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Third-Party Controllers Every Nintendo Switch Player Should Try

It’s Friday night and all your friends are coming over for a night of Super Smash Bros, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe AND . . . Mario Party Superstars.

The snacks are set out and the four of you are all ready to play . . . when you hit the Achilles' heel of game night: not enough controllers!

And everybody knows that first-party controllers are super expensive these days! The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller costs $69.99 while a Joy-Con Set is a pricey $79.99.


Lucky for us, there are many lower cost (but high-quality) third-party controllers out there. Here are 3 great options, all licensed by Nintendo:

Afterglow Wired Deluxe Controller by PDP

The Afterglow Wired Deluxe Controller feels great in the hands and is as functional as it is stylish. Sporting a transparent shell and a variety of multicolor interior lights, The Afterglow offers excellent entertainment way beyond your television screen. It also has programmable back paddle buttons and a nifty 3.5mm audio port that sends game audio directly to your headphones.

Sure, it lacks some of the features of the first-party Nintendo Switch Pro Controller — specifically motion controls, HD Rumble, and NFC — it’s more than enough for most popular multiplayer Nintendo Switch games.

Want to turn your game night into a light show? This is one solid controller option that only sets you back $24.99.

Enhanced Wireless Controller by PowerA

Ready to cut the cord? With a look and feel quite similar to the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, the Enhanced Wireless Controller has most of the same features — except for NFC and HD Rumble.

Yes, that means motion controls are included, a must-have for a game like Splatoon 3!

The best part of the Enhanced Wireless Controller is that it comes in a variety of designs based on popular video game series, both from Nintendo and other publishers. At $49.99, it’s a tad pricey for a third-party controller. But that’s still $20 cheaper than the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, allowing you to use the extra money on games or downloadable content!

HORIPAD Mini by Hori

Looking for something a bit smaller, more manageable? One of the smallest controllers available for the Nintendo Switch, the HORIPAD Mini is fully functional and has a simplistic gamepad for the more casual gamer.

A special feature is its turbo button, which sets any button to press itself repeatedly. This is incredibly useful for cheating in Mario Party Superstars’ minigames. Warning: your friends may forcibly eject you from game night if they catch you. They certainly won’t eject the HORIPAD Mini from game night though, regardless of its lack of NFC, HD Rumble, and motion controls.

The HORIPAD Mini comes in a range of designs and colors and will add some pizzazz to your game night. Plus, it only costs $29.99 — all the more reasons to own multiple!

There are a bunch of other third-party controller options available from PDP, PowerA, and Hori. No matter which you choose, you’ll certainly save a decent sum of money, compared to buying Nintendo’s first-party controllers.

If you want to play Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s 8-Player mode you’re going to need plenty of controllers!

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