The 8BitDo SN30 Pro Plus Bluetooth Gamepad controller, which normally sells for , works with the Nintendo Switch console, Android, Windows and MacOS. Another nice feature: Its rechargeable battery pack can be easily swapped out for a new one so you can keep playing if the included one runs down or no longer holds a charge.
One other minor point: I noticed the Bluetooth range on mine is a couple of feet shy of the full-size version’s range. It’s something easily solved by sitting a bit closer to the Switch and an acceptable compromise for an on-the-go Pro-style controller.
This controller is great button-mashing fun for fighting games. It’s wireless, powered by two AA-size batteries, but can also be used wired with the cable that stores in the base. The domed buttons have a solid clicky tactile feel and register even if your fingers land out at their edges. The joystick moves smoothly without being floppy, but it clicks in every direction like the buttons. Also, to compensate for having just one stick, there’s a switch at the top left that lets you change the joystick function to act like the right thumbstick or an 8-way d-pad.
Want something a little more retro, but not as retro as a joystick or arcade stick? The full-featured ergonomic design of the SN30 Bluetooth Gamepad controller makes it a more travel-friendly Nintendo Switch Pro controller alternative. And there are no mushy buttons here: Everything feels firm and responsive. It can be programmed for use with Android, Windows and MacOS, too.
As I said above, if you can afford to get the official Switch Pro Controller, do it. It’s the best you can get at the moment in terms of comfort, performance and features. And if you need to buy more than one controller, maybe get this one for yourself and one of the less expensive options below for visiting friends and family.
The PowerA wireless controller comes closest to the feel and design of Nintendo’s Pro controller, and you can normally get it for to , depending on the design, from Amazon, Best Buy and other sources. The PowerA wireless controller doesn’t have HD Rumble, IR or Amiibo NFC support like the Switch Pro controller does, but it does have motion controls. It’s also available in game-themed versions including new ones with Grookey, Sobble and Scorbunny (pictured) from Pokemon Sword and Shield.
The Nano is designed for travel (it even comes with a nice little pouch for storage), but it’s also good for kids or anyone with smaller hands. Also, while the shell is more compact, the buttons are full size, which is generally great. However, in a couple of games where I was button mashing furiously, I would regularly miss the Y button and hit the Home button instead — not great if you’re in the middle of a battle. At least the mappable buttons on the back of the controller made a workaround possible.
There are a number of third-party Switch Pro-like controllers that are available for a smaller price. We tested several options to find the best Switch controller you can buy right now. Nintendo’s official game controller still leads the way in comfort and button feel, but some of these alternatives do come close.
The Insten falls under “You get what you pay for” for me but, for what it’s worth, it’s the favorite of my 8- and 10-year-olds. It’s just a basic wireless controller with aggressive dual-shock vibration. It’s comfortable but feels cheap and flimsy. To be fair, though, the controller did survive a high-velocity altercation with my TV and I can’t say the same for the TV. The best part about the Insten is the price, especially if you want multiple controllers: You can pick up a two-pack for less than .
The top and sides of the controller are plastic, but the base is metal and the whole thing is heavy at more than 5 pounds — it doesn’t budge while you’re gaming. You can even customize its look: The clear plastic top is removable and you can download a template to print out a new design for the top (another color option comes with the Fusion, too). While its original 0 price tag was a big ask, the current price of is a deal.
Its one added feature is two extra buttons on the bottom of the controller that can be mapped on the fly. It runs on AA-size batteries, which some people don’t like. I get that, but I like not worrying about running out of power while playing and I use rechargeable AAs so I don’t burn through disposables. Also, since the battery isn’t built in, you don’t have to trash the controller once the battery stops holding a charge.
Going with a third-party Switch Pro controller does have some advantages aside from a lower price, too. For example, some have a Turbo button for faster firing rates or mappable buttons to make certain commands easier to trigger. Plus, a few of the ones we chose can be used with Windows, MacOS and Android, too. We update this list as we try new products. For even more options, check out GameSpot’s recommendations.