Juan at SwitchWatchTV has done us all a great service by testing all of the alternate controllers for the Nintendo Switch. These are the budget controllers that can contend with the Switch Pro Controller in many ways, and some times can even outperform. Let’s take a look at Juan’s video as he dissects four of the best third-party controllers on the market. Or you can just scroll down and read about them here on the site.
Welcome to our Budget Switch pro controller comparison to help you decide some alternative options to the fantastic Nintendo Switch Pro Controller. Of course, this would be most people’s choice, but it’s expensive. And what if you already have one and just want a spare or second controller for the occasions when friends or family are around? Are there any decent alternatives? Let’s take a look!
The Gioteck WX-4 is a budget Switch controller which has a similar button layout to the Switch Pro Controller and is available in both a wireless and wired, although for the extra fiver I would go for the wireless version.
The buttons are quite solid feeling and have a decent bounce when talking about the B, X, Y, and Z buttons. The triggers buttons are not my favourite, as they feel very cheap. And while they work well enough, it just does not have the best feel, but at more than half the price, compromises are to be expected.
They feel analog, but the Switch will register them as digital inputs. The d-pad is actually quite good and precise, and it is the one thing I rather liked about this game controller. It also includes gyro and rumble which at this price point is very good indeed. There was no input lag that I came across with this unit.
In the hand, the body is thinner than the Switch Pro Controller and a lot lighter, but that’s going to be a personal preference. I like my controllers to have some weight to them, so I am not a big fan of lightweight controllers.
You have 10 hours of battery time out of this, but you will have to charge using a USB cable which of course takes longer than USB-C, another compromise which has been made for the price.
There are no issues connecting this through Bluetooth, and in terms of latency it was fine. If you want a decent and sturdy spare controller, then the Gioteck is not bad. However, if comparing it to a controller like the Pro Controller, then of course you will notice differences in quality. There is a nice variety of colour choices, but my favourite is definitely the camouflage version.
For those that like their amiibo, this does not have NFC support and of course lacks HD rumble.
This controller is great for those that want a basic second controller which is not going to break the bank, and it will come in handy for when friends are around.
The EasySMX for me is the budget controller which gets super close to the Pro Controller.
In terms of the buttons and analog controls, they feel solid enough but I am not quite taking to the analog sticks as they don’t feel smooth when moving them with your thumbs. That becomes quite noticeable over time.
They also ping back quite a bit. The X, A, B, and Y buttons feel nice and solid, but again the trigger buttons are not to my liking. They feel way too cheap.
There is a turbo function and it includes duel shock, but it felt at times like the motors were not quite held in the body enough as it does shake quite a bit. The buttons light up for those of you that like that sort of thing.
The EasySMX feels great in the hand and is very similar in terms of weight and size to the Pro Controller. It feels fantastic, and if you were to blindfold someone they may not tell the difference between the Switch Pro Controller and the Easy SMX.
The battery in the controller is a 600 mh amp battery which can be charged via a USB-C cable and takes only 2 hours to charge with 7 to 8 hours of play time.
Price on this controller is $29.99, which is a decent price but it is missing gyro. If you like to play your games this way, then this controller may be a miss.
If you like your controllers to feel more like the PS4 controller, then you will most likely enjoy the Hycarus Controller which I reviewed a while ago. To watch that, click here to check it out.
Buttons and Build Quality
The buttons and build quality on the Hycarus Controller feel solid and better than the previous two (The Giotech and Easy SMX). All buttons are solid and have nice feedback to them when pressing, the trigger buttons especially feel very good, and I like the smoothness of the analog sticks.
The sticks also have this grooved texture which is nice for grip. The triggers have an analog feel even though analog is not supported, which is a real bummer.
Another pain is you are not able to wake the Switch from sleep mode, so you will need another controller connected to do so. You can use this on other platforms like Android or Windows, though, which is great.
There are other nice things in this controller like the built-in gyro sensor, turbo, and duel shock functions.
This is more for those that like Playstation controllers, but this does feel nice and weighty in the hands. I also like the feel of the plastics used.
Battery gets you about 7 hours play time, but the charging is quite slow through a standard USB cable.
8bitdo sn30pro +
This is no doubt one of the best controllers on the market. We did an in-depth review of this one which you can watch by clicking here.
8bitdo make some top-notch controllers, and this one has it all except it may not be to your liking if you don’t like Playstation-style controllers.
The buttons feel very solid and are some of the best in terms of quality we have tested. We even think that the triggers feel better than the Switch Pro controller, as they are only digital.
The sn30pro+ has analog triggers which is awesome, but that’s where it ends as most Switch games are programmed to register the input as a digital input, which sucks.
Although if you use it for PC or Mac, you can take advantage of the analog triggers. We also prefer the d-pad to the one on the Switch Pro Controller. The movement of the analogs is good too, but we would say the Switch Pro Controller is slightly better.
The sn30pro+ feels lighter than say the Switch Pro controller, but after a while you soon get used to it and although it’s still not as weighty as I would like, the level of quality in the hand more than makes up for it.
We love the fact the battery is removable and also lasts a massive 20 hours, and if you do run out of charge then you can easily chuck in some AA batteries. It charges pretty quickly too using USB-C, which is a big advantage over some of the other controllers here.
The biggest advantage of this controller is being able to use 8bitdo ultimate software, which allows you to make all sorts of custom profiles for yourself and even go as far as to set up Macros. You can also set up the analog sticks to your tastes. It really is something special for those that like to customize.
What Do You Think?
So looking at these controllers, they all have advantages and disadvantages. If you want a decent spare which costs half the price, then the EasySMX is probably as close to the Switch Pro controller as you are going to get. It just lacks some key features like gyro and an NFC reader.
The Gioteck is also a decent alternative that has some good features and is a cheap price, but some may not love the light feel. For those that like the Playstation controllers, the Hycarus is a decent spare option, but the best is the sn30pro+ without a doubt. Great quality, feature packed, and is almost half the price of a Switch Pro Controller.
There is certainly something here for everyone’s budget.
Thank you for stopping by SwitchWatch.co.uk for this wonderful review of third-party controllers by Juan. Let us know in the comments below which one you prefer! Happy gaming, everyone.