PowerA Pokémon-themed Enhanced Wireless Controller for Nintendo Switch review: Excellent controls and fun designs

Powera Grookey Wireless Controller
(Image: © iMore)

iMore Verdict

Bottom line: These PowerA controllers are Wireless and come with two AA batteries to get you started. They also feature motion controls and extra buttons on the back to give you an edge during competitive play.


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    Cool Pokémon design

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    Features motion controls

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    Three color choices

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    Comes with two Energizer AA batteries

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    Mappable back buttons


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    No NFC capabilities

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    No HD rumble

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I personlly prefer playing my favorite Nintendo Switch games using a more traditional controller as opposed to using a set of Joy-Cons. Since this is the case, I prefer to have multiple wireless controllers in my home for when I have friends over to play multiplayer games. However, considering that the official Pro Controller sells for $70, I'm usually on the look out for less expensive options that still perform really well.

Enter PowerA's Enhanced Wireless Controllers. PowerA offers a line of controllers that run on AA batteries and feature various video game themes from Mario to Zelda to Pokémon. Around the time that Pokémon Sword and Shield came out, PowerA also released three special wireless controllers, one for each Gen 8 starter.

After spending several hours testing one of these controllers, I can say that it not only features a fun Gen 8 theme that most Pokémon fans would enjoy, but it also works wonderfully, whether I'm playing on my own or with friends.

PowerA Pokémon-themed Wireless Controllers What I like

Powera Grookey Wireless Controller

Powera Grookey Wireless Controller (Image credit: iMore)

As with many other PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controllers out there, these ones feature a colorful theme. The Grookey controller that I tested has vibrant coloring and a fun design. I love being able to see Grookey's cute face looking up at me whenever I look down. Here are all of the other things I loved about this controller.

Great features Motion controls and extra buttons

One of the best things about this controller is that unlike many other third-party controllers out there, this one features motion controls. That means that I can take part in several Switch games that require me to move the controller around to different positions during game play.

Powera Grookey Wireless Controller

Powera Grookey Wireless Controller (Image credit: iMore)

They feel great in your hands, offer hours of wireless gameplay before needing a battery replacement, and they even feature motion controls.

Each of the regular buttons, the triggers, and the D-pad all feel great to the touch and press in the way they should. I didn't experience any response-related problems while playing with this controller. There are also three extra buttons on the backside of this controller. I found it really easy to reassign commands to these buttons. This, in turn gave me an edge against my friends during competitive multiplayers like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

As with any controllers that feature the extra buttons in these positions, it can be relatively easy to accidentally bump them when you're not meaning too. However, when you first pull the controller out of the box, the backside buttons aren't assigned any functions, so you only have to worry about them affecting your gameplay if you actually take the time to map them.

Wireless play Runs on two AA batteries

I always opt to use a wireless controller when I can since it allows me to move around more freely while I play. One thing that keeps this wireless controller from becoming too expensive is that it runs off of AA batteries rather than having its own rechargable internal battery. Two Energizer AA batteries are included in the box so you don't have to go scrambling around before you're able to use the controller. The lack of an internal battery does make it feel a bit light compared to the Pro Controller, however it still has plenty of weight to make it feel good in your hands.

Another thing I love about this wireless controller is that I can put a lot of time in before needing to replace the batteries. A pair of fully charged AA batteries gives this controller roughly 30 hours of gameplay. So, just make sure to have extra batteries on hand and you won't have any issues while playing your favorite games.

PowerA Pokémon-themed Wireless Controllers What I don't like

Powera Grookey Wireless Controller

Powera Grookey Wireless Controller (Image credit: iMore)

When it comes to wireless third-party controllers, PowerA knows how to make a reliable and convenient product. While I like this controller overall, there are a few things that potential buyers should be aware of. Here's what I don't like about the Pokémon-themed PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controllers.

Vinyl imperfection Chipped design

I was really excited when I started pulling my controller out of the box, but that feeling was dampened a little when I discovered that part of the vinyl layer near the R button had peeled off. This defect doesn't look horrible from a distance, especially since the plastic underneath matches the green in the vinyl covering. However, it's possible that other controllers in this line might have a similar flaw.

Lacking some features No NFC capabilities nor HD rumble

As with most third-party controllers, this one does not feature NFC capabilities or HD rumble. This means that you cannot scan amiibo or feel any vibrations coming from the controller while playing your games. These features aren't absolutely necessary for most games, but they can enhance the overall immersion players experience.

PowerA Pokémon-themed Wireless Controllers Should you buy it?

Powera Grookey Wireless Controller

Powera Grookey Wireless Controller (Image credit: iMore)

If you're a Pokémon nerd, like me, and you want to express your love for Grookey, Scorbunny, or Sobble then I completely recommend picking up one of these controllers. They feel great in your hands, offer hours of wireless gameplay before needing a battery replacement, and they even feature motion controls. With all these features, you're sure to have a good experience while playing your favorite Nintendo Switch games.

Just be aware that these controllers cannot scan amiibo and they don't feature the hardware necessary to create rumble effects while playing your games. This isn't a huge surprise since most other third-party controllers out there don't offer these features either. As long as you expect this before making the purchase, you won't be disappointed by these awesome Scorbunny, Grookey or Sobble PowerA controllers.

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.