As fantastic as it is to play the Switch in handheld mode, the Joy-Con setup can become a little cramped from time to time. If you're seeking a more ergonomic gaming experience while you play Animal Crossing, Mario Kart or Zelda for hours on end, you can't go past the Split Pad Pro by peripheral maker Hori.
It was originally made available in one colour last October, got a special PAC-MAN design last month, and on 7th September will receive three more colours: Transparent Black, Midnight Blue and Volcanic Red (priced at $49.99 USD each). Take a look:
As noted by Hori, preorders are coming soon - keep in mind this controller only works in handheld mode. Here's what else we had to say about the Split Pad Pro in our hardware review last year:
Hori has come back with a new controller, catering once again to the Switch’s Handheld player market: the Split Pad Pro. A larger, more ergonomic Joy-Con style controller that intends to give you the feeling of playing with a Pro Controller, but in handheld mode.
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What do you think of this controller and the three new colours? Leave a comment down below.
Hori makes acceptable 3rd party products. But they never feel as nice as official offerings.
No White color ? 😕
But at least there is a Blue color.
I bought the split pad pro Daemon X Machina edition and they were ok. I ended up returning them. They were a lot bigger than I expected. Also they felt kind of cheap. I don’t think I would buy them again but I’m sure many people like them and they have great thumbsticks/triggers/buttons. Just not for me.
Might get one of these. Not sure which I like better, the gray or blue.
Would have liked a white as someone above said. None of these really do it for me.
Also, do they have gyroscope controls?
A cheaper solution would be to just pick up one of those grip cases that makes the Switch easier to hold. Bing bang boom. Not the same but close.
Love the DxM split pad pro. I'm actually playing through DxM aswell, makes playing shooters and action titles like that more enjoyable imo.
If you wanted to play switch games in handheld mode with the form factor of a Wii U gamepad, you're in luck.
@Heavyarms55 Weird, outside of obviously budget alternatives, I'd even say their quality is above some of the competitor's first party controllers.
Their D-pad Joycon has been a mainstay on my Switch for over a year, and their arcade stick is still the best for the platform. Their portable stand is also a must for charging while on tabletop.
Third party controllers always have a terrible caveat (missing feature). I can't take them seriously.
@Heavyarms55 Honestly, the Split Pad Pro feels amazing for a third party product. I'd whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone who plays their Switch undocked around the house and doesn't care about HD rumble.
I like Hori products and use at least three with my Switch (the Taiko drum, plus pad left joy con thing, and this split pad). I use my Machina split pad almost all the time when my Switch is undocked. It feels great, has regular pro controller amount of travel on the joy sticks, has a pretty great plus pad, and has turbo. It also has a programmable button on the bottom, but I don't really use it much. I like the blue one and the PacMan one, but I'm not going to bother selling mine to get the color/design I prefer.
Love mine DxM ones. Had them for a year and wouldn't use anything else for handheld.
Do they work fine with the flip grip?
Nice, it was kinda weird that only a Daemon X Machina special edition existed before the regular ones
Anyway, I wonder if the bigger analog sticks actually compensate for the lack of gyro 🤔 that's the biggest bummer for me, it won't totally replace the joy-cons, as besides no gyro, some games that use motion like Mario Odyssey (cap tricks) and Zelda (tilt puzzles) would be slightly impacted
Still, they look pretty confortable, probably I'll pick one when it has stock, maybe the red one
Too bad I'll probably will be swapping back to the joy-cons depending on the game
Are there any controllers like this with gyro and rumble?
Most the time I agree. First party controllers are generally way better. But the joycons suck all around. They aren't comfortable, don't have a dpad, and are an ergonomic nightmare. I wouldn't play my switch in handheld mode nearly as much if I had to use joycons. Side benefit the dpad registers correctly unlike the pro controller.
Cost very obviously. I bought my pair of split grips for $32, which is less than half the cost of a pair of joycons. I probably wouldn't have taken the chance on them if they had gyro/full wireless/rumble and were $80.
I liked mine but the left one broke after a couple of months for no obvious reason (there is no connections to the system anymore) and I won't spend that much money again 😑
No gyro, no sale.
"Anyway, I wonder if the bigger analog sticks actually compensate for the lack of gyro 🤔 that's the biggest bummer for me, it won't totally replace the joy-cons, as besides no gyro, some games that use motion like Mario Odyssey (cap tricks) and Zelda (tilt puzzles) would be slightly impacted"
Ironically, I was trying to play handheld odyssey with the original joycons. Because the ergonomics are so poor I wasn't able to pull off some of the more difficult maneuvers. I ended up going back to docked with a pro controller to beat those moons. Extremely frustrating to me and joycons in difficult games in handheld mode are a no go for me. I can see instances where the split pads wouldn't work great but it would still be that or docked with pro controller to me.
@DocRompler A cheaper solution would be to not buy a switch, and watch let's plays on YouTube.
I have the DXM pads and they are excellent. Aside from having some really nice sticks which help with accuracy (I'm not really a fan of gyro) it's nice to know that when my joycon start drifting again I have a reliable backup.
Sorry cant get link but copy that below and paste into Amazon (uk), going to get this at some point seen a few reviews looks the biz,
Has MC and rumble
Zacro Wireless Switch Controller Supports Playing While Charging, Dual Motor Vibration, Upgraded Handle System & Grip Design with Type-C Cable, Joy-Con Replacement with Hand Grip for Nintendo Switch
I was debating on getting the Daemon X Machina ones but ended up passing on it because of the lack of gyro and HD rumble. Besides I already have satisfye Switch grips for my OG Switches and Switch lite systems anyway so it's always comfortable for me playing in handheld mode.
It might just be me, but I don't see any transparency on the black, but I might just be seeing right through it (ha where is my funny points) idk
I would pay and extra $20 for vibration support alone, but having a gyro would really be a great setup.
Missed opportunity here. Personally don't care about the colours. But rumble and gyro? Would have been a day 1 purchase for me.
I have the Black ones, they're great for Handheld play, especially FPS.
I love that they're now available in BLAND!!!
Glad I held out. Grabbing a blue one.
This is so comfortable to play. Never used my joycons again
'Does not include motion controls, HD rumble, NFC, or IR Camera.'
Aww, cant be used wirelessly either. I'll pass..
I’ve just bought the crimson omen gears of war controller so meh. These don’t have all the features of the joy cons either do they?
@Heavyarms55 Yep, but they're a third of the price. This is in my opinion an absolute must buy peripheral. completely changed my usage of the system.
@Camo-joe Yep, that's cause they're not on sale ..yet.
@AnotherGoblin HORI have designed actual Nintendo system controlelrs.
These are an absolutely essential purchase if you don't have childs hands. I never ever played my system in handheld, due to the awful form factor of the joy-cons. This pad completely altered my usage. it's super comfortable and i find the analogue to be the most accurate of any pad i've used, including Nintendo's own.
I use these all the time when gaming in handheld mode. If you have massive gorilla hands like I do, then I recommend it.
The major downside is that it does not have Rumble of any kind in it, and doesn't have the IR sensor or Gyro device for motion control that the official joy-cons do.
No rumble. Pass.
@Heavyarms55 Ehhhh... these feel A LOT better than playing with Joy-cons. Shame they don't include NFC, gyro or rumble, otherwise they would have been my favourite way to play Switch in handheld mode.
wait does that mean we can mix and match the Red and Blue ones together
3DS doesn’t have clickable thumb sticks. That’s why the JoyCons tend to wear out IIRC.
@jjmesa16 thx was on fence. I just dont think i could be bothered finding space carry the bloody things in the bag.
On paper I'd be all over these as I find the buttons on the joy-cons too small a lot of the time and I find my thumb often nudges the right analogue stick when I'm pushing the buttons.
But! The lack of gyro is a total interest killer for me, there's no way I'd want controllers without gyro, even if the larger sticks do allow for more accuracy. It's the macro speed of the analogue sticks combined with the micro accuracy of the gyro that makes them such a superb combination.
@60frames-please Thanks for the great info.
I just ordered on UK Amazon the Daemon X Machin ones! My hands are huge and I have developed RSI in my wrist and elbow. It is a killer playing in handheld mode as i have big hands and the grip is ergonomically awful. I did have an add on for grip but the buttons and analogue were still poorly placed for my hand size. I often used buttons on left joycon for moving instead of analogue due to comfort.
Same day delivery so will know by tomorrow if these bad boys are a game changer for me.
I've been tempted by this a few times, but the lack of wireless is annoying as it rules out FlipGrip use. I really wish the FlipGrip had some way of connecting the JoyCon rails to the sides (at least if the left hand rail was connected the Hori D-Pad JoyCon would work with it).
I also feel like the addition of wireless and an accessory to click the two halves together would have made it a decent controller for playing in TV mode too.
I picked up one last month as reduced to £34.99. Still not cheap to be fair. So good though. Really impressed with it. I used to get cramp after a while playing in handheld mode and these completely remove that. They are pretty light but seem well built and stick, d-pad and buttons are all spot on. If you don't need gyro, NFC or portability (major things admittedly for some) and use handheld a lot they are a game changer. You can actually now play street fighter in handheld!
I can imagine that they really feel comfortable. But the overall look it gives the device is a bit to intense for me.
As a person with large hands, these are easily my favourite controllers. Pro controller if on TV, and these if in portable. On the rare occasions I need gyro or NFC then I reluctantly switch back to the official pads.
Those look pretty nice. Hori quality is usually better than other 3rd party stuff
I have not touched a joy-con for handheld mode since i got my DxM split controller. if you have big hands, its a game changer. super comfortable.
I've loved HORI products for as long as I can remember playing video games to be honest. I've wanted a Split Pad Pro but not in the Daemon X Machina or Pac-Man designs so happy to read about this. Fingers crossed they come to the UK / Europe.
I havent taken mines of in 6 months, they're brilliant.
Love my Daemon X version. Larger grip so keeps my hamd from cramping up. And back buttons are great to have.
I use them 100% of the time on hand-held. Lets me keep the Joycons as a 2nd home controller for the littles ones when they visit.
I guess I just have small hands, I've never experienced cramping. Is it just me though, or are this things ugly as all what.
@HotGoomba you are a haha funny gamer
@YANDMAN well, I guess I must have a child's hand then...am I seriously the only one who has never experienced cramping?!?
Love the colors!
Though I hope they also start making more of their normal DPAD Joycons. I love those things, but prices have gone through the roof lately on them.
Any vibration on this pad? Looks interesting and priced good.
@Patendo trust me dude, they're a game changer, FPS's rock on it now.
It's a great idea but there are many limitations when using them... Not sure if I'd get those...
Hori make great grips and alternative controllers. I am very happy to own the Monster Hunter XX grip for 3DS, along with the Remote Play Assist for Vita. Both of these have gotten ridiculously expensive in the past year, over 150 for each, crazy. They are excellent products though, they transform the handhelds from uncomfortable, cramp inducing wrecks to ergonomic delights! I love the Split Pad Pro, my only wish is that the DPad was a little further to the left.
Sorry. Those aren't very exciting colors.
Are they free of drift issues?
On one hand I totally want these, but every time I consider it, I would rather just devote the $50 to games since I already own an 8BitdoPro+.
Anyone that had these, did you experience drifting?
@MeowMeowKins Cramping? With a big controller? The only cramping i have ever experienced or read about is when people use the original Joy-Cons.
@The-Chosen-one Nope. None.
@YANDMAN no, I never cramp with the pro controller. I must have written that poorly. I meant with the joy cons. I must have tiny hands because I never cramp with the joy cons. That's what I meant.
And how is the Dpad? Similiar to the pro controller or better?
For fighting games.
And also one last question, how good are the thumbsticks for games like first person shooters?
@The-Chosen-one Excellent d-pad, better than pro controller. It basically made my hands not cramp on games that use both sticks in portable mode. This isn't meant to compete with the pro controller as it is only handheld mode compatible.
Still waiting for that pacman one myself
@N00BiSH wii u was super comfortable
@PickledKong64 It really was, but it's not something I'm comfortable with carrying everywhere I go.
@TimboSlice no they dont. They dont really need them because the analog stick on these are actually functional but i was under the impression that people enjoy gyro aiming because the analog sticks on the joycon for fp games are horrendous.
Thanks for the reply, the DPad is what i wanted to know. Will order it this week.
@N00BiSH well of course lol
Ive got the DxM set and they are a godsend. Perfect for FPS and the programmable paddles are a nice bonus. The analogue sticks have lots more room and are far more comfortable than the joycon.
@The-Chosen-one D pad is great, it's a little bigger than the pro and I like that. For FPS this is amazing. I play Bulletstorm all the time in handheld mode, whereas with joy-con i never did.
@MeowMeowKins Ahhh o.k, yeah you're certainly in the minority there, as that is literally the main complaint that I see being made about the joy-con. I can't play more than 20 mins using them.
@YANDMAN I use the grip as well, versus just the two individually. I do prefer the pro controller, has nice grip and doesn't have drift, which is a massive plus.
@Patendo No problem. Yeah, I have some nice silicon joy con covers that have a nice bulb on the back, but they don't address the somewhat bad placement of everything. These bigger Hori split pad pro things really meet my needs for Switch handheld comfort.
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