the switch controllers i have known (and some i have liked)

there's been a fair bit of chat here about switch gamepads lately so thought it might be worth gathering some experiences in a thread. perhaps others among you will do the same, and a different set of others might then find it useful.

i'm quite happy with the joycons for undocked play, though i did get the hori left one with a real dpad for the occasions i want to play a thumb shredder undocked.

### Nintendo Pro Controller

  • + Good shape, size and heft. buttons feel good. gyro controls. amiibo.
  • - terrible d-pad. stick drift. clicky triggers are not nice. expensive. no back buttons/paddles
  • ### 8bitdo Pro2

  • + nice clicky buttons. responsive dpad. squeezy triggers. back buttons. profile mapping and customisation through desktop app. you can set three custom profiles and swap between them on the fly. even has gyro function!
  • - the "flatness" of the face area is strange though i do understand why it's that way. can't turn the switch on. the colour i bought is ugly (PSX). reports of interference/input lag with the 8bitdo range. rumble feels like an old third party pad (though i quite like this about it lmao)
  • ### Hori Pokkén Pad

  • + good for marios and fightings thanks to the excellent dpad
  • - not good for anything else
  • ### Hori Battle Pad (the gamecube-looking one)

  • + no nonsense pad with all the buttons and a nice long cable. gamecube layout is nice for certain games.
  • - no mod cons like wireless/rumble/etc. feels a little bit too much like one of those third party gamecube pads from back in the day. buttons are very loud.
  • ### two Joy Cons in the holder attachment thing

  • + has all the functions of the pro controller
  • - very small and weird in the hands. drifty sticks.
  • of these i'd say the **8bitdo Pro2** is the best, as long as it remains more reliable than Nintendo's Pro pad. the back buttons are really nice to have and hot-swapping between custom profiles seems like something every controller should be able to do. being able to map L-stick to dpad makes me want to replay things like Metroid Dread, which has movement tied to LS.

    hori should come out with a pad modelled after their split pro (from what i can tell their wireless HORIPAD is *not* this), with all the bells and whistles. though, it would probably cost upwards of £80 and only be marginally better than Ninty's Pro and the 8bitdo Pro2.

    ### PowerA

  • - Cheap
  • - Shite
  • In all seriousness, this has been one of the worst videogame purchases I've ever made. I started having drift after barely 10 hours of play, if that, and found that the face buttons would more-than-occasionally not respond either as a tapped press or held down (think spontaneous deceleration in Mario Kart).

    I almost exclusively use a PS4 controller with my (docked) Switch, via the 8bitdo adapter. If there’s any lag I can’t perceive it, and things like gyro controls and vibration all work. Honestly can’t recommend highly enough - it was meant to be a temporary stopgap until I bought a Pro Controller and it’s been so good I’ve never bothered.

    i serendipitously just discovered that hori make a wired adapter for the split pad pro.

    My experience with some of the Switch controllers seems to differ a good bit from what I‘m reading here and what I’ve seen elsewhere. I have never used a Switch pro controller so I have no basis of comparison there.

    ### Hori Split Pad Pro

    I've only seen universal praise for this thing. It's great in comparison to using attached joy cons, but compared to a standard controller it feels pretty bad. The sticks are too tall (for my above-average sized guy hands) and extremely loose. The face buttons and directional pad have a very mushy feel and too much travel distance. The shoulder buttons in contrast have almost zero travel distance. It's a wet fart of a thing, especially the sticks - the perceived input and actual output are at times different.

    ### 8bitdo Pro 2 GB Style

    Directional pad is tight, feels good. Love that you can set the travel distance for L2/R2 trigger inputs. I like the grooves on the directional pad. Feels like a decent, loose approximation of a modern SNES controller, but everything feels a hair less responsive a PS4 controller. I've never had back paddles on a controller before, but these are positioned in an awkward spot that requires the middle or ring finger to move too far to add any convenience other than for some macro binding.

    ### PowerA Wired Controller

    Feels cheap, because it is. For "the crappy controller that you hand to friend if they don't bring their own" it's solid. Buttons have a weird feel of being high tension, but also having a bit of travel. Inputs always felt responsive and correct. Played through half of Hollow Knight without it bein the thing to kill me. Sticks are slightly looser, with less tension than the 8bitdo Pro 2. Was 10 USD well spent for me.

    Hori Real Arcade Pro V Hayabusa Fight Stick

    It's good.

    Ok It's a $150 Fight Stick with a bunch of Turbo options built in, slim buttons, some buttons you may not see on fightsticks on the side (LS, RS, etc) and it's PC compatible. It's my go to thing to use on my Switch, my PC, and my Raspberry Pi and it's held up well for several years. Probably my favorite fight stick I've ever used.

    me and the fam all use the

    ## Switch Wireless Gamecube



    @“Herb”#p56660 Hori Split Pad Pro

    I have these and got drift on them after not very long, and have yet to get drift on the joy cons that came with my switch, though admittedly I've used the latter less overall.

    @“RubySunrise”#p56712 Drift might be what I‘m experiencing. Drift is one of those terms I see a good bit, but don’t know. My Dualshock 1 would continue to input a direction after I released the stick. Is that drift?

    For the Hori's stick it feels like in Odyssey that Mario isn't moving at quite the same angle as the stick.


    @“Herb”#p56724 My Dualshock 1 would continue to input a direction after I released the stick. Is that drift?

    Maybe? Now that you bring it up, I'm not too sure on the exact definition. With Hori, what I mean is that the left stick, from a neutral position, is read as a slight downward input. So from a vertically oriented menu it would scroll through the options without any input from me. But slowly.

    I bought my Switch used in 2019 for a song. It was heavily used, with fan issues, major wear, and joycon drift. I did the thing where you take apart the joycon and clean it in 2020, and have had no joycon drift issues since, and have been throwing it around in all sorts of extreme conditions. I don't have one anymore, but I liked using the Joycon grip for stuff…… I played through BotW entirely in joycon grip style, and found it comfy for FFXII as well, using the d-pad to navigate menus a lot, as one does in classic Final Fantasy.

    However, this post is more about the **8bitdo Pro 2**. I use it extensively as my main controller for both Switch and PC, for almost a year now.

  • - Most reported issues vary by firmware revision. Be wary of updating and be ready to revert. If you're having sync issues, go to the previous firmware or contact support.
  • - I had no issues staying connected to PC once I upgraded my PC's bluetooth receiver with a $20 USB one, solving issues I was having with most of my bluetooth devices, including keyboard as well as 8bitdo Pro 2.
  • - I got black. It's the only good color available IMHO.
  • - I like that the default button name scheme is Nintendo style, because nothing pisses me off more than everything on PC defaulting to Xbox button names, which, to me, are not real, unless I am playing games on an Xbox (2001) video games console.
  • - It would be nice if I could have more custom schemes than just 3 per console.
  • - Another PC gripe rather than 8bitdo's fault, but I would like to figure out how to have Home Button do something on PC, like take a screenshot. I would like to take a screenshot with the screenshot key as well on PC, but I use that for turbo function.
  • - Turbo Function is awesome and more useful than you may think for modern games.
  • - I like this controller a lot. It feels like it's made for exactly me.
  • - If this controller didn't exist, I would probably use a PS5 controller for my PC, and a Gamecube or Pro Controller for Switch. There are many games where I'm grateful to have a PS2 style controller with a really good D-pad over a Pro Controller. Having it work on PC owns.
  • - Amiibo support is there just to sweeten the deal.
  • - I like where 8bitdo is going with this. I hope they continue to refine this as their flagship product.
  • - More paddles would also be chill, according to Tim Rogers more paddles is good. I'm not sure if I need more paddles yet.
  • - That is all for now.
  • Above anything else: even as someone who put the Switch right at the top of my console list in our thread, the Switch's controller issues are absolutely in-sane. Just all around over-the-top why-is-it-like-this unacceptable. But here we are.

    And since we're here, I will say that even the 8bitdo Pro+ (the precursor to the 8bitdo Pro 2, just lacking a few bells and whistles) is an excellent Switch controller. Regular Pro Controller is totally fine if you don't need precise d-pad inputs (I cannot believe I'm saying this about the company that invented the d-pad), but the 8bitdo Pro/2 is a Very Fine Controller. Balanced and weighty, sticks with just the right amount of resistance, and really dreamy analog triggers. Good long battery life, too, with USB-C standard for convenience.

    And similar to what @treefroggy said about the Xbox buttons on PC , I really love that I can have a profile for PC gaming so that when I use it as an xinput controller (i.e. "an Xbox controller") I can have Nintendo face button placement with matching button prompts (i.e. A=A and B=B). That's a big bonus for me.

    I have to ding it for this, though: my first Pro+ just straight-up died. I'm pretty sure it was a battery issue, but it flat-out stopped living one day and was immune to troubleshooting. I think it was just bum luck, though, as I own 8bitdo's wireless FC30, two wired SN30 Pros and their arcade stick without any issues. They ended up giving me $30 toward a replacement, too.

    @“tokucowboy”#p56809 I wish that just making A=A fixes the issue for me, but it super does not in most cases. I usually have to mod the game to have the button tooltips I want.

    Also, my first early adopted Pro 2 died as well! I thought it was my fault at first, but I got a replacement eventually.

    Power A Enhanced Wireless controller

    Don't buy this. I got one when my roommate and I were both playing Skyrim. The right trigger died after a week. That game requires iterally every single modern controller button, so it was pretty much a non starter. The only thing I liked was the ease of programing the back buttons, which is much easier than the 8bitdo. Still doesn't offset how bad it feels and works.

    **Nintendo Pro Controller** -

    I got one of these used for $60 US, which is still pretty steep. It works fine, the only issue I've had is some noisiness with the rumble, as if something was unintentionally rattling in there. That's stopped, and the hd rumble is cool , although there are so few games that use it as a feature (the only thing I can think of is lockpicking in Skyrim). I also don't understand how it's this proprietary technology that no other maker can replicate. I mostly use this controllo for 3D games that don't need both sticks very often.

    _honorable mention_

    I bought a knock off from Facebook for fifteen bucks. It seems about the same, doesn't wake up the system though. The great thing is that the vibration only works at 11/10

    **8bitdo SN30 Pro +/Pro 2** -

    I bought the first one, and I was a big fan of the d pad and the sticks. I prefer playing first person games with playstation style parallel sticks, and I like the relatively small directional range of these sticks, especially compared to the official controllo. On the first one, the left shoulder button lost some spring but seems to have improved. The original does feel a bit lighter than the Pro2.

    The pro 2 adds some really good improvements, notably the back buttons. I would like to have an option to just add a button to them in the moment, but there is a swap function. Essentially, this works to switch any two buttons on the controller level. You assign a button as the dedicated swap button in the software. Then you hold down two buttons you want to swap and press the swap button. The led blinks when you press a swapped button. This function unfortunately doesn't work for d pad presses. I played through Deadly Premonition with A assigned to a back button and X (examine button) swapped to a stick click so I didn't have to make a new profile.

    The software is definitely an improvement with the Pro 2. In addition to the Swap and Turbo functions assignable to buttons, your can add macros (which are pretty well customizable with millisecond timings) and a hold button. I use this for PokéMMO, which I play on mobile. I can set the A button to hold, and I have a macro to run back and forth. It lets me grind levels by pressing a button every thirty seconds or so.

    The face buttons are springer than the original, which I love. The D-pad feels really stable and doesn't have any side like the original did. I don't really like the triggers, and one of mine has started to squeak. The Pro 2 was sporadically disconnecting from my switch but I just saw a firmware update while opening the app that supposedly fixes this. **Edit**- the textured plastic on the back/bottom feels pretty good on the Pro 2

    Being able to edit the controller in the mobile app is also a substantial upgrade for me than having to use the desktop program (which was the case for the Pro+).

    **Other 8bitdo controllos** -

    I also have the six button genesis style pad they make and the unholy NES dog bone style they made, the m30 and n30 pro 2 (I know, very confusing) respectively. I like the Genesis style for certain 2d games, and it's fun to bust up the Genesis collection with this (even though mapping the original buttons to the pad is kind of nonsensical
    [upl-image-preview url=//]
    I do love the d-pad on that guy.

    Also a big fan of the n30 pro2.i think it's my favorite Dead Cells pad. The face buttons feel nice, and the pad is nice and small for frantic games. It has goofy little sticks on it too.
    [upl-image-preview url=//]
    Look at those GameCube colors!

    Honorable mention is their wireless PC Engine Mini controller that you can use on switch if you only need two buttons.

    Unfortunately all of these are pretty difficult to find outside of Amazon. PlayAsia has a lot of their out of print stuff though.

    **Dishonorable mention: Answer Customize controller** -

    Also a PlayAsia find. I bought this primarily with the hope of having four assignable back buttons on a switch controller. The manual was in Japanese, which I can't speak but tried to translate character by character, but I put it down for a couple days and one of my roommates threw it out while cleaning. They're mapped to A, B, X, and Y by default which is fine. The main draw of this one is that you can move the positions of each stick, the d pad, and the face buttons. Unfortunately, it feels like the Fisher Price my first power tool collection, and you get about a thousand false positives on stick clicks. I wasn't expecting it to be perfect, so I wasn't incredibly let down.

    Also shoutout to the Hori d-pad left con

    a few days ago, i spilled coffee inside my switch pro controller. it was sending all kinds of messed up inputs to the switch so i set about dismantling it to dry it out, fully prepared to bin it if it was truly fubar. i had to wait a day to get inside it because not one of my many screwdrivers was narrow enough to reach this screw in the battery compartment:

    [[upl-image-preview url=//]](

    fully opened up, i left it to air out overnight, bundled it back together, recalibrated the sticks (which were WAY out) and now it works about as well as before. the only damage seems to be a bit of snapped plastic making the left trigger slightly loose, which might actually predate the coffee incident. a pretty hardy little gamepad i suppose, and now has bonus coffee smell.

    I just want to mention something else about my switch - when docked, the screen blanks out at least twice in the first 15 minutes for about 2 seconds each before it settles in to full functionality. Really not great when playing action games. I guess most people probably don‘t have this problem but for me the switch is the least functional console I’ve ever owned :o

    (I never got a red ring of death on my 360 or anything)

    @“exodus”#p57387 nintendo likes to use obsolete technology huh…… maybe it was obsolete for a reason!!!

    @“exodus”#p57387 my switch used to have brief random audio dropouts (like a second or two) but i think they may have stopped at some point

    @“exodus”#p57387 sounds like HDMI handshaking - try another cable/TV input. Another temporary thing to try would be to set the system resolution to 720p - if it resolves the issue then HDMI bandwidth is your problem and you need a new cable. Or TV.

    @"billy "#p57400 welllll it's only the switch that has the problem and I recently changed both the hdmi cable and the input so I dunno what to say there.