Joy Con or Pro Controller: A Year of Experience



Nintendo has done it again. Being pioneers on the video gaming front has always made their systems so enticing and unique. One of the ways Nintendo does that is with the peripherals they have. From the running pad and Nintendo Zapper for old favorites like Duck Hunt on the NES, to the Wii Motes and Balance Boards of not too long ago. Nintendo has always tried to make certain that the gamer is doing more than just pressing buttons and moving toggles. They want their gamers to be immersed in their games on a more personal level. These new controllers are no exception. The Nintendo Switch has been out now for a little over a year, I got the switch day one and everything about the system holds true to that concept. The portability of the system makes it great as well as its exclusive titles. My wife and I have put a lot of hours playing on both sets of controllers, so we know a thing or two about them. We have had our share of great moments with each, like kicking some butt in Mario Kart or cutting grass in Breath of the Wild. Now here’s the important question. Joy Con or Pro Controller?


The joy-cons are the main controllers that come with system. They remind me of mini versions of SNES controllers especially when used in the horizontal configuration. The HD rumble is an amazing feature while you are in a fighting style game. When you get hit the severity of damage dealt to you is felt through the strength of the vibration. The differences between the left joy con and right joy con are slight. The Left joy-con has NFC support on the joystick for you amiibo users out there. It also has a motion IR camera which is used in the new Labo Games. When the controllers come off of the system you have a couple of options to choose from. You can use them together in the joy con grip, where they will function the same as your typical controller or you have the option to use them independently as your fists in the game arms. (It is reminiscent to the Wii-mote and nun chuck playing Wii sports boxing I always lost.)

There are a couple of things that are lacking a little bit. The Joy-cons are small and may cause hand cramps if your hands are larger. After a half hour of gaming my hands start cramping, so I know. They are the perfect size for smaller hands (i.e. the kids or the wife.) Some games will not allow you to use both Joy-cons together-only separately. Think of them as two mini versions of SNES controllers.

All in all they are a solid set of controllers. I love the concept of having two controllers that come with the system. I can’t remember any system that comes with two controllers or have the versatility that these controllers have.

Pro Controller

This might look like a copycat of the Xbox one controller but there are a lot more features in this controller than meets the eye. It has motion controls which give you the ability to do things like aim Link’s bow in Breath of the Wild. It has the same HD rumble as the Joy-Cons, It also has the NFC reader right under the switch logo (again for Amiibo users). Unlike the Joy Cons that are two separate controllers, I feel the pro controller is much more durable. One of my favorite things about this controller is that there is a hidden message from Nintendo. If you look at the right thumb stick and pull it towards the bottom of the controller you will see the message with the aid of some light. It reads “THX2 ALLGAMEFANS!” a great nod by Nintendo to their fans.

One thing that is less than stellar is the design of the over all controller. It is almost exactly like the Xbox one controller in size and shape. The Pro Controller is a little thinner and the ZL and ZR triggers are more like buttons than actual triggers as on the Xbox controller. Not a terrible thing mind you I happen to love the Xbox controller. The NFC sensor is hard to use at times. I can’t tell you how many times my Zelda Amiibo wouldn’t read. It has to be in the perfect position for it to read it correctly. Sometimes the motion controls would be a little off which has caused many lives to be lost in Mario Odyssey or a missed arrow in Breath of the wild than…..dead.

Gamers Choice

After using both for over a year, they both have their place as great options. I like the pro controller for when the console is connected to the dock and its great for games like Splattoon 2 for example. If you couldn’t tell by now I love my Xbox controller for shooters. But it’s still great for any game on the system. The Joy-Cons are nice when connected to the console because you can continue your gaming in the bathroom and you don’t have to pause it to run to another room anymore THANK GOD! Maybe that’s why my wife is always yelling at me to get out of the bathroom. My personal favorite right now are the Joy-Cons. The portability is why I love them. When they are connected to the system it’s one complete system I can take it anywhere l like. Let us know which way you like to play.

4 Replies to “Joy Con or Pro Controller: A Year of Experience”

  1. I used to own a Wii and an Xbox 360 growing up. I could never really get used to the Wii´s strange motion controller properly why I didn’t use it that much.

    I am controller person myself and I couldn´t picture myself gaming in any other way. especially not with the joy-cons.

    but nice piece man, and also nice pics!

    1. Hi Nikolas
      Thanks for the comment. I still own both. When I first got the Wii I agree the motion controls were wonky. It got better when they introduced the Wii motion plus. Which was released in June of 2009, it made games better like Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword. So instead of just flicking Wiimote you actually had to swing it like a sword to evade attacks and to hit the openings. I am a controller person also. The Joy-Cons aren’t that bad after a little practice.

  2. I liked the post as all information is put together in one place. This will help gamers who are looking to buy , make an informed decision. I personally feel it is easier to handle a pro controller.

    1. Priya
      I am glad you liked the post. I agree the pro controller is great, much more comfortable than the joy-cons in the handle. But unfortunately I don’t have the luxury to play with pro controller a lot because my Kids get reign of my TV. Thanks again for the comment.

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