Switch Pro Controller vs 8BitDo Ultimate

Hey! Today, it’s a face-off between two controllers gunning for the title of the best pad for the Nintendo Switch: the official Nintendo Switch Pro Controller and the outsider, the 8BitDo Ultimate. Let’s jump in, shall we?


Background Check

First, a bit of background. The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is the big N’s very own. Most players will gravitate to this one by default. Why? Because it’s, well, official. The 8BitDo Ultimate, on the other hand, is an underdog. It’s not just any third-party controller; it’s crafted by a reputable manufacturer known for surprising us with some quality gear.


Price Tag of the controllers

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Alright, let’s talk money. The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller sets you back $69.99. It’s available through major retailers, including Nintendo’s online store and Amazon.

Sale
8Bitdo Ultimate Bluetooth Controller with Charging Dock, Wireless Pro Controller with Hall Effect Sensing Joystick, Compatible with Switch, Windows and Steam Deck (White)
  • Compatible with Switch and Steam Deck via Bluetooth/2.4g adapter/USB Cable, Windows with a 2.4g adapter/USB Cable.
  • Ultimate Bluetooth Controller is compatible with Steam Deck now
  • Multifunctional Charging Dock – Stable connection and controller will be automatically switching ON/OFF while it is undocked/docked.
  • Hall Effect Sensing Joystick
  • Ultimate Software on PC and mobile (Android/iOS)

The 8BitDo Ultimate? Well, it plays in the same price league but offers a bit more bang for your buck thanks to additional features. It’s also $69.99 in most online stores.


Design Dynamics

Visual Vibes: The Nintendo’s Pro is sleek with a semi-translucent finish, giving off those classic Nintendo vibes. 8BitDo takes a more straightforward approach with solid colors: black or white.

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Grip Gripes: Both controllers have textured grips. The Pro has smooth, concave grooves, while the Ultimate boasts of bumpy, convex ones. It’s like comparing a classic leather steering wheel to a modern sporty one with a textured grip.

Button Bonanza: Here’s where differences really pop. The Pro’s face buttons are wider and a tad mushy, whereas the Ultimate feels clicky and quick. And, oh boy, the D-pad on the 8BitDo? A total game-changer for retro gaming fans.


Features Face-off

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller: Don’t let the ‘Pro’ in its name fool you. It’s a bit light on the ‘Pro’ features. But it does sport Nintendo’s gyro aiming (a big win for some games) and NFC connectivity for all your amiibo needs.

8BitDo Ultimate: No NFC here, but it’s not slacking off. Gyro aiming? Check. And then there’s the 8BitDo Ultimate Software app for button remapping and profile settings. Big win if you love tweaking controls. Plus, those back paddles? Pure genius! Also, the most important feature for me – Hall Effect Sticks. They’re really great and durable, no idea why more manufacturers don’t use them in controllers – maybe because you don’t have to exchange your controller so often with them? They have much better deadzones too.


Battery Battle

Here’s the catch: The Pro Controller wins by a mile in battery life, boasting a whopping 40 hours. That’s like binge-watching the entire Game of Thrones series (yes, including the last season) on a single charge! The 8BitDo, while still solid, clocks in at around 20 hours. Not bad, and the included charging dock is a sweet touch.

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Final Verdict

If you’re after something that feels traditional with a monster battery life, the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is your guy. But if you crave advanced features, a bit more tactile feedback, and don’t mind charging more often, the 8BitDo Ultimate might just win your heart.

Marcus Richardson
Editor-in-chief

I love testing and writing about new tech. I'm also a gamer and an engineer. Check out my Twitter for keyboard stuff.

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