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Best Nintendo Switch controller to buy for 2021

Best Nintendo Switch controller to buy for 2021

The Nintendo Switch‘s small Pleasure-Con controllers are good for easy multiplayer video games (drift issues aside), however the greater Nintendo Switch Pro controller is a lot better for extra demanding video games. With precise grips, the Swap Professional controller is extra snug and its full D-pad and bigger buttons show you how to discover the precise controls if you’re within the warmth of the second. All of Nintendo’s controller options like HD Rumble, NFC for Amiibo scanning and movement controls are supported, and it really works wired or wi-fi. It is nice, nevertheless it’s additionally often priced between $60 and $70.  

There are a selection of third-party Swap Professional-like controllers which can be obtainable for a smaller value. We examined a number of choices to search out the most effective Swap controller you should purchase proper now. Nintendo’s official recreation controller nonetheless leads the best way in consolation and button really feel, however a few of these alternate options do come shut.

Going with a third-party Swap Professional controller does have some benefits other than a lower cost, too. For instance, some have a Turbo button for quicker firing charges or mappable buttons to make sure instructions simpler to set off. Plus, a number of of those we selected can be utilized with Home windows, MacOS and Android, too. We replace this checklist as we strive new merchandise. For much more choices, check out GameSpot’s recommendations

Learn extra: Best Nintendo Switch accessory to buy for 2021

Sarah Tew/CNET

As I stated above, in the event you can afford to get the official Swap Professional Controller, do it. It is the most effective you will get in the meanwhile by way of consolation, efficiency and options. And if that you must purchase a couple of controller, perhaps get this one for your self and one of many cheaper choices under for visiting family and friends.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The PowerA wi-fi controller comes closest to the texture and design of Nintendo’s Professional controller, and you may usually get it for $40 to $50, relying on the design, from Amazon, Greatest Purchase and different sources. The PowerA wi-fi controller does not have HD Rumble, IR or Amiibo NFC help just like the Switch Pro controller does, nevertheless it does have movement controls. It is also obtainable in game-themed variations together with new ones with Grookey, Sobble and Scorbunny (pictured) from Pokemon Sword and Shield.

Its one added function is 2 further buttons on the underside of the controller that may be mapped on the fly. It runs on AA-size batteries, which some folks don’t love. I get that, however I like not worrying about operating out of energy whereas taking part in and I take advantage of rechargeable AAs so I do not burn by disposables. Additionally, because the battery is not in-built, you do not have to trash the controller as soon as the battery stops holding a cost.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Lots of the third-party controllers pass over a number of the Nintendo Swap Professional controller’s options akin to NFC Amiibo performance, vibration or movement management. The Beboncool, which usually sells for round $30, has all of them and a customizable Turbo button — and it is about half the value. I am not a fan of the separate but tons for the D-pad and the buttons are a bit mushy basically, however the efficiency and general high quality are superb for the cash.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

In the event you prefer to customise, this Bluetooth controller is for you. Utilizing 8BitDo’s Final software program, you possibly can remap buttons, alter stick and set off sensitivity in addition to vibration management and simply create macros for classy button combos. The left-hand controls are flipped so the structure is extra like a PlayStation controller, however every thing feels good and responsive. It is snug, too, though the black-on-black design makes the button labels near-impossible to see, however other colors are available

The 8BitDo SN30 Professional Plus Bluetooth Gamepad controller, which usually sells for $50, works with the Nintendo Swap console, Android, Home windows and MacOS. One other good function: Its rechargeable battery pack might be simply swapped out for a brand new one so you possibly can hold taking part in if the included one runs down or not holds a cost.

Josh Goldman/CNET

It is just like the common PowerA Enhanced controller besides smaller. The $50 Nano has the look, really feel and options of the bigger mannequin together with movement controls, rumble (not HD rumble, although) and mappable buttons. It runs on a built-in rechargeable battery as an alternative of replaceable AA cells, although. A six-foot USB-C cable is included for charging; you will stand up to twenty hours on a single cost.

The Nano is designed for journey (it even comes with a pleasant little pouch for storage), nevertheless it’s additionally good for teenagers or anybody with smaller palms. Additionally, whereas the shell is extra compact, the buttons are full dimension, which is mostly nice. Nevertheless, in a few video games the place I used to be button mashing furiously, I’d often miss the Y button and hit the Dwelling button as an alternative — not nice in the event you’re in the midst of a battle. No less than the mappable buttons on the again of the controller made a workaround doable. 

One different minor level: I observed the Bluetooth vary on mine is a few ft shy of the full-size model’s vary. It is one thing simply solved by sitting a bit nearer to the Swap and an appropriate compromise for an on-the-go Professional-style controller.


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Sarah Tew/CNET

Want something a little more retro, but not as retro as a joystick or arcade stick? The $45 full-featured ergonomic design of the SN30 Bluetooth Gamepad controller makes it a more travel-friendly Nintendo Switch Pro controller alternative. And there are no mushy buttons here: Everything feels firm and responsive. It can be programmed for use with Android, Windows and MacOS, too.

Josh Goldman/CNET

This controller is great button-mashing fun for fighting games. It’s wireless, powered by two AA-size batteries, but can also be used wired with the cable that stores in the base. The domed buttons have a solid clicky tactile feel and register even if your fingers land out at their edges. The joystick moves smoothly without being floppy, but it clicks in every direction like the buttons. Also, to compensate for having just one stick, there’s a switch at the top left that lets you change the joystick function to act like the right thumbstick or an 8-way d-pad.

The top and sides of the controller are plastic, but the base is metal and the whole thing is heavy at more than 5 pounds — it doesn’t budge while you’re gaming. You can even customize its look: The clear plastic top is removable and you can download a template to print out a new design for the top (another color option comes with the Fusion, too). While its original $130 price tag was a big ask, the current price of $65 is a deal. 

Josh Goldman/CNET

It’s wired, but the $20 Horipad is one of the more comfortable controllers we tested, and its buttons and sticks feel nice, too. But, while it does have a Turbo button, it lacks vibration and motion control. Its D-pad isn’t a true pad, but a plastic piece that snaps on over four discrete buttons. It works fine, but the fact that it’s a wired controller might be a deal-breaker for some. Currently, the black version of the controller is tough to find at its normal price but you can find it in blue and red. 

Josh Goldman/CNET

The Insten falls under “You get what you pay for” for me but, for what it’s worth, it’s the favorite of my 8- and 10-year-olds. It’s just a basic wireless controller with aggressive dual-shock vibration. It’s comfortable but feels cheap and flimsy. To be fair, though, the controller did survive a high-velocity altercation with my TV and I can’t say the same for the TV. The best part about the Insten is the price, especially if you want multiple controllers: You can pick up a two-pack for less than $50.

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