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Switching on the Fun With Nintendo Switch Controllers

Nintendo Switch controllers are required to play the Nintendo Switch video game console. Joy Cons are the default Switch controllers, with the Joy Con L and Joy Con R controllers forming a standard pair. These controllers are easy to transport since you can attach them to the Switch via side rails on the console.

How do Nintendo Switch controllers work?

You can play the Switch with Joy Cons attached or detached to the console unit. When detached, two Joy Cons can combine with a grip to make a gamepad form factor. Alternatively, you can keep the controllers separate for a remote-and-nunchuck style of play or for multiplayer use. Joy Cons have a gyroscope for motion tracking, an accelerometer, pointing controls, and other features. The standard Joy Con features these buttons:

  • analogue sticks: These sticks let you move your character and camera while playing.
  • Face buttons: Joy Con R features A, B, X, and Y buttons for performing character actions such as jumping, punching, or grabbing objects. Joy Con L has four directional buttons for the same actions.
  • Top buttons: Joy Con L has two top buttons, L and ZL, which allow character actions, such as shooting weapons. Joy Con R's top buttons are R and ZR and serve the same role.
  • Side buttons: Designated SL and SR, these become shoulder buttons when the Joy Cons are detached from the console unit.
  • Sync button: This button lets the console sync with the controller.
  • Capture button: This button takes in-game screenshots and uploads them to social media.
What types of Switch controllers and controller accessories are there?

In addition to the Nintendo Switch Joy Con controller, this console has a wide range of controller types and accessories. These are a few:

  • Pro controller: Boasting a more conventional form factor and button layout, the Nintendo Switch Pro controller connects to the Switch via Bluetooth.
  • Charging grip: This grip has a USB-C connector port so you can charge the Joy Con's batteries while playing games.
  • Nintendo Labo kits: Featuring materials such as cardboard cutouts that you assemble for use with the Joy Con, these kits are designed to teach skills such as engineering and physics.
  • Joy Con wheel: For racing games such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, you can slot your handy Nintendo Switch controllers into a miniature steering wheel to simulate driving.
Factors to consider when choosing an affordable Nintendo Switch controller

When choosing a Nintendo Switch controller, it's a good idea to take these factors into account:

  • Condition: The better a controller's condition, the easier it is to play games. Good-quality controllers have responsive buttons and fluid analogue sticks.
  • Ergonomics: Consider how the controller's form factor suits your wrists and hands. An ergonomic controller is comfortable to use and won't strain your fingers.
  • Visual design: Nintendo Switch controllers come in blue, green, red, yellow, and many other colours, but you can also find ones with custom and franchise-themed designs.