What is the best controller to use for Super Smash Bros Ultimate?
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There are a variety of controller options available for Super Smash Bros Ultimate, with the best for you depending on your budget and how seriously you see yourself playing the game. Joy-Cons will suffice for casual players, but those wanting to get the most from the game will need to invest in something more substantial.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the big, meaty brawler you can’t help but love. It’s the first Super Smash Bros on the Nintendo Switch and everyone’s saying it’s a joyous and dizzyingly brilliant game. We can’t argue with that.
How well you fare in a brawl does depend on the controller you use though. We’re not saying you can’t get by with a single Joy-Con (because you can) but we are saying you’ll be at a significant disadvantage when facing someone with a Pro Controller. That’s because in the wonderful world of Super Smash Bros, fast controller input is essential to land the biggest hits and avoid the very same.
Remember, this is a game where Sonic can beat up Pac-Man and you can instil your character with the spirit of Mega Man. It’s always chaotic and therefore those who can rise above it all and master their moves tend to reign supreme.
The truth is whatever controller you use, there’s a learning curve. But, once you get the hang of your preferred controller, you’ll smash it.
Which is the best controller for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate? To help you on your way to finding the controller that’s right for you, here’s everything you need to know about your main options. There’s five main options to choose from.
Don’t forget, you can buy all of these controllers (and more) via our Nintendo Switch controllers page.
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Great for: Player eight, or as a back-up.
You can play Super Smash Bros. Ultimate with two Joy-Con independently in each hand, or together as one game controller with the Joy-Con Grip.
Joy-Cons are the smallest controllers compatible with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and they are by far the hardest and most frustrating to play with because of this. The best setup is using the Joy-Con Grip; using two Joy-Con independently in each hand has a steeper learning curve and offers no real gameplay benefit.
In terms of controls, each Joy-Con operates as a standalone controller and offers the very same input as the Pro Controller only on a much smaller scale. You can easily grab two Joy-Cons and jump into a brawl. You might even do well out of it. However, because of their size, Joy-Con controllers are best reserved for player eight or those times where there’s no other option but the Joy-Con. Don’t expect to smash it up with these.
Editor’s tip – if you’re serious about getting the most from Super Smash Bros, ditch the Joy-Cons for something more substantial like the options below.
Official wired GameCube controller
Great for: Experienced and casual players. Very nostalgic.
This is the purist’s choice and many Super Smash Bros fans will never try anything new because it offers a nostalgic – and in their opinion optimum – experience.
The original, official wired GameCube controller is fully supported by Super Smash Bros. Ultimate so those of you with an old controller gathering dust can pull it out and relive your golden days (or buy a new one). It works exceedingly well and is far more usable than one or two Joy-Cons. The limitation is the wire but who cares about that? This controller gives your fingers and thumb the space they need to really compete.
Nintendo have also begun manufacturing more GameCube pads, so you don’t need to scour second hand shops to find them. New pads are distinguished by having the Smash ball logo in the middle rather than ‘Nintendo GameCube’.
Editor’s tip – to use a wired GameCube controller you will need an adapter. They support up to 4 controllers. Unfortunately, the official adapter has been delayed until May 2019 – so you will need another solution if you’re to use this option.