The Nintendo Switch is one of the most popular consoles in the world right now, and it’s perfect for on-the-go or at-home play. Not only that, but it’s a great choice for every member of the family given its expansive library. If you’re going to be using it often, you’ll of course want the very best controller you can possibly get. Here’s the thing: If you’re playing with your Switch docked, you don’t have to rely solely on the Joy-Con controllers that come with the system. You can opt for a variety of controllers and choose the one that works best for you.
We’ve sifted through the many different controllers on the market to select the best Switch controllers available for any type of player. Game on!
Nintendo’s own Switch Pro Controller trounces the competition as the most reliable and premium Switch controller on the market. It’s the go-to replacement for Joy-Cons, as it features excellent rumble and feels great in the hands. Visually, it resembles an Xbox One controller and feels similarly. If you’re not into the semi-transparent smoke color, there are plenty of other variants as well.
It’s the most expensive controller for the system out there as well, but if you’re going to invest in the best, this is the first stop you’ll want to make. Luckily, there are often sales that make the Pro Controller vastly more affordable, in which case you should absolutely buy it (bookmark this page for our weekly updated Nintendo deals). It’s still worth the money otherwise, though.
PowerA has done an absolutely fantastic job making a cheaper alternative to the Pro Controller. The PowerA Enhanced wireless controller does everything the Pro Controller does and more, only for nearly half the price. Available in a litany of different designs and colors, there are always some in stock.
The only real differences are that the controller does feel lighter and less substantial, and you may not get as much battery life. If these qualms don’t bother you, however, you could always buy two for the price of one Pro controller (or wait for a sale) and keep one charged to swap out. They’re great options, right down to their construction.
Many Super Smash Bros. enthusiasts consider the GameCube controller the only “true” control scheme for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (hey, don’t shoot the messenger). This sentiment hearkens back to Super Smash Bros. Melee, which originally debuted on the GameCube. The PowerA wireless GameCube-style controller is indeed the best way to play Smash on Switch, and it’s also an excellent controller overall.
This officially licensed model perfectly mimics the original GameCube wireless WaveBird controller, albeit in a more lightweight form factor, and offers up to 30 hours of gameplay so you can crush the competition as long as you feel like playing. You can opt for several colors as well, with multiple colors that match the GameCube models that debuted at launch. Be sure to arm yourself with this bad boy in time for your next Smash tournament.
Lengthy gaming sessions can often get uncomfortable. The Switch Wireless HORIPAD makes marathon gaming much more tolerable if you’re in it for the long haul. This lightweight and ergonomic controller features plush rubberized grips to give your hands a break while you run through Breath of the Wild for the third time.
The Bluetooth controller features a 32-foot range with a rechargeable battery that offers up to 15 hours of playtime per charge, as well as an accelerometer and gyroscope so that it can be used for games that require motion control. It’s a great controller even if you’re just planning on keeping things casual.
For gamers with smaller hands or those who prefer a compact option for on-the-go play, 8Bitdo has you covered. The Zero 2 Bluetooth gamepad is the perfect size for any member of the family who wants a smaller controller or needs a lightweight peripheral to play their favorite games.
The small, pill-shaped controller comes with all the essentials: a directional pad, four face buttons, “Select” and “Start”, and the all-important shoulder buttons. All encased in a candy-colored shell, everything comes together to make a fun, rugged twist on the typical controller format we see over and over. Plus, it’ll totally fit in your pocket.