One of the best wi-fi Nintendo Swap controllers in 2022

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One of the best controllers on your Nintendo Swap aren’t those that include every system. The detachable Pleasure-Cons included with all Swap consoles (aside from the Swap Lite) are handy since they are often indifferent to make use of as wi-fi controllers for 2 individuals. However their tiny, contourless design isn’t that comfy for lengthy gaming periods or giant palms. And don’t get me began on the dreaded Joy-Con drift.

Fortunately, you might have loads of options, although solely a few of them are price your cash. On this shopping for information, I concentrate on wi-fi controllers which are comfy and dependable and some with distinctive options that improve your play time, like enter customization and lengthy battery life. I’m not overlaying wired controllers that plug into the Swap’s dock, as they’re virtually all the identical. PowerA and PDP make respectable ones that I can personally vouch for, however except you detest recharging your controllers, it makes extra sense to go wi-fi.

When you purchase a third-party wi-fi controller (as in, not one made by Nintendo), there are particular issues that it probably received’t be capable of do except in any other case famous:

  • It received’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 help it or an NFC reader for Amiibo playing cards or figures that unlock particular options in some video games. 
  • It additionally received’t be capable of activate the Swap remotely (you’ll must manually press the console’s energy button). 
  • Additionally, whereas some Swap controllers have 3.5mm headphone jacks, getting audio out of them can solely occur by way of a wired USB connection, not wirelessly. For most individuals, pairing Bluetooth headphones to your Switch is a enough (and really simple) workaround.

One of the best Swap controllers in 2022

The Swap Professional controller works with each sort of Swap console. There are many an identical knockoffs accessible for much less, however Nintendo’s is essentially the most dependable.

One of the best controller to make use of in TV mode

I doubt one other Swap controller will ever prime Nintendo’s personal Professional controller. It launched alongside the Swap in 2017, and it’s my favourite on any console. Except for the Pleasure-Cons, it’s the one wi-fi Swap controller that features HD rumble, gyroscopic motion help, and an NFC reader for Amiibo playing cards or collectible figurines. It’s additionally the one controller I’ve examined (once more, other than the Pleasure-Cons) that may energy on the Swap with out being plugged into it.

Past these qualities, the Professional controller has consolation and construct high quality rivaling Microsoft and Sony’s flagship console controllers. 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 probably take informal avid gamers a very long time to run down the battery.


The Swap Professional launched alongside the Swap console in 2017, and it’s a troublesome controller to beat. It presents an unmatched set of options (HD rumble, movement controls, NFC) and it’s some of the comfy Swap 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. Identical to the Swap itself, the controller fees over USB-C. And it’s appropriate with a slew of different gadgets you may recreation on, together with PCs, Android devices, and Apple gadgets, together with Mac computer systems operating macOS Ventura, iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and Apple TV.  

Given the value, 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 Swap to a controller doesn’t appear potential. However at the least you may join headphones through Bluetooth if you have no more than two controllers linked to your Swap without delay.

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 hook up with a variety of present and older Bluetooth wi-fi controllers, together with the DualShock 4 proven right here.

Use the controller you have already got

Spending $70 on a Swap Professional controller for you, participant one, isn’t so unhealthy, but it surely provides up if you wish to play with others. Moderately than relegating your family and friends to bargain-bin controllers, you should use this $19.99 8BitDo USB Adapter 2 transmitter to show a Bluetooth controller you already personal right into a wi-fi Swap controller. It plugs into your Swap dock and helps controllers from the newest Xbox and DualSense controllers all the best way again to Wii and PS3 controllers. (Observe: the first-gen mannequin of the USB Adapter can’t hook up with most Xbox Bluetooth controllers resulting from a Bluetooth incompatibility, so be sure to get the newest 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 Swap Professional — I additionally skilled better-than-average rumble and responsive movement controls. What’s extra, as long as you’re utilizing one of many newer Xbox Collection S or X controllers, an Xbox One Bluetooth controller, a DualSense, a DualShock 4, or the Swap Professional controller, you may customise their button mapping, analog stick sensitivity, and extra inside 8BitDo’s pc and cellular app software program. 


8Bitdo’s USB Adapter 2 seems like a flash drive, however when linked to your Swap’s dock, it lets you wirelessly pair one among numerous older PlayStation, XBox, and Nintendo controllers to it.

8BitDo has an extensive support page itemizing the steps required to arrange your particular controller, in addition to which options of these controllers it helps. When you plan to make use of a PlayStation or Xbox controller with this adapter, it’s greatest if you realize the Swap’s button format by coronary heart, because the format in your controller is not going to match the on-screen prompts in video games.

If you have already got controllers round and don’t thoughts leaping by way of a couple of small hoops to get them linked, this reasonably priced 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 offer your self sufficient ports, however you probably have a number of controllers sitting round, it is perhaps price it.

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

The Cut up Pad Professional is available in a number of totally different colours (each normally sells at a special worth). In contrast to the Pleasure-Cons, they don’t have rechargeable batteries, rumble, or movement management help.

One of the best controller for handheld mode

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

The Cut up Pad Professional is available in a wide range of colorways, and it each seems and looks like a Swap Professional controller that’s cut up in half. One half slides into both sides of the Swap console, like Pleasure-Cons; in contrast to Pleasure-Cons, it has large, easy-to-reach buttons and generously sized triggers and analog sticks. It additionally offers a number of grip, which is especially helpful for individuals who both want to actually get an excellent deal with on the console for quick gameplay or simply to remain comfortable for longer play periods.

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

The Cut up Pad Professional presents a snug grip, and both sides includes a programmable again button.

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

In October 2022, the corporate will launch the Split Pad Compact, a smaller model of the Cut up Pad Professional that will even price $50. If you’d like one thing as purposeful because the Cut up Pad Professional however nearer in dimension to a Pleasure-Con, the Compact is perhaps price ready for.


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

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

The 8BitDo Professional 2 is likely one of the firm’s most feature-packed controllers but, with two customizable again buttons, rumble, comfortable grips, and the flexibility to pair to extra than simply your Swap.

A well-rounded Swap controller that appears like a DualShock

8BitDo makes some stellar controllers, each when it comes to efficiency and aesthetics. The $49.99 Pro 2 is one among its greatest, most feature-packed fashions, and it really works on extra platforms and gadgets than simply the Swap. 

The Professional 2 has a snug grip, a crisper D-pad than the Swap Professional controller, and two easy-to-press paddle buttons on the underside. It has rumble help (although not HD rumble) and movement management for video games like Breath of the Wild, Fortnite, and Splatoon 3 that enable gyroscopic aiming. 

With 8BitDo’s Ultimate software on a cellular system or a Home windows pc, you may 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 way of them with a button situated between the analog sticks. On its rear, there’s a swap that lets it toggle between Nintendo Swap, X-input for PC, Direct Enter, 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, relatively than above the D-pad as on the Swap Professional and Xbox controllers. (When you favor a controller that appears extra like a Swap Professional or Xbox controller, 8BitDo’s new Ultimate controller coming in October may attraction to you. We’ll be testing that mannequin quickly.)


The 8BitDo Professional 2 presents lots of the similar options because the Nintendo Professional Controller however at a lower cost level. It options further triggers, hand grips, remappable buttons, and again paddles and might pair with Home windows, macOS, and cellular gadgets through Bluetooth.

I’ve spent a number of time with the Professional 2’s predecessor, the SN30 Professional Plus, which it’s almost an identical to when it comes to feel and look. Nevertheless, I just like the Professional 2 much more as a result of it presents extra options, like the brand new paddle buttons, on the similar worth.

This controller boasts a 20-hour battery life, and it has a USB-C port for recharging (it may possibly additionally work as a wired controller). You’ll must cost it extra usually than the Swap Professional controller, however I nonetheless discovered it tough to empty this mannequin with per week’s price of gaming. My former colleague Sam Byford did the full review on the 8BitDo Pro 2, and he thought that the directional pad was higher than the Swap Professional. I don’t disagree, although I’m not the pickiest individual with regards to D-pads.

The pink 8BitDo Lite 2 wireless controller for the Nintendo Switch and other platforms sitting on a yellow and red back drop.

The 8BitDo Lite 2 packs a number of options in a small controller. It has rumble help, movement controls, and you’ll recharge it through USB-C.

A compact but feature-packed controller for small palms

If you’d like a small controller, and also you (or your gaming companion) are all proper with giving up the comfortable contours of a full-sized mannequin, 8BitDo’s Lite 2 is properly price its $34.99 worth. This controller has all the mandatory buttons, triggers, and twin analog sticks constructed right into a small rectangular controller that ought to slip simply into most luggage. 

Whereas the Lite 2’s rounded-rectangle form has related ergonomics to Pleasure-Cons, this selection stands out with its low price. It’s a good Pleasure-Con substitute for Swap Lite homeowners who can’t detach their controls since its low-profile design matches that of the console. Much like the 8BitDo Professional 2, it has a number of wi-fi modes accessible by way of a toggle swap. It might probably join wirelessly to the Swap or to Android and Raspberry Pi gadgets. 

It’s price mentioning that the Lite 2 has movement help plus rumble (decrease your expectations when it comes to their immersive high quality; it looks like a bargain-bin cellphone haptic motor). In contrast to a Pleasure-Con, it recharges through USB-C. 


When you want a small, comparatively flat controller that may slip right into a bag, take a look at 8BitDo’s Lite 2. It includes a rechargeable battery, USB-C charging, rumble, and movement help.

Personally, I wouldn’t use the Lite 2 as my fundamental for once I’m stress-free at house, making an attempt to out-splat the competitors in Splatoon 3. As a substitute, it’s nice for taking part in technique video games, like Into the Breach and Fireplace Emblem: Three Homes, and for different video games that don’t require a ton of split-second focus or enduring consolation. That is the controller that I’d herald my carry-on for a flight.

(Observe: 8BitDo additionally makes the $34.99 Lite SE for avid gamers with restricted mobility. As a substitute of getting triggers and clickable sticks, all the buttons are laid out on the face of the controller.) 

If you’d like one thing that’s extra ergonomic, the PDP Little Wireless Controller comes near matching the low-profile design of the Lite 2, although it feels extra like a standard gamepad. Some downsides prevented the PDP mannequin from getting its personal spot on this shopping for information. It lacks rumble, and I used to be irritated by how loud its buttons and analog sticks sound when pressed or moved. It’s additionally $15 extra.

Pictures by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

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