amiibo NFC, and IR support. It does feature motion controls, though, and features two extra buttons on the bottom of the controller that can be mapped on the fly. It runs on double AA batteries and offers up to 30+ hours of playtime. The PowerA also comes in various colors and designs from popular Nintendo Switch games like Pokemon Sword and Shield and Animal Crossing: New Horizon.

Bebencool Pro Controller

Turbo mode included: Beboncool Switch Pro Controller

A common note about most third-party controllers is that they usually drop the additional features found in the Pro Controller or the Joy-Cons. The Beboncool Switch Pro Controller bucks that trend and includes motion control, rumble, and NFC support for Amiibos. It even has a customizable Turbo button! The downside is that the D-pad and buttons feel pretty cheap, but the quality is about what you'd expect from a $30 controller.

$19 at Amazon
8bitdo Pro Controller

One size fits all: 8Bitdo SN30 Pro+ Wireless Bluetooth Game Controller

The name is a bit of a mouthful, but the 8BitDo Pro Plus Bluetooth Gamepad is a great controller, especially for those who enjoy customizing their controllers. Using the 8BitDo's Ultimate software, you can remap buttons, create macros for complicated button presses, adjust stick and trigger sensitivity, and more. The D-pad and controller placement are flipped, so the overall look is reminiscent of a PlayStation controller. It's also compatible with Android, Windows, and macOS – it's a great controller for people looking for one controller for multiple devices.

$50 at Amazon
8bitdo Pro Gamepad Snes

The good ol' days: 8BitDo SN30 Pro Bluetooth Gamepad Controller

If you're in the market for something a little more retro, why not consider the 8BitDo SN30 Pro Bluetooth Gamepad Controller? It's a full-featured controller reminiscent of a SNES controller, and its size makes it ideal for those looking for a travel-friendly controller. You can also use this controller on Android, Windows, and macOS devices as well.

Hori Nintendo Switch Wired Controller

Plug and play: Horipad Nintendo Switch Wired Controller

The Horipad is a comfortable controller with high-quality buttons and sticks for a low cost but lacks motion control and vibration. And despite the high-quality buttons, the D-pad is a bit of a mess. The biggest drawback for some might be the fact that it is wired, but if that doesn't bother you, this controller is the most affordable option on the list.

Kumite Wireless Controller

For those who want options: Kumite Wireless Switch Controller

The Kumite Wireless Switch Controller is a lightweight alternative at a low price point. Its selling points include three Turbo buttons, three levels of vibration, and up to 10 hours of battery life.

$30 at Amazon
Kydlan Switch Controller

Perfect for families: Kydlan Switch Controller

The Kydlan Switch Controller is comfortable if not flimsy feeling. It features rumble and gyro controls, but not the NFC or IR sensors in other controllers.

$25 at Amazon
Power A Gamecube Controller

For Smash fans: PowerA Wireless GameCube Style Controller

The Nintendo Gamecube was one of the most underrated consoles of all time, but its controller, despite its out-there design, and stood the test of time — just ask any Super Smash Bros. fan. This controller is a replica of the GameCube original and works much like a Pro Controller does. One thing to note, it is powered by double-A batteries.

The right tool for the job

The right controller is one of the most important accessories to consider if you want to make the most out of your Nintendo Switch experience. Whether you're hours into a new game or playing an intense multiplayer match, you're going to want the best controller you can get your hands on. If that's your goal, then look no further than the Nintendo Pro Controller. With all the features of the Joy-Cons built into a high-quality, comfortable controller, it's an easy recommendation.

If you're looking for the high-quality of the Pro Controller but with more customization options, check out the 8BitDo SN30 Pro Plus Bluetooth Gamepad. Compatible with the Nintendo Switch, Windows, Android, and macOS, this controller is perfect for gamers looking for a one-size-fits-all option. If you're restricted by budget, the Hori Wired Controller is the controller for you. It might lack some key features, but the construction is top-notch for the price point.

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