Top-Rated Nintendo Switch Controllers: A 2024 Guide

If you’re looking to add a bit of oomph to your Nintendo Switch experience without completely upgrading the console, the first thing you should do is consider the controllers you’re using. Maybe you’ve just been using the Joy-Cons that came with the system; while they are perfectly serviceable, there are more ergonomic and customizable options available that will suit every play style. Whether you want a better grip when you’re battling armies of Bokoblins in Tears of the Kingdom, or you want affordable and comfortable spares for impromptu Mario Kart competitions with friends, you have plenty of options. We’ve tested a bunch of Nintendo Switch controllers over the years and these are our favorites.

Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons
The Joy-Cons are versatile and cute. But if you bought a Switch at launch, chances are your controllers are suffering from that dreaded “drift” problem. You can get them fixed, but it doesn’t hurt to pick up an extra pair regardless. They come in bright colors like bright pink and pastel green to match your personal style – I snagged the blue and yellow ones and I absolutely adore how my Switch looks in handheld mode now. And they’re far less likely to suffer from drift. $50 at Amazon

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
This first-party gamepad pairs easily with the Switch and features a D-pad on the left, while still maintaining features like the infrared sensor and HD rumble functionality that might go missing on third-party alternatives. The only downside of the Nintendo Switch Pro controller is the $70 price, but avid players of titles like Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will appreciate the refined hardware and increased comfort. $69 at Amazon

8BitDo Pro 2
This retro-style gamepad that copies the general button layout of a classic SNES controller in a variety of colors. It has lots of modern features, like twin thumb sticks, palm grips, back buttons, control remapping and even sensitivity adjustments. It’s the Swiss Army knife of Switch controllers – or any system, since it’s also compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, Raspberry Pi and even the Steam Deck. Even non-Switch players should keep this gamepad in their toolkit. $50 at Amazon

8BitDo SN30 Pro
The SN30 Pro is shaped like an SNES gamepad but adds dual thumbsticks and wireless connectivity for an easy and comfortable retro-gaming experience. It offers all the childhood nostalgia you could want while still giving you the benefit of modern conveniences. $45 at Amazon

8BitDo Lite SE
The Lite SE puts all the buttons on the face so you can lay it down on a table instead of holding it in a death claw. It even has grips on the underside so it doesn’t slide around during frantic play. This controller is definitely worth having to ensure that all your friends and family can join in the fun, and it even works with systems beyond the Switch, including iPad, Mac and Apple TV. $33 at Amazon

GameCube Controller Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Edition
For some players nothing but the utmost historical accuracy will do. Nintendo’s recreation of its classic GameCube controller uses a USB-C connection, but otherwise it feels exactly like you remember, from the button arrangement to the stellar build quality. $69 at Amazon

PowerA Wireless GameCube Style Controller
They offer solid build quality, responsive buttons and even come in a variety of colors if you’re style-conscious. $59 at Amazon

HORI D-pad
HORI makes its own Joy-Con like peripherals you can slide right in place in your system. If all you really want is a d-pad for old school gaming, the HORI d-pad does exactly that, replacing the small constellation of buttons on the left Joy-Con with a reliable d-pad. $24 at Amazon

HORI Split Pad Pro
For those players looking for a more premium, Steam Deck-esque experience with their Switch in handheld mode, the Split Pad Pro adds in a contoured, easy-to-grip back, a d-pad on the left, and even turbo buttons. $50 at Amazon

HORI Split Pad Compact
It still offers the same selection of buttons, like a d-pad on the left side and dual turbo buttons, but in a less aggressive-looking form factor. $35 at Amazon