The best Nintendo Switch Joy-Con alternatives in 2024

Best Joy-Con alternatives
(Image credit: Nintendo / HORI / NYXI / Creative Bloq)

If you own a Nintendo Switch, chances are you've experienced the dreaded Joy-Con drift at some stage or another. If you haven't, then just wait. This is unfortunately a common problem with Switch controllers that Nintendo is aware of, but that doesn't make it any less frustrating when playing the best Nintendo Switch games

Nintendo does offer a free Joy-Con repair service, which you can book online through the Nintendo Support website, but this takes about 2 weeks and is a long time to be without a controller. Not to mention the drift can always come back. 

This is exactly why I've been hunting for the best Joy-Con alternatives to use instead, from wireless Pro controllers to all-in-one joypads. Even on sale, the best Nintendo Switch Joy-Con prices can still be more expensive than these third-party options, which I'll be sharing with you below. One of these might even make for a great last-minute Nintendo Stocking filler if it arrives in time.

Best Joy-Con Alternatives

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Can I get my Joy-Cons replaced?

Yes. Nintendo has a free Joy-Con repair service but you'll need to book a repair through the Nintendo Support website first and send off your Joy-Cons in the post to Nintendo (its free) for approximately 2 weeks or so. 

You can still do this even if your console is outside of its original warranty period – thanks to a recent Nintendo policy change. I've had my Joy-Cons repaired by Nintendo once already, and they've started shifting out of place yet again, just over a year after getting them fixed. 

So keep in mind that this will always be an issue and even if you get your Joy-Cons repaired the problem can come back at a later time. 

How do you charge Joy-Cons?

The easiest way is by attaching them to your Nintendo Switch console first and then charging both your console and controllers at the same time through the supplied AC adapter, by using your Nintendo Switch dock, or a generic USB Type-C cable. 

You can also get separate chargers that have been specifically designed for Nintendo Joy-Cons, like this one from Nintendo, that can also charge up to 4 or 6 Joy-Cons at a time without needing to connect them to your Nintendo Switch console to do so. 

Can I still play motion games without a Joy-Con?

This is a great question, but it's a tricky one to answer. Some of the best Joy-Con alternative Switch controllers in this guide are equipped with motion controls built-in, meaning you can use them the same way you would your Joy-Cons for games like Mario Kart and Nintendo Sports, but there's no guarantee that they'll perform as seamlessly as official Joy-Cons do, since the other options aren't made by Nintendo. 

If you mostly play your Switch handheld or like basic adventure games, then I wouldn't worry too much about motion controls as these are mainly for multiplayer titles and active games like Just Dance. 

You might also want to keep tabs on our guide to the best Nintendo Switch Lite games if you need some handheld recommendations, as well as the best free-to-play Nintendo Switch games for the whole family to enjoy. 

Beth Nicholls
Ecommerce Writer

Beth is Creative Bloq’s Ecommerce Writer. An avid music photographer and previous staff writer for Digital Camera World, Beth has a keen eye for content and knows just how to create it. Her background working as a tester for CeX has provided extensive knowledge surrounding the latest tech and gaming trends, and she studied Music Journalism too, so you'll probably find her at a gig. Basically, she's a total nerd with a Snorlax tattoo and a Master's degree in Photography, forever wishing she was Peter Parker.