Joy-Con vs. Pro Controller vs. HORI Split Pad Pro: Which Should I Choose?
Switch Joy-Con vs. Pro Controller vs. HORI Split Pad Pro
|Joy-Con||Pro Controller||HORI Split Pad Pro|
|Size||4 x 1.4 x 1.1 inches (per Joy-Con)||6.1 x 5.7 x 2.5 inches||6.69 x 6.22 x 2.17 inches|
|Weight||1.7 ounces||14 ounces||8 ounces|
Switch Joy-Con Controllers Reviews
One controller or two, vertical or sideways, motion controls or buttons…Joy‑Con and Nintendo Switch give you total gameplay flexibility. Expand your collection with these colorful pastel Joy-Con controllers. Games come to life through easy-to-use motion controls and HD rumble—advanced vibration features built into each Joy Con controller.
They’re essential to how the console works both in docked and handheld modes. You can play games with both Joy-Cons slotted into the system or wirelessly while you have it sitting on a table or docked with your TV. Depending on the game, you might use a single Joy Con in each hand—or even give the second one to a friend. You can share Joy-Cons with friends by turning them sideways to act as tinier standard controllers, though we strongly recommend keeping the straps handy for a bit more to hold onto while playing this way.
When attached to the Switch, the Joy-Cons are nearly perfect, offering much better control over your game than you’d get with an older Nintendo system or even the PlayStation Vita. You can even hand one to another player to play some Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (or other multiplayer game) on the go. These Joy-Cons work with the newer Switch OLED model, as well.
It is worth mentioning that the infamous "Joy-Con drift" issue still persists to this day, resulting in movement from the analog stick without actually touching it. This issue has plagued users from the beginning, and while it isn't as common today, can still happen, especially with older Joy-Con.
Each comes equipped with face buttons, two bumpers, triggers, and directional buttons, as well as additional bumper buttons located on the side for when you’re only using one of them at a time.
And since Joy-Cons come in a rainbow of colors, picking up a new pair is a great way to personalize your Switch. Color Options:
Neon Red/Neon Blue;
Neon Pink/Neon Green;
Neon Purple/Neon Orange;
Pastel Pink/Pastel Yellow;
Pastel Purple/ Pastel Green
If you just need a single Joy-Con, Nintendo also sells them as single units.
Pros & Cons
Where to Buy Nintendo Switch Controllers?
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Switch Pro Controller Reviews
Nintendo’s Pro controller is still the best one out there. It supports all the key Switch functionality like the Joy Con - HD Rumble, NFC and motion controls – has exceptional battery life and is reasonably lightweight. The analogue sticks are responsive, the X, Y, A and B buttons have a decent amount of travel but aren’t too noisy (even when button mashing), and the controller is extremely comfortable to hold. It’s also can power on the Switch without being plugged into it (again, like Joy-Cons) .
Beyond those qualities, the Pro controller has comfort and build quality rivaling the flagship console controllers of Microsoft and Sony. It’s built like a tank, and it has battery life so good that it sometimes seems like it’ll never run out. Nintendo says that it lasts around 40 hours per charge, so it’ll likely take casual gamers a long time to run down the battery.
The buttons and triggers have a satisfying bounce, while its directional pad is responsive and clicky enough to satisfy retro gamers. Just like the Switch itself, the controller charges over USB-C. And it’s compatible with a slew of other devices you might game on, including PCs, Android devices, and Apple devices including Mac computers running macOS Ventura, iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and Apple TV.
It’s not perfect, however. The D-pad occasionally registers inputs incorrectly when playing games that require lots of quick changes of direction, and the textured grip handles can get a bit sticky during longer gaming sessions.
The rechargeable Pro Controller comes with large face buttons, bumpers, triggers, and analog sticks. It also has a more traditional directional pad that feels similar to those available on the Wii U’s controllers. Its shape is similar to the Xbox Series X's controller, and its internal battery lasts far longer than the PlayStation 5’s DualSense.
Its translucent plastic design is both sturdy and supremely comfortable, with ergonomic curves and textured grips on the handles. The thumbsticks are durable and soft to the touch, and the face buttons are big and satisfyingly clicky.
Pros & Cons
Switch HORI Split Pad Pro Reviews
While the Nintendo-issued Joy-Cons are fine for most people, perhaps you need something more ergonomic for playing handheld. The $49.99 Hori Split Pad Pro is licensed by Nintendo and features a much wider area to help you hold on while playing on the go.
The Split Pad Pro comes in a variety of colorways, and it both looks and feels like a Switch Pro Controller that’s split in half. One half slides into each side of the Switch console like Joy-Cons, but unlike Joy-Cons, it has big easy-to-reach buttons and generously sized triggers and analog sticks. It also provides a lot of grip, which is particularly useful for people who either need to really get a good handle on the console for fast gameplay or just to stay comfy for longer play sessions.
The Split Pad Pro doesn’t have batteries or sensors, so it’s completely useless when detached from the Switch. It’s only for handheld mode unless you purchase the Split Pad Pro Attachment that turns it into a wired controller.
The company also sells the Split Pad Compact, a smaller version of the Split Pad Pro that costs $59.99. If you want something as functional as the Split Pad Pro but closer in size to a Joy-Con, the Split Pad Compact might be better for you.
Bou cannot use the Split Pad Pro controllers wirelessly, so game modes in which you need to share individual Joy-Cons are not supported.
Featuring full-size analog sticks, a precision D-pad, and large shoulder buttons designed for comfort and accuracy, even during marathon gaming sessions. Advanced features include assignable rear triggers, Turbo functionally, and more. Perfect for high-pace action titles and many other genres.
Full-size controller experience in handheld mode
Larger grip, buttons, triggers, analog sticks, and D-Pad
Assignable rear triggers, Turbo functionally, and more
Translucent Black design
The ergonomics go further with larger buttons everywhere, alternate shoulder triggers placed with reach of your middle or ring fingers, and a turbo setting for fewer button presses.
Just like the Joy-Cons, the Split Pad Pro comes in an impressive array of colors and special editions, letting you express yourself. Taking this out and about will be tough going due to the extra weight however, and you don't get any special features like NFC or motion controls that make certain games extra enjoyable.
Pros & Cons
Verdict: Which Should I Choose?
For players who spend the majority of their time with the Nintendo Switch in its dock, the small Joy-Con grip might feel too small. Joy-Cons is best for kids and small-handed folks.
In that event, you’ll want to invest in the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller. The Pro Controller isn't just for playing the Switch at home, either. Some larger carrying cases for the Switch, such as the Game Traveler Deluxe, include a compartment that can either hold a Joy-Con grip or a Pro Controller. With the system’s kickstand or a separate stand, you can be playing your favorite games on the go using the same controller you use at home. Use this controller if you're playing precise shooters like Apex Legends or Splatoon 3. The Pro Controller also features full-HD rumble and motion-control support, as well as NFC functionality for scanning in amiibos.
And Some people will choose HORI Split Pad Pro. Hori's Split Pad Pro is a bulky pair of full-sized Nintendo Switch controllers, made for hardcore gamers. Though heavier than Nintendo's Joy-Cons, the Split Pad Pro has a better D-pad and joysticks. The controllers also have a Turbo toggle and reassignable buttons, but most gamers won't need these features. But HORI Split Pad Pro doesn't include motion controls, HD rumble, NFC, or an IR camera, which takes away a lot of the fun of gaming.
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