Why your next Switch controller should be one you already have

For some people, the company’s own Switch Pro controller is the best controller to use with a Nintendo Switch. The battery has an unrivaled lifespan of more than 40 hours per charge, and is comfortable to use. Personal? I love it. The worst thing about it? It costs $69.99, more than the cost of most new Switch games. Plus, it doesn’t have as many cool features as Sony’s DualSense, which sells for the same price.

If you’ve ever said to yourself “ugh, I wish I could use my PlayStation or Xbox gamepads with my other console instead of buying a new controller,” you can! I’m here to share my admiration for an accessory that offers cross-compatibility for the controllers you may already own.

Author Cameron Faulkner moves around a Sony DualSense controller, which directly controls camera movement in Splatoon 3.

Motion controls work in games that support gyroscopic aiming, such as Splatoon 2, Fortnite, and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
GIF: Cameron Faulkner/Polygon

The 8BitDo USB Adapter 2 costs $20 Amazon, Best Buyor Walmartand can be connected directly to the dock of your Nintendo Switch. As far as which controllers are compatible with it, this could be the latest wireless Xbox model, the aforementioned PS5 DualSense or other compatible models dating back to the PS4, PS3, Wii U and Wii, not to mention 8BitDo’s own range of wireless gamepads. If you want to connect more than one controller to your Switch at the same time, you’ll need a second 8BitDo adapter.

The process for connecting this adapter to your controller is a lot like pairing Bluetooth headphones, so it’s very simple. Simply press and hold the adapter’s button while your controller is in pairing mode. From there, your controller should work largely like a Nintendo Switch Pro would. For more sophistication than Nintendo offers for its own controllers, the 8BitDo Ultimate Software App on PC and Mac, you can sync custom settings to the 8BitDo adapter, such as unique button assignments, plus adjustments to stick, trigger, and vibration sensitivity.

I had a great time using my DualSense to play Splatoon3 And The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. The buttons, triggers and sticks are all as responsive as I would like. Additionally, Sony’s controller fits like a glove for games that allow for gyroscopic aiming (aiming by tilting the controller instead of fine-tuning with the right analog stick, as shown in the GIF above). Both the DualSense and the DualShock 4 support motion controls in the games I just mentioned, plus others like them Fortnite.

I consider the 8BitDo USB Adapter 2 an essential Switch accessory, something that’s handy to have, and can save you from spending more on Switch controllers if you want to play multiplayer games. For other recommendations, check out our full list of the best Switch accessories.