The Joy-Cons of the Nintendo Switch provide a unique gaming experience thanks to motion control, but many do not want to do without the precision of a real controller. The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is officially offered for this purpose. GIGA shows you a number of other exciting alternatives.
Nintendo Switch Gamepads in the Test 2021: All GIGA recommendations at a glance
The Nintendo Switch made the dream of AAA mobile gaming come true. Whether on long train journeys or under the covers late in the evening, the Switch is always ready for use. Still, a lot of games have appeared for Nintendo’s current console that are still the most fun on the big screen. Of course, the right controller should not be missing for this. You can find out from us which gamepad is right for you and what else you should consider before buying.
GIGA price tip
For retro fans
For smash professionals
Ideal for children
Model Diswoe Wireless 8Bitdo SN30 Pro + Wireless Nintendo Switch Pro Controller Hori Switch Battle Pad PDP Rock Candy Mini Price (approx.) 20 euros 45 euros 60 euros 25 euros 15 euros Advantage motion control individually configurable HD vibration Numerous designs available Suitable for small hands Disadvantage None NFC for Amiibos Short battery life High price Wired Little grip Offer Amazon Amazon Amazon Otto Amazon Compare prices idealo idealo idealo idealo idealo
That’s why you can trust GIGA
We conduct intensive research for every article of this type so that we can pass on the knowledge gained to our readers in a compact and, above all, understandable way. Likewise, all listed products are always selected with care and various uses and price segments are also taken into account. You can find more information about our purchase advice in the article “This is how we advise”.
I have been enthusiastic about video games and the hardware and software necessary for them since I was a child. I built my first own gaming computer almost 10 years ago and many more have followed since then. So over the years I have acquired all the knowledge about games and technology myself – often to the delight of my family or friends. I am usually the first point of contact there when it comes to repairing something or advising you on purchasing new equipment.
Also included in the article – the valuable expertise of my colleague Frank Ritter, who is very familiar with technology and games (especially with regard to the Nintendo Switch). In order to be able to give you the best possible overview, in addition to our own experience, we have also relied on user ratings and external test institutions.
GIGA price tip: Diswoe Wireless
Good feel. Wireless motion control. Low price
No NFC for Amiibos. No HD vibration
Among the third-party models is the Diswoe Wireless highly recommended. It offers a good feel, a non-slip surface and very good keys that can be assigned a turbo function if desired. Compared to the Pro controller, however, you have to do without NFC for scanning Amiibos and HD vibration, among other things. Bearable – especially when you consider that this pad costs significantly less than the Pro Controller.
Note: This is an off-the-shelf controller from China that is sold under numerous names. In addition to Diswoe, the controller is also known as EastVita, Zero Starting Point, Rege Moudal, Chereeki, Maegoo, Gamory or Watsabro wireless controller. It is always the same product with the same (good) quality.
Controller for retro fans: 8Bitdo SN30 Pro + Wireless
Chic retro look Wireless (can also be used via Bluetooth) Individually configurable Motion control
Short battery life No NFC for Amiibos No HD vibration High price
Of the 8Bitdo SN30 Pro + wireless controller comes in a chic retro design. The ideal controller, for example, to play the numerous retro hits included in the Nintendo Switch Online subscription. But don’t let the looks fool you, because this gamepad is full of modern features: adjustable triggers and analog sticks, programmable buttons, macros and much more. If that’s not retro enough for you, you can use the 8Bitdo SF30 Pro instead. The design of the gamepad is based heavily on the SNES classic from 1992.
Also practical: A large number of other controllers can be connected to your switch via the additionally available 8Bitdo Wireless Bluetooth Adapter – including the new DualSense controller for the PS5 or the popular Xbox gamepad.
The all-rounder: Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
Wireless (can also be used via Bluetooth) motion control HD vibration NFC for Amiibos Long battery life
Not individually configurable. High price
Of the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is certainly known to most. This is the controller for the Switch officially offered by Nintendo, which is why it has all the important features: HD vibration, motion control and NFC for the use of Amiibos. The gamepad can also be used on a PC via Bluetooth. The Pro Controller also shines with its long battery life of up to 40 hours. The biggest disadvantage is that it cannot be configured individually. In addition, the high price could be a deterrent for some. In return, you get the usual Nintendo quality and you can be sure that the controller will always work flawlessly.
Gamepad for smash professionals: Hori Battle Pad
Proven convenience. Numerous colors and designs available. Low price
Wired No vibration No motion control
That Hori Battle Pad in the true-to-original GameCube look is aimed primarily at veterans of the Super Smash Bros. series. As is known, most swear by the good, old GameCube controller to this day. So that the duels between Pikachu, Link, Donkey Kong and Samus can continue to run exactly as before, the popular gamepad is now also available for the Nintendo Switch. A bit spartan in the equipment and wired – but cheap and available in various colors and designs. Thanks to official Nintendo licensing, the pad can also be purchased in the look of Mario and other well-known Nintendo characters.
Ideal for children: PDP Rock Candy Mini
Perfect for smaller hands. Multiple colors available. Low price
Smooth handles Wired No HD vibration No motion controls
Wired and inexpensive is also the Rock candy controller from PDP. However, it is around 30 percent smaller than the regular Pro Controller, making it easier for children to grasp. The look fits – most kids like transparent and colorful. However, the material is not rubberized, roughened or otherwise treated, so that the handles can become slippery after some time of use. Motion control or HD vibration was also dispensed with, which is completely okay considering the price.
That is why an additional controller for the switch is worthwhile
First and foremost, choosing a suitable switch controller depends on your budget. However, reaching for the official Pro Controller, which is usually much more expensive, is not the only way you can take your gaming experience to the next level. At least if you can do without features such as NFC, HD vibration and motion control. So which Nintendo Switch controller should you buy?
you plays occasionally together with your friends Mario Kart, Mario Party and the like from your sofa? So if you need additional gamepads for this, you can use one of the cheaper models. They can’t quite keep up with the original, but they only cost a fraction of the price of the Pro Controller. Alternatively, you can simply connect your previous controller to the switch with an appropriate adapter. The optics tell you one thing Retro controllers significantly more to? Such gamepads combine retro charm with modern features and often offer you a lot of freedom in terms of individual adaptation. Depending on the model, the controllers are sometimes even a bit cheaper than the regular Pro Controller.
Smash pros, watch out! If you value the comfort you are used to and don’t mind a cable, you should look at the corresponding models that are based on the GameCube. Die-hard Smash fans receive a gamepad with a true-to-original look. Nothing should stand in the way of a victory now.
Buy a Nintendo Switch Controller: You have to pay attention to that
The main disadvantage of the Pro Controller is its high price. If you only need a replacement occasionally, for example to play Mario Kart, FIFA or Smash Bros. with friends on the couch, you can choose a cheaper model that does not come from Nintendo itself with a clear conscience.
Adapters instead of controllers
If you still have a controller from another console, you can use an adapter such as the 8Bitdo Wireless Bluetooth Adapter or Mayflash Magic NS to use it on the switch. Depending on the model, different gamepads are also supported: PS3, PS4, PS5, Xbox 360, Xbox One or Wii U. Other wired and some wireless controllers also work with the adapters. For the sometimes a bit tricky setup and configuration, we recommend reading the Amazon product page and comments.
Retro charm for everyone?
Not quite, because some controllers can only under certain conditions can be acquired. This means the gamepads in the classic design offered by Nintendo – from (S) NES to N64 to the SEGA Mega Drive, pretty much everything is included here. However, you have to be an active member of Nintendo Switch Online in order to be able to buy the corresponding controllers. Another limitation is expressed in the number of units, as you can buy a maximum of four controllers per account.
If you are interested in a controller with the look of an N64 or SEGA Mega Drive console, you will also need the slightly more expensive “expansion package” from Nintendo. This is a supplement to the previous Nintendo Switch subscription, which includes additional bonuses, but costs significantly more.