Nintendo Switch Pro Controller vs. HORIPAD: Which should you buy in 2022?

Pair controllers to Switch
Pair controllers to Switch (Image credit: iMore)

The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller has everything you need to get the most of your games. This should be your first choice if your budget allows for it. Even if you can't afford it now, it's worth saving up rather than making a purchase you'll regret. You should only consider the HORIPAD if you absolutely can't spend more money.

You want all the goods

Nintendo Switch Pro Closeup Hero (Image credit: iMore)

You shouldn't consider the official Nintendo Switch Pro Controller as an option, you should consider it as the only option. Nintendo gives you everything you're looking for in this package. Even if it's a pricier choice, once you dive in, you'll realize that it's not much of a choice at all.

It's more ergonomic than the HORIPAD, and attention has clearly been paid to ensuring that its contours and curves provide more comfortable gaming sessions. It feels like a high-quality, reliable piece of equipment rather than something that could fall apart in your hands. Its grip will prove particularly valuable when playing intense games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate or Diablo 3.

The Pro Controller is also far superior in terms of functionality. It provides full support for vibration, amiibo, and motion controls, all of which are essential features for many Switch games. It's also wireless, meaning you won't have to deal with any annoying cords. Any opportunity to eliminate those from your life should be met with enthusiasm.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Switch Pro ControllerHORIPAD for Switch
Buttons8 Face Buttons, 4 Shoulders, 2 Analog Sticks, D-Pad8 Face Buttons, 4 Shoulders, 2 Analog Sticks, D-Pad, Turbo
Extra FeaturesMotion, Amiibo, RumbleConvertible D-Pad

The HORIPAD controller for Nintendo Switch simply can't match the official Pro Controller where it counts. Sure, it has all the face, shoulder buttons, and analog sticks you need to play most Switch games, providing something simple with a better grip. It even attempts to make a case for itself with a convertible D-pad configuration and a programmable turbo button.

Horipad Nintendo Wired Cropped (Image credit: HORI)

But here's where the big problem comes in. What happens when you want to scan your amiibo into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, or if you want to throw a Poké Ball in Pokémon: Let's Go! Pikachu/Eevee? You can't, because this is where HORI cut costs to make for that oh-so-attractive $20 price tag. It even sacrificed rumble vibration, something that has become almost necessary for any serious modern gaming controller. Yes, you'll save some money, but functionality for numerous games is significantly reduced, which shouldn't be a choice that players have to make.

We simply cannot recommend the HORIPAD to folks who aren't concerned with their budget. Even if money is tight, we'd urge you to save up a bit more for the official Pro Controller.

Quentyn Kennemer