Which Nintendo Switch wireless controller is best?

The Nintendo Switch usually comes with a set of Joy-Cons you can use to play single-player games or split up to play a multiplayer game with a friend. However, Joy-Cons aren’t the most comfortable controllers.

It’s much easier to play with a traditional controller gamepad, and there are several terrific Switch wireless controllers you can use instead of Joy-Cons. The Nintendo Switch Pro Wireless Controller, for example, has an ergonomic design that lets players comfortably play even the most demanding games.

What to know before you buy a Nintendo Switch wireless controller

Comfort

Joy-Cons are probably the most comfortable controllers there have ever been on a portable console, but when you’re playing at home, a wireless gamepad is much more comfortable. With a wireless controller, you don’t have to worry about cables, and your fingers have more flexibility and mobility. Most wireless Switch controllers also have an ergonomic design, so you can play for extended periods without experiencing much soreness in your hands.

Game genre

If you enjoy racing, puzzle or role-playing games, you can probably get by with Joy-Cons, but other genres are much more demanding, and easier to play with a gamepad. Fighting, adventure and action games often require players to input quick or complex button and joystick combinations, which can be executed more comfortably and efficiently with a gamepad.

Battery life

Wireless controllers are fantastic, but unlike traditional wired controllers, they run on batteries, so you have to recharge them from time to time. Joy-Cons charge when they’re hooked up to the central console, but some wireless gamepads offer up to 40 hours of battery life on a full charge and come with cables so you can use a wired connection as well.

What to look for in a quality Nintendo Switch wireless controller

Mappable buttons

If you’ve ever played a game for a few hours and realized that you don’t quite like the button layout, it can be a turnoff if there’s no in-game option for reconfiguring it. Some Switch wireless controllers have customizable buttons, so you can change the button layout to your preference, even as you play.

Premium features

Official Switch controllers offer features you won’t find on any third-party products. Premium features include motion controls and high-definition rumble, which delivers haptic feedback vibrations to enhance a player’s gaming experience. Amiibo support is another premium Nintendo Switch controller feature and uses near-field communication to interact with Amiibo toys to activate and unlock their unique content.

Colors and extra aesthetic features

There are Switch wireless controllers in just about every color imaginable, so you can get something that matches your style or preference. Some controllers have a transparent build where you can see the inside, and some even have lights with several modes that can display several different colors.

How much you can expect to spend on a Nintendo Switch wireless controller

Switch accessories and peripherals are pricey, with official wireless controllers costing $40-$80. However, if you don’t mind sacrificing some features, you can find third-party controllers for $25-$40.

Nintendo Switch wireless controller FAQ

How do you connect a wireless controller to the Switch?

A. In most cases, you can use a controller’s charging cable to connect it to the Switch. Some controllers can also connect wirelessly using a sync button.

How many wireless controllers can be connected to the Switch simultaneously?

A. You can sync up to eight controllers at once, but it’s worth noting that only some games support that many players.

How long does it take to charge a wireless controller?

A. It varies depending on the controller, but generally, a wireless controller should be fully charged within four to six hours.

What’s the best Nintendo Switch wireless controller to buy?

Top Nintendo Switch wireless controller

Nintendo Switch Pro Wireless Controller

Nintendo Switch Pro Wireless Controller

What you need to know: This controller is perfect for those who want something more comfortable and practical for more demanding games.

What you’ll love: It’s lightweight at just 8.8 ounces and has a classic design with an ergonomic feel. It comes with a USB-C to USB-A charging cable, and has motion controls, built-in high-definition vibration and Amiibo functionality.

What you should consider: Many users found the directional pad subpar, as there’s a lack of a pivot point that lets others be pressed in multiple directions simultaneously.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Nintendo Switch wireless controller for the money

Power A Fusion Pro Wireless Controller

Power A Fusion Pro Wireless Controller

What you need to know: This is an excellent alternative to the official Pro Controller, but it offers similar comfort and functionality, making it a great bargain pick.

What you’ll love: It has an ergonomic design and four mappable paddles that let players customize controls at any time. It can be used wirelessly through Bluetooth or with a USB-C breakaway charging cable and comes with two faceplates, four thumbsticks and a storage case.

What you should consider: It doesn’t support Amiibo features or high-definition rumble.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

PDP Afterglow Wireless Deluxe Controller

PDP Afterglow Wireless Deluxe Controller

What you need to know: This controller is excellent for playing the most demanding games and features flashy lights for spicing up the party.

What you’ll love: It works with the Switch, Switch Lite and Switch OLED and has customizable buttons and motion controls. It has a see-through design so players can see the embedded RGB lights and can be set in four distinct chroma lighting modes.

What you should consider: It doesn’t support rumble feedback, and some users found it difficult to get used to the joysticks, which run higher than the ones on Joy-Cons.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Kevin Luna writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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