Written by Anthony Talcott
I want to start off by saying that I bought the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller and absolutely love it. But this article isn’t so much about what I like personally, as it is about analyzing the differences between the Joy-Con Grip and the Pro Controller. And so, I have broken up my review of these two controllers into several categories: Comfort, Mobility, and Battery Life.
I have tiny hands. No, seriously, I have really small hands. I had to return my Galaxy Note because it was unusable in my itty bitty grippers. However, the Pro Controller fits them quite nicely, despite many claims that you need big hands to hold one.
What I don’t like is the placement of the Home and Capture buttons. I think that they should have been swapped with the + and – ones that are to the left and slightly above the action buttons. When I’m playing a game I instinctively look for the Pause button to be next to the four action buttons, so I accidentally get sent to the Home screen instead, which is annoying. Other than that the Pro Controller is as comfortable as the Xbox 360 or the Xbox One controllers, which I find to be very comfortable.
The Joy-Con Grip is also an incredibly comfortable controller and comes free with the Switch, which is a huge plus. However, in Zelda I found that I had to turn the Camera sensitivity all the way up because panning the camera just took way too long. This makes targeting with the right joystick difficult, since every twitch would throw my aim way off. But I don’t hold that against the grip as much as I hold it against the game’s design. However I do find that after several hours of play, the grip’s sides tend to bite into my hands, so I would have to say the Pro Controller is the winner in this category since even after four plus hours with it, my hands feel great.
Not only am I concerned that putting the Pro Controller in a tight space of my bag will damage the joysticks, but I’ve noticed that every time you press a button, the Pro Controller tries to connect to the Nintendo Switch again. And while the controller has a long battery life, after several hours of being jostled around and constantly trying to connect to a Switch, it will certainly eat away at the battery.
If you’re going to be using the Switch more for mobile gaming, definitely stick with the Joycon Grip. But if you’re not going to be doing much traveling, them the Pro Controller gets the nod from me.
The Pro Controller is definitely the winner in this department. It has a 40+ hour battery life, whereas the Joy Cons only have about 20 hours.
There is, however, the Joy-Con Grip Charger, which sells for 30 dollars and gives your Joy-Cons a powerful life extension of an extra 20 hours. Personally, I considered purchasing one, but despite the Joy-Con Grip Charger being half the price of the Pro Controller, I don’t really care for the feel of the Joy-Con Grip. So I blew an extra 40 dollars on the Pro Controller.
Like I said before, if you’re going to be using the Switch as more of a mobile system, you really don’t need to bother with the Pro Controller or the Joy-Con Grip. If, however, you’re like me and are focused on console gaming, the Pro Controller is as good (in my opinion, slightly better) than the Xbox 360/One controllers.