The best Nintendo Switch SNES controller

Gaming & Accessories

A SNES controller can greatly enhance the nostalgia of playing vintage and retro-inspired games.

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Which Nintendo Switch SNES controllers are best?

Today’s gamers may have missed out on the SNES’s 16-bit heyday, but they can still enjoy dipping into Nintendo’s back catalog thanks to the recent appreciation and availability of retro video games. Nintendo Switch controllers styled after the iconic SNES originals are the perfect complements to both vintage and retro-influenced titles. The excellent 8Bitdo SN30 Pro Wireless Bluetooth Controller pays faithful tribute to the classic model while adding new features that make it great for playing modern software as well.

What to consider before you buy a Nintendo Switch SNES controller

Why use a Nintendo Switch SNES controller?

The most compelling reason to purchase a Nintendo Switch SNES controller is to revisit the look and feel from childhood. With older gamers now introducing their families to the titles they grew up with, the desire to recapture as much of the experience as possible has created a thriving market for retro games and accessories. Many see the SNES controller as the gold standard when it comes to retro controller design due to its layout, familiarity and simplicity.

What games work best with a Nintendo Switch SNES controller?

If you spend most of your game time playing contemporary 3D titles that have been designed from the ground up for modern controllers, one built specifically to replicate those from decades past will likely not provide the ideal experience. However, if you prefer 2D platformers, shooters, puzzles or legitimate retro software, a Switch SNES controller nicely accommodates the simplicity of those games.

What to look for in a quality Nintendo Switch SNES controller

Wireless operation

Nostalgia is a powerful force, but few gamers miss the days of tripping over controller wires or accidentally pulling their console off their TV stand during intense gaming sessions. A quality Nintendo Switch SNES controller features wireless pairing and operation via a Bluetooth connection.

Comfort

While SNES controllers were praised for their smooth edges and rounded shape at the time, modern game controllers benefit from years of advances in ergonomic design. Some Nintendo Switch SNES controllers forgo rigid adherence to the original shape in favor of modern features such as grips and additional buttons. If you prioritize comfort over retro legitimacy, select a controller that has a more contemporary shape and feel.

Battery life 

Look for an SNES controller that has a long battery life between charges to avoid losing power in the middle of your game. Charge your controller between uses to make sure it is always ready to go.

Attention to detail

If you’re looking for an SNES controller to satisfy your own nostalgia or to provide the most accurate experience for someone who has not used an actual retro console, small details add up. Pay attention to button size, style and color as well as the feel, weight and texture of the plastic. Some Switch SNES controllers are available in both American Super Nintendo and European/Japanese Super Famicom button color schemes.

How much you can expect to spend on a Nintendo Switch SNES controller

You can purchase a Nintendo Switch SNES controller for as little as $25 or as much as $60, depending on quality. Cheaper controllers will feel flimsy and light and may be more prone to connectivity issues.

Nintendo Switch SNES controller FAQ

Can you use a Nintendo Switch SNES controller on a PC?

A. Many Nintendo Switch SNES controllers can be used on a PC either via USB connection or Bluetooth.

Is it possible to use an actual SNES controller on Nintendo Switch?

A. Yes. Adapters are available for the use of actual, vintage SNES controllers on your Nintendo Switch. However, new controllers include buttons and features that provide a more streamlined user experience while navigating the Switch’s menu and home screen.

How do you play SNES games on Nintendo Switch?

A. Nintendo provides a curated collection of SNES games for Switch users who sign up for a Nintendo account. Users play the games via the SNES app that is downloaded from the Nintendo Switch eShop. The eShop also features SNES games available for download from other publishers that do not have their software included in Nintendo’s official app.

What’s the best Nintendo Switch SNES controller to buy?

Top Nintendo Switch SNES controller

8Bitdo SN30 Pro Wireless Bluetooth Controller

8Bitdo SN30 Pro Wireless Bluetooth Controller

What you need to know: 8Bitdo has created an excellent blend of modern features and retro styling in a Switch controller that will please any SNES fan.

What you’ll love: Excellent build quality and attention to detail make this controller look and feel great. Bluetooth pairing makes for quick setup. 8Bitdo provides regular firmware updates and is known to stand by their products.

What you should consider: Some users feel this controller’s analog sticks are awkwardly placed.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon.

Top Nintendo Switch SNES controller for the money

PowerLead Controller for Nintendo Switch

PowerLead Controller for Nintendo Switch

What you need to know: This wireless controller provides a retro experience on your Nintendo Switch at an unbeatable price.

What you’ll love: This inexpensive model features gyroscopic motion control and modern features in a nostalgic package. Four LEDs and charging via USB make this controller a real bargain.

What you should consider: This controller feels very light and cheap due to its thin plastic construction. Users report quality control issues.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon.

Worth checking out

Retro-Bit Legacy 16 Wireless 2.4GHz Controller

Retro-Bit Legacy 16 Wireless 2.4GHz Controller 

What you need to know: Gamers can use Retro-Bit’s modern take on the classic controller to play an authentic SNES console.

What you’ll love: This controller comes with a wireless USB receiver as well as one that can plug directly into the SNES’s controller port, making it not only a great Switch accessory but a modern replacement for your old SNES controllers. It’s available in both gray and black.

What you should consider: Forgoing Bluetooth in favor of 2.4GHz wireless transmission means this controller can work across more devices but requires its USB receiver to be plugged in at all times.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon.

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Derek Walborn writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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