Sitting comfortably in the top five best-selling consoles of all time, not only is it entirely likely many of you Nintendo Switch owners have either suffered from the dreaded Joy-Con drift or simply need a new controller, but it’s also likely many Switch owners don’t know the options they have available. Yes, you can cough up for some new Joy-Con straight from the source, but before you do, it’s worth checking out what other options you have.
Not only are there plenty of Joy-Con options out there, but there are regular controllers, retro controllers, and whether you do most of your gaming while the Switch is docked or in your hands to consider. Once you realize all of that, the choice out there can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve hand-picked a few of our favorite Switch controllers, each with different benefits depending on the type of gamer you are, and you can check out all of our choices below.
Best Nintendo Switch Controllers
Wireless Pro Nintendo Switch Controller
Ferish’s offering ticks pretty much all the boxes someone on the lookout for a new Switch controller might have. Feels comfortable, little risk of drift, and reasonably priced. A great and affordable way to play your Switch.
- Comfortable to hold
- Very reasonable price
- Little-to-no risk of drift
- Might be tricky to connect, but isn’t overly complex
Joy-con are fiddly, wires get in the way, controllers are expensive. That’s why this particular Switch Pro controller may well be the best pick for everyone on the lookout for a new one. Ferish’s third-party controller feels comfortable in your hands, there’s far less chance of it suffering drift than a regular Joy-Con, and no wires getting in the way if that’s an issue for you. It also charges quickly when it does need to be connected and should last up to eight hours while gaming before it needs to be charged again. I can’t recommend you play all those hours in back-to-back, though. At the very least take a few water and shower breaks.
Nintendo Switch Pastel Joy-Con
Best Official Controller
Drift aside, there’s no better way to play your Switch than the way Nintendo intended. It’s also nice to jazz up your Switch a little via your Joy-Con, and with different options to choose from, these pastel-colored controllers are a great way to do that.
- An officially licensed product from the source
- Make your Switch look really pretty
- Unconvinced Nintendo has addressed drift
Yes, sitting there holding a controller like you would do while playing every other console is great. That’s not the Nintendo way, though. Ever since the Wii, Nintendo has insisted we hold and use controllers differently. For the Switch, that’s via Joy-Con. While you can sit and hold them like a normal controller, you also need to make full use of the motion controls and swing them around from time to time too, just make sure that wrist strap is on before you do. Most importantly, don’t they just look nice?
Pikmin Clover Patch PDP Realmz Controller
There’s A Pikmin In There!
PDP’s Realmz controllers are made of clear plastic so the video game character captured inside them is easily visible. The Pikmin Clover Patch controller has a red Pikmin figurine trapped inside the left grip, exclusive to Nintendo Switch.
- Very cool and uniques design
- Sonic and Transformers versions also available
- Would it be weird to use this while playing anything other than Pikmin?
Controllers don’t always need to be about functionality alone. They need to look good too, and very few Switch controllers look better than the ones included in PDP’s Realmz collection. The controllers are unique because they have figurines of characters from famous series captured in the left grip. The one above is the Pikmin model, but there are three Sonic versions available too, and also a Transformers controller with an Optimus Prime head in the handle.
Wired Nintendo Switch Controller
Wireless controllers might be the desired option for most, but wired controllers still have a place. PowerA’s Switch offering might be the bog standard pick, but it does everything a wired controller should.
- Always wired so no need to worry about charging
- Super affordable wherever you choose to buy
- Other colors aside from black available
- Wires may get in the way/tangled
- No motion control capability
Yes, everything is wireless nowadays and untangling wires and making sure they’re put away neatly is a cumbersome task. However, is there anything more annoying than a controller cutting out mid-game, especially when playing online? Sometimes you just want to go old school and game with a controller plugged right into the console, just like the video game gods intended. Not only does PowerA’s third-party controller let you do that, but as is usually the case when it comes to wired vs. wireless, it does so at a very affordable price. Available in a lot of different places in various colors, the PowerA controller is a great pick if you’re willing to sacrifice wireless capability and motion controls.
Nitro Deck Purple Limited Edition With Carry Case
Best Dual Use
Give Your Switch A GameCube Makeover
The Nitro Deck is a Nintendo Switch accessory that can be used in handheld when connected to your console, but also as a pro controller when your Switch is docked. This purple edition is based on the color scheme of the GameCube and includes a carry case.
- GameCube color scheme is perfect
- Back buttons are very easy to reprogram
- Carry case included
- Rumble isn’t the best
- Back buttons can get in the way
If you’re semi-familiar with the Nitro Deck, you might be wondering what it’s doing on a list of the best Switch controllers. Well, just in case you didn’t know, when the Nitro Deck isn’t gently cradling your Switch, it actually doubles as a controller. It’s easy to switch your Deck into controller mode, and all of the features it has when using it in handheld mode are still active when your game is back up on the big screen. This can quite easily become your go-to way to play Switch games whether docked or handheld.
The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
A Tears of the Kingdom version of the Nintendo Switch pro controller. Arguably the best way to play the console’s best game.
- A controller officially tied to one of the best games ever
- An officially licensed Nintendo product
- A lot of money, even if it is a beautiful and official piece of merch
I don’t care whether you’re reading this the day after I published it or ten years from now, you’re probably still playing Tears of the Kingdom. That’s because it’s one of the greatest games ever made and it’s going to be a while before a new Legend of Zelda game rocks up to replace it. There’s no better way to play the Breath of the Wild sequel than with an official Tears of the Kingdom controller. Just imagine the smile that will spread across your face every time you’re killed by bokoblins or can’t figure how how to conquer a shrine when you look down at the above piece of art. It will make even the toughest parts of the game, and any other tricky Switch titles for that matter, much easier to swallow.
Nintendo Switch One Piece Joypad Controller
Best for handheld use
Relying on Nintendo’s Joy-Con can be tricky when using the Switch in handheld mode. This one-piece joypad makes things a little easier and little more comfortable when the whole Switch is in your hands.
- Much more comfortable than using Joy-con while handheld
- Charges your Switch while playing
- Surprisingly cheap for a product this good
- Button layout slightly altered making it difficult to use at first
One of the main reasons more than 100 million of us own a Switch is because it’s both a home console and a handheld one. The trouble with the latter is the Joy-Con aren’t exactly comfortable to hold and use. This one-piece alternative is a terrific way to counteract that. Something that feels like an actual controller and not like your tightly gripping the sides of your Switch until you have cramp, it even charges your console at the same time giving you an extended period of handheld time before it needs to be docked or tethered to an outlet.
Nintendo 64 Switch Controller
Best for retro gaming
Created specifically for playing N64 games on the Switch, Nintendo’s most outlandish controller to date is so out of the box, it’s still needed to play N64 games on consoles 25 years later.
- Easily the best way to play N64 games on NSO
- Cheaper than buying new Joy-Con
- Officially licensed Nintendo product
- Not useful to those uninterested in NSO’s N64 library
- Still one of the weirdest and most uncomfortable controllers ever made
Many of you use your Switch for more than just playing brand-new games, and no I’m not talking about watching Netflix. Seriously though Nintendo, why can’t I watch Netflix on my Switch? Sorry, where was I? Ah yes, playing old games on your Switch. The Switch has a growing library of Nintendo 64 games available via its NSO Expansion Pack, and whether you like it or not, the best way to play those games is with an N64 controller. Thankfully, Nintendo has created one that is compatible with the Switch. Yes it’s weird, and also a little annoying that you have to go to Nintendo for it, but you try playing GoldenEye without it.
What Is Joy-Con Drift?
Joy-Con drift will result in the sticks on your controllers reacting as if they’re being touched even when they aren’t. What causes drift hasn’t been officially determined, nor is there a specific time period on when Switch owners should expect to experience it.
Will Nintendo Replace Drifting Joy-Con For Free?
Yes, even though it technically hasn’t admitted fault or figured out a way to stop it from happening, Nintendo will replace or repair your Joy-Con free of charge if they suffer from drift.
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