Best Nintendo Switch controllers of 2024

The best Nintendo Switch controllers let you play your favorite Switch games in new ways whether that be with your console docked and connected to your TV or in handheld or tabletop mode.

The Nintendo Switch already ships with some of the most versatile game controllers as its Joy-Cons can be connected to the console itself, used wirelessly in each hand or like a regular controller when attached to the included Joy-Con Grip. However, if you’re looking for something a bit different for playing the best Nintendo Switch games, then you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve personally tested dozens of the best Nintendo Switch controllers to see how they stack up when compared to one another. Whether you want a pro-style controller with programmable rear buttons, a compact controller you can bring with you anywhere or a GameCube-style controller for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, these are the best Nintendo Switch controllers you can get today.

The quick list

Below you'll find everything you need to know about the best Nintendo Switch controllers at a glance. Whether you're looking for a wireless controller to play your Switch docked or a pair of Joy-Con alternatives for playing in handheld mode, there's something here for every budget.

Best Nintendo Switch controllers you can buy today

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The best Nintendo Switch controller overall

Best Nintendo Switch controllers: Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

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1. Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

The best Nintendo Switch controller overall

Specifications

Size: 6.1 x 5.7 x 2.5 inches
Weight: 14 ounces
HD Rumble: Yes
Motion Control: Yes
NFC: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable design
+
Special edition designs
+
Supports NFC, HD Rumble and motion controls

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller provides additional comfort when playing in docked or tabletop mode and unlike some of the other controllers on this list, it includes Nintendo’s HD Rumble. It also supports motion controls for games like Splatoon 3 and has NFC built-in for scanning all of your amiibos.

If you’re coming from Xbox or PC, the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is also a good fit as it has staggered joysticks and feels quite nice in hand. There is one downside though as this controller is on the pricey side at $70 though it often goes on sale. If you’re looking for something cheaper with a similar design, the Power A Enhanced Wireless Controller starts at $50 and is also frequently discounted.

The best Nintendo Switch controller for features

An overhead view of the 8BitDo Ultimate Controller in black

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2. 8BitDo Ultimate Bluetooth

A feature-packed Switch controller with multiple connectivity options

Specifications

Size: 7.01 x 6.3 x 3.31 inches
Weight: 21.44 ounces
HD Rumble: No
Motion Control: Yes
NFC: No

Reasons to buy

+
Very comfortable
+
Charging dock included
+
Multiple connectivity options
+
Two programmable back buttons

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

The 8BitDo Ultimate Bluetooth costs the same as the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller but packs in a few extra features to justify its higher price. For starters, alongside the controller, you also get a charging dock that you can use to store it when you’re not playing. Likewise, there are two remappable buttons on the backside of the 8BitDo Ultimate Bluetooth and 8BitDo uses Hall Effect sensors for its joysticks so this controller won’t develop stick drift.

Besides connecting this controller to your Switch using Bluetooth, the charging dock also includes a 2.4 Ghz USB dongle. This dongle can be plugged directly into the Switch’s dock or you can use a USB-C cable to connect the 8BitDo Ultimate Bluetooth’s charging dock to the Switch itself since it also has a USB port for the dongle. If the $70 price tag of this controller is a bit too high, 8BitDo also sells a wired version of its Ultimate controller for the switch for just $35. Either way, you’re getting an extremely comfortable Switch controller with an excellent D-pad, programmable rear buttons and multiple profiles that you can swap on the fly.

Read our full 8BitDo Ultimate Controller review.

The best customizable Nintendo Switch controller

PowerA Fusion Pro Wireless Controller

(Image credit: PowerA)

3. PowerA Fusion Pro Wireless Controller

Best customizable controller for the Nintendo Switch

Specifications

Size: 6.38 x 4.25 x 2.44 inches
Weight: 15.8 ounces
HD Rumble: No
Motion Control: Yes
NFC: No

Reasons to buy

+
Rubber grips
+
Swappable parts
+
Carrying case included
+
Four programmable back buttons

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
No rumble or NFC

If you’ve ever used Microsoft’s Elite Series 2 Controller with your Xbox or PC and want a similar experience on the Switch, then PowerA’s Fusion Pro controller is what you need.  The controller comes with a carrying case, two swappable magnetic faceplates, short and tall analog sticks and a Pro Pack with four remappable buttons. The PowerA Fusion Pro’s  injected rubber grips make it comfortable to hold for long periods of time while the anti-friction rings in the faceplates prevent wear and tear on its analog sticks. 

The PowerA Fusion Pro connects to your Nintendo Switch wirelessly over Bluetooth but you’ll need to plug in the included 9.8 foot braided USB-C cable if you want to plug headphones into the controller’s 3.5mm audio jack. While you do get plenty of customization options and four programmable back buttons, you are missing out on rumble and NFC. Still though, there’s no other Nintendo Switch controller quite like the PowerA Fusion Pro.

The best Nintendo Switch controller on a budget

GameSir T4 Kaleid RGB lighting

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
A feature-packed, wired-only Switch controller that won’t break the bank

Specifications

Size: 6.14 x 4.21 x 3.31 inches
Weight: 7.478 ounces
HD Rumble: No
Motion control: Yes
NFC: No

Reasons to buy

+
Built-in RGB
+
Mechanical face buttons
+
Hall Effect joysticks and triggers
+
Two programmable back buttons

Reasons to avoid

-
Wired only
-
Short 6 foot cable

The GameSir T4 Kaleid is a bit of an outlier on this list since it features an Xbox-style button layout and is a wired-only controller. However, at just $42, it packs in plenty of Pro-level features at a very reasonable price. For starters, the GameSir T4 Kaleid has two programmable back buttons, Hall Effect joysticks and triggers to prevent stick drift and even mechanical face buttons that give a satisfying click when pressed. If all this wasn’t enough, the controller also has a see-through design with built-in RGB lighting.

If you can get over the fact this is a wired-only controller, the GameSir T4 Kaleid offers a lot of value for the price. One of my favorite things about the controller is that you can remap its back buttons, control its RG lighting and even enable turbo right on the GameSir T4 Kaleid without having to plug it into a computer. Besides the Nintendo Switch, this controller also works on PC and Android. Also, if you’re worried about the Xbox-style button layout, there’s a setting for swapping the A and B buttons so you don’t get confused.

Read our full GameSir T4 Kaleid review.

The best Nintendo Switch controller for designs

Best Nintendo Switch controllers: PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller

(Image credit: PowerA)

5. PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller

The Nintendo Switch controller with the best alternative designs

Specifications

Size: 6.4 x 6.3 x 2.6 inches
Weight: 13 ounces
HD Rumble: No
Motion Control: Yes
NFC: No

Reasons to buy

+
A cheaper wireless alternative
+
Two programmable back buttons
+
Loads of color and design options

Reasons to avoid

-
No rumble
-
Battery powered

If you’re not willing to pay $70 for either the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller or the 8Bitdo Ultimate Bluetooth, then the PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller is a great choice. It features a similar layout to both of these controllers and also has two programmable back buttons you can remap on the fly. The PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller is also worth considering if you want a controller with a design to match your favorite Nintendo Switch game since there's Mario, Zelda, Animal Crossing, Pixachu and plenty of other variants to choose from. 

Another thing worth noting about the PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller is that it’s extremely lightweight. This is likely due to the fact that it’s powered by two AA batteries instead of a built-in battery pack. As a result, it’s easy to swap in new batteries quickly and you can also rechargeable batteries with it if you want. The PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller starts at $60 and frequently goes on sale. However, there’s also a cheaper wired-only version as well as a Nano version for children and those with smaller hands. 

The best GameCube Nintendo Switch controller

Nyxi Wizard Wireless Controller

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best GameCube style controller for the Nintendo Switch

Specifications

Size: 6.37 x 4.13 x 2.69 inches
Weight: 8.74 ounces
HD Rumble: No
Motion Control: Yes
NFC: No

Reasons to buy

+
Backlit face buttons
+
Two programmable back buttons
+
Comfortable and nostalgic design

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Too large for small hands

The NYXI Wizard is another unique controller on this list for several reasons. It has a GameCube style button layout with a larger A button in the center and it can also be used wirelessly as a full-sized controller or attached to either side of the Switch in handheld mode. The NYXI Wizard even packs in some Pro-level features like backlit face buttons, two programmable back buttons and Hall Effect joystick sensors to prevent stick drift. 

If you grew up playing GameCube games or are an avid Super Smash Bros. Ultimate player, not only will you appreciate the NYXI Wizard’s button layout but also the fact that it comes with swappable joystick rings. This way, you can have octagonal joysticks like on the GameCube or circular ones like those found on all modern controllers. It’s worth noting that with the NYXI Wizard attached to the Switch, the console feels a lot larger and is almost the same size as Valve’s Steam Deck. Likewise, when used as a wireless controller, it’s a lot larger than a traditional GameCube controller. Still though, if you prefer the GameCube’s controller layout or have larger hands, the NYXI Wizard is a very unique controller with plenty of interesting features.

Read our full NYXI Wizard review.

The best retro Nintendo Switch controller

8BitDo Pro 2

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

7. 8BitDo Pro 2

The best Nintendo Switch controller for platformers and retro games

Specifications

Size: 6.06 x 2.56 x 3.98 inches
Weight: 8 ounces
HD Rumble: No
Motion Control: Yes
NFC: No

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent D-pad
+
Two programmable back buttons
+
Several design options available

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks HD Rumble

For those looking to play platformers and retro titles using their controller’s D-pad instead of the joysticks, the 8BitDo Pro 2 is a great option. This is because it has adjacent joysticks that are under the D-pad and face buttons which means that these two line up perfectly. The 8BitDo Pro 2 is also a great choice if you’re coming from PlayStation as all of Sony’s consoles use this stick layout instead of a staggered one.

The 8BitDo Pro 2 connects to your Switch wirelessly over Bluetooth but it also works on PC, Mac and and Android. There are two reprogrammable back buttons that can be customized on the fly and the controller also packs in rumble and motion controls. The 8BitDo Pro 2 is reasonably priced at $50 but if you’re on a budget, there’s also a wired-only version available for $35. Meanwhile, if you want a controller that’s more portable, 8BitDo’s SN30 Pro has the same button and joystick layout but looks more like a Super Nintendo controller since it doesn’t have any handles. For the most comfortable experience playing at home though, the 8BitDo Pro 2 is the way to go.

The best Nintendo Switch Joy-Con alternatives

Hori Split Pad Pro

(Image credit: Hori)

8. Hori Split Pad Pro

The best Joy-Con alternative for the Nintendo Switch

Specifications

Size: 6.69 x 6.22 x 2.17 inches
Weight: 8 Ounces
HD Rumble: No
Motion Control: No
NFC: No

Reasons to buy

+
Turbo functionality
+
Large buttons and joysticks
+
Two programmable back buttons

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited to handheld mode
-
No rumble or motion controls

If you enjoy playing your Switch in handheld mode but find that Nintendo’s Joy-Con controllers are a bit too cramped, then you might want to consider the Hori Split Pad Pro instead. This controller connects to either side of your switch but unlike the NYXI Wizard, it can’t be used wirelessly. If the Split Pad Pro is a bit too bulky for you and you worry about being able to put it into a case, you’re in luck as Hori has released a smaller version of the controller called the Hori Split Pad Compact that’s also available for $50.

The Hori Split Pad Pro has large joysticks, two programmable rear buttons, turbo functionality and a comfortable D-pad. However, it lacks rumble, motion controls and NFC support. Another great thing about the Hori Split Pad Pro and Hori Split Pad Compact is that there are multiple versions of each controller with designs based around Pac-Man, Zelda, Pokémon and more. If you want to feel like you’re using a full-sized controller when playing your Switch in handheld mode, the Hori Split Pad Pro is the best Joy-Con alternative.

The best arcade stick for the Nintendo Switch

8BitDo Arcade Stick

(Image credit: 8BitDo)

9. 8BitDo Arcade Stick

The best arcade stick for the Nintendo Switch

Specifications

Size: 11.93 x 4.37 x 7.99 inches
Weight: 4.62 pounds
HD Rumble: No
Motion Control: No
NFC: No

Reasons to buy

+
Dynamic buttons
+
Fairly easy to customize
+
Multiple connectivity options
+
Two programmable macro buttons

Reasons to avoid

-
More expensive than other controllers

If you’re really into retro titles and want to get an arcade style experience at home, then the 8BitDo Arcade Stick is the best arcade stick for the Nintendo Switch. In addition to working wirelessly on the Switch, it also works on PC. While you might be worried about the button layout, the 8BitDo Arcade Stick’s Dynamic Button Layout feature adjusts the buttons accordingly depending on which platform you're playing. However, you can also use 8BitDo’s Ultimate Software to completely customize its arcade stick. 

Speaking of customization, it’s really easy to open the 8BitDo Arcade Stick to swap out the buttons or joystick with different ones. Whether you want clicker buttons or to change the arcade stick’s black and red design, this is easier to do than you might think. The 8BitDo Arcade Stick also has toggles on the top to switch the joystick to act like the left stick, right stick or the D-Pad. Likewise, there are two programmable macro buttons at the top of the controller if you need help pulling off combos in fighting games like Street Fighter. The 8BitDo Arcade Stick is a great accessory for the Nintendo Switch whether you’re playing fighting games or classic titles from the Nintendo Switch Online library.

How to choose the best Nintendo Switch controller

Although the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Cons are excellent controllers right out of the box, they can be a bit small for playing in docked mode and have a habit of developing stick drift over time. This is why you may want to pick up one of the best Nintendo Switch controllers from this list instead.

When it comes to picking the right Nintendo Switch Controller for you, there are a few things you want to consider first. Are you okay with a wired controller or do you want to play wirelessly while sitting on your couch? Do you prefer playing in handheld mode or do you like playing your Switch on one of the best TVs instead? Button layout is another important factor but fortunately, you can choose between Switch style or GameCube style controllers. The same goes for your controller’s joysticks as some people prefer staggered joysticks while others prefer asymmetrical ones. The best thing about the Nintendo Switch though is that you have plenty of different controller options to choose from. 

How we test the Best Nintendo Switch controllers

Just like with the best PC game controllers, we put all of the Nintendo Switch controllers on this list and the ones we review through extensive hands-on testing. This includes using them to play a variety of different types of games in handheld, tabletop and docked mode. We also use and test out their special features like programmable back buttons, motion controls and see whether or not they can wake up the Nintendo Switch from sleep.

Besides hands-on testing, we also plug in the best Nintendo Switch controllers to a PC and use Hardware Tester’s Gamepad Tester to make sure that all of their buttons and joysticks work as they should. When it comes to multiplatform Switch controllers, we also test them out on all of the systems they support. For more information, check out our how we test page for Tom’s Guide.