I tested the best handheld controller for the Nintendo Switch for you

I tested the best handheld controller for the Nintendo Switch for you

Do you have a Nintendo Switch but can’t really get along with the included Joy-Cons? Then there is the perfect alternative for you – and it is also inexpensive. This refers to the Split Pad Pro from Hori. MeinMMO editor Maximilian Dettenthaler tried out the controller for you.

The Nintendo Switch is one of the world’s most popular consoles. In fact, she even occupies it
the fifth best-selling game console and is therefore even better off
than its quasi-predecessor, the also extremely popular Nintendo Wii.

The console is celebrated for a variety of reasons:

  • the selection of titles – especially the many exclusive titles (it’s not for nothing that games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate or Animal Crossing: New Horizons are still absolute blockbusters even years after their release)
  • the family friendliness
  • and of course, above all, its mobility – as is well known, you can not only play with the switch on the home screen, it is also the perfect console for on the go.

The handheld mode offers a slightly lower resolution (720p instead of
maximum 1080p when the console is in the docking station and with a
connected to a correspondingly powerful end device), apart from that it is perfect
suitable for example for train journeys, waiting rooms or players who like to travel.

But what bothers me about the original Nintendo Switch? The Nintendo console has a clear problem that I wouldn’t deny: the Joy-Cons that come with it from the factory.

The Joy-Cons are usually not only (much) too small for most adults, but also make the console appear quite heavy. They are quite simply not ergonomic in general and therefore very uncomfortable. Especially after playing in handheld mode for a long time, it can happen
it can happen that your hands hurt or you even get cramps.

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That’s why I bought the Hori Split Pad Pro. And compared to the original Joy-Cons, this has become a real alternative for me. In this article I will explain to you why the investment of just 40 euros will be worthwhile for you.

This controller is officially licensed by Nintendo and, at around 40 euros, is also an inexpensive alternative to the rather annoying standard Joy-Cons. Because for the original Joy-Cons you usually pay 60 to 70 euros.

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The ergonomic controller for the Switch in detail

The Split Pad Pro is very well made, stable and of high quality for the price.
Unlike the standard Joy-Cons, it doesn’t have its own battery and can
can only be used in handheld mode.

And although the power is thus supplied by the console itself, the
Surprisingly, in my opinion, the switch does not really consume energy
measurably higher.

The ergonomic grip of the two handles and the lower weight also ensure
also for the fact that the controller – especially in comparison to the normal Joy-Cons – really
lies very well in the hand and is therefore not really exhausting even for hours of play

Accordingly, the Split Pad Pro is suitable for both children and adults with larger hands
very suitable.

The Hori Split Pad Pro is really comfortable to hold

The controller is very precise – it even holds up easily with the highly acclaimed external one
Pro controller for the console with. And there is also the well-known drift problem of the Joy-Cons
not either. The Split Pad Pro is also perfectly compatible with the OLED model of the Nintendo Switch and I think this combination makes for the best experience you can have with the console in handheld mode.

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You can also read an experience report on the Switch OLED on MeinMMO:

Since playing on the Switch OLED, I wouldn’t advise (almost) anyone to buy the regular Switch anymore

What features does the Split Pad Pro offer? The controller offers some practical extras and functions that you will look for in vain on both the Joy-Cons and the Pro Controller:

  • There is a button for each side of the controller, with a turbo function. This can be assigned to any button, as well as the D-Pad, which “tells” the controller that you repeatedly press the selected button at an extremely fast pace or even keep it pressed. For example, I found this feature very useful in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, when I put the run button on the turbo and Link automatically and permanently ran without any further action – at least until the stamina is depleted (so better collect diligently your Stamina containers)! In addition, the frequency of the turbo can be manually adjusted to your needs.
  • In addition, there is another trigger button on the back on either end of the controller. You can also fill these according to your own taste. This is also already known from some other controllers, such as the Xbox Elite Controller or the soon to be released DualSense Edge for the PS5.
Here you can see the additional bonus buttons and the trigger

What are the disadvantages of the Split Pad Pro? In addition to being a pure handheld mode controller, the Split Pad Pro also lacks rumble (vibration) and gyro (motion control) sensors.

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However, since these functions are only used effectively in selected titles anyway, I personally find these shortcomings quite manageable.

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Verdict: The best controller for handheld mode

For whom is the controller recommended? The Hori Split Pad Pro is a must-have for anyone who frequently plays their Switch in handheld mode and finds the standard Joy-Cons that come with it just too uncomfortable!

In my opinion, the advantages clearly outweigh the minor shortcomings and at just 40 euros, the controller really doesn’t make too much of a difference. Especially compared to the Joy-Cons, for which you have to pay at least 60 euros or more.


  • Additional buttons and triggers with convenient functions
  • Precision controller with comfortable concave thumbsticks
  • Good ergonomic grip
  • Light weight
  • Compatible with the Nintendo Switch OLED
  • Excellent value for money

  • Missing rumble function
  • Missing gyro sensors and thus no motion control
  • Unsuitable for docking mode

Other recommendations for the Nintendo Switch: Are you looking for more tips about the Nintendo Switch? Then take a look at the following article: Here we explain how you can significantly improve your console for around 15 euros:

For 15 euros I improved the Nintendo Switch enormously – you should do it too