Play like a pro

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

Budget buy

PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller

The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is largely considered the best controller in recent years. It has a killer D-pad and boasts a built-in NFC reader, motion controls, as well as rumble functionality. When it runs low on power, you won't have to hunt for batteries as it can be charged with USB. It is definitely pricey, though.

$60 at Amazon

Pros

  • Feels fantastic in your hand
  • Good D-pad
  • USB Charging
  • NFC reader
  • Rumble

Cons

  • Expensive

The PowerA wireless controller may not have an NFC reader or rumble, but it still brings a lot to the table. With a considerably lower price than the Pro Controller, you will get an even better D-pad, motion controls, and two programmable buttons. Plus, there are dozens of designs to choose from so you can get the look you like best.

$40 at Amazon

Pros

  • Lower price
  • Programmable buttons
  • Slightly better D-pad
  • More color options

Cons

  • No NFC reader
  • No rumble

If money isn't a huge concern for you and you have to have rumble, motion controls, and an NFC reader, then the Nintendo Switch Pro controller is the obvious choice. If you want to save a few bucks, The PowerA controller is nothing to look down your nose at. The PowerA also has one specific additional feature that gives it a solid edge over its competition.

Pro Controller vs PowerA Controller Differences

Powera Controller Vs Nintendo Switch Pro ControllerSource: Rebecca Spear / iMore PowerA Controller on the left, Pro Controller on the right.

The Pro Controller is an absolutely fantastic controller that boasts just about all the bells and whistles you could ask for. It has a really nice build quality and feels great in your hands. You can use it's NFC reader to scan your amiibo, and it offers rumble support. Most importantly, it includes motion controls necessary when playing certain games. When your Pro Controller is low on juice, you can plug it into a USB port and get it all charged up.

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Nintendo Switch Pro Controller PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller
Cost $70 and up $40
Battery Life Up to 40 Hrs Up to 30 Hrs
Power supply Rechargeable Battery 2 x AA Batteries
NFC Reader Yes No
Motion Controls Yes Yes
Rumble Yes No
Gyro Control Yes Yes
Programmable Buttons No Yes

The biggest problem with the Pro controller is that it carries a pretty hefty price tag. While the black version can be had on Amazon for $60, some versions sell for upwards of $90. Since gaming accessories have been harder to find in 2020, supply is low, and prices are definitely higher.

For some gamers, buying a controller that could run you nearly a third of the Switch console cost itself just isn't an option. That's when it may be time to take a closer look at the PowerA Enhanced controller, which is also one of the best Nintendo Switch controllers out there. With a much smaller asking price, it is much gentler on the pocketbook.

Powera Controller Vs Nintendo Switch Pro ControllerSource: Rebecca Spear / iMore Pro Controller on the left, PowerA Controller on the right.

To offer a controller at a lower cost, certain functionality just has to go. In the case of the PowerA Enhanced controller, NFC and rumble just didn't make the cut. However, for some people, that just isn't a big deal. The PowerA controller cannot be charged with a USB because it runs off of AA batteries. If you're someone who prefers using disposable batteries, this won't be a bad thing. So this is really a matter of taste. The good news is that this budget controller still features motion controls.

Something that the PowerA offers more readily than the Pro Controller is different design options. There are dozens of different choices ranging from a change in color to a Mario, Pokémon or Zelda theme, so you can find the look you like best. Finally, one of the coolest things that the PowerA offers is the programmable buttons on the back. For those who play competitively against friends and want more customization options, this is a real win.

Pro Controller vs PowerA Controller Bottom Line

The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller and the PowerA Enhanced controller are both great products that have specific benefits and drawbacks. Ultimately there are a few things to consider when choosing which one is right for you. How important is the price? Do you need NFC, motion control, and Rumble?

If you can afford it, the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is the better option. However, if the thought of customizable, programmable buttons sounds appealing, you want some color options, or you're still saving to buy the next big Switch game, the PowerA should be your pick.

Play like a pro

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

All the bells and whistles

The Pro Controller price may be a bit on the high end of the scale, but you will get a lot for your buck. If you need that rumble or you collect amiibo and use them regularly, this might be the only choice for you.

Budget buy

PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller

The cheaper option

The PowerA Enhanced Wireless controller makes a few sacrifices to keep the price down. However, if the things sacrificed don't matter to you, this may be a perfect controller. Add in the programmable buttons, and that makes this controller a formidable contender.

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