The Nintendo Switch is an extremely versatile system. Not only can you play it in handheld mode with its two detachable Joy-Con controllers attached on both sides, but you can dock it at home and play on your TV for a super-sized view of your game. It’s really up to you which Nintendo Switch controller you choose to play with.
If you decide to play with your Switch docked, you can opt to play with a variety of different controllers aside from the included Joy-Cons, each of which can be perfectly suited to the games you love. For small hands to gamepads created specifically for some Super Smash Bros. action, there’s one out there for every type of player.
Are you planning on some lengthy play sessions with your Switch? Or maybe you’re just tired of using the same old Joy-Con? No worries – we’ve rounded up a few options out on the market that we consider the best Nintendo Switch controllers.
1. Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
Nintendo thought ahead about offering Switch players a viable option for a Joy-Con alternative and released the official Nintendo Switch Pro Controller. It’s the most expensive option by far, unless you catch it on sale, but it’s also the best and most comfortable Switch gamepad on the market. Everything about it feels weighty, premium, and satisfying, and you can even take it on the go with you to play with your Switch wirelessly. This is the Cadillac of Switch controllers, by far.
2. Nintendo Joy-Con
These joy-cons are the reason your Nintendo Switch is even accessible, to begin with. If you’re looking for a replacement given a lost, damaged or dog-eaten joy-con, here you go. They’re ideal for clipping directly onto your Switch or using for handheld mode. But, if you’ve already got a Switch, that’s something you already know. Nonetheless, every Switch owner should have these, so if you for whatever reason don’t, here they are.
3. PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller
BEST VALUE PRO CONTROLLER
If you don’t want to spring for Nintendo’s official Pro Controller, PowerA makes an absolutely fantastic alternative. It looks and feels nearly identical to Nintendo’s design, but there are several additional designs to choose from beyond the stark black paint job. It’s a bit lighter than Nintendo’s version, and has more of a plastic heft to it, but it performs just as well, with more customization options, including two “Advanced Gaming Buttons” offered on the controller. You can turn them on and assign them the desired functionality you’d like from them. Overall, an extremely solid (and cheaper) Pro option.
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4. PowerA Joy Con Comfort Grips
The original joy-cons provided by Nintendo truly aren’t the most grip-friendly. And, when using your Switch on the go, you can’t really play with an external controller with grips. Thankfully, PowerA found a solution to this issue with a joy-con that grips directly onto your Switch for on-the-go fun. It looks just like your favorite controller to provide comfortable play whenever, wherever.
Read More: Best Indie Games for the Nintendo Switch
5. Hori Nintendo Switch Battle Pad
BEST FOR SUPER SMASH BROS. ULTIMATE
There are some controllers that were made specifically to fulfill one purpose, and this Hori Battle Pad is one of them. Created especially to resemble a classic GameCube controller, it’s a fantastic choice for anyone looking to get a few rounds of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in. The GameCube controller has long been lauded the best gamepad to play the game with, and this specially-made wired fight pad is an excellent choice if you want to totally dominate each match.
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6. JAMSWALL Joy Con Controller
BEST JOY-CON REPLACEMENT
Say you really love the idea of using and owning the provided Switch joy-cons but you can’t stand the way you’re holding them. What do you do? You give the JAMSWALL controller a spin. This joy-con rethinks the flat joy-con design Nintendo chose for an ergonomic design your hands will feel more comfortable on. They work with both the Switch and Switch Lite and cost a ton less than replacements from Nintendo.
7. Afterglow Wireless Deluxe Controller
BEST FOR NIGHT TIME PLAY
If a flashier controller is what you desire, you’ll find plenty of bells and whistles with the Afterglow option here. It’s fantastic for nighttime play, especially since it features a variety of colorful LED lights with customizable colors and lighting modes. Physically, it resembles a Pro Controller as well, and it’s even wireless for your convenience. Light up the night with this eye-catching gamepad, and you’ll never want to go back to a “normal” controller again.
Read More: Super Mario Games for Your Nintendo Switch
8. 8Bitdo Zero 2 Bluetooth Gamepad
BEST FOR SMALL HANDS
If you’re playing with children on Switch, or regular Pro controllers feel a bit too big, you might opt for 8Bitdo’s incredibly lightweight and compact option. It may be cramped for players with larger hands, but for the petite gamers out there, it should be a perfect size. It has all of the buttons you need to enjoy just about any game, but it truly shines when it comes to retro titles. It’s also an eye-catching color that sets it apart from the rest of the controllers on the market.
9. PowerA Pokemon Wireless GameCube Style Controller
BEST FOR POKEMON LOVERS
Just like the Smash Bros controller, this wireless GameCube-style controller brings it back to the good old days of long nights in your parents’ living room playing your favorite games until the sun rose. And, yeah, we know damn well that Pokemon was one of them. Celebrate 25 years of love toward Pokemon with this GameCube-centric Switch-style controller and give Ash a run for his money.
10. ASTARRY Wireless Pro Controller
BEST BUDGET CONTROLLER
You don’t need to break the bank to get a good, reliable Switch controller. This ASTARRY option will do just fine when it comes to playing any game on the system. It comes in an attractive matte black, punctuated by light blue accents, and it works as a great alternative to the pricier picks on this list. If you just need a good alternative for guests or a backup controller that will keep the game going long after the battery on one of your main gamepads has died, you can’t go wrong with this model.