Nintendo Switch Pro Controller [Black Friday & Cyber Monday Sales, Deals 2022]

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Nintendo has kept things simple here with the original Xbox-style asymmetric design for the analog stick positioning. Four face buttons and four shoulder buttons are in the original places, without GameCube-style shenanigans spicing things up.

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The Joy-Con’s home, share, plus and minus buttons are present too although you would be forgiven for nearly noticing the share and home buttons as the buttons aren’t raised at all. A row of LEDs on underneath indicates which player number the controller happens to be assigned to.

A USB-C slot for charging (a cable is roofed in the box) is at the top side of the Switch Pro controller with a tiny LED that glows orange while charging and is out once fully charged. Also you can charge the controller together with your USB-C phone charging cable too which is helpful if you wish to top up the controller as the Switch isn’t powered up in order to put it to use straight away the next time you play.

If you’re among those players who visit a weighty controller as an indicator of quality then you will be happy with the heft on the Switch Pro Controller for certain. Pleasingly, in addition, it feels really solid – there are no awkward hollow plastic noises when you tap the right path around the chassis and button presses don’t produce any awkward loud clicks – when did most of us get so fussy?

The Switch Pro Controller’s handles are extremely slightly textured too, adding some extra grip to the pad therefore you won’t need to worry about any of it squirming around in the hands during those Blue Shell-fearing final laps in Mario Kart 8. We appreciated the excess grip during a number of the more sudden motion control factors in games too, as we didn’t need to worry about the controller flying over the room.

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller – Features


Regardless of the Pro in the name of the official Nintendo Switch controller, this is not what we’d associate with ‘Pro’ adjustable controllers on other consoles just like the Xbox Elite Series 2 controller or Nacom Revolution Unlimited on PS4. That is cheaper than those fancier models though to be fair.

There are no remappable buttons, extra buttons around the trunk, adjustable weights or interchangeable analog sticks or swappable d-pads. So you would be forgiven for thinking the name is just a little misleading.

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Motion-controls can be found with the Switch Pro Controller though, and that means you won’t lose out on steering functionality in Mario Kart 8 or the slightly cheaty spin move attack in Super Mario Odyssey where you jerk the controller sideways to initiate.

Rumble vibration effects can be found as is NFC-functionality. If you have any Amiibos lying around, you can tap them on the controller when prompted for a couple extras in select first-party Nintendo titles.

NFC-functionality is very much indeed an optional part of games though, but it’s something to keep an eye on with third-party controllers as we’ve noticed almost all of them don’t possess this ability. And rumble features tend to be a casualty too. If you are after the entire feature set, the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller may be the strategy to use and the very best of our list picks to find the best Nintendo Switch accessories.

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller – Performance


Long story short, after picking right up a Nintendo Switch Pro controller, the Joy-Cons have barely left the dock on my Nintendo Switch. If you are playing a casino game where any kind of precision is necessary, be it nailing a drift in Mario Kart or navigating a tricky platform section in Super Mario Odyssey, the Pro leaves the Joy-Cons for dead.

It’s about the analog sticks. They’re bigger than the tiny kinds on the Joy-Cons plus much more comfortable beneath the thumb. They provide more resistance too (without ever being too stiff) meaning there are far fewer cases of frantically over-correcting precise jumps and ballsing it up royally as the left analog feels too loose, that is a frequent complaint for me personally with the Joy-Cons’ lightweight PS Vita-like analogs.

The facial skin buttons are raised surprisingly high from the controller’s body and could have benefitted from sloping down or being rounded off at the edges just a little. But regardless of the height of every button, responsiveness doesn’t seem to be to be a concern at all and they are reasonably quiet, especially in comparison to a number of the third-party controllers we have our practical. I’m also relieved the buttons are much bigger compared to the Joy-Cons’ little thumb pokers.

The wireless link with the Switch is super simple and reliable. Once synced up you will not want to do it again. Unlike a number of the really cheap Switch controller alternatives out there which constantly forget about the console between gameplay sessions and need plugging in over and over to resync.

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The built-in rechargeable battery in the Switch Pro controller is seriously impressive and lasts around 40 hours between charges. It requires around six hours to totally charge when you do fully deplete it but since you have a variety of charging options (plug it in to the console, the mains or a lightweight battery) it’s a lot more than fair.

Overall


While more expensive compared to the standard controllers entirely on PS4 or Xbox One, we must admit, the state Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is the foremost one to buy to improve your gameplay experience on the super popular console. So if you are sitting down with an extended title like Zelda: Breath of the Wild, or want to make sure perfectly-judged jumps in Super Mario Odyssey, or even to line up an ideal shot in Overwatch then that is an excellent purchase. Can we’ve even more exciting color choices any time in the future though please, Nintendo?

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller review: an excellent controller that shames the Joy-Cons

With most third-party controllers not being up to the duty, the Nintendo Switch Pro controller is the better option for gamers wanting a normal controller experience for longer games, or increased accuracy that the Joy-Con’s analogs can’t offer.

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