Switchh Controllers

The Nintendo Switch is an incredibly versatile console, with many different controller options available to suit your mood. When playing in handheld mode, nothing beats the convenience of the Joy-Con, of course, but when playing the console on the TV or in Tabletop mode, there are a plethora of controller choices on the market that can improve your experience.

Below, we've rounded up all of the best Nintendo Switch controllers money can buy, including official options from Nintendo, as well as plenty of third-party pads that are ideal additions to your setup.

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The Official Range – The Very Best, Direct From Nintendo

Let's kick things off with all of the official controllers released by Nintendo. You'll likely be aware that Nintendo Switch consoles come with two Joy-Con controllers attached as standard (although different colours can be purchased separately), but the company has also kept regular players in mind with its official Pro Controller designed for lengthy gaming sessions. Let's dive in.

Nintendo Switch Joy-Con

Joy-Con are the default controller option for the Nintendo Switch, and for good reason. These jack-of-all-trades devices can work in a variety of different setups, from a traditional single-player pad to two Wiimote-style motion controllers, and even two separate controllers for multiplayer sessions.

Here's what's currently available across the US and UK:



Nintendo Switch Pro Controllers

If you're going to be regularly playing your Switch in TV mode, you'll want to grab a Pro Controller. These glorious pads are extremely comfortable, come with larger buttons that you'll struggle to live without once you give them a try, and has all of the functionality of the Joy-Con – bar the ability to turn itself into two separate controllers, of course.

Several limited-edition controllers have been released over time, although stock for these can sell out very quickly.

Nintendo Switch Online - Wireless NES, SNES & N64 Controllers

Making the Nintendo Switch Online experience all the more authentic, Nintendo has also released NES, SNES and N64-style controllers that are designed for use with your Switch. These can only be purchased directly from Nintendo, and are only available to those who are currently subscribed to the Switch Online service.

If you find yourself playing lots of retro games on your Switch, why not treat yourself?

Hori - Alternative Controllers With Great Features

When it comes to third-party controller companies, Hori is right up there with the best. The accessory maker has released a number of designs that work with Switch, although the two listed below are fast becoming essential parts of many a Switch owner's arsenal.

Hori D-Pad Joy-Con

With the official Joy-Con having to be super-flexible, allowing for gameplay across all sorts of different modes and layouts, neither of the two controllers come with a traditional D-pad. It's one of the few areas that some Switch owners feel could be improved, and that's where the Hori D-Pad Joy-Con comes in.

These beauties can replace your official Left Joy-Con, giving you a model that comes with a 'proper' D-Pad instead of the Joy-Con's regular face buttons. If you like playing retro games, fighting games, or any others that could really benefit from a true D-Pad, these are practically made just for you.

Oh, and there are plenty of nice designs available, too. Win!

Hori Split Pad Pro

Another great controller from Hori is the Split Pad Pro, designed for those with bigger hands or fans who want to play in handheld mode for lengthy periods. Replacing the official Joy-Con, these pads feature full-size analog sticks, a precision d-pad, and large shoulder buttons designed for comfort and accuracy, even during marathon gaming sessions.

Hori has added black, blue and red variants to its line-up, as well as a special Pac-Man's 40th anniversary version, although we're quite partial to the black-red Daemon X Machina livery.

Hori Wired Controller

While we're here, let us very quickly mention Hori's range of Wired Controllers. If you're looking to save a bit of money but want that Pro Controller-style pad, you could do far worse than these Hori controllers. It won't work with Switch Lite, and while it lacks motion controls, rumble and the ability to scan amiibo, it's still worth a look for the budget-conscious. This wired controller has a detachable directional pad, too, so it's great for retro games. Check out our full review here.

PowerA - Controllers Featuring Your Favourite Characters

PowerA is perhaps mostly known amongst Nintendo fans for its range of Pro Controller-style pads that can be picked up for significantly less than the official one. Don't fret, though, because these pads are officially licensed and work perfectly with your Switch – just remember that wired controllers can't work with the Switch Lite, and that these controllers don't tend to include features like HD Rumble and NFC reading.

The best part here is that PowerA's controllers come in all sorts of great designs featuring all of your favourite characters. If you or someone you know wishes Nintendo would release a Pro Controller with the likes of Mario or Pikachu emblazoned on its front, well... Here's your answer!

Go Retro With 8BitDo

We're big fans of 8BitDo's SN30 Pro; it's perfect for playing retro games as it's wireless, has a rechargeable battery, and looks and feels just like a SNES controller. While it doesn't support NFC, it does offer motion controls and a standard, non-HD rumble feature.

8BitDo has a large range of controllers and plenty of them – like the older SNES30 – also work on Switch. Alternatively, 8BitDo also sells a USB adapter which allows you to use other controllers with your Switch such as PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Wiimote, Wii U Pro controllers and other compatible Bluetooth devices.

Arcade Sticks For Nintendo Switch

If you're really serious about your retro and fighting games, you'll probably want to consider an arcade stick. Perfect for all the Neo Geo brawlers available on the eShop, as well as titles like Street Fighter and shmups such as Ikaruga, these bad boys are sure to make all your regular controller-owning friends jealous! Grab one below, and we'll promise never to say 'bad boys' again...

GameCube Style - Get Ready To Smash!

Think Super Smash Bros. Ultimate shouldn't be played with anything other than a GameCube controller? Well, it turns out that Nintendo understands your feelings exactly.

Designed with Smash in mind, these GameCube-style controllers are actually designed to work with your Switch, despite looking and feeling exactly like the classic GameCube pads from back in the day.

TATE Mode, Engage!

Screenshot 2019 03 05 At 11.33.53

Almost since day one, Switch developers have embraced the fact that the console can, with the correct stand, be oriented in 'portrait' mode for certain games. The guys behind the Flip Grip have gone one better by giving you a means of playing in 'TATE' mode even when you're using the Switch as a handheld. It's an utterly essential piece of kit if you love your vertically-scrolling shooters, and works brilliantly with Downwell, too. Just don't try wedging your Switch Lite in there.

Oddball Controllers

The Nintendo Switch plays host to some other quirky controllers too, including a drum which can be used with Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum 'n' Fun!, and who could forget the Mew-filled Pokéball Plus controller which launched alongside Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!? Stock of the latter is pretty much impossible to come by at a reasonable price these days, but you can still find them if you don't mind spending more:

These are the Nintendo Switch controllers which we consider to be the most essential. Let us know which ones you already have with a comment below!

Looking for more? Check out our other Switch buying guides: