If money isn’t a huge concern for you and you have to have rumble, motion controls, and an NFC reader, then the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is the obvious choice. But if you want to save a few bucks, the PowerA controller will do the job. The PowerA also has one specific additional feature that gives it a solid edge over its competition.
Pro Controller vs. PowerA Controller: Differences
Source: Rebecca Spear / iMore PowerA Controller on the left, Pro Controller on the right.
The Pro Controller is an absolutely fantastic controller that boasts just about all the bells and whistles you could ask for. It has a really nice build quality and feels great in your hands. You can use its NFC reader to scan your amiibo and it offers rumble support. Most importantly, it includes motion controls necessary when playing certain Switch games. When your Pro Controller is low on juice, you can plug a USB-C cable into it and get it all charged up.
|Nintendo Switch Pro Controller||PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller|
|Cost||$70 and up||$40 and up|
|Battery Life||Up to 40 Hrs.||Up to 30 Hrs.|
|Power supply||Rechargeable Battery||2 x AA Batteries|
The biggest problem with the Pro Controller is that it carries a pretty hefty price tag. While the black version is at Best Buy for $70, some versions sell for upwards of $90. Gaming accessories have been harder to find in recent years as demand for the Nintendo Switch and its companion hardware have gone up.
For some gamers, buying a controller that could run you nearly a third of the Switch console cost itself just isn’t an option. That’s when it may be time to take a closer look at the PowerA Enhanced Controller, which is also one of the best Nintendo Switch controllers out there. It is much gentler on the pocketbook with a much smaller asking price.
Source: Rebecca Spear / iMore Pro Controller on the left, PowerA Controller on the right.
To offer a controller at a lower cost, certain functionality just has to go. In the case of the PowerA Enhanced Controller, NFC and rumble just didn’t make the cut. However, for some people, that just isn’t a big deal. The PowerA Controller cannot be charged with a USB because it runs off of AA batteries. If you’re someone who prefers using disposable batteries, this won’t be a bad thing. So this is really a matter of taste. The good news is that this budget controller still features motion controls.
Something that the PowerA offers more readily than the Pro Controller is different design options. There are dozens of different choices ranging from a change in color to a Mario, Pokémon, or Zelda theme, so you can find the look you like best. Finally, one of the coolest things that the PowerA offers is the programmable buttons on the back. For those who play competitively against friends and want more customization options, this is a real win.
Pro Controller vs PowerA Controller: Which should you buy?
The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller and the PowerA Enhanced Controller are great products with specific benefits and drawbacks. Ultimately there are a few things to consider when choosing which one is right for you. How important is the price? Do you need NFC, motion control, and rumble? Both of these controllers are perfectly compatible with every model of the Nintendo Switch, including the Nintendo Switch OLED, so it really comes down to price and features.
If you can afford it, the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is the better option. However, if the thought of customizable, programmable buttons sounds appealing, you want some color options, or you’re still saving to buy the next big Switch game, the PowerA should be your pick.
Play like a pro
Pro Wireless Controller for Nintendo Switch
All the bells and whistles
The Pro Controller price may be a bit on the high end of the scale, but you will get a lot for your buck. If you need that rumble or you collect amiibo and use them regularly, this might be the only choice for you.
PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller – Nintendo Switch
The cheaper option
The PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller makes a few sacrifices to keep the price down. However, if the things sacrificed don’t matter to you, this may be a perfect controller. Add in the programmable buttons, and that makes this controller a formidable contender.
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