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Which Nintendo Switch GameCube controllers are best?

GameCube controllers, inspired by the Nintendo GameCube console from the early 2000s, are still beloved by Nintendo fans and new players. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate players prefer this type of controller because it provides a similar feeling to the control layout in Melee, an earlier installment in the Smash series.

For an officially licensed GameCube-inspired controller by a reliable brand, the top choice is the PowerA Wireless GameCube Style Controller. It comes in multiple styles and is designed to function specifically with the Nintendo Switch.

What to know before you buy a Nintendo Switch GameCube controller

Which games you want to play

Depending on what games you usually play, a GameCube-style controller may not be the best option. For example, you can play Super Mario Odyssey with a GameCube controller, but dive jumping is not possible. However, the controllers are excellent for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and provide much better control than the regular joy cons.

Wired vs. wireless

If you have a room layout not set up for wired controllers to easily reach from the seat to the console, you may want a wireless controller. There are both wired and wireless GameCube controller options for the Nintendo Switch. If you opt for wireless, consider what batteries it needs.

Pro controller

For Nintendo Switch controller options aside from GameCube-style products, look at the top selections from BestReviews. Some players prefer the GameCube controller design, but others may like the pro controller better.

What to look for in a quality Nintendo Switch GameCube controller

Power source

Wireless controllers usually are powered by separately purchased batteries or by a rechargeable internal battery. Wired controllers get their power through the Nintendo Switch console. Something to consider is that you must plug a wired controller into a Nintendo Switch dock as opposed to the console itself. Wireless controllers can connect to the Switch while the console is not plugged in, but you can’t easily use wired controllers on the go.

Additional features

The original GameCube controllers do not have modern features like certain Nintendo Switch system controls or gyroscopic motion functions. New GameCube-inspired controllers usually have the additional quality-of-life features or even turbo-mode options, but it varies depending on the model.


The less-expensive GameCube controllers for the Nintendo Switch may not last for long periods of use. Not all controllers are designed to hold up to rough handling, and joysticks are especially vulnerable to drifting and problems, depending on the model.

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

You can purchase a wired option for less than $30. Wireless GameCube-style controllers run about $30-$60.

Nintendo Switch GameCube controller FAQ

Can you use an old GameCube controller?


A. If you have an old GameCube controller lying around, you can use it for the Nintendo Switch. However, you need an adapter to plug it in and play. Some adapters work better than others, but one benefit of using a classic controller and an adapter like this one is that you can plug it into a PC, too.

Is a GameCube-style controller better?

A. It depends on the game. There is only one actual analog stick on a GameCube controller, so it is practically unusable for an FPS game. Some fighting games work better with a GameCube controller while others do not have varying input priority. If all possible inputs are equally common or you do not need to press multiple buttons at the same time during gameplay, a GameCube controller is unlikely to be superior to any other controller.

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

Top Nintendo Switch GameCube controller

PowerA Wireless GameCube Style Controller

PowerA Wireless GameCube Style Controller

What you need to know: It is a wireless controller with motion controls and other functions that make the GameCube controller work efficiently for the Switch.

What you’ll love: There are multiple design styles. It uses Bluetooth connections for a stable wireless experience. It has motion controls and all of the usual Nintendo Switch system buttons, which the original GameCube console controllers did not use.

What you should consider: It requires two AA batteries to function, so users need to purchase replacement batteries.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon.

Top Nintendo Switch GameCube controller for the money

PowerA Wired Controller for Nintendo Switch

PowerA Wired Controller for Nintendo Switch

What you need to know: It is a very affordable, officially licensed wired controller option that has the classic GameCube layout.

What you’ll love: The high-speed USB cable stretches up to 10 feet. It comes with a two-year warranty. The controller is compatible with most Nintendo Switch games and works well as a fight pad for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It is hard to beat the low price.

What you should consider: Some customers have had issues with drifting joysticks, with the controllers drifting out of the box in instances of poor quality control.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon.

Worth checking out

Exlene Wireless GameCube Controller Switch

Exlene Wireless GameCube Controller Switch

What you need to know: This is a GameCube-style controller that works with both Nintendo Switch and PCs.

What you’ll love: The controller has an added turbo function. It has motion controls and rumble function, working with all Nintendo Switch games that benefit from a GameCube design. It is rechargeable with a USB-C cable and has stable Bluetooth wireless connectivity.

What you should consider: You have to plug the cable into the Switch to connect it the first time before it can connect wirelessly in the future.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon.


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

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