The best Nintendo Switch controllers

Got a friend coming over? Find something that really pushes your buttons and grab one of these alternate Nintendo Switch controllers

Two 8BitDo Controllers on a white background, one black, one grey.

There are an absolute ton of Nintendo Switch controllers at this point, from official options like the Joy-Cons and Pro Controller, to excellent third party options, like the d-pad-focused Hori Joy-Con and the always excellent options by 8Bitdo. So, the question isn’t “where are all of the Nintendo Switch controllers?”, it’s “what’s the best Nintendo Switch controller”.

Well, that’s where Pocket Tactics comes in. We’re huge fans of the Nintendo Switch, and we’ve tried an absolute ton of Switch controllers over the years. So, as a team, we’ve compiled our favourites into this definitive list of the best Switch controllers. We’ve also included handy Amazon links to allow you to grab them right away, if you’ve got an impromptu multiplayer session coming up.

We recommend that you bookmark this page, as we’ll update it often as new Nintendo Switch controllers arrive. They most certainly will, as there has been no shortage of them so far. Nintendo loves to release a new colour of Joy-Con often, and we’re almost certain that 8Bitdo and Hori aren’t quite done releasing new options just yet.

The best Nintendo Switch controllers:

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Nintendo Switch Joy-cons

There’s no better place to start on your Switch controllers journey than with Nintendo’s Joy-Cons. These versatile controllers support motion, HD Rumble, and you can whack them in a grip or split them into two, allowing for comfortable solo or impromptu multiplayer sessions.

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Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

If comfort is your absolutely priority, and you find yourself playing your Switch docked a lot of the time, we thoroughly recommend the official Pro Controller. It’s as premium in build quality as a DualShock 4 or Xbox One controller, and features around 40 hours of battery life.

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Nintendo Switch Hori d-pad Joy-Con

Play a load of retro games in handheld mode? The Hori d-pad Joy-Con is a must-buy then. This replaces your left Joy-Con, and provides a traditional d-pad, making the likes of Shovel Knight or Hollow Knight an absolute breeze.

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Nintendo Switch Hori Split Pad Pro

Play your Switch more often in handheld mode? The Hori Split Pad Pro is an essential controller. This inexpensive option makes your Switch much more comfortable for longer playing sessions, feeling more like the Pro Controller.


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This mighty but miniature controller is small enough to fit on your keys, but as an emergency controller it’s a hit. Capable of playing Nintendo Switch, iOS, and android games, this snazzy-looking accessory could be the perfect addition to your setup.


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PowerA Spectra Enhanced Wired Controller

If you’re after a wired option you can’t get much better. With a nice weight, great feeling analog sticks with anti-friction rings, mappable gaming buttons, and even controllable LED lights, there’s so much to love about the Spectra.


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Nintendo Switch Gamecube controller

This is literally a GameCube controller with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate branding, and a converter that allows it to work on Switch. Boy, it’s nice to buy a brand new GameCube controller in 2021.



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8bitdo Pro 2 Wireless Bluetooth Controller

An absolute workhorse of a controller, this is one of the nearest things to a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller you will find in terms of functionality, though it’s still missing a couple of small features. A gorgeous design is aided by a lovely tactile feel, and it’s even compatible with pretty much and device that supports Bluetooth. This is a great option to tuck away in your bag and use either with your Switch or your smart device for mobile gaming sessions!