The best Nintendo Switch controllers in 2024

Joel Loynds

Looking to grab the best Switch controller in 2024? Well, you don’t have to settle for Joy-Cons or even Nintendo’s Pro Controller, as fantastic options have been released for Switch.

Getting the best Nintendo Switch controller is a pretty difficult conundrum in 2024. With the Switch’s stock Joy-Cons lacking hall effect sticks, they are prone to drift, and the same goes for Nintendo’s official options too.

Luckily, a swathe of third-party manufacturers have come to the rescue, and we’ve separated the wheat from the chaff with this handy list of the best Switch controllers you can buy today.

8BitDo Ultimate controller

8bitdo ultimate controller charger
  • Connectivity: USB-C, Bluetooth, 2.4GHz
  • Compatibility: Windows, Steam Deck, Android, iOS, Switch
  • Features: GuliKit joysticks, app connectivity to change settings, macros, and charging dock
  • Price: $49.99
ProsCons
Wireless compatibilityExpensive
Hall Effect joysticksLacks HD rumble effects
Auto Reconnect accompanying charging dockNo NFC functionality
Stable 2.4G connection compatibility
Multiple colorways

There’s a reason that the 8BitDo Ultimate controller for the PC and Switch got the perfect score. Not only is it a sublime piece of hardware to use every day, but its flexibility and feature set are unparalleled in the Switch controller space.

Not only are you getting a solidly built controller, with a charging docking station for $49, but it comes with hall-effect sticks to avoid drift. These sticks use magnets to improve accuracy, but also to keep the stick aligned with where it needs to be.

Underneath the hood, there’s Bluetooth and 2.4GHz mode, and you can connect it to your phone to update profiles for different situations. All of these can be flipped on the fly as well. These features are why the 8BitDo Ultimate tops our list as the best Switch controller in 2024.

Hori Split Pad

Split Pad Compact
  • Connectivity: Direct attachment
  • Compatibility: Switch
  • Features: Remappable rear buttons, Turbo function
  • Price: $49.99
ProsCons
Larger should buttonsUnattractive color scheme
Ergonomic designOnly works in handheld mode
Remappable buttonsNo HD rumble
Turbo functionalityNo NFC functionality

The major issue with Joy-Con replacements is their lack of wireless connectivity. However, if you’re planning on being on the go or just never have really docked the Switch, then you’re in luck.

Hori’s legendary controllers have graced consoles for a while now, and they brought that excellence to the Switch. Our review of the Joy-Con replacements said that not only do they improve the comfort of using the Switch in handheld mode, but they also offer better controls.

You’re not just getting a D-pad, but that level of Hori excellence that will see you making fireballs with immaculate ease.

There are two versions available, the Compact – which we reviewed – and the Pro, which offers a bigger grip for folks who have slightly larger hands.

Nyxi Wizard

Nyxi Wizard controller
  • Connectivity: Wireless (Bluetooth), Wired (USB-C)
  • Compatibility: Nintendo Switch
  • Features: Hall Effect sticks, mappable rear buttons
  • Price: $69.99
ProsCons
Comfortable retro designBulky when attacked in handheld mode
Hall Effect sticksExpensive price point
Backlit face buttons
Can be used in handheld & docked mode

If you miss the design and feel of the Nintendo GameCube controller, the Nyxi Wizard is the answer. The Nyxi Wizard controller recreates the look of the iconic controller design, down to the nostalgic button placement. Everything down to the big green centralized A button, small red B button, and surrounding gray Y and Z buttons are recreated with shocking accuracy.

Unlike the original GameCube and coveted GameCube Wavebird controllers, this takes inspiration from, the buttons of the Nyzi Wizard all light up for an added personal touch. This modern iteration of the classic controller can be used in docked or handheld mode, making it one of the more multifaceted controllers on the list.

What truly ranks the Nyxi Wizard highly among other Switch controllers is its use of Hall Effect sticks. With Hall Effect sticks, the Nyzi Wixard can avoid the effects of drift, which often plague the official Nintendo Joy-Con controllers.

Nintendo Switch Pro controller

Photo of the official Nintendo Switch Pro controller.
  • Connectivity: USB-C, wireless
  • Compatibility: Nintendo Switch, PC
  • Features: Gyroscope sensors, HD rumble, 40hr battery life, NFC compatibility
  • Price: $67.99
ProsCons
Long battery life (Up to 40 hours, 6 hours charging time)Expensive
NFC functionalityNo additional colorways
HD Rumble functionalityNo Hall Effect sticks
Wireless support

Yes, we know it’s an official Nintendo product, but it’s legitimately very good. While fairly basic in terms of its features, it does offer a connect-and-go experience with no compromises. This means NFC support for Amiibos, that classic Nintendo D-pad, and all the menu buttons. There’s very little faff, and it even supports gyro controls.

Our only main issue is that when using the controller elsewhere, the triggers only have on or off, there’s no analog between the press. While a lot of official Nintendo first-party titles won’t ever really bother with this, when deciding to use the controller across PC games can be a little irritating.

PowerA controllers

Image of three different PowerA Nintendo Switch controllers.
  • Connectivity: Micro-USB, wired
  • Compatibility: Switch
  • Features: Two mappable advanced gaming buttons, embedded anti-friction thumbstick rings
  • Price: $27.99
ProsCons
AffordableWired connection only
Available in multiple licensed designsNo HD Rumble
Programmable back buttonsNo NFC functionality
Detachable USB cable for easy storage

If you’re after a relatively affordable, but wired connection, you should look no further than PowerA. They don’t support most of the features found on the official Pro controller, nor do they work wirelessly. However, they feel similar enough to the Switch Pro controller that after a while they’re indistinguishable.

PowerA has a bunch in a tonne of themes, so you can take your pick and choose a favorite. They also make some decent alternatives to the Gamecube controller as well.

CRKD Nitro Deck

Nitro Deck
  • Connectivity: USB-C
  • Compatibility: Nintendo Switch
  • Features: Low latency, four back buttons, rumble, kickstand, gyro, passthrough charging, swappable thumbsticks
  • Price: $89.99 with carrying case, $59.99 without
ProsCons
Hall Effect sticksMushy D-pad & trigger buttons
Available in multiple colorwaysExpensive price point
Backlit buttons
HD Rumble
Kickstand
Swappable thumbsticks

The CRKD Nitro Deck is set to take you back to the past. The handheld deck is available for both the Switch and the OLED model of the Nintendo handheld and transforms your console into a modern iteration of the Nintendo GameCube.

You can only use the Nitro Deck while in handheld mode, as your Switch slides into the center of the controller, which also doubles up as the grip for your console. Once your console is secured, you can make use of a full suite of buttons, including a D-pad and the Hall Effect integrated joysticks.

If the GameCube-inspired buttons aren’t enough, the Nitro Deck is available in other colorways. The ‘Retro Purple Edition’ is the perfect homage to the early 00s, and there’s even a ‘Classic Grey Edition’ available for those more a fan of the 16-bit Nintendo era instead.

8BitDo Pro 2 controller

  • Connectivity:  Bluetooth (Wireless)
  • Compatibility: Nintendo Switch, PC, macOS, Android, Steam & Raspberry Pi
  • Features: 20 battery life, HD rumble & motion control support
  • Price: $49.99
ProsCons
Classic retro designExpensive price point
Hall Effect sticks
Multiple colorways (including retro-inspired design)
20-hour battery life
HD Rumble
Motion controls

With the ever-increasing amount of older Nintendo games being added to NSO, the official Joy-Cons or other Nintendo Pro controllers don’t quite do the job. When playing NES or SNES classics, having a controller that better recreates the shape and feel of the original hardware can lend itself to an overall better nostalgic gaming experience.

That’s where the 8BitDo Pro 2 controller comes in. Inspired by the rounded shape of the original Super Nintendo controller, the Pro 2 lends itself to playing older Nintendo titles.

Not only does it come in a ‘G Classic’ design, reminiscent of the original Game Boy color scheme, but its D-pad is located above the left joystick. With the d-pad front and center on the controller, similar to the classic Nintendo controllers of the past, it makes it an ideal comfortable fit for picking up classic games.

GameSir T4 Kaleid

GameSir T7 Kaleid side profile
  • Connectivity: Wired, 2m detachable USB-C cable
  • Compatibility: Nintendo Switch, PC & Android
  • Features: Dual programmable buttons, dual rumble motors, gyroscope, hall-sensing analog sticks, turbo function, dedicated software app
  • Price: $47.99
ProsCons
Hall Effect sticksWired only connection
Programmable back buttonsNo HD Rumble or NFC functionality
Motion controls
RGB

The GameSir T4 Kaleid is one of the flashiest Switch controllers on this list. With its translucent body, the RGBs of this controller stand out, along with its stunning black and copper layered PCB. While RGB isn’t for everyone, the layers of customizability of the T4 Kaleid are bound to please anyone looking for an added layer of personalization to their Switch controller.

With the T4 Kaleid Windows app, you can adjust the hall effect stick dead zones, RGB lighting, vibration strength, and the gyro motion controls of the controller. If you don’t have access to a desktop PC, you can also customize the controller without the straightforward-to-use app.

The included ‘M’ button on the T4 Kaleid controllers allows you to assign the programmable back buttons. Along with the opportunity to assign a turbo function, should you need it.

Nintendo Joy-Cons

Nintendo discontinues Twitter/X integration on Switch
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 3.0 (Wireless) & Docked (Handheld mode)
  • Compatibility: Nintendo Switch
  • Features: NFC reader amiibo support (Right Joy-Con), Gyroscope and motion tracking, HD rumble, IR motion camera, screen capture button
  • Price: $79.99
ProsCons
Easily pairs with SwitchSubject to drift
Functions as both one & two controllersExpensive to replace
Compatible in docked & handheld mode
Available in multiple colorways

The official Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers may be an obvious choice for the list of best Switch controllers, but their multifaceted use should never be underestimated. These two compact controllers can be used as a single-use gamepad alongside the Switch comfort grip, or apart as two separate controllers entirely.

With previous Nintendo consoles, playing co-op games required purchasing additional controllers. However, with the Joy-Cons, you can easily change the pairing setup and have a second controller ready at a moment’s notice.

While the official Nintendo Joy-Con controllers are known to suffer from drift, they’re available in a huge range of colors, to suit every Switch gaming setup. You can pick up a set in the traditional blue and red color scheme, or even in a range of pastel colors. Most recently, Nintendo released a pastel pink set to coincide with the release of Princess Peach: Showtime!

Hori Mario Kart Racing Wheel Pro Deluxe

  • Connectivity: USB
  • Compatibility: Nintendo Switch & PC
  • Features: 270-degree rotation angle wheel, shift paddles, button hold function, fully programmable buttons, textured rubber grip, clamp and suction attachment options, analog foot pedals
  • Price: $129.99
ProsCons
Compatible with multiple racing gamesExpensive price point
Accompanying sensitive analog foot pedalsNot compatible with every Switch racing game
Adjustable dead zone
Retractable foot pedals
Mounting options
Unique official Super Mario design

Not every Mario Kart player needs to use a racing wheel controller, but the Hori Mario Kart Racing Wheel Pro Deluxe is one of the most stylish Mario Kart accessories out there. The racing wheel controller has a flashy Mario-themed design, featuring a black and red color scheme with the iconic red M right and middle of the 270-degree wheel.

It doesn’t just look the part, but the officially licensed Hori Mario Kart controller also features shift paddles on the wheel, a button hold function, fully programmable buttons, and a textured rubber grip for a more comfortable and realistic grip.

The Pro Deluxe version of this controller even comes with analog foot pedals, for a more realistic driving experience. If you’re concerned about space, the foot pedals are also retractable so they can be easily stored away with your other Switch accessories when not in use.

Not everyone is going to play enough Mario Kart 8 Deluxe to facilitate the use of an entire controller dedicated to the game. However, the Hori Mario Kart Racing Wheel is also compatible with a range of racing games on the Switch, including games like WRC 10 and WRC generations.

Are Joy-Cons better than Pro controllers?

Ultimately, what controller you prefer to play your Nintendo Switch games with depends on preference. The official Joy-Cons, and the third-party Joy-Con alternatives like the Hori Split Pad, are just as capable of playing through hours of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom as any Pro controller.

However, with their often ergonomic design, Pro controllers can be more comfortable to hold. Controllers like the official Nintendo Pro controller are thicker, and so fit better within the palm of your hands. Not only that, according to Nintendo, the battery life of the Pro controller is approximately 40 hours, double that of the estimated battery life of the official Joy-Cons.

Can you use a wireless controller with the Switch Lite model?

The Nintendo Switch Lite launched on September 20, 2019, as an alternative for those who prefer to only play their Nintendo handheld predominantly in handheld mode. Instead of the typical detachable Joy-Cons that come with the launch edition and OLED Switch models, the Joy-Cons of the Switch Lite are baked into the console itself and cannot be removed.

While you can only use the Lite model in handheld mode, you can still wireless connect additional controllers. The Switch Lite also supports additional Joy-Con controllers to be connected wirelessly, along with Switch Pro and other wireless third-party controllers. However, you will still be dependent on the 5.5-inch LCD screen when it comes to playing your wireless controller-compatible games.

Do Nintendo Switch controllers get drift?

Drift, also known as ‘stick drift’ has been a prominent issue with the official Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers. During the console’s lifespan, Nintendo began to offer up free repairs for its controllers, which after prolonged use, can continue to pick up inputs and act independently.

As a result, many alternative third-party controllers, like the 8BitDo Ultimate controller, offer up hall effect sticks. These sticks are not prone to drift, as they work through the alternative method of utilizing a magnetic field to register movement. Without dust being able to get stuck between the contacts of the parts of an analog stick, controllers like the Nyxi Wizard aren’t subject to the frustrating and controller-breaking effects of drift.

Not all third-party Nintendo Switch controllers have hall effect sticks by default. If stick drift is a concern, we recommend ensuring the next Switch controller you pick up has hall effect sticks, to make drift a thing of the past.

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