Best third-party Joy-Cons for Nintendo Switch in 2023

When Nintendo announced the Joy-Cons, we all saw what kind of new experiences that could be made possible with Nintendo's innovation. After we've had some time with the little controllers, however, we've noticed some issues with them. They're more fragile than other controllers of past consoles, with their tiny components and propensity to develop the ever-irritating Joy-Con drift, where controllers register input despite none being made.

Many of us Nintendo Switch owners have therefore turned to third-party controllers in order to save money while getting new controllers for our systems. Nintendo's options are, after all, very expensive to replace. Third-party controllers will cost you less, and in many cases offer many of the same features as the official Joy-Cons. If you need to replace a pair of Joy-Cons but don't want to spend loads of money doing it, then we've got you covered.

Our top picks for the best third-party Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons

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How to choose the best third-party Joy-Con for Nintendo Switch

The controller you use can really make a difference in your Nintendo Switch gaming experience. Some people prefer a more traditional controller and for that, there are many third-party options as well. However, others may want to stick with having the controllers the way the console intended. If the latter is you, choosing the best third-party Joy-Cons that fit what you need is largely about finding the one with the features important to your play style.

We find that the Hori Split pad Pro is a great option, with its super comfortable shape. It might not have the same kind of features as a standard switch controller, but it'll make your Switch more comfortable to game on for long periods.

It's uncertain whether these controllers will function with whatever new console Nintendo has planned, but in the meantime, it's a great alternative to official options in the event that you're experiencing Joy-Con drift.

Rebecca Spear
Gaming Editor

Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend. 

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