Do your hands cramp when playing your Nintendo Switch in handheld mode? Do you long for full-sized analog sticks for better control in shooters and games that require precise movement? If you’re nodding your head, listen up!
For Big Hands or Extended Play Sessions
The Nintendo-licensed HORI Split Pad Pro replaces your Joy-Con entirely by sliding into the rails on either side of the Switch console. The controller features a much larger, ergonomic design that fills your palms and makes your humble Switch look and feel more like Valve’s Steam Deck.
HORI Split Pad Pro
It features two full-sized analog sticks with a much greater range of motion, a real directional pad, bigger and less “clicky” face buttons, and elongated bumpers and triggers. On the back are two programmable buttons that you can swap on the fly, and the controller also features a Turbo button for automating rapid button presses if you want.
The Split Pad Pro makes for a much more comfortable experience if you find the Joy-Con especially small. The greater range of movement provided by the full-sized analog sticks, and the more ergonomic layout lets you play for longer in handheld mode before your hands start to cramp up.
If you have a standard Nintendo Switch (non-OLED) you can dock your console while the Split Pad Pro is connected, no problem. HORI recommends Nintendo Switch OLED owners remove the Split Pad Pro before docking, though there are mixed reports on Reddit about whether or not this is necessary.
No Gyro, Rumble, or Amiibo Support
There are some drawbacks to the Split Pad Pro. The controller lacks a battery, and that means it feels a lot lighter than the Joy-Con or Nintendo Switch Pro Controller. To some, this feels cheap, but in our opinion, it makes the Switch even better suited to long play sessions.
No battery means no wireless play, though HORI sells a version of the Split Pad Pro with an attachment that lets you use it as a traditional wired controller if you’re interested. The pad lacks rumble and gyroscopic controls, and you can’t use the controller to scan Amiibo as you can with Nintendo’s first-party accessories.
The Split Pad Pro also makes your Switch a lot bigger, which means you’ll want to invest in a bigger case for travel. Fortunately these are available from a range of manufacturers, like this one from ButterFox or this official HORI protector.
Try These Alternatives Too
You can buy the Split Pad Pro blue or black, or pick up Megaman, Pokémon, and Sonic editions if you’d rather. Other products also solve this solution, including the binbok Wireless RGB Joy-Con replacement and the Satisfye ZenGrip Pro 3 (which uses your existing Joy-Con).
Satisfye ZenGrip Pro 3
If you already have a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, you might want to check out the Fixture S1 and mount your Switch on top of the full-sized controller instead.