The Pro Controller for the Nintendo Switch costs a good € 50. We have tried five inexpensive alternatives and revealed which are worthwhile.
Good controllers are expensive? No, our comparison test gamepads: Seven controllers from 6 euros have already shown that gamers get really good hardware for less than 10 euros. Now we were interested in what alternatives there are specifically for the Pro Controller of the Nintendo Switch.
We tried five alternatives and revealed which cheaper gamepad is our favorite. A little tip: This time the race makes a model for less than 15 euros.
Snakebyte GAME: PAD S Pro
The most expensive model in the race of replacement gamepads is currently available for around 30 euros. The Snakebyte controller has the long name Game: Pad S Pro and is available wireless and wired – the latter costs a good 10 euros less.
In our test, we tried the wireless version (charging is via micro USB). To connect, go to the switch console settings as usual and look for the menu item controller, Then press the button with the house symbol on the Snakebyte controller for three seconds. Switch and Game: Pad S Pro recognize each other in a short time and the connection is established.
The handling of the Snakebyte turns out to be getting used to. The arrangement of the analog sticks is reminiscent of a Playstation controller – they are at a height at the bottom and not offset, as is the case with the Switch Pro controller or the version for Xbox One. That means: Playstation gamers will find their way immediately, for everyone else the layout means getting used to.
We found the feel of the controller to be unappealing. The gamepad has a very angular feel, it is not supple in the hand. Instead of flattering rounded elements, Snakebyte uses edges on every corner. That felt strange and made the controls unsafe in the test.
The buttons of the Snakebyte and the joysticks are harder to operate than the other models. With every click there is noticeably strong pressure, which leads to irritation in the gameplay.
In terms of weight, the controller is around 195 grams. In our opinion, this is too easy, despite the two built-in vibration motors. For comparison: The Nintendo Pro Controller is 248 grams.
Hori Switch Pro Controller
The licensed Switch Pro Controller from Hori is available as a wired version. The manufacturer also offers wireless versions, but then in a different design. Our test device was good to satisfactory when playing. The reason for this are the ends on the right and left of the controller (in which the ball of the hand lies). These are too thick, especially for smaller hands, and are difficult to grip. Larger hands will feel comfortable with this controller. It feels like an Xbox One controller.
The pressure points of the individual keys are well coordinated and are reminiscent of the original from Nintendo. However, the background noise when the buttons are pressed is very hollow and plastic-heavy. In terms of weight, the model from Hori is 197 grams, which explains the slightly hollow sound. The controller also dispenses with vibration motors.
Nevertheless, the Hori Pro controller offers two special features: It has a removable D-Pad and hides classic arrow buttons underneath, which are also known from the Switch JoyCons. A nice extra for fans of retro games. In addition, the controller has a turbo button to perform repetitive movements permanently. To do this, the user selects a button in the controller configuration that he has to press frequently – for example, the function in Minecraft Dismantle, If this is stored on the turbo button, users automatically mine raw materials in Minecraft.
All around, the controller does a good job for 25 euros. With a 3 meter cable you are also free to move as with a wireless model.
Hori Switch Battle Pad
Hori also offers a switch controller in Gamecube style for 25 euros. This model is almost identical to its model from the 00s. Buttons and joysticks have the same pressure points, the handling is exactly like the model from 2001. Of course you have to say that this controller is not for every gamer – either you hate it or you love it. The Battlepads are also designed for brawlers like Smash Bros or Brawlhalla.
Like the Pro controller replica, the Gamecube controller also uses a cable with a length of 3 meters and a turbo button. In terms of weight, however, the Gamecube lookalike is the lightest model in the test. The retro model weighs just 155 grams. Here too, the reason is the lack of vibration motors. If you can do without it and prefer Gamecube feeling to the Pro Controller, you are in good hands with this model.
The secret winner of our comparison is a no-name controller from China. The model is available from Amazon, Wish, Bangood & Co. and is always somewhere between 20 and 25 euros. The controller is charged via micro USB.
This controller is a very good copy of the Xbox One controller in terms of handling. Visually, the controller falls between the official models for the Xbox One and Switch. In our view, the China model does everything right in terms of pressure points and haptics. At 200 grams, the controller is the heaviest among the tested third-party providers.
It is also compatible for PC, Playstation, Switch and Xbox alike. This in turn is the biggest disadvantage of the controller: the connection and reset are cumbersome and can sometimes mean several attempts. The controller only rarely connects to the desired console straight away. This is annoying and we cannot recommend the model accordingly.
Nevertheless, once you have made the connection, you have a great alternative for the expensive originals – without sacrificing performance, feel and handling. Since it is a no-name, you have to be lucky when ordering the controller – the quality of the model tested can sometimes differ from that of other models.
8bitdo wireless USB adapter
The 8bitdo Wireless USB Adapter is available for around 12 euros. This is not a controller, but an adapter. The small dongle speaks to the Playstation (3 and 4), Xbox One, Wii, Switch, Windows, Mac and Rasperi Pi. In this way, users can connect all 8bitdo-compatible controllers to the desired console. You can choose from Xbox One and Playstation 4 controllers, but also the manufacturer's own models. On the manufacturer's website (link) all compatible models are listed.
The big advantage over the other controllers: If you already have a model for the Xbox or Playstation at home, you don't have to buy another controller and enjoy the handling of your previous model. Not only is this an optimal solution for creatures of habit, it also works flawlessly. To start up you follow the usual steps: Nintendo Switch settings, then controller, Then you plug the 8bitdo into one of the USB ports of the switch and press the Connect button on the stick. Then you start your controller of choice, follow the respective steps of pairing and the connection is established.
Snakebyte Game: Pad S Pro
Hori Switch Pro Controller
Hori Switch Battle Pad
Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
There are hardly any models that we have tested that are better than the original Pro Controller from Nintendo. Nevertheless, different controllers have their own advantages. For gamers who want to use their existing Xbox or Playstation controller, we clearly recommend the 8bitdo. Players who want a new controller and value performance should take a look at the no-name model from China (but beware, when ordering, you don't know what quality arrives at home).
The Switch Battle Pad by Hori has its advantages – if you like this very special controller layout and who doesn't mind a light controller (155 grams). We cannot fully recommend the Pro controller from Hori and the gamepad from Snakebyte. Both models have their advantages, but there are simply better alternatives for models under 30 euros.