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Best Nintendo Switch Controller 2021: Pro Controller Alternatives, Joy-Cons, And More

From the first-party Switch Pro Controller to excellent options from 8BitDo, PDP, and Hori, here are the best Switch controllers to pick up in 2021.


When it comes to Nintendo Switch controllers, the options the Switch actually ships with aren't that great--you receive a standard pair of Joy-Cons (still prone to drift) along with a plastic grip you can slide them into to create something more similar (but not really similar) to a standard controller for playing Switch on your TV. Upgrading to the Switch Pro Controller, sold separately for $70, is an added expense. And while the Pro Controller is certainly one of the best Switch controllers you can buy in 2021, it's not the only one. For those on a budget, those looking for special features like mappable buttons, or those looking for better options for handheld mode, there are a ton of great third-party Switch controllers out there that enhance the Switch experience in a number of ways.

We've tested all sorts of Nintendo Switch controllers to find the ones we think are most worth picking up. Some of the top brands to consider include 8BitDo, a maker of retro-inspired controllers and the company behind our favorite Pro Controller alternative, the Pro 2; Hori, which makes the Split Pad Pro and more of the best Nintendo Switch accessories; and PDP, which offers some of the best budget Switch controllers and a great GameCube-style option as well. Depending on your Switch gaming habits and needs, you can find a great third-party Switch controller out there for less than the price of a Pro Controller--though it's not a bad idea to invest in one of those as well.

From Switch Pro Controller alternatives and better Joy-Cons to fight sticks and retro pads, here are the best Switch controllers we've tried and swear by. Plus, check out our picks for the best Nintendo Switch carrying cases, screen protectors, and grips as well as great Bluetooth headsets for connecting to the Switch.

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