The Nintendo Switch may cost only $300, but the pricing of its accessories is no joke. The Pro Controller, which is an essential upgrade for the best Switch experience, can cost a whopping $70 on its own. It’s an excellent controller that’s worth the investment, but for those on a tight budget, there’s an alternative option that’ll save you some cash and add a little color to your gaming setup: PowerA’s officially licensed controllers for the Switch.
PowerA has been making third-party controllers for years and has released wired Switch Pro Controllers in the past, but the company is now producing enhanced wireless controllers with Bluetooth connectivity that sell for $20 less than the first-party controllers. The enhanced wireless controllers cost $50 and come with two AA batteries that provide up to 30 hours of gameplay. The officially licensed controllers have a similar ergonomic design to the first-party Pro Controllers. There’s no rumble or NFC reader, but the wireless controllers do have motion controls and allow for custom button mapping.
These third-party Switch controllers come in a range of eye-catching designs, and PowerA just put a brand-new collection of controllers up for pre-order. You’ll want to check these new gamepads out, as they’re absolutely stunning. There’s a black-and-gold Pikachu pattern, a satin blue Breath of the Wild design, and multiple Poke Ball-themed controllers, and they’re all launching in September.
Check out the new designs below:
Both the enhanced wireless Switch Pro controllers and the cheaper wired versions (which sell for $30) are available in a wide range of designs beyond what’s shown above. Some of the older wireless controllers are even on sale at Amazon. You can see more of the previously released designs available below.
We got the chance to try out one of PowerA’s new wireless controllers for Nintendo Switch–the green Legend of Zelda one pictured in the slideshow above–and the design is even more beautiful in person, especially the gold D-pad. It makes an eye-catching addition to your gaming collection. The wireless controller initially feels significantly lighter than the first-party controller, but once you put in the batteries, the weight balances out a bit and feels more comfortable. Functionally, the controls are smooth and identical to the real thing. The only real drawback is that they’re battery-powered, but if you have some rechargeable batteries lying around, only use your Pro controller occasionally, or just need a solid backup controller for multiplayer games, you won’t regret picking up one of PowerA’s wireless options.
We also tried out the wired controllers when they first released in 2017, and if you don’t mind using a controller that’s wired, you’ll save yourself $40 and have a gorgeous controller that gets the job done.
“I can’t say enough about how smooth the analog sticks are. They’re effortless to use and consistent in terms of resistance. It’s definitely a huge improvement over using the Joy-Cons,” said Michael Higham in our video review (above). “We tend to think that cheaper controllers means a cheaper build, but aside from the wired limitations and the lack of motion controls, PowerA’s controllers are the best option when you factor in price, and if you don’t mind being plugged in all the time.”
With wireless Bluetooth capabilities and motion controls, PowerA’s new enhanced controllers will provide a gaming experience that’s truly comparable to the first-party Pro Controllers (and still at a discount). And $50 (or less) for a licensed wireless controller designed for the newest console on the market? Can’t argue with that.