Best Third-Party Controllers for Nintendo Switch iMore 2019

The Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons are fantastic controllers, but not everyone likes them. The buttons are small, and people with larger hands may find them annoying or difficult to handle. Of course, Nintendo did design the Pro Controller as a more traditional gamepad for people who wanted something bigger, heavier, and a little more conventional. If you want a more conventional gaming controller for your Switch, and you want to spend less money, you do have other options. Here are our favorite third-party controllers for Nintendo Switch.

Solid wireless controller: PowerA Enchanced Wireless Controller

Staff Favorite

This is likely the closest you're going to get to the Nintendo Pro controller. It's wireless and has motion controls, 30 hours of battery life, and the same layout as the Pro controller for the switch. Like PowerA's other controllers it also takes two AA batteries.

$50 at Amazon

Affordable wired option: PowerA Wired Plus Controller

As its name suggests, the controller is indeed wired. You'll have to plug it into the USB port on the back of your dock. However, the included cable is eight feet long, giving you ample length to work with. Plus, the thumbsticks come in three different lengths, so you have some customization to how the physical sensitivity feels. Unfortunately, the PowerA Wired Controller doesn't support NFC (so no amiibo) and doesn't have motion controls.

$20 at Amazon

Classic GameCube feel: PowerA Wireless GameCube Style Controller

For some Nintendo fans, the GameCube controller will always reign supreme, and the PowerA Wireless GameCube Style Controller brings that classic style and feel to the Nintendo Switch. With motion controls on board, it feels much more like a Nintendo Switch controller than other gamepads; however, there's no rumble or NFC capabilities. Plus, instead of being rechargeable, it needs two AA batteries.

$38 at Amazon

No frills gamepad: HORIPAD Wired Nintendo Switch Controller

If you are okay with sacrificing rumble, motion-control, and NFC capabilities, the HORIPAD Wired Nintendo Switch Controller is a very budget-friendly option. Although the HORIPAD is not wireless, it comes with a 10-foot cable, making it long enough to sit a comfortable distance from your TV. The weirdest part of the HORIPAD Wired Nintendo Switch Controller is the detachable directional pad. When you take it off, it leaves a big indent and reveals four individual buttons, which allow you a little more precision, but isn't the most practical.

$18 at Amazon

Perfect for retro games: 8Bitdo SN30 Pro

The Nintendo Switch has a ton of retro and retro-styled games available in the Nintendo eShop, so why not use a controller that embodies that nostalgia in a perfect way? The 8Bitdo SN30 Pro takes the retro Super Nintendo controller and brings it into the 21st century. It has all the buttons you need to control the Switch, including a home and screenshot button cleverly tucked away at the bottom of the controller. The select and start buttons function as the - and + buttons respectively, and the 8Bitdo SN30 even adds two joysticks so you can play all your games just like a Pro Controller.

$45 at Amazon

Use your own controller: Mayflash Magic-NS

Perhaps you are one of those folks that are totally in love with the Xbox controller or even the PS4 DualShock. Or maybe you just don't want to buy one more controller. Fortunately for you, there is a solution that will allow you to use those controllers on your Nintendo Switch. The Magic-NS will enable you to wirelessly connect a PS4, PS3, Wii U Pro, or Xbox One S controller to your Nintendo Switch. This is a nifty little third-party dongle which will kick open the doors of possibility for controlling your Switch.

$20 at Amazon

Wireless alternative: EALNK Wireless Controller

This is an excellent alternative to Nintendo's official Pro Controller. It features motion controls, dual motors for shocks, and ergonomic design. You can play wirelessly for up to eight hours with the aid of the internal 350mA battery. Should the battery life get low, don't worry. You can plug it in and continue to play. It comes with a three-year warranty and a 45-day return policy so you'll be able to get it fixed or return it if necessary.

$28 at Amazon

Headphones please!: Faceoff Deluxe+ Audio Wired Controller

This will be the first Nintendo Switch controller actually to feature a headphone jack. I know, right? This should have been done sooner. You'll be able to adjust music volume during gameplay by using the D-pad. This wired controller will also feature an interchangeable faceplate so you can get the color or theme you want. You won't feel too tethered since it comes with a 10-foot cable. PDP will be accepting pre-orders starting in May.

$25 at PDP

Wired imitation: Sunjoyco Wireless Remote Controller

This conventional-looking controller features HD rumble, motion controls, and enlarged buttons. It also offers both a D-pad and a left joystick so you can play with whichever options feels best. The battery life lasts up to five hours. This is plenty of time for the average gaming session, but you'll want to make sure you charge it in between uses. It also has plug-and-play abilities should the battery get low. You get plenty of freedom when playing with the cable plugged in and charging since it's over 20 inches long.

$21 at Amazon

Travelling Controller: Red Wireless Switch Pro Controller

This controller's internal battery lasts for up to eight hours, which is plenty of time for you to charge it between gaming sessions. It comes with a protective EVA hardshell bag making it safer and easier to transport when on the go. It responds to motion controls and has built-in vibration. The battery life indicator lets you know at a glance if the controller needs a recharge. Choose between a red or a blue controller.

$28 at Amazon

Take control

The Nintendo Switch is an amazing console, and it can be enjoyed even better with the proper controller. A conventional-looking controller is especially necessary for multiplayer games, shooters and action RPGs. Since there are so many third-party controllers out there, there's no need dish out more for the Pro Controller if you don't want to.

Our number one recommendation is PowerA's wireless Nintendo Switch controller due to it's ergonomic and lightweight design. It feels good in adult-sized hands and provides all the functions you need for an intense gaming session. Just keep in mind it doesn't do amiibo support.

If you'd prefer something a little cheaper check out the HORIPAD Wired Nintendo Switch Controller. It's the least expensive controller on this list but will still provide you with a better gaming experience than the Joy-Cons. Now get gaming!

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