Last Updated on March 26, 2022
I wanted to take four Nintento Switch controllers on vacation, but I didn’t want to fork over the money that four Switch Pro Controllers would cost.. and I did not want to risk my beloved 8BitDo controllers. Naturally, I did what any sane person would do and I bought half a dozen of the cheapest controllers I could find on Amazon!
Some of the cheap Switch controllers I picked up were on sale, some had promo codes, and some were “open-box” from Amazon Warehouse. They were all under $12.00 USD, before taxes, when I bought them – and some are definitely better than others! Keep in mind that most of these controllers have clones sold under other brand names, or they ARE the clones of another brand – I will list alternate brands when possible.
The Cheap Nintendo Switch Controllers Chosen and Compared to find “The Best”
|Vinsung Switch Controller v2021||$4.99|
|OUBANG Switch Controller NFC||$11.99|
|Clevo Switch Controller||$7.99|
|Powerextra Wireless Controller||$6.99|
|TeX Switch Controller Enhanced||$7.81|
|PowerA Wires Switch Controller||$11.99|
Cheap Vinsung Switch Controller – The Best Deal
The Vinsung Switch Controller 2021 version was a steal of a deal at $9.99 plus a $5.00 off coupon, but I was definitely skeptical since it boasted Dual Rumble, Gyroscopic Motion Control, and Turbo. However, once I actually tried out the Vinsung I was pleasantly surprised with all the advertised features working great and the overall ergonomics of the controller. My 6 year old daughter prefers this controller over the others because she can read the buttons easily and she can reach all the buttons better that the others.
Easy to Press +/- Buttons
Lightweight but Sturdy
Reduced Hand fatigue
Good for Small Hands
L/R Buttons are Mouse-Clicky
D-Pad is Clicky
Analogs have Low Resistance
Cheap OUBANG Switch Controller NFC – Amiibo on the Cheap
The OUBANG Wireless Pro Controller for Switch is tied as the most expensive controller I bought, it has Dual Motor Rumble, Gyro Motion, Turbo, as well as another feature none of the other controller have – NFC/Amiibo Support! This controller feels pretty solid and is reminiscent of a Playstation Controller with offset analogs. This controller is my wife’s preferred controller when putting in her hours on Animal Crossing because of the grips, and since she’s new to Nintendo she likes the big letters on the buttons
Easy to Read A/B/X/Y Buttons
D-Pad is Stiff
White gets Dirty Fast
Goes Inactive Quickly
Cheap Clevo Switch Controller – The Overall Favorite
The Clevo Switch Controller is pure bliss. It feels well-made but not clunky. The buttons feel firm when pressed rather than squishy, but still have a nice and responsive bounce-back. The bumpers and triggers aren’t “clicky” but aren’t too springy either. Plus the Gyro motion, vibration/rumble, and Turbo features work great – I absolutely love it. My wife and daughter don’t like the elaborate button letters that are hard to read, but I’m not new to Nintendo and don’t need to read the buttons so it’s fine for me.
It looks like CLEVO has stopped selling these controllers, but FUNLAB sells the black version plus a teal version. PENJOY sells a Black and Red version, and an even sweeter Purple and Yellow version that I’d like to get! Howver, NEXiLUX has one with NFC that I might have to test out if I can get a good deal.
Feels Solidly Built
L/R and ZL/ZR press Smoothly and Consistent
Analogs have Good Resistance
Buttons are Hard to Read
Cheap Powerextra Wireless Controller – Two Y’s are better than One
The Powerextra controller I got super cheap is probably the worst seeming controller of the bunch. It feels wonky in my hands – the top of the controller is a 90 degree angle, the triggers are creaky and springy like the triggers on the Original XBox controller, and the Analogs sit up high and have tall thumb-sticks. Most entertainingly, my Powerextra SWH-S01 controller came with a sideways “Y” button instead of an “B” button! However, the controller does do everything it promised and it hasn’t broke yet. I can deal with it’s clunky design, and I’ve grown sort of attached to the messed up B/Y button. 🤣
Easy to Read Buttons
Light but Feels Cheap/Fragile
Very Angular Corners by L/R Buttons
Creaky ZL/ZR triggers, similar to OG XBox
Bad Quality Control
Cheap TeX Switch Controller Enhanced – Good but there’s Better
The TeX Enhanced Switch Controller is the third cheapest controller I picked up and it has the same PRO’s and CON’s as the OUBANG controller listed above – EXCEPT that it’s missing NFC/Amiibo support. Even though it’s a fine controller.. I would have a hard time purchasing it if I knew there was a similar controller with NFC support that could be had for just a few dollars more. However, if NFC isn’t important to you then the TeX or any similar clone controllers would be a fine choice.
Similar to the OUBANG Switch Controller
Doesn’t have NFC/Amiibo Support like the OUBANG
Cheap PowerA Wired Switch Controller – No More Input Lag.. I guess?
I wanted to like this cheap wired controller. I wanted to be utilitarian and brag about the lack of bells and whistles. I wanted to be astounded by the lack of input lag. But as it turns out – I like wireless controllers, I like bells and whistles, and apparently Animal Crossing, Pokemon, and Monster Hunter just aren’t competitive enough for an acceptable amount of wireless controller input lag to even be an issue. It’s not bad for a sale price of $11.99, but it just reminds me a bit too much of my days growing up playing Sega Genesis while stuck at the foot of my bed because my cord wouldn’t reach anywhere else. No Thanks.
Less Input Lag
No Gyroscopic Motion
No Rumble Motors
My Decision after Comparing the Cheap Switch Controllers
The best of the four cheap switch controllers that I kept were the Clevo, Vinsung, OUBANG, and Powerextra. Technically, I kept all six controllers, but two of them have been relegated to “backup” duty which means they’re tucked in a drawer awaiting their time to shine if something goes wrong with one of the other four. No Controller lasts forever, but so far so good!
The best way to get these good switch controller as cheaply as possible is to check Amazon listings for Used items being sold by Amazon Warehouse as “open-box”. Most people will think these items are used, and some may very well be, but most of these items are just products with boxes that have been damaged and no longer look well enough to be sold as “new” without ruffling some feathers. They usually have the same 30 Day return policy as any other item so you’ve really got nothing to lose.