Switch Controller Buying Guide

Switch Controller Buying Guide

Amber Stefanson | Dec 19, 2023

There are many qualities to consider when you choose a third party gaming controller for Nintendo Switch. When choosing a third party gaming accessory, it’s not only important that it can function in the same way as the original — ideally, it should also improve the functionality of the original design

In this buying guide, I’ll walk you through the basics of finding a controller that helps you get the most out of your Nintendo Switch.

What you'll learn

  • What are Hall Effect sensors?
  • Other features to shop for
  • Introduction to all controllers by NexiGo

Feel free to click on one of the controllers below to jump ahead.

Read about our controllers

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What to shop for

Before you can make an informed purchase, it's important to understand all the features that are available in third party Switch controllers. 

Below, I've broken down every feature available across all NexiGo controllers, and how each of these features can vary across different devices. Note that there is no controller that covers every feature on this list, so it's important to prioritize and consider how these features will fit into your life and personal playstyle.

Thumbstick Sensors

Detects motion in the thumbsticks. Comes in two flavors: 

  • Analog looks and feels like Joy-Con thumbsticks
  • Hall Effect prevents drift over time


Also referred to as Controller Sensitivity, or the distance you must move the thumbstick before the controller detects movement.


Internal sensors that enable tilt controls.

Vibration Motors

Internal motors that enable haptic response.

Turbo Mode

Automatically spams the same button repeatedly. Comes in a few flavors:

  • Automatic repeats a button indefinitely
  • Manual repeats a button when you press it
  • Adjustable enables you to determine how many times per second the button should repeat

Interchangeable Thumbsticks

Thumbsticks that can be traded out for different lengths, colors, or shapes.

Extra Buttons

Can be programmed with a button combo or any single button that is too inaccessible in its current location

Colorful LEDs

Lights that decorate your controller and indicate when it's powered on and connected.

Supported Playstyles

The Switch can be played in a few different ways.

  • Handheld can be used in handheld mode
  • Multiplayer can be used detached from the Switch
  • Portable controllers can fit in a carrying case

HDMI Output

Connects to your TV and replaces your Switch Dock.

What are Hall Effect sensors?

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Hall Effect sensors are the newest innovation in controller technology. They’re electromagnetic motion sensors that detect movement in the thumbsticks.

While traditional analog thumbsticks require physical contact to detect movement, Hall Effect sensors feature a contactless design that eliminates stick drift for good.

To understand how this works, it's important to understand how stick drift develops in the first place. There are three primary causes of stick drift in traditional thumbsticks:

  • Mechanical wear
  • Buildup of dirt and oil
  • Moisture

This sort of damage builds up on the carbon film potentiometer, which analog sensors use to detect motion. Over time, that carbon film can become greasy or misshapen, causing your Switch not to misinterpret any movement.


Damage to the carbon film builds up over time
(Image Credit: GuliKit)

Since Hall Effect sensors use magnetic pull to detect movement, they don’t require physical contact like traditional analog sensors, and they don’t wear down over time.

Additionally, buildup of dirt and moisture don’t have an impact on the contactless motion detection of Hall Effect sensors. All of this to say, Hall Effect thumbsticks can greatly lengthen the lifespan of your controller and save you from a lot of frustration.

We're currently working on rolling out Hall Effect thumbsticks to all of our controllers. If you're interested in this premium feature, choose it as an add-on when you add a NexiGo controller to your shopping cart.

What is controller dead zone?

The dead zone of a controller is the distance you must move the thumbstick before the controller recognizes movement. The smaller your deadzone, the more responsive your controller will feel.

This is visualized by the graphic below.

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Image Credit: Ryan Juckett

  • The large red circle marks the range of the thumbstick.
  • The green trail represents the movement of the thumbstick.
  • The inner purple circle represents the dead zone.
  • The thumbstick controls the black square moving in the background.

If you look really closely, you’ll notice that the square doesn’t move until the thumbstick leaves the dead zone.

If you want a more responsive controller, get a controller with little to no dead zone. All NexiGo controllers have small deadzones, and those with Hall Effect thumbsticks have none at all.

Nintendo’s Joy-Cons also feature little to no dead zone, so any third-party controller with no deadzone will feel similarly responsive. If you find these controllers to be too sensitive, opt instead for an older generation of controller, such as our Joypads or Gen 1 Gripcon.

Controller Comparison Chart

Now that you know what to look for in a controller, you can refer to this chart to make an informed decision about which NexiGo Switch Controller to consider.

 Gen 1 
Gen 2
Gen 3
NS32 ControllerNS53 Joypads
Hall Effect Sensorsoptional add-onoptional add-on
Dead Zonelownonenonenonelow

Turbo Modeautomatic & manualadjustableadjustableautomatic & manualadjustable
Interchangeable Thumbsticks
Extra Buttons424none2
Colorful LEDs
Handheld Gaming
Wireless Gaming
Multiplayer CompatibleYes, if docked
HDMI Output
Original Switch
Switch OLED
Switch Lite

Gripcon Gen 1


The NexiGo Gen 1 Gripcon is our best ergonomic solution for handheld gaming.  Its larger grip size aims to eliminate hand cramping over long gaming sessions, a common complaint we hear from adults playing with Joy-Cons. 

It also features a modular thumbstick design, enabling you to trade out the thumbstick caps for a set with longer or shorter sticks. You can also mix and match thumbstick caps for a highly tuned gaming experience. 

This makes the Gen 1 Gripcon completely adaptable to your body and unique playstyle.


Thumbstick caps come in 3 different sizes

Note that the Gen 1 Gripcon is a handheld-only controller that cradles the whole Switch. It's compatible with both Switch and Switch OLED

To accommodate the slightly smaller size of the Original Switch, all Gripcons come with a set of adapters. These slide-on adapters make the console slightly wider without altering connection strength.

View Details

Gripcon Gen 2

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The NexiGo Gen 2 Gripcon is an ergonomic handheld controller with a colorful twist. Its larger grip size aims to reduce hand cramping, making it ideal for gamers with larger hands.

The striking design of the Gripcon is accented by colorful RGB lights that circle the thumbsticks. You can cycle freely between seven different colors, or display all colors at once in Rainbow Mode.











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These RGB lights are dimmable and adjustable between several different lighting modes:

  • Static Mode: displays a single color
  • Breathing Mode: smoothly cycles between colors
  • Rainbow Mode: cycles through colors in a moving gradient
  • Dynamic Mode: responds dynamically to your gameplay (new!)

Note that the Gen 2 Gripcon is a handheld-only controller that cradles the whole Switch. It's compatible with both Switch and Switch OLED

To accommodate the slightly smaller size of the Original Switch, all Gripcons come with a set of adapters. These slide-on adapters make the console slightly wider without altering connection strength.

View Details

Gripcon Gen 3


The NexiGo Gen 3 Gripcon is a versatile controller can be used on the go in handheld mode or be plugged in and used as a TV dock. This all-in-one solution replaces the need for your dock entirely while still fitting effortlessly in a carrying case.

Meticulously designed with everything you need to bring your console on the go, the Gen 3 Gripcon is our most robust controller to-date. 

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Game Slots

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With two built-in game slots, you can safely store two game cartridges. And when you dock your Switch, you can prop it up with the kiskstand for easy access to the ports on top.

Additionally, the Gen 3 Gripcon boasts a full suite of features, including...

  • Hall Effect Thumbsticks for drift-free gaming
  • Zero Dead Zone for enhanced sensitivity
  • Six-Axis Gyroscope for responsive tilt controls
  • Adjustable Turbo Mode for automated button mashing
  • 4 Extra Buttons for total customization

Note that the Gen 3 Gripcon must cradle the whole Switch in order to stay connected. It's compatible with both Switch and Switch OLED

To accommodate the slightly smaller size of the Original Switch, all Gripcons come with a set of adapters. These slide-on adapters make the console slightly wider without altering connection strength.

View Details

Dual Joypads


The Dual Joypads are just like the Gripcon, but split into two controllers like a Joy-Con. These versatile ergonomic controllers are great for handheld gaming, but you can also connect them with their matching controller pad to use them wirelessly like a Pro Controller.

View Details

NS32 Wireless Controller

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The NS32 is our take on the pro controller. This wireless Bluetooth controller is compatible with most devices, including Nintendo Switch, PC, and iPhone. You can get this controller with Hall Effect sensors or traditional analog sensors. Plus, it comes in a wide array of designs, so you're sure to find one that suits you.

View Details

Other Accessories

Controller Charging Dock

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This charging dock is built for Switch gamers who need to charge multiple types of controllers at once. It can accomodate up to 4 controllers, in any of the following configurations:

  • 4 Joy-Cons
  • 2 Joy-Cons + 1 Pro Controller
  • 2 Joy-Cons + 1 Nintendo Switch

Keep an eye on the current charging status of your controllers by observing the color of the light-up columns. They'll turn red while the controllers are actively charging and purple when they're fully charged.

View Details

XL Carrying Case

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Our improved carrying case can carry all the accessories you need, plus an extra large controller, such as the NexiGo Gripcon, Hori Split Pad Pro, or Satisfye Zengrip

Apart from your Switch and controller, this XL waterproof carrying case can hold…

  • 10 game cartridges 
  • 4 Joy-Con sliders 
  • 2 Joy-Cons 
  • 1 Charging cable
  • 1 HDMI cable 
View Details

Continue Your Research

We hope this guide has given you all the tools you need to pick out the right controller for you. Once you have everything you need to optimize your Nintendo Switch, check out some of our best game recommendations in the articles recommended below.

Like what we do? Stay tuned for more.

Whether you work at home or in the office, NexiGo provides a wide range of quality and affordable technology to elevate your daily life. Our products encompass everything from webcams and portable monitors to projectors and gaming accessories.

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