The Best Nintendo Switch Controller for 2023

Either in handheld mode or console-docked, it is always game on with these top controllers

The Nintendo Switch is a very adaptable system, with a plethora of controller alternatives to fit your mood. Of course, nothing rivals the Joy-Con’s ease when playing in portable mode. However, when playing the console on TV or in tabletop mode, several controller options might enhance your experience.

Choosing the finest Nintendo Switch controller for your requirements might be challenging, given the wide variety of officially licensed and third-party choices available. This is where we step in.

We’ve compiled a list of the finest Nintendo Switch controllers you can buy, including various third-party controllers and official Nintendo alternatives. If you’re wondering if these new items are worthwhile, our review can be found just below.

How We Picked

  • Ergonomic Hold

    Nintendo Switch controllers are available in a variety of sizes and shapes. Those with an ergonomic grip can help you avoid musculoskeletal problems. Since they prevent injuries and reduce weariness and pain, ergonomics play a significant role in deciding performance in various activities, including gaming.

  • Aesthetics

    The design and style are equally vital, regardless of whether you're the person who needs a different vibe for every mood or prefers something with a hint of flair but not too much. Not only does it match and complement the colors, but it also contributes to the overall build and material of the controller.

  • Power and Battery Life

    It takes power to play games, so a capable controller is a must-have. Even though charging your controller is easier than it sounds, purchasing a Nintendo Switch controller with long-lasting batteries can ease your worries about low juice and recurring charges.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

    Nobody loves going over budget. But choosing a shoddy Nintendo Switch controller without considering the quality increases the probability that you'll need to make another quick buy. Thus, always look for a reliable, economical controller.

Our Top Picks

Best Pick

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

A reliable all-arounder that covers all the essentials

The original Switch controller, made by Nintendo, is still functional and relevant today. The official gamepad for the system, the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, is the go-to Switch controller for anyone sick of using a Joy-Con. With this pick, playing for extended periods is much easier on your muscles when you don't have to wrap your fingers around the little controllers. Furthermore, you are not losing any Joy-Con functionality thanks to the rumble support, motion sensors, and Amiibo recognition.

Buy Now

Nintendo's excellent pads are extremely comfortable, have larger buttons, and support all Joy-Con functions.

Runner Up

Hori Split Pad Pro

With ergonomic curved grips, this selection is a full-featured gamepad

Even though the Hori Split Pad Pro is larger than most of the other controllers on the list, it still sits on the sides of your console the way it should. The grip is more comfortable with full-sized thumbsticks, bigger shoulder buttons, and a chunkier design. Not only is it simpler to handle and control, but it also has assignable rear triggers and turbo functionality! Furthermore, the attractive, translucent black style is another reason you should not pass it up.

Buy Now for $41.99

Hori offers full-size, multicolored analog sticks, and shoulder buttons that are comfortable and precision even during extended gaming sessions.

Most cost-effective

PDP Faceoff Deluxe+ Audio

With this super-affordable option, you can go old-school.

The PDP Faceoff Deluxe+ Audio, a longtime favorite among gamers, provides a wealth of impressive features for a fraction of the cost of comparable products. This Nintendo Switch controller is perfect for the frugal home gamer and features a modern design. It also enables USB chat and in-game audio for compatible games. Additionally, the extraordinarily long USB cord will always keep you connected. It's a suitable controller for a low price, thanks to the innovative modular design that allows you to switch out and snap in various Faceoff faceplates.

Buy Now for $27.99

With an attractive price point, the PDP is a reliable gamepad with customizable back paddles and some cool added features.

Almost made the cut

8Bitdo Arcade Stick

This choice brings arcade vibes and an ideal platform for unleashing your techniques.

This combat stick not only has adorable retro stylings, but it's also customizable with Sanwa parts support. The stick detects whether it is cabled or wirelessly connected to a Switch or PC and promptly Switches button assignments. With digital icons that Switch between profiles, the Arcade Stick can hold two profiles' worth of button assignments for various platforms or video games. Last but not least, the stick has turbo support and a battery that can operate for up to 40 hours via a 2.4GHz wireless connection or 30 hours through Bluetooth.

Buy Now for $89.99

Undoubtedly a delight to use for retro, arcade, and fighting games, 8BitDo strikes a wonderful combination between quality and functionality.

Everything We Recommend

Best Pick

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

A reliable all-arounder that covers all the essentials

Buy Now

Runner Up

Hori Split Pad Pro

With ergonomic curved grips, this selection is a full-featured gamepad

$41.99

Buy Now

Most cost-effective

PDP Faceoff Deluxe+ Audio

With this super-affordable option, you can go old-school.

$27.99

Buy Now

Almost made the cut

8Bitdo Arcade Stick

This choice brings arcade vibes and an ideal platform for unleashing your techniques.

$89.99

Buy Now

Who This Is For

There’s a solid reason why the Nintendo Switch is among the all-time best-selling gaming systems. Its flexibility makes it incredibly versatile, and its vast game library includes well-known characters such as Mario, Zelda, and Kirby. If you’re a casual player with a Switch, a controller would be an excellent buy because it can be used for home console and handheld gaming.

Maximizing your gaming experience requires choosing the ideal Nintendo Switch controller. If you frequently play in handheld mode, invest in a controller that enhances the system’s mobile capabilities. Or, if you enjoy sprawling out on your couch when playing in docked mode, be sure to purchase a suitable controller to improve your experience while enjoying the best Nintendo Switch games.

Are there different controllers for the Nintendo Switch?

Numerous controllers are available for the Nintendo Switch, many of which are tailored for particular uses or games. There are Joy-Con and Pro Controllers, which are distinct despite sharing similar functions. They are compatible with every Nintendo Switch model, including the Switch Lite and Nintendo Switch OLED.

The Joy-Con controllers are cleverly made and suitable for casual gaming. Additionally, it can serve as two separate controllers for simple local multiplayer with any supported game. However, those hoping to make their Switch gaming experience more pleasant would prefer Nintendo’s Pro Controller. It is a more conventional gamepad that is made to resemble an Xbox or PlayStation controller in both appearance and feel. This makes it ideal for intensive single-player or multiplayer gaming sessions. Additionally, it has a significantly improved grip for adult gamers and charges through a USB-C port.

Joy-Con vs Pro Controller

In general, the Pro Controller offers many advantages over the Joy-Cons. In addition to being more comfortable for your hands, the ergonomic design makes it simpler to complete challenges in games that call for greater agility and quicker reflexes. In addition, the analog sticks are more reliable than the Joy-Cons’ “drift” issues. Due to the Pro Controller’s size and design, you’ll discover that playing shooters with it will let you make more accurate shots. The Pro Controller is what you need if you prefer to play competitive multiplayer games seriously or play solo and want more comfort with titles like “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.”

However, the Pro Controller is quite expensive, and if you want to spend the money on something other than additional controllers, the Joy-Con will suffice. It is also essential to consider how you intend to use your controllers. Since the Nintendo Switch includes two Joy-Cons by default, you won’t need any extras if you use it more in portable mode. It’s also important to note that each Joy-Con functions as a separate controller, giving you two usable gadgets straight out of the box.

Your final pick should be based on your playstyle and cost. If you want to acquire more controllers to play multiplayer games, Joy-Con will be easier to come by as they’re more widespread. The drawback is that if you want to bring your controllers along, you’ll need room for them. If you want those, you’ll also need additional Joy-Con charging docks. The Joy-Con is unique in that when detached, it may function as two distinct controllers in multiplayer games, such as “Super Smash Bros.” and “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.” As a result, they are excellent choices for keeping youngsters entertained on long car trips, organizing game evenings, or if you have a large group of family and friends that enjoy playing together.

Why You Should Trust Us

Finding a reliable, practical, and affordable product all at once may take some time. Picking the best one could require a lot of work. Various Nintendo Switch controllers are currently available on the market. After combing through the internet’s best, we’ve compiled a list of the greatest controllers we’ve researched and those that have received overwhelmingly excellent customer comments.

How We Picked

Choosing the finest Nintendo Switch controller is more complex than you may assume since there are a few critical factors to keep in mind. The following are the main features that we looked out for in the controllers we reviewed:

Ergonomic Hold
Fortunately, there aren’t many requirements to consider when buying a new Nintendo Switch controller; all that matters is comfort and the type of game you’ll be playing. A big pad will be difficult to grip correctly, and you might find reaching some of the buttons uncomfortable if your hands are small. On the contrary, folks with large palms may want to avoid tiny pads because they will probably find the button arrangement quite cramped.

Aesthetics

If you place a great deal of emphasis on the appearance of your controllers, check to see if they can offer you the designs and colors you like. You may be looking for something resembling the Joy-Cons that come with the Switch or something more shaped like a PlayStation or Xbox controller. You may also want a wholly unique design to better fit your current games. Make a decision first, then go on.

Power

Devices like Switch controllers can function with or without a power source attached. Whether your controller is wireless or wired also makes a difference.

Battery Life

Any gaming session will be ruined if your Nintendo Switch controller runs out of power. Nothing is worse than noticing that your battery is running low, and your chance of playing your favorite Switch games is likely to be severely limited by that blinking indication on the screen.

Wired or Wireless

One of the significant points of contention in the argument between wired and wireless controllers is whether the wireless solutions have a lot of lag. Actually, the lag is not that bad as long as you have a good controller. However, a wired controller can be the best option for gamers who want to have every edge available when playing. Additionally, mobility is always a plus. A wireless controller you may use to move around the room makes things simpler.

Moreover, it is beneficial when you are playing those complex games. You will have to handle the cables themselves when using wired controllers. Some people choose wireless options because they dislike having cables running all over the room. Others believe that constantly charging a controller or changing batteries is a worse burden. It can also be more expensive unless you’re using rechargeable batteries. When making a choice, consider which of these will be more of a hassle when making a choice.

Lights

Some accessory makers have produced new Nintendo Switch controllers, including one that employs LED lights to display a complete spectrum of customizable prismatic lights stored behind its transparent cases as you play. While these may be essential for some, others may find them insignificant. However, whatever controller you pick, ensure it fits your demands and budget.

Safety Wrist Strap

Consider using the wrist straps when using a controller disconnected from the Nintendo Switch system. This increases the comfort of holding the controllers and provides additional security. The wrist strap can be connected to a controller for use in games requiring motion control or active play. When attached, it also makes pressing the SL and SR buttons easier for the player. Both the left and right controllers are compatible with each strap.

Price vs Quality
When making a purchase, price is usually the most crucial factor. An item has to stay within a set budget, and occasionally we’d prefer to spend only what is necessary. However, choosing the less expensive option and narrowing your search to price alone can have an impact. Consistently going with the less expensive choice not only results in higher overall costs but also lowers the value of the product or service over time by sacrificing quality.

Material
Selecting a Switch controller made of the proper materials guarantees the highest possible standard for the product and the best gaming experience. The rails that the controllers slide into in some controllers are made of plastic rather than metal. These may lessen the smoothness of the sliding motion as well as the satisfying click of the object into place. For intense gameplay emphasizing button feel, conductive-pad style switches are also practically unbreakable and excellent. Make sure you only select controllers that feel solid, not fragile.

Durability

A product’s certification guarantees that the producer has adhered to standards and best practices. In general, a high-quality item will endure longer. Also, purchasing a long-lasting item saves you the effort of having to fix or replace it and is also economical.

Our Picks For You

Best Pick - Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

Best Pick

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

A reliable all-arounder that covers all the essentials

The original Switch controller, made by Nintendo, is still functional and relevant today. The official gamepad for the system, the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, is the go-to Switch controller for anyone sick of using a Joy-Con. With this pick, playing for extended periods is much easier on your muscles when you don't have to wrap your fingers around the little controllers. Furthermore, you are not losing any Joy-Con functionality thanks to the rumble support, motion sensors, and Amiibo recognition.

Buy Now

Who it is for

If you can afford it, purchase the authentic Switch Pro Controller. It is currently the best you can get in terms of comfort, functionality, and features. If you frequently play your Switch in a docked mode in front of the TV, it's practically necessary. It is much smoother to play games like “Splatoon,” “Fortnite,” and others that require precise thumbstick movement because those sticks are less prone to drifting. With the classic gamepad, you can end the "claw hand" that develops after prolonged use of the Joy-Cons.

Why it is great

Since its inception as a manufacturer of video game gear, Nintendo has produced top-notch controllers. The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller features the same substantial face buttons, haptic triggers, and distinctive D-Pad for the ultimate retro gaming experience. However, little kids under six could find it a little too big.

HD rumble is another feature of the Switch Pro controller, so you won't miss anything while your system is docked. The battery life is quite long, exceeding the estimated 40 hours per charge. The X, Y, A, and B buttons have a respectable amount of travel yet don't make much noise (even when pressed repeatedly), and the controller is really pleasant to grasp.

Potential flaws

When playing games that demand a lot of quick direction changes, the D-pad occasionally detects inputs wrongly, and the textured grips might become a little sticky over extended gaming sessions. Compared to most third-party solutions, it's also somewhat expensive, but if you want the full Switch experience, it's absolutely worth the extra money.

Other features

The above-below button layout on the Nintendo Switch Pro controller is offset to provide an uncluttered design that enhances the hand's natural range of motion, thereby dramatically improving comfort and control. Additionally, using the included USB cable, the Switch Pro can be connected to a Switch wirelessly or wired. This function is activated through the settings. The Pro Controller has complete motion controls and NFC scanning, just like Nintendo's Joy-Cons. Its more classic appearance shines during lengthy “Breath of the Wild” or “Super Mario Odyssey” sessions. Thanks to the provided USB-C charging cord, it is simple to play, charge, and keep playing.

Product specifications

Brand: Nintendo
Release Date: 3 March 2017
Dimensions: 6.5 x 15.3 x 15.5 cm
Weight: 399.73 Grams
Connection: USB-C
Format: Wired/Wireless
Battery life: Up to 40 hours
Rumble: Yes (HD Rumble)
Motion controls: Yes
NFC: Yes
Mappable buttons: No

Runner Up - Hori Split Pad Pro

Runner Up

Hori Split Pad Pro

With ergonomic curved grips, this selection is a full-featured gamepad

Even though the Hori Split Pad Pro is larger than most of the other controllers on the list, it still sits on the sides of your console the way it should. The grip is more comfortable with full-sized thumbsticks, bigger shoulder buttons, and a chunkier design. Not only is it simpler to handle and control, but it also has assignable rear triggers and turbo functionality! Furthermore, the attractive, translucent black style is another reason you should not pass it up.

Buy Now for $41.99

Who it is for

Gamers that use the Switch handheld mode frequently may think about purchasing Hori's Split Pad Pro controller. Like the Joy-Cons, this two-piece controller slips into the Switch system's rails. The Split Pad Pro is another excellent controller from Hori, and it's made for people with larger hands or gamers who prefer to play for extended periods while holding it in their hands. Also, the Nintendo-licensed Hori Split Pad Pro has a considerably bigger surface to assist you in gripping when playing while you're on the move. Although it can't be used with the Switch docked, the Split Pad Pro is an excellent choice for people who use it during lengthy flights or commutes.

Why it is great

Here, comfort comes first. The Split Pad Pro is substantially larger and more comfortable than the Joy-Cons, and each controller has traditional wing-shaped handles. With the Split Pad Pro, you can wrap your hands around either half without bending your fingers as you might with other controllers. With full-size thumbsticks, responsive inputs, and remappable rear paddles, it provides most Switch gamers with all they require. Stick drift isn't as much of an issue as it is with Nintendo's first-party controllers.

While some may find Split Pad Pro's appearance ridiculous, its advantages become apparent as soon as you hold it. The wide grip and substantial size of the controller evenly distribute the weight, giving the gadget a lighter appearance. They are relatively lightweight, despite being a big piece of equipment that will undoubtedly take up some space in your backpack. The delicate side handles and the textured back surfaces feel pleasant and comfortable in your hands. It's well-made, and it reminds you of old Nintendo portables that are so tough.

Potential flaws

However, these alternate Joy-Cons are only functional when connected to the Switch. The Split Pad Pro controllers cannot be used wirelessly, so they are incompatible with game modes that require you to share individual Joy-Cons. Additionally, the Split Pad Pro lacks batteries and sensors, rendering it utterly unusable when separated from the Switch. It can only be used in handheld mode unless you buy the Split Pad Pro Attachment, which transforms it into a wired controller.

Other features

Similar to the Joy-Cons, the Split Pad Pro is available in various colors and special editions, giving you more freedom to express yourself than with most third-party pads. You may remap buttons to two more back paddles as well. They're excellent if, for instance, you detest using the analog stick as a button. It should be noted that only buttons on the left controller can be mapped to the left paddle, and vice versa. Additionally, you can switch on Turbo mode to automatically press a single button quickly, making it useful for some games, like “Animal Crossing: New Horizon,” to skip over the repetitive conversation in the game.

Product specifications

Brand: Hori
Release Date: 10 August 2020
Dimensions: 17 x 15.8 x 5.5cm
Weight: 226 grams
Connection: USB-C
Format: Wireless
Rumble: No
Motion controls: No
NFC: No
Mappable buttons: Yes

Most cost-effective - PDP Faceoff Deluxe+ Audio

Most cost-effective

PDP Faceoff Deluxe+ Audio

With this super-affordable option, you can go old-school.

The PDP Faceoff Deluxe+ Audio, a longtime favorite among gamers, provides a wealth of impressive features for a fraction of the cost of comparable products. This Nintendo Switch controller is perfect for the frugal home gamer and features a modern design. It also enables USB chat and in-game audio for compatible games. Additionally, the extraordinarily long USB cord will always keep you connected. It's a suitable controller for a low price, thanks to the innovative modular design that allows you to switch out and snap in various Faceoff faceplates.

Buy Now for $27.99

Who it is for

As the only one of our top Nintendo Switch controllers that supports headphones, PDP's Faceoff Deluxe+ Audio Wired Controller stands out from the crowd. That means you may play “Breath of the Wild” from your couch and become more engrossed in it, or you can use your gaming headset to speak with pals while playing games that feature built-in voice chat (including “Fortnite”). If Switch's built-in voice chat is crucial to you, this controller won't disappoint you.

Why it is great

A crowd favorite among gamers, the PDP Faceoff Deluxe + Audio offers a ton of great features for a small portion of the price of similar products. It boasts two offset analog sticks that provide excellent bounce and feedback, comfortable grips, and all the necessary buttons. This has two rear-mounted remappable buttons and a 3.5-mm audio connector for connecting a headset, a feature that only some (if any) Nintendo Switch controllers have. You can also easily replace designs by swapping off the faceplate.

The controller is reliable on its own. The front of it has a lenticular coating that makes it resemble 3D moving visuals that appear to move when tilted from left to right. The front of the controller also has a unique wavy pattern that stands out from other third-party controllers that merely sign licensing agreements with Nintendo to display a Mario cap

Potential flaws

The audio quality is not superior to the clarity you'd get from a PS4 or Xbox One controller. There is plenty more that can be done to provide “Fortnite” players with a more lifelike auditory experience, but it needs to be clarified whether this is a problem with PDP or the Nintendo Switch. Additionally, some customers say that the build quality is a little lacking, the buttons occasionally feel squishy, and the triggers sometimes reverberate through the controller. The PDP Faceoff Deluxe+ Audio Wired Controller, on the other hand, is a decent third-party option. For the price, the controller is excellent all by itself.

Other features

There are a few alternatives for functional voice chat for Nintendo Switch owners. Fortunately, the producer of third-party accessories, PDP, has a new controller that seeks to offer the same simplicity in voice chat as is available on the other platforms. Typically, chat sound entering through headphones like HyperX is either muted or distant, which may be brought on by the headsets of the other players. In contrast, the Faceoff Deluxe+ Audio Wired Controller offers great game audio via the headset and integrated voice chat, which is particularly useful in a battle royale game like “Fortnite.”

Product specifications

Brand: PDP
Release Date: 1 July 2020
Format: Wired
Battery: NA
Amiibo support: No
Haptics: None
Motion control: No
Dimensions: 0.9 x 0.3 x 2.1 cm
Weight: 399.16 Grams
Connection: USB-C

Almost made he cut - 8Bitdo Arcade Stick

Almost made the cut

8Bitdo Arcade Stick

This choice brings arcade vibes and an ideal platform for unleashing your techniques.

This combat stick not only has adorable retro stylings, but it's also customizable with Sanwa parts support. The stick detects whether it is cabled or wirelessly connected to a Switch or PC and promptly Switches button assignments. With digital icons that Switch between profiles, the Arcade Stick can hold two profiles' worth of button assignments for various platforms or video games. Last but not least, the stick has turbo support and a battery that can operate for up to 40 hours via a 2.4GHz wireless connection or 30 hours through Bluetooth.

Buy Now for $89.99

Who it is for

Fighting game enthusiasts will know there is no feeling like pummeling your opponents into oblivion while seated at an arcade cabinet. The 8BitDo Arcade Stick will not bring the slick floor and bright lights of an arcade to your playroom, but it will give you an excellent platform for perfecting your combos. This classic arcade stick from 8Bitdo is a must-have for aficionados of arcade and fighting games who take their passion for these genres seriously.

Why it is great

Its flexibility is what gives it the most prominent edge over its rivals. This stick has three connection options: USB, Bluetooth, and a built-in 2.4 GHz USB receiver. Its joystick can function as a right analog stick, a left analog stick, or a D-pad. The top left corner of the box has straightforward, tactile switches that make it simple to operate all of these settings. The pad lasts an astonishing 40 hours on one charge, with a full recharge taking about four hours.

This fight stick is not only highly configurable with compatibility for Sanwa components, but it also has adorable retro stylings. Additionally, even the red LED labels close to the center buttons change color depending on whether you are in Switch or PC mode. If you want to do some home modding, you can swap out the buttons and stick them using 8BitDo's Ultimate Software. You can also build macros and map inputs to the different buttons.

Potential flaws

Some reviewers claim that the build quality could be better than arcade standards, in addition to being a little small for some users. Additionally, consumers could encounter another problem when opening the case. Torx screws are used by 8BitDo to secure the case. For those with a Torx screwdriver, it won't be a problem; however, some people might find it inconvenient as not everyone has one. However, once the stick is opened, it initially appears relatively simple to change the buttons. One item to notice is that due to the limited space, snap-in buttons must be used instead of screw-in ones. Not really a deal-breaker, but nonetheless, essential to note.

Since the connectors are soldered on, replacing the joystick is slightly more complicated. You'll need to desolder or remove the connectors to adopt a different joystick. Additionally, 8BitDo features a conventional 5-pin connection, to which wires can be soldered. Even though it's relatively easy, it's a bothersome extra step and hardly beginner-friendly.

Care and maintenance

Ensure any controller you purchase is compatible with your Switch device
It is critical that your controller is compatible with the Switch device and that it can be installed in all of the operating systems that you consider necessary. Through compatibility testing, you can ensure that your controller’s settings function as intended on various hardware and operating systems.

It is also essential to ensure the game can be played on your Switch. If your console continuously verifies whether software can be played, it may signal that you are not using the main console for the Nintendo Account that ordered the game(s). The only person who can launch a game on a non-primary console is the player who purchased it; everyone else will get error screens.

Connecting to your Switch device
The Joy-Cons are typically connected by sliding them on either side of the console. In this way, they ought to immediately connect. You can wirelessly connect your Joy-Cons to the Nintendo Switch in a few easy steps:
Navigate to the Controllers menu on the Switch Home
Go to Change Controller Grip/Order
On the Joy-Cons, if you’re attempting to connect to the Nintendo Switch, press the Sync button
Press A once the controllers have connected to the Nintendo Switch.
Your Joy-Cons should now be connected to the Nintendo Switch and synchronized. This method connects up to four pairs of Joy-Cons to the console. To make sure your Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons continue to perform as intended, be sure you know how to update them.

There are various ways to connect your Pro Controller to the Nintendo Switch. If you have a wired Pro Controller, you will need to dock your console, but you can use either the two USB ports on the dock’s left side or the one under the flap in the back that is close to the HDMI output and power input ports. To attach your Pro Controller to the Nintendo Switch, follow these steps:
Connect a USB-C cable to your Switch’s dock, preferably the one included with your Pro Controller.
While the Switch is docked, attach the USB-C cord to your Pro Controller
Your controller ought to instantly connect, enabling you to play more comfortably.

Follow these instructions to wirelessly connect your Pro Controller to the Nintendo Switch:
Select Controllers from the Switch’s main menu
Go to Change Controller Grip/Order
On the Pro Controller that you are attempting to connect to your Switch, press the Sync button
Press A once the controller and console have synchronized
Your Switch and Pro Controller must now be linked.

Ensure the controller is charged

Avoid leaving your Pro Controller unplugged from its USB cable or your Joy-Con controllers lying on a coffee table or in a regular grip. After you finish playing, place the Joy-Con controllers on your Switch or into a Charging Grip and connect the USB wire to your Pro Controller to ensure that you won’t run out of juice as soon as you start up again. The Switch should also be docked when not in use to keep its battery charged for later usage. A row of flashing LED lights will appear on the dock when you connect the controller. When the controller displays an orange light, charging is underway.

Can I use my controller while it’s charging?

To put it succinctly, yes. Remove the charging wire from the dock and put it directly into the console to charge the controller while still playing a game. This will charge both the Switch and the controller. Open the side flap on the dock and pull out the cable labeled “AC Adaptor” to remove the power cable. The controller will begin charging once you plug it into a nearby wall outlet and the USB Type-C into the Switch’s bottom. Naturally, this only functions while the player uses the Switch in handheld mode. It’s more difficult to charge the controller in full TV mode to play a game without using the Switch. You’ll need to buy a separate charging grip for this to function.

The Pro Controller and similar models are an excellent investment if you play with your Nintendo Switch docked and connected to a TV because it has a good battery life but still needs to be recharged after roughly 40 hours of play. Though the wire is too short in some configurations, you can still use the controller while it is charging. Charge the controller without docking the Nintendo Switch. While the controller is charging, you can take it out and play handheld.