Best third-party controllers for Nintendo Switch iMore 2021

The Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons are fantastic controllers, but they are expensive. Some of the best Switch third-party controllers can be better options. Whether you prefer the smaller Joy-Cons or the heavier Pro controller, everyone has their preference. If you want a more traditional gaming controller for your Switch and want to spend less money, you have other options. Here are our favorite third-party controllers for Nintendo Switch.

Powera Wireless Switch Controller Black

Solid wireless controller: PowerA Enchanced Wireless Controller

Staff Favorite

This is likely the best Switch third-party controller as it's 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.

Pdp Faceoff Deluxe Plus Audio Controller

Headphones please!: PDP Faceoff Deluxe+ Audio Wired Controller

This is the first Nintendo Switch controller to feature a headphone jack. I know, right? This should have been done sooner! You can adjust music volume during gameplay by using the D-pad, and there are interchangeable faceplates. Plus, you won't feel too tethered since it comes with a 10-foot cable.

Kinvoca Joycon Pad

Joy-Con knockoffs: KINVOCA Joycon Pad

If you need to replace your Joy-Cons or you want an extra set for multiplayer games, this pair of controllers will do the trick. They slide on and off your Switch, include motion controls, and even feature rumble. Choose from six different color options.

From $37 at Amazon
HORIPAD Wired controller

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. It comes with a 10-foot cable, making it long enough to sit a comfortable distance from your TV. It also has a detachable directional pad, so you can choose between it or buttons.

PowerA Wired Controller

Affordable wired option: PowerA Wired Plus Controller

The included cable is 8 feet long, giving you ample length. Plus, the thumbsticks come in three different sizes, so you can customize how the physical sensitivity feels. Unfortunately, the PowerA Wired Controller doesn't support NFC (so no amiibo) and doesn't have motion controls.

PowerA GameCube Wireless controller

Classic GameCube feel: PowerA Wireless GameCube Style Controller

The GameCube controller will always reign supreme for some Nintendo fans, 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.

SN30 Pro Controller for Nintendo Switch

Perfect for retro games: 8Bitdo SN30 Pro Wireless Bluetooth Controller with Classic Joystick Gamepad

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 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.

$57 at Amazon
Mayflash Magic NS

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 PS5 DualShock. Or maybe you just don't want to buy one more controller. Fortunately for you, there's a solution that allows you to use those controllers with your Switch. The Magic-NS enables wireless connection for PS5, PS4, PS3, Wii U Pro, Xbox One S, or Xbox Series X controllers, so you can game comfortably with any of these familiar controllers!

$20 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 essential for multiplayer games, shooters, and action RPGs. On the other hand, if you get one of the best Switch third-party controllers out there, there's no need to 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 its 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 one of the least expensive controllers on this list but will still provide you with a better gaming experience than the Joy-Cons. Now get gaming!

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