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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Gaming > Nintendo Switch: Alternative Controller Reviews

Nintendo Switch: Alternative Controller Reviews
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andi*pandi
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Apr 14, 2020, 10:55 AM
 
So which full size controller did you end up getting? Review?
     
subego
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Apr 14, 2020, 03:13 PM
 
It’s the official Nintendo issue. Still won’t come for a few days. I’ll definitely report back.

When I first got the Switch, I went a little crazy in the retro controller department.

Nintendo sells a wireless NES model for use with their NES collection. Feels slightly heavier than I remember, but it’s otherwise a perfect copy. I also ordered the SNES version, but that got caught up in everything hitting the fan and is still sitting at the UPS store (a place I’m avoiding for the moment).

Then, for arcade stuff I decided to go whole hog and bought a Mayfiash.



Which is really, really nice, but costs $130.

The main reason I settled on it is it’s the heaviest arcade stick I could find (10 pounds or so), and I use it on my lap. Doesn’t want to slide around at all. Unsurprisingly, arcade games are sooooo much better with it.
     
subego
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Apr 21, 2020, 10:35 PM
 
Short review of the Pro Controllers:

Useless. They both have left stick drift out of the box. Recalibrating doesn’t work.
     
subego
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Apr 22, 2020, 02:26 AM
 
You know, I have to say the stock controllers are pretty incredible. The fact they fit on a mobile but work fine for console mode, and can be split apart is pretty amazing.

Yeah, the rumble is weak, and the small buttons make it easier to knock the wrong one than usual, but those are reasonable trade-offs considering how flexible the controllers are.

The sticks aren’t precise, but since most of your thumb is resting on the controller, you can do precise thumb work, so it evens out for me. Plus, since the stick isn’t holding up my thumb, I don’t ever accidentally engage the “stick press” command. This is something I do all the time on a regular controller.

Again, the sticks aren’t ideal, but do a much better job than they should.



Edit: as a point of reference, the Dual Shock is probably my favorite controller.
( Last edited by subego; Apr 22, 2020 at 07:19 AM. )
     
andi*pandi  (op)
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Apr 22, 2020, 11:47 AM
 
bummer on the pro controllers. I was eyeing the powerA versions but the reviews are mixed.

I did discover that using the joycons on the small screen isn't bad... although I like the big screen much better, the hand feel is better.

The minus button is impossible to hit without using a fingernail.
     
subego
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Apr 22, 2020, 01:39 PM
 
Past the drift issue, here’s my two-minute review, as in only using it for two minutes.

Feels good in the hand. My memory might be foggy, but it’s much, much heavier than the PS3/Xbox 360 controller. Hopefully this means good battery.

The buttons are ginormous. It’s like Nintendo went “you want bigger buttons... I’ll show you bigger buttons!”

At least in Animal Crossing, the sticks feel undersensitive. Very precise, but it takes a lot of travel to get to maximum.

Other than that, it’s your basic Xbox layout.


Hopefully I can fix the drift, but right now I’d rather play than fiddle around with them. They may need replacement parts anyways.
     
subego
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Apr 29, 2020, 03:29 AM
 
Tracked down a fix! I’m going to start playing with it now!


Edit: looks to be an software related Animal Crossing issue. I know Nintendo QA can be shaky, but this makes far more sense than two dud controllers out of the box.

Did end up taking one apart, though.
( Last edited by subego; Apr 29, 2020 at 03:43 AM. )
     
subego
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Apr 29, 2020, 04:30 AM
 
30 minute review:

Main buttons are nice, well spaced, responsive, and give good feedback.

The trigger is weird. The resistance goes up and up as you squeeze it, like a normal trigger, then the resistance suddenly stops and the trigger snaps to full squeeze. Not necessarily bad, just weird.

My hands rest in my lap, so weight isn’t an issue, but it makes my hands sweatier than the Joycons in a holder.

The rumble is somehow weaker than with the Joycons.
Edit: I guess it’s about the same at max, but lesser rumbles are much weaker.

Minus is easier to press, but is still best pressed with a fingernail because you have to arc your finger over the stick to get at it.

Not sure how I feel about the D-pad, which is weird. The NES already has a perfect D-pad. Don’t know why they didn’t use that hardware.

Tough to discuss the sticks because frankly, the controls in AC suck. I need to put in some Zelda time with it, which is what I got it for in the first place.
( Last edited by subego; Apr 29, 2020 at 06:32 AM. )
     
andi*pandi  (op)
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Apr 29, 2020, 07:31 AM
 
Thx!
     
subego
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Apr 30, 2020, 01:15 AM
 
YW!

At the least, there’s supposedly a drift patch in today’s update.

Edit: aaaaaaaand, still drifts.
( Last edited by subego; Apr 30, 2020 at 01:56 AM. )
     
subego
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Apr 30, 2020, 09:47 AM
 
Having a little more time, both using it and thinking it over, my recommendation is to go with the adapter. Especially if you can get two and use two controllers.

My primary thought is the Pro Controllers are unnecessarily expensive right now. Nintendo’s supply chain is all bollixed, and they’re almost surely not worth what you’d have to pay for them right now.

It’s not a bad controller, but as I mentioned, the Dual-Shock design is my all time fave, and this hasn’t knocked it off the pedestal.

The one wildcard is the left stick and D-pad are flipped on Sony controllers, so that could get annoying if you switch between console and mobile.
     
subego
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May 5, 2020, 03:08 AM
 
After taking one apart, and seeing how easy it is, I figured there must be custom stuff available. Out of the box, the things are fugly.



Slapped on iridescent grips. I’m a sucker for flash like that. It’s a little better, I guess. We’ll have to see if the lack of dimples on the grips causes slipping.

I have the parts to do the whole body, but the front piece looks kinda plain when opaque and without any branding. I may try it later. Replacing the grips took only two minutes. Doing the whole thing is more involved. Lots of tiny ass-screws.


More generally, I’ve used the controller for a few days now and am essentially happy. Battery seems decent. Sucky rumble is still its big flaw.
( Last edited by subego; May 5, 2020 at 04:04 AM. )
     
subego
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May 13, 2020, 02:18 PM
 
I was looking around for something I could mix-and-match with the grips, and found the same company makes these...



Felt it could go either way, but I think this ends up a lot more coherent looking. It would be nice to have matching sticks, but it’s improved the looks enough I’m not complaining.

I like the grips so far. Feels less slippery somehow, even with increased sweat and no dimples.
     
andi*pandi  (op)
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May 13, 2020, 03:01 PM
 
that does look cool. Linkage?
     
subego
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May 13, 2020, 03:08 PM
 
Here’s the company.

http://extremerate.com/

They have a store on Amazon, which is where I got them.

https://smile.amazon.com/stores/page...3&ref_=ast_bln
     
Cald3nti
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May 16, 2020, 12:05 PM
 
It is way better than the Joycon, imo. If you are consistently finding yourself needing an additional controller for a friend, I'd say go for the Joycons, but the Pro Controller is a much better. I was worried about the price, but considering I've used it for 150+ hours, I definitely got my moneys worth.
     
subego
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May 16, 2020, 12:58 PM
 
I’d definitely find it hard to go back. The crummy rumble is still a mystery, though.


Aftermarket buttons seem to work as well as the stock. Only difference is etched letters on the aftermarket buttons vs. the printed on the original.



Edit: oh, one thing I miss about the Joycons... the plus button being shaped like a plus.

Especially satisfying as the Nook+ button.
( Last edited by subego; May 16, 2020 at 02:01 PM. )
     
Brien
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May 20, 2020, 12:27 AM
 
A lot of people recommend the 8bitdo SNpro30+. Looks HUGE next to an XB1 controller though, and I have smaller hands so it’s a nonstarter.
     
subego
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May 20, 2020, 08:54 AM
 
Looks like it could go either way.



The Pro Controller works well for me, and my glove size is men’s medium.
     
andi*pandi  (op)
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Jun 25, 2020, 09:30 AM
 
I'm liking the pro controller a lot. Only nitpicks the right toggle is a little fussy, and I think the joycon + had smoother feel, but my hands aren't cramping up so much.

The true test was Mario Kart.
     
subego
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Jun 25, 2020, 11:50 PM
 
Awesome!
     
subego
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Jun 26, 2020, 09:46 PM
 
I forgot to ask... any drift problems in Animal Crossing?
     
andi*pandi  (op)
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Jun 29, 2020, 06:01 PM
 
Not that I've noticed. Then again, we pretty much beat up the original controllers so the sticks were... sticky, so the pro controller is less wonky.

(Having been fully trained by PS4/Horizon Dawn to mash the left stick to run like hell, it was hard for us to adapt to zelda's mash left stick to crouch behavior. RUN <mash> damn it I didn't mean crawl <unmash> RUN! )
     
Brien
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Jun 30, 2020, 03:17 PM
 
I faced similar problems when switching from Xbox since the A/B buttons are swapped.
     
subego
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Jul 7, 2020, 01:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
Not that I've noticed. Then again, we pretty much beat up the original controllers so the sticks were... sticky, so the pro controller is less wonky.
From what I understand, the problem is they get gummed up with oil, dust, skin particles, and the like. Sorta like an analog mouse.

The repair options in order of simplicity are,

1) Blow canned air into the crevice with the straw.

2) Swab some electrical contact cleaner on the bulb.

3) Take it apart and put in a new one. They cost about $20, but you need to be comfortable with super tiny screws and delicate wiring. Nintendo will do it for free, but they take forever. Wait time is currently a month.


Originally Posted by Brien View Post
I faced similar problems when switching from Xbox since the A/B buttons are swapped.
I’ve been out of console gaming long enough I don’t have any muscle memory problems, but even after putting over 400 hours in, I still have to think about which button is X and which is Y.
     
   
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