One of the best Nintendo Change controllers in 2023

One of the best Nintendo Change controllers aren’t those that include it. The detachable Pleasure-Cons included with all Change consoles (apart from the Change Lite) are handy since they are often indifferent to make use of as wi-fi controllers for 2 folks. However their tiny contourless design isn’t that comfy for lengthy gaming classes or giant fingers. (And don’t get me began on the dreaded Pleasure-Con drift.)

Fortunately, you will have loads of alternate options, although solely a few of them are value your cash. On this shopping for information, I deal with wi-fi controllers which can be comfy and dependable in addition to a number of with distinctive options that improve your play, like enter customization and lengthy battery life. I’m not protecting controllers that plug into the Change’s dock, as they’re nearly all the identical. (PowerA and PDP make first rate ones that I can personally vouch for, however except you detest recharging your controllers, it makes extra sense to go wi-fi.)

In the event you purchase a third-party wi-fi controller (as in: not one made by Nintendo), there are particular issues that it doubtless gained’t be capable to do except in any other case famous:

  • It gained’t have HD rumble (that is what Nintendo calls its haptics, that are exact and akin to Sony’s DualSense of their subtlety), although some extra restricted rumble could also be current. 
  • It could not have movement controls for gestures or gyroscopic aiming in video games that assist it or an NFC reader for Amiibo playing cards or figures that unlock particular options in some video games. 
  • It additionally gained’t be capable to activate the Change remotely. (You’ll need to manually press the console’s energy button.) 
  • Additionally, whereas some Change controllers have 3.5mm headphone jacks, getting audio out of them can solely occur by a USB connection, not wirelessly. For most individuals, pairing Bluetooth headphones to your Change is a enough (and really straightforward) workaround.

One of the best Nintendo Change controllers

The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller sitting flat on a two-colored backdrop.

The Change Professional Controller works with each form of Change console. There are many similar knockoffs accessible for much less, however Nintendo’s is probably the most dependable.

Nintendo Change Professional Controller

One of the best Change controller for TV mode

Nintendo’s personal Professional controller continues to be the very best one on the market. It launched alongside the Change in 2017, and it’s my favourite on any console. Apart from the Pleasure-Cons, it’s the one wi-fi Change controller that features HD rumble, gyroscopic motion assist, and an NFC reader for Amiibo playing cards or collectible figurines. It’s additionally the one controller I’ve examined (once more, except for the Pleasure-Cons) that may energy on the Change with out being plugged into it.

Past these qualities, the Professional controller has consolation and construct high quality rivaling the flagship console controllers of Microsoft and Sony. It’s constructed like a tank, and it has battery life so good that it generally looks as if it’ll by no means run out. Nintendo says that it lasts round 40 hours per cost, so it’ll doubtless take informal avid gamers a very long time to run down the battery.


The Change Professional launched alongside the Change console in 2017, and it’s a tricky controller to beat. It presents an unmatched set of options (HD rumble, movement controls, NFC), and it’s some of the comfy Change controllers on the market.

The buttons and triggers have a satisfying bounce, whereas its directional pad is responsive and clicky sufficient to fulfill retro avid gamers. Similar to the Change itself, the controller costs over USB-C. And it’s suitable with a slew of different gadgets you would possibly sport on, together with PCs, Android gadgets, and Apple gadgets together with Mac computer systems operating macOS Ventura, iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and Apple TV.  

Given the worth, I want that it had different options, like programmable buttons or a 3.5mm headphone jack for audio, although wi-fi audio transmission from the Change to a controller doesn’t appear potential. However a minimum of you possibly can join headphones by way of Bluetooth when you’ve got not more than two controllers linked to your Change directly.

Top-down shot of the GuliKit KingKong 2 Pro controller, which looks like an Xbox controller.

The GuliKit KingKong 2 Professional seems like a contemporary Xbox controller. Its Corridor impact analog sticks won’t ever drift, and it has Amiibo assist, not like most third-party controllers.

One of the best Xbox-style controller for Change

The GuliKit KingKong 2 Professional rivals the Change Professional Controller in construct high quality, but it surely feels extra like a contemporary Xbox controller, and its textured rear grips would possibly give it the sting for some. In contrast to most third-party controllers, it retains Amiibo assist, although its rumble isn’t great-feeling. The KingKong 2 Professional can join by way of Bluetooth to the Change and to PC, macOS, iOS, Android, and different platforms. And since it makes use of GuliKit’s Corridor impact sensors for its analog sticks, it’s proof against drift.

I like to recommend testing this video at iFixit to see a radical clarification of the way it works, however in essence, Corridor impact sensors use magnets to change electrical present as an alternative of bodily rubbing on (and ultimately sporting down) a sensor to supply an enter. Whereas I haven’t had an issue with analog stick drift on the Change Professional (but), controllers with Corridor impact sensors will by no means encounter it. (The 8BitDo Final Bluetooth Controller, beneath, additionally makes use of GuliKit’s sensors.)


In the event you’re in search of a Change controller that’s additionally an incredible Bluetooth controller for PC, Mac, iOS, and Android, GuliKit’s KingKong 2 Professional is a worthwhile buy. It has Corridor impact sticks that be sure that its analog sticks gained’t undergo from drift, Amiibo assist, and it seems like an Xbox controller within the hand.

Top-down shot of 8BitDo Ultimate Controller on an orange and yellow background. The controller has an asymmetric joystick design, like an Xbox or Switch Pro controller, and it’s black, with white legends on the A B X Y buttons.

The 8BitDo Final Bluetooth Controller works with the Change in addition to Home windows PCs, Android, and iOS gadgets, and it comes with a 2.4GHz dongle, too.

8BitDo Final Bluetooth Controller

A Change controller for Steam Deck and PC

8BitDo’s Final Bluetooth Controller seems like a Change Professional Controller, and it helps each Home windows PCs and the Steam Deck. Its haptics are first rate however not so good as Nintendo’s, and it’s lacking Amiibo assist, but it surely provides again paddles that may be custom-made with its companion software program. It additionally comes with a charging dock, which shops the two.4GHz dongle when not in use. The Final controller is available in a number of variants, however I like to recommend the Bluetooth one over the two.4GHz or choices as a result of the Bluetooth model consists of 2.4GHz as properly and since it has GuliKit Corridor impact sticks, which the two.4GHz-only model lacks.


The 8BitDo Final Bluetooth Controller comes with its personal charging dock, options remappable controls, and is suitable with the Steam Deck and Home windows PCs because of its Bluetooth and a pair of.4GHz connectivity. In contrast to the two.4GHz-only model, it options GuliKit Corridor impact sticks.

The 8BitDo Pro 2 wireless controller for the Nintendo Switch and other platforms sitting on a two-toned backdrop.

The 8BitDo Professional 2 is without doubt one of the firm’s most feature-packed controllers but, with two customizable again buttons, rumble, cozy grips, and the power to pair to extra than simply your Change.

A well-rounded Change controller that appears like a DualShock

The 8BitDo Professional 2 is one other nice possibility, particularly in case your fingers are happiest with a PlayStation-style controller. The Professional 2 has a cushty grip, a crisper D-pad than the Change Professional Controller, and two easy-to-press paddle buttons on the underside. It has rumble assist (although not HD rumble) and movement management for video games like Breath of the WildFortnite, and Splatoon 3 that enable gyroscopic aiming.

With 8BitDo’s Final software program on a cell gadget or a Home windows pc, you possibly can customise the Professional 2’s button mapping and the sensitivity of its triggers and analog sticks. You possibly can even save as much as three management scheme profiles and cycle by them with a button situated between the analog sticks. On its rear, there’s a change that lets it toggle between Nintendo Change, X-input for PC, DirectInput, and Mac modes, every with its personal management customizations and Bluetooth profile. This controller presents a lot for $50 (or $59.99 in order for you the extremely cool translucent purple model).

PlayStation avid gamers could respect that the Professional 2’s left analog stick is towards the underside, similar to on Sony’s controllers, somewhat than above the D-pad as on the Change Professional and Xbox controllers.


The 8BitDo Professional 2 presents lots of the similar options because the Nintendo Change Professional Controller however at a lower cost level and with a DualShock-style structure. It options additional triggers, hand grips, remappable buttons, and again paddles and may pair with Home windows, macOS, Steam Deck, and cell gadgets by way of Bluetooth.

A Nintendo Switch tablet sitting inside of its dock. Next to it is Sony’s DualShock 4 controller, which can be used with the Switch by way of the 8BitDo USB Adapter.

The 8BitDo USB Adapter 2 can connect with a spread of present and older Bluetooth wi-fi controllers, together with the DualShock 4 proven right here.

Use your individual controller

There aren’t many different gadgets on this class, however this one is the very best worth. As an alternative of spending $70 on a number of Change Professional Controllers, use this $19.99 8BitDo USB Adapter 2 transmitter to show a Bluetooth controller you already personal right into a wi-fi Change controller. It plugs into your Change dock and helps controllers from the most recent Xbox and DualSense controllers all the way in which again to Wii and PS3 controllers. (Notice: the first-gen mannequin can’t connect with most Xbox Bluetooth controllers on account of a Bluetooth incompatibility, so be sure you get the most recent mannequin.)

To my shock, once I paired the adapter with a DualSense controller from my PS5, I didn’t simply get a management expertise that felt just like the Change Professional — I additionally skilled higher than common rumble and responsive movement controls. What’s extra, as long as you’re utilizing one of many newer Xbox Sequence S or X controllers, an Xbox One Bluetooth controller, a DualSense, a DualShock 4, or the Change Professional Controller, you possibly can customise their button mapping, analog stick sensitivity, and extra inside 8BitDo’s pc and cell app software program. 


8Bitdo’s USB Adapter 2 appears like a flash drive, however when linked to your Change’s dock, it lets you wirelessly pair one among a lot of older PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo controllers to it.

8BitDo has an intensive assist web page itemizing the steps required to arrange your particular controller in addition to which options of these controllers it helps. In the event you plan to make use of a PlayStation or Xbox controller with this adapter, it’s greatest if you already know the Change’s button structure by coronary heart, because the structure in your controller won’t match the on-screen prompts in video games.

If you have already got controllers round and don’t thoughts leaping by a number of small hoops to get them linked, this inexpensive adapter deserves a spot in your leisure middle. If you wish to use multiple third-party controller at a time, you’ll want an adapter for every of them (plus a USB hub to provide your self sufficient ports), however when you’ve got plenty of controllers sitting round, it could be value it.

Hori’s Split Pad Pro are connected to a Nintendo Switch that is displaying Super Mario Sunshine.

The Break up Pad Professional is available in a number of completely different colours (every one often sells at a unique value). In contrast to the Pleasure-Cons, they don’t have rechargeable batteries, rumble, or movement management assist.

One of the best Change controller for handheld mode

I’m positive there are some individuals who get pleasure from utilizing Pleasure-Cons, however children and small-handed of us apart, I haven’t met many who reward them for his or her consolation. I have met quite a lot of individuals who play in handheld mode and need controls that higher match bigger fingers and really feel extra like a daily console controller. The answer is the Hori Break up Pad Professional, a $50 (or generally cheaper) pair of Pleasure-Con replacements.

The Break up Pad Professional is available in a wide range of colorways, and it each appears and seems like a Change Professional Controller that’s break up in half. One half slides into all sides of the Change console like Pleasure-Cons, however not like Pleasure-Cons, it has large easy-to-reach buttons and generously sized triggers and analog sticks. It additionally gives plenty of grip, which is especially helpful for individuals who both want to essentially get an excellent deal with on the console for quick gameplay or simply to remain cozy for longer play classes.

A picture showcasing the back side of Hori’s Split Pad Pro detachable controller for the Nintendo Switch, focusing on its back button.

The Break up Pad Professional presents a cushty grip, and all sides includes a programmable again button.

The Break up Pad Professional doesn’t have batteries or sensors, so it’s fully ineffective when indifferent from the Change. It’s just for handheld mode except you buy the Break up Pad Professional Attachment that turns it right into a controller. I don’t advocate most individuals go that route for the reason that attachment alone prices greater than a Change Professional Controller.

The corporate additionally sells the Break up Pad Compact, a smaller model of the Break up Pad Professional that additionally prices round $50. If you would like one thing as purposeful because the Break up Pad Professional however nearer in measurement to a Pleasure-Con, the Break up Pad Compact could be value ready for.


The Hori Break up Pad Professional is right here to assist alleviate hand cramping whereas taking part in in your Change. Whereas these controllers are fairly a bit bigger than your commonplace Pleasure-Cons, they’re much more ergonomic. One notice: they lack wi-fi assist and rumble and don’t have NFC for Amiibo.

Up to date February twenty fourth, 4:00PM ET: For 2023, we’ve examined new fashions just like the GuliKit KingKong 2 Professional and 8BitDo’s Final Bluetooth Controller.

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