PowerA Gamecube Wireless Controller review: Switch it up with a retro throwback

PowerA Gamecube Controller in purple on tableDexerto

Looking for a brand-new Gamecube controller that works with modern consoles? You might not need to look any further than PowerA’s ingenious solution.

PowerA has been making peripherals for about as long as we can remember, and the dawn of Super Smash Bros titles on Nintendo Switch heralded a new gold rush for Gamecube controllers on Switch. After initially writing up our guides on how to get older controllers working, we saw that this solution might have all of the other wired options beat, and for good reason, too.

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Key specs

  • Connectivity: USB-C, Wireless
  • Compatibility: Switch, PC
  • Battery life: 30 hours
  • Price: $60
  • Features: Shoulder buttons, AA Battery powered, Bluetooth 5.0 compatibility, large d-pad

Included in the box: PowerA Gamecube Wireless controller, AA batteries


The PowerA Gamecube controller in purpleDexerto

Anyone familiar with the GameCube controller should be able to see where PowerA gets its design inspiration from. The curious shape of the Gamecube controller may have been abandoned by Nintendo in recent years, but it is still the preferred pad for those who are looking to get the best possible experience while playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate or other Gamecube titles that have made their way onto the Nintendo Switch, such as the upcoming Baten Kaitos remasters.

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Though, PowerA has also made a couple of brand-new additions to the controller itself. The first of which is an additional shoulder button on the left-hand side. Famously, there was previously only one on the official Gamecube controller. Secondly, you have an array of buttons at the center which will mean that the controller will work for almost any Nintendo Switch game. You also get an additional pairing button-up at the top, as well as a space to plop your batteries in.

The D-Pad is also noticeably larger than the original Gamecube pad, which will allow for a better experience while playing games. However, the shoulder buttons are noticeably smaller and have much less travel than the original Gamecube controller. This took some getting used to, and it’s likely that the triggers were not analog-style due to the Nintendo Switch simply not supporting an analog trigger function on officially-licensed solutions.

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The controller is made from a violet-colored plastic, which feels slightly lighter and cheaper than the real thing, as do the ALPS sticks included in the controller, which is still using an octagonal restrictor gate for movement. This makes for an authentic experience, though we still prefer the feel of our original Gamecube controller.

Gaming performance

The top of the PowerA GameCube controllerDexerto

The PowerA Gamecube Wireless Controller is brilliant for playing games. As we had spent countless hours in Super Smash Bros, it seemed like the obvious game to test with. The C-stick is nice and responsive for any of those quick smash attacks, while the main analog stick is sensitive enough to catch all of those tilt attacks which many find difficult to perform on other controllers.

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While the sticks could feel a little bit nicer, we feel as though PowerA has been missing out on a huge trick: more colorways. The controller we tested came in a classic Gamecube Purple, but we longed for the Spice Orange colors of our original Gamecube controller, too.

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It’s also incredibly simple to pair with your switch, pressing the sync buttons has the controller show up on the Switch almost immediately, so you won’t have to mess around with syncing it every time you want ot use it, and it will also function like a classic gamepad.

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We tested out the D-Pad in Super Mario World, and the larger size made it feel utterly fantastic. We think that if you’re revisiting classic games, then the PowerA Gamecube Wireless controller might just be our next go-to for that extra throwback feel.

This also provides a solution to the clunky GameCube controller adaptors that we have previously used, meaning that there are no wires in sight when we were using the controller itself, which we much prefer to the whole shebang of busting out the controller adapter and plugging in some 20-year old controllers.

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Should you buy it?

At just $60, the PowerA Gamecube Wireless controller is a steal for any retro-heads looking to play Gamecube titles on Switch, Super Smash Bros, or for any emulation enthusiasts, since the controller also works via a standard Bluetooth connection. If you are considering this controller, you should also check out the Nyxi Wizard, too.

The verdict – 4/5

While it doesn’t quite match up to the quality of the original controller with regard to its sticks and triggers, it measures up in almost every other aspect. We just wished that it was available in a few more colors so that we could live out our retro dreams once again.

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