As with its previous home consoles, Nintendo offers a Pro controller specially designed for its Switch. And given the small size of the Joy-Con delivered, this Nintendo Switch Pro Controller version is a reference for the console. Here is his review.
While there are now many third-party controllers to play on the Switch, Nintendo continues to offer its own controller and even comes in several colors.
In any case, Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is the only controller to take advantage of the HD vibrations that Nintendo initially concocted for the Switch Joy-Con, but also an NFC chip to recognize the Amiibo. What justifies a few euros more, if the general quality follows. Let’s see this in detail …
Construction and Ergonomics
Initially offered in an anthracite gray color, the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is also now available in much more cheerful colors, as evidenced by our test model in the colors of the game Splatoon 2, whose green and pink handles do not go unnoticed. We like it or not, the appreciation is purely subjective and we will therefore be careful not to judge this point.
What we can assess, however, is the quality of manufacture. Nintendo once again demonstrates its know-how, the controller being perfectly assembled, with quality plastics. Nothing bends, the impression of robustness is there. We can simply regret the use of shiny plastic on the upper edge, sensitive to scratches and fingerprints.
When it comes to handling, the comfort is immediate, much more than with the Joy-Con of course, even when these are inserted into the Joy-Con Grip which adds ergonomic handles. The 247 grams of the controller are felt compared to the 196 grams of the Joy-Con with Grip, but the good distribution of the masses makes this Nintendo Switch Pro Controller pleasant to use over time.
Despite the use of rigid plastic, the touch is pleasant and the controller does not slip. The fingers fall naturally on the buttons and the analog sticks that Nintendo wanted asymmetrical, unlike those of its previous Pro controller for Wii U which had the originality of being both at the top. A return to a more usual positioning that we find reasonable.
The four triggers located at the rear are also easily accessible. We just regret that Nintendo still does not offer analog triggers, yet essential for any good racing game when it comes to dosing acceleration and braking with precision.
The connection to the Switch is done very simply from the management menu of the controllers. All you have to do is press the small pairing button located on the upper edge of the controller for it to be recorded by the console and then detected as soon as it is turned on during subsequent uses. Small indicator light indicates on the lower edge the player number associated with the controller (from 1 to 4).
Thanks to its 1300 mAh battery that recharges in about 6 hours via the USB-C port on its top edge, the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller can be used for up to 40 hours, according to Nintendo. We will expect more than thirty hours with games using a lot of vibrations, but it remains quite comfortable and avoids having to connect it to the console (or to a smartphone charger) after each use.
There is a significant gain in ease of use compared to an entry-level controller which very often makes do with a small battery with little endurance. We appreciate being able to access the battery after simply removing the handles (2 screws) and the back cover (4 screws). Its change can thus be done without great difficulty when
Precision and Responsiveness
Connected via Bluetooth to the console, the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller does not show any latency in its controls, which is low enough that we hardly care. No harm to the precision of the controls, therefore, in particular the analog sticks which react perfectly well, with fluidity, and thus offer much more finesse than those of the Joy-Con. They are also more comfortable.
We also get rather traditional A, B, X, and Y buttons, based on rubber domed switches that offer firm activation, but without the typical little click of the Joy-Con’s metal capsule tactile switches. Despite their height, somewhat reminiscent of the controllers of yesteryear, these buttons are no less responsive than those of competing official controllers. On the other hand, we pass with a little less fluidity from one to the other, the thumb being able to hang a little. The four triggers offer similar sensations and therefore want to be quite responsive.
Nintendo Switch Pro Controller also offers a real directional cross that is so lacking in Joy-Con. Rather firm, its directions are well marked.
The good news, the HD vibrations of the Joy-Con are also part of this Switch Pro controller. We can therefore take advantage of a certain finesse of the effects, thus avoiding the pitfall of first-price controllers which are content to roar quite loudly. The gyro sensor is not to be outdone and offers a precision equivalent to those integrated in the Joy-Con, thus allowing a good aiming in the games using it to adjust the shots.
Strong Points of Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
- Comfortable handling.
- Manufacturing quality.
- The precision of orders.
- All Joy-Con functions (HD vibrations, gyroscope, and NFC).
- Satisfactory autonomy.
- Access to the battery possible without complete disassembly (to replace it when at the end of its life, for example).
Weak Points of Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
- Still no analog triggers (too bad for PC / Steam compatibility).
- Charging a bit long.
Nintendo Switch Pro Controller remains a benchmark on Switch. It brings the comfort that Joy-Con lacks without sacrificing their specific functions and offers good precision. Nintendo, unfortunately, charges a fair amount of money for these qualities and we will therefore tend to look for alternatives if we only want a secondary controller to play with several people, for example. Leaving aside the price, this Nintendo Switch Pro Controller gamepad does appear to us as the best choice for playing on Switch.