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The Nintendo Switch has built up an incredible roster of controllers since launching in 2017. Not only are there the iconic Joy-Cons, but there are more traditional-styled controllers, some with a retro flair, and even specialized offerings like arcade sticks.

UPDATE: 10/06/2023

We've reviewed our recommendations and have updated our picks for the best budget, best third-party, and best wired Nintendo Switch controllers you can buy.

What to Look For in a Switch Controller in 2023

Since the Nintendo Switch can be played in both handheld and docked mode, the unique platform has become home to various intriguing gamepads. That means anyone in the market for a Switch controller will have to wade through hundreds of products—which often results in the best choices getting buried below a pile of third-party knockoffs.

To further complicate matters, many manufacturers have launched gamepads inspired by previous generations of Nintendo consoles. Take a quick look at any reputable retailer, and you'll see Switch gamepads that look like iconic controllers for GameCube, N64, SNES, and NES. Toss in the availability of fighting sticks, racing wheels, and other auxiliary peripherals, and it's easy to get overwhelmed by your options.

The best way to narrow down your Nintendo Switch controller search is to determine which type of gamepad best fits your play style. Do you mostly play classic games through Switch Online? Consider looking at retro controllers. Are you a fighting game enthusiast? A fight stick or customizable gamepad are good options. If you can't decide, stick with most Pro-style controllers' traditional layout.

After establishing the type of controller best for your play style, you'll need to figure out your budget. Controllers nowadays come with all sorts of price tags. Wired controllers are typically cheaper than their wireless counterparts, and first-party products from Nintendo are typically among the most expensive.

Nintendo products are always an easy recommendation, but if you're shopping on a budget, consider checking out reputable third-party brands such as PowerA, HORI, and PDP. That's not to say that other manufacturers are putting out subpar products—but you'll need to do a bit more legwork before scooping up anything from a lesser-known company.

If that all seems a bit daunting, we've compiled a list of the best Switch controllers available today. Whether you're shopping for a budget gamepad or a premium controller for fighting games, something below is bound to fit your needs.

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Best Switch Controller Overall: Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller on purple background



Official Nintendo product

No headphone jack

Premium design and components

Supports motion controls and HD rumble

Despite all the third-party options on the market, nothing is as well-rounded as the first-party Nintendo Switch Pro Controller. Built with an ergonomic design that's great for extended play sessions and boasting some premium face buttons and analog sticks, few products come close to rivaling its performance.

Not only is it built with high-end components, but it supports various useful features not found in lesser gamepads. This includes motion controls, HD rumble, and amiibo support. Its wireless connection lets you quickly sync the device with your console—and it can even be used on a PC if you have a gaming rig.

The main drawback of the Switch Pro Controller is the lack of a headphone jack. That's a minor nitpick when you consider everything else the gamepad offers, but no doubt it's a bit of an oversight from Nintendo. Look past that, however, and you'll be treated to one of the best Switch controllers money can buy.

nintendo switch controller pro
Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
Best Switch Controller Overall

As a first-party product, it should come as no surprise that the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller offers incredible performance, an ergonomic design, and support for motion controls and HD rumble.

Best Budget Switch Controller: VOYEE Wireless Controller

VOYEE switch controller with rear buttons displayed



16 programmable buttons

Battery life can't match the official controller

Same size and shape as the official gamepad

Four different HD rumble settings

Who says you need to spend upwards of sixty bucks to get a good-quality Switch controller? Coming in at less than $23, the VOYEE Wireless Switch Controller punches well above the weight implied by the price and even includes a few features the official controller can't match.

The VOYEE controller uses the same ergonomic shape as Nintendo's own version, and although it's a couple of ounces lighter, the difference is hard to feel. The color is also the same, favoring an all-black design rather than the "funky" colored plastic used on many third-party gamepads. It does have multicolored LEDs around the two joysticks, but these can be switched off if they aren't your thing.

The controller features 18 buttons in total, 16 of which are programmable and include two extra triggers on the back. One of these additional controls is the Turbo button, which enables burst mode on one of the four main buttons. That means no more button-bashing. Instead, you can simply hold the button down, and it will activate a set number of times.

The only area where the VOYEE controller can't match the official gamepad is the battery. The 800mAh cell should give you 12–15 hours of play before it needs to be charged. That isn't terrible, but it's significantly less than the 40+ hours the Nintendo Pro controller provides.

Voyee controller-1
VOYEE Switch Controller
Best Budget Switch Controller

At under $25, the VOYEE Switch controller proves you don't have to spend a fortune to get a good-quality, programmable, wireless gamepad for your Nintendo console. 

Best Third Party Switch Controller: PowerA Enhanced Switch Controller

PowerA Enhanced Switch Controller



Rear triggers can be remapped on the fly

Costs almost the same as the official controller

Excellent build quality

Available in several different designs

The reasons to choose a third-party controller over the official Nintendo Switch Pro controller are often price or extra features. While the wireless PowerA Enhanced controller doesn't cost much less than the Nintendo gamepad when it isn't on sale, it does feature additional controls and is exceptionally well-made.

The PowerA Enhanced controller is almost exactly the same size and shape as the official controller. The core button layout is also identical, meaning there's nothing new to learn if you're used to Nintendo's gamepad.

A cool metallic D-pad adds a bit of flair to the black version. If the shiny D-pad isn't enough, several Nintendo-themed versions are also available for a more distinctive controller style.

There are a couple of extras on the back of the controller: two extra trigger buttons and a program button that lets you change their use on the fly. The final bonus feature is an LED player indicator light, letting you know which gamepad is which in multiplayer games.

PowerA controllers have a great reputation, with the company producing some of the best third-party controllers for a variety of consoles. Features like the 30-hour battery, Bluetooth 5.0 compatibility, and the included 10ft charging cable all help to bolster that reputation and make this an easy recommendation.

powera enhanced controller for Nintendo Switch
PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller for Nintendo Switch
Best Third-party Switch Controller
$42 $60 Save $18

While it might not have as many bells and whistles as the PowerA Fusion Pro controller, the Enhanced is far better value for money. The high-quality construction, combined with mappable buttons, great battery life, and Bluetooth 5.0 compatibility, make this well worth considering. 

Best Wired Switch Controller: PDP Rematch Enhanced Wired Controller

PDP Rematch Switch Controller



Officially licensed

There's no plain black/white version available

Eye-catching game-inspired designs

Pro paddles can be remapped

If you're tired of low battery warnings and the chore of remembering to charge your Switch controller, maybe it's time to tether yourself to your console. There are several good wired gamepads available in a variety of styles, but our favorite is the Rematch Enhanced controller from PDP.

The officially licensed PDP Enhanced is a well-made and ergonomically designed controller, available in 19 different decorative styles. The designs are all game-related, featuring Mario, Zelda, and Animal Crossing characters, among several others. If you're not a fan of the character-based styles, there are a few more subtle designs available.

The benefit of official licensing doesn't stop at the decorative elements. It also means that the gamepad has been tested and approved by Nintendo, ensuring everything works as it should with the Switch. That does make the PDP Rematch Enhanced a bit more expensive than some other wired controllers, but it's a small price for extra peace of mind.

There are very few additional bells and whistles, aside from a couple of "Pro" paddles on the back and the ability to remap the controls. The gamepad has a built-in 3.5mm headphone jack, something you don't often see on Switch controllers, and the 10ft (3 meters) cable gives you a decent amount of freedom to move around while playing, and you aren't forced to sit too close to the screen.

The PDP Rematch Enhanced controller might not have the extra buttons and LEDs of something like the VOYEE gamepad, but if you want a wired Switch controller, it's one of the best around.

pdp rematch controller
PDP REMATCH Wired Controller for Nintendo Switch
Best Wired Switch Controller
$24 $28 Save $4

The game-related designs might not be to everyone's taste, but there's no denying that the PDP Rematch wired controller is a cost-effective and very capable device. Official licensing by Nintendo should also give a bit of extra peace of mind. 

Best GameCube Style Switch Controller: PowerA Wireless GameCube Controller

PowerA Gamecube controller on pink background



Authentic layout

No HD rumble

Several available colors

Convenient wireless connection

Don't let its clunky design fool you, as the GameCube controller is surprisingly comfortable. And while you can use the original, first-party Nintendo GameCube controller on your Switch (if you purchase an expensive adapter), the PowerA Wireless GameCube Controller is a faithful recreation of the iconic gamepad.

Available in a wide variety of designs and color palettes (including Purple, Black, and Silver), the PowerA GameCube controller has one big advantage over the classic Nintendo GameCube controller—a wireless connection. You'll get up to 30 hours of wireless playtime on two AA batteries, making this a great option for Super Smash Bros. fans who want an authentic gameplay experience.

An enhanced D-Pad design, an additional left shoulder button, and the fact that it's officially licensed by Nintendo all add up to make this the best GameCube controller on the market. You won't get HD rumble, but that's easy to overlook when compared to all the other upgrades.

powera gamecube controller
PowerA Wireless GameCube Controller for Switch
Best GameCube Style Switch Controller

The PowerA Wireless GameCube controller offers the same form factor as the iconic controller while adding wireless capabilities and a few additional buttons.

Best Switch Controller for Fighting Games: 8Bitdo Arcade Stick for Switch

8bitdo Arcade Stick with switch and laptop



Retro design

Uses an arcade stick instead of a D-Pad

Secondary support for Windows


Wireless and wired connection options

While any old controller will work for fighting games, dedicated players will want something that allows for precise button actuation and can stand up to the rigors of rapid (and sometimes chaotic) button presses. The 8Bitdo Arcade Stick is a great option, offering a premium arcade stick, multiple buttons, and a slick retro design.

One of the great things about the 8Bitdo Arcade Stick is its button layout. Not only do you get a responsive stick for movement, but you'll have access to eight face buttons that make it easy to control the action across all fighting games. You even have the option to connect wirelessly via Bluetooth or 2.4GHz with a USB receiver.

If you want to get really creative, you can swap out the arcade buttons or install different arcade sticks, as the 8Bitdo is designed with a universal mounting system. In other words, elite players with a bit of technical know-how will find tons of ways to optimize their setup for their specific play style.

It's a bit pricey at $90 (and fans of D-Pads will need to look elsewhere), but a retro design, responsive controls, and tons of customizable parts make this a great option to consider.

8bitdo arcade stick controller
8Bitdo Arcade Stick for Switch
Best Switch Controller for Fighting Games

Not only does it come with plenty of impressive standard features (such as eight face buttons and a premium arcade stick), but savvy gamers can customize most of its components.


How do I connect a Switch controller?

Connection methods will vary based on your specific product. Wired controllers will simply need to be plugged into the USB port on the back of your Switch Dock. Most wireless controllers can also be connected this way, then you can simply unplug them once the console and controller have synced. Be sure to read the manual for each product, as exact methods may differ.

How do I charge a Switch Controller?

Most Switch controllers can be charged using a USB-C cable. These can be connected directly to the console or any standard electrical outlet. Joy-Cons will charge automatically when connected to a docked console.

How do I connect a Switch controller to the PC?

Many Switch controllers can connect to PC via Bluetooth. If you need a step-by-step rundown of the process, check out our guide on connecting Joy-Con or Pro Controllers to your PC.

How do I fix Switch controller drift?

Unfortunately, there's no surefire way to fix controller drift. Your best bet is to dive into the calibration menu and try to adjust your settings. For a detailed rundown of your options, take a look at our guide to fixing Joy-Con drift.

How do I turn off motion controls on Switch Controllers?

A universal motion controls setting is not available on Nintendo Switch. Instead, you'll need to manually turn off the option for each game in your library. This option will typically be found in a submenu dedicated to controller settings, although it varies from game to game.