Intermediate between the player and his console, the controller is an element that should not be neglected to enjoy a comfortable gaming experience. However, the Nintendo Switch does not have a real controller, apart from its Joy-Con. We take a look at the best controllers available, to choose from according to your needs and tastes.
The Nintendo Switch is the multiplayer console par excellence, perfect for gaming sessions with family or friends. If the Nintendo Switch and its OLED version come standard with two Joy-Cons, anyone who has ever used one of these small controllers in multiplayer mode knows that they are actually very impractical. Thus, having one or more additional controllers can be relevant, in order to be able to play with several comfortably. In addition, if you do not yet have a console, you can start by consulting our selection of the best game consoles.
Even in solo play, some will also find the buttons, joysticks and triggers a little too small, not to mention the possible problem of Joy-Con drift.
The controller is thus a comfort solution, which will become almost essential if you chain the hours of play on the sofa. So which one to choose? Discover here our selection of the best controllers for Nintendo Switch.
To accompany your console, don’t hesitate to consult our guide to the best accessories for your Switch. You will also find in this selection the best headsets to enjoy your Nintendo console.
Do you like to play more on PC? Check out our guide to the best computer controllers. If you’re more of a smartphone gamer, our recommendations on the best controllers for gaming on Android and iPhone may enlighten you.
Nintendo Switch Pro controller: our recommendation
The Kyoto firm understood that its latest console lacked a classic controller: it therefore quickly offered an official controller, the Nintendo Switch Pro. It is undoubtedly the best solution to enjoy an optimal gaming experience, perfect compatibility, especially for features such as HD vibrations, as well as good manufacturing quality. Wireless, ergonomic and discreet, it has the essential NFC function for reading Amiibos.
Its only weak point is its price: it is offered by all merchants at a non-negligible fixed price of 59.99 euros. It is mainly sold in black, Nintendo has offered four limited editions (Splatoon 2, monster hunter rise, Xenoblades Chronicles 2, Super Smash Bros Ultimate), a little more difficult to find and above all more expensive.
We recommend it to Nintendo purists, as the main controller. On the other hand, it will not necessarily be essential if you just need an extra controller from time to time, for a party with several people.
Why choose the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller?
- Quite simply the official Nintendo controller
- Presence of HD vibrations, gyroscope and NFC
- Ability to play wirelessly
Improved PowerA for Switch: the best wireless alternative
There are other very good controllers, cheaper than the official Nintendo controller. PowerA thus offers an improved version of its wireless controller, which uses Bluetooth to connect to the Switch. Like the Nintendo Controller Pro, it has an internal battery that can be recharged by plugging it into the console or mains via USB-C. If it lacks the HD vibrations, it still has a gyroscope.
Unlike the official controller which is almost only available in black, this one has different designs. It will therefore be very popular with those looking for a product in the colors of a game: you will find in particular themes Animal Crossing, Zelda, The Witcher or doom. It is also lighter than the Controller Pro, which could weigh the scales for some. Be careful to choose the improved PowerA online, the classic being powered by batteries and not a battery.
Why Choose PowerA Enhanced Controller?
- A battery-powered wireless controller
- Additional customizable buttons
- Compatible with gyro functions
PDP Faceoff: the best cheap controller
If the design of its coating can be debated, the wired PDP Faceoff controller is nevertheless reliable, and above all inexpensive. It is under official Nintendo license, and thanks to its low price under 20 euros, it is the ideal complement controller.
It has a 3.5 mm headphone jack, as well as two programmable buttons on the back of the controller. As it is a fairly basic controller, it does not have the gyroscope or vibrations. Finally, its front cover is removable, which allows it to be personalized as desired. Being a wired controller, it also benefits from very good responsiveness… and no need to recharge it. The 3 meter cable is still sufficient for most spaces.
Why Choose PDP Faceoff Gamepad?
- A low-cost Switch controller
- An integrated headphone jack
- Different colors available
8BitDo Pro2: the retro Nintendo controller
The 8BitDo Pro2 controller is intended for a very specific audience: retrogaming enthusiasts, especially those who owned an SNES. This small wireless controller is the new model of 8BitDo, and remains close to the very successful SN30 Pro+. It therefore always adopts a retro look, without sacrificing the joysticks or the handles which add all the necessary comfort. In terms of design and handling, it is similar to a PlayStation DualShock controller, in particular on the location of the joysticks, but also their coating. It has an effective vibration system. To top it off, this controller is also compatible with Android, Windows and macOS, and is available in several colors in addition to the classic SNES gray.
Why choose the 8BitDo Pro2 controller?
- An original old-fashioned look
- A different design, for those who prefer Sony controllers
- Good build quality
Snakebyte MULTI:PLAYCON: to play together on Switch
Are you looking for small controllers for a few games from time to time? Have your kids ever broken a pair of Joy-Cons? Snakebyte’s MULTI:PLAYCON controllers may look like toys, but they’re wireless, battery-powered, and vibration-proof. Sold in pairs, they are also available in black and gray if you are looking for a more discreet design.
In spirit, they are very similar to the Joy-Con held in a horizontal position: there is therefore a joystick on the left and four buttons on the right, as well as two small triggers. Be careful though, they cannot be used vertically like the Joy-Con. Simple, practical, cute and inexpensive: Snakebyte’s MULTI:PLAYCON do what they are asked to do for multiplayer games.
Why choose MULTI:PLAYCON controllers?
- Two controllers at a low price
- A wireless connection via Bluetooth
- A nice design
Hori Split Pad Pro: the ideal controller for playing in portable mode
This somewhat special controller, under Nintendo license, is only for those looking for an alternative to Joy-Con to play in portable mode. The Hori Split Pad Pro indeed offer much more comfort, with a more ergonomic shape as well as larger buttons and joysticks. Two additional triggers, customizable, are also present at the rear.
However, this pair of controllers does not have vibrations, NFC or gyroscope. Please note that the Hori Split Pad Pro only work with the Switch in portable mode, and cannot be used when the console is in TV mode.
Why choose the Hori Split Pad Pro?
- For those who mostly play in handheld mode
- More comfort, especially for larger hands
- For FPS fans
The Joy-Con: the timeless classic
By buying an extra pair of Joy-Con, you are sure not to go wrong. They can in fact embody one or two levers, depending on the direction of use (vertical or horizontal). The principle is smart, because it allows you to multiply controllers and can be particularly useful for certain games, such as Super Smash Bros Ultimate in which up to 8 players can compete locally.
The choice of Joy-Con can also be made if you want to personalize your Switch and change colors. If you invest in new Joy-Con, it will be wise to also buy a support, which allows you to clip them to transform them into a more classic controller, which will prove to be much more comfortable for the second player.
Why Choose Joy-Cons?
- To have the opportunity to play many
- To change your Joy-Con at will
- Nintendo quality
Everything you need to know about gamepads for Switch
How to connect a controller on Switch?
The controllers in our selection connect via USB. It is necessary to plug it into the docking station of the Switch. Then go to the Home menu of the console, select Controllers, then Change style/order. Then just follow the on-screen instructions to connect your device. For the Joy Con, you just need to place the controllers on either side of the console.
What controllers are compatible with the Switch?
Not all controllers are compatible with the Nintendo Switch, far from it. A classic PC controller, or an Xbox or PlayStation controller will not work with Nintendo’s hybrid console. This is why it is necessary to choose a controller specifically indicated as being compatible with the console.
Conversely, some Switch controllers are compatible with other platforms, including Windows (but generally only for use via Steam).
Should you choose a controller with NFC, gyroscope and HD vibrations?
The functions supported by the Switch, such as the gyroscope, HD vibrations, as well as NFC, are not all available on third-party controllers. It’s simple, only official Nintendo controllers (Switch Pro Controller and Joy-Con) combine the three. NFC is only useful if you plan to use Amiibos. The gyroscope is very present in Nintendo games, for example in Zelda: Breath of the Wildor in multiplayer games such as Mario Party Superstars. For some titles, it’s even impossible to do without it – find out beforehand.
The HD vibrations, which are more subtle and precise vibrations than that of a classic controller, are just a little extra. Third-party controllers may offer vibration, but they will not be HD.
Is it possible to connect a controller to the Switch Lite?
It is quite possible to connect Joy-Con, or a controller such as the Switch Pro Controller with a Switch Lite. The procedure to follow is the same as on a classic Switch. Only imperative, to recharge the Joy-Con, you will then need a dedicated charging support.
Are the Switch controllers compatible with the Switch OLED?
Yes, it makes no difference to the controller, which will be compatible with both the basic Switch and the new Switch OLED without any problems.
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