If you like to play your Nintendo Switch docked, you’ve probably gotten use to using the little controller frame that came with it. You know, the one you slot your JoyCons into. If, like me, you’ve got big clumsy hands, you’re probably looking for an alternative. Or maybe, you just prefer the ergonomics of a “real” controller in your hands. Either way, if you want to go first party, you’re looking at an expensive proposition.
The average price of Switch Pro Controller runs between £45 and £65, which is simply not affordable to some. While you can find a fair selection of third party alternatives online, few are quite as stylish or comfortable as the ESM-4108 Wireless Controller from EasySMX.
Shaped to mimic the Pro Controller, the ESM-4108 is much lighter. Initially this put me off a little, as I often equate the weight and density of a controller with quality. The 4108 is light but sturdy, though, and won’t let you down unless you regularly plan on dropping it from a height.
Unlike some third-party controllers, it does feature rumblers in the grips for vibration. There’s no gyroscopic aiming though, which is arguably less important when playing docked anyway. And you can’t use the Amiibo function, either. But these are really bells and whistles. The important thing is how it feels to play with. Luckily, it’s responsive and smooth, and the lighter weight actually makes it ideal for younger gamers. As does the price, actually, as you can pick one up from the website for around £20.
The battery charges in around 2.5 hours and will last somewhere between 6 and 8 hours, which is plenty for most people. There’s a range of designs available, from painted-spattered masterpieces to images of the night sky, so there’s something to suit most tastes. It’s worth noting that if you don’t mind using a wire, you can also use this controller with a PC. Just beware the Switch button configuration.
All in all the EasySMX is a great wireless controller for a tighter budget. Yes, it feels lightweight, but the comfortable design, lightly-ribbed grips, and range of cool visual styles mark this out as being of high quality despite the lower price. The buttons and right stick even light up while you’re playing, which doesn’t rival the best RGB out there, but is a neat touch nonetheless. If you’re in the market for a more affordable alternative to the Switch Pro Controller, the ESM-4108 is an ideal substitute.