Skip to main content

The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller works with PC, but don't run out and get one

Nintendo Switch

With the Nintendo Switch now on sale around the globe, early adopters have been jumping on and getting to grips with the latest console. That also includes some of the fairly wide range of accessories, including the Pro Controller.

Utilising Bluetooth for its connection, the Pro Controller will connect up to a PC just fine it seems. But before you think about running out and buying one, just stop for a moment.

The video above, reported by PCGamer shows one new Switch owner demonstrating his Pro Controller connected up and working with his PC. Pretty cool.

But also unsupported officially.

There's also the small matter of the not-low price (opens in new tab) of the Switch Pro Controller at $70. I have a Switch, I pre-ordered one for launch day. But I didn't get the Pro Controller because it's too expensive. And I have used one.

That's not to say it's a bad controller, because it isn't. It's actually pretty nice. Quite lightweight, very comfortable in the hands, and with a definite Xbox One-esque feel to it, which is no bad thing. But that's the other thing. You can, and should just use an Xbox One controller with your PC.

More: The best game controllers for PC

Everything about the Xbox One controller is just better for Windows 10. It's natively supported and the latest version that came with the Xbox One S has Bluetooth for that wire-free experience. The Xbox One controller is the best game controller out there, and the Switch Pro isn't changing that. If you have a Switch or you're planning to get one, get it for that and enjoy it.

If you need one for your PC, do the right thing and get the real deal.

See at Microsoft (opens in new tab)

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

  • Your very right its to expense at the moment! Shame I cant use my old Wii u pro
  • Any word if the Xbox One bluetooth controller will work on the Nintendo Switch?
  • Wow! I can't believe they are blatantly allowed to copy the Xbox controller without any penalties...
  • Many have and many more will continue to do so as MS didn't patent the layout of the Xbox controller design hence the WiiU Pro Controller/SteamOS and other 3rd party OEMs have a controller design that is very similar(identical) to the Xbox controller.
  • I for one, like it. Otherwise we would have a landscape of annoying, hard-to-learn and difficult-to-use controllers. At least there is some semblance of universality this way.
  • Don't get me wrong, i like the fact MS set a standard with the pad design and also as you said having continuity between systems is great however it is sad that it seems innovation has gone from these makers.
  • What else are they supposed to do? It has shown that the radical Steam Controller design didn't really woe the masses so the only other alternative would be a PlayStation design which can cause problems depending on how large your thumbs ( hands ) are and how they interact with the Analogs ( bumping into each other when moving towards each other ) Besides... The X-Y and A-B buttons appear to be reversed which, I believe, is a Nintendo Original. So yeah... Stick with what pleases the masses even if it means giving in to the design of someone else =)
  • Well, they had cross joystick design on the gamecube, so they have the right to use the design again. But yeah, it's still alarmingly similar.
  • Haha... You think the Xbox controller is an original design! Classic. All modern game controllers owe their lineage to the SNES controller, like it or not pretty much every aspect of the Xbox controller is taken from Nintendo, Sony or Sega. I think the only thing Microsoft added is the concept of selling a wireless controllers internal battery and charging cable separately, great work.
  • Actually most gamepads nowadays are derivitive copies of earlier nintendo gamepads. The analog stick first appeared on the n64 controller, the directional buttons from the original nes, and the triggers from the snes.
  • @rharrison, actually you'll find the xbox controller is the evolution of the sega dream cast controller. Plus the switch controller bears some resemblance to the n64 controller bar the right joystick.
  • ok, thanks. Consider me educated....
  • Actually, Nintendo made controllers much before Microsoft did and the design of the Switch controller just follows the olds one (Sorry my bad English).
  • Being used to Xbox controller, the nintendo buttons always confuse me.
  • implying their is controll that doesnt work on pc
  • My little brother wants me to buy him one, but not happening.
  • So the reason why I shouldn't buy one is because it is expensive??
  • Did you miss the part where they said that it's not officially supported and the other bit where they said that an Xbox One controller is better?
  • 90% of people around here don't bother to read the whole articles, just scan through the highlights
  • Did you miss the part where the writer didn't actually test a Switch controller on a PC?
  • I tried a Switch. To be honest really let down. Zelda drops to 20 frames per second in docked mode. And it works better in handheld mode. Wtf?
  • Zelda, even with slowdown is the greatest game out at the moment. There is nothing that game does wrong.
  • I don't play handhelds. And using the switch in docked mode was very very small for my hands. So I would only ever play it docked like a console. My worry is it seems vastly underpowered. Zelda stuttered and spluttered at just 900p. And its only Wii u level visuals. Now I'm fine with the visuals if its a great game. But the fact that it won't eve run smoothly at 900p is a major concern for me. I was planning on getting one. But I will wait 6 months and see how it takes off. I cant believe Nintendo chose 2 generation old mobile chipsets and new the better x2 or newer tegra that just came out. It's currently no different than the Wii U at all. The only difference it you can take Switch out for 3 hours charge. Whereas the Wii U you could play on TV or Screen anywhere round your house. Switch doesn't seem well thought out at all.
  • But its all about the games, you do know that right! And the Switch looks a whole lot more sophisticated then the Wii U, I think Nintendo can make a succes of this, this time around (just as the Surface wasn't a block buster hit, its first try) . But I, personally, will wait till the update version with more storage (unless they release a open world Pokémon game a la Zelda breath of the wild) comes out. But make no mistake this is the first console in half a decade from Nintendo that Im actually excited about. But as a strategy/sim pc gamer I ain't a regular console gamer (but Nintendo has a special place in my heart, simply because of #childhood)
  • Yeah that's my issue. The only differentiater from Wii U is you can take it away from the home. But the problem is it has a measily 2 and half - 3 hours battery life. That's terrible. This is supposed to replace handhelds for Nintendo as well. They no longer making separate handhelds. If that is the case they should have upped the visuals, extended battery life to around 6 hours and charged £399.99. For £400 your getting a handheld and a console. 3DS + Wii u was more than that. That's the mistake here. Big mistake I think. Yes the games do matter. But yet again i fear it will fail like the Wii u and then Nintendo will yet again discontinue support for the switch as they have Wii u. They need power to encourage 3rd party. Which in turn gets console sales. They still haven't worked this out yet. And this worries me. No matter how good their in house games are.
  • Here I thought all this time that the best controller for PC is the one that works best for you considering they all work on PC. Native support is really nice, but the experience of the controller itself is more important in my opinion. If all you play are games designed with only the Xbox controller in mind then the Xbox One controller will suit you very well. If you want to play a game like Civilization VI or Cities: Skylines on PC with a controller, a PS4 or Steam controller will be a much better experience. There is no objectively better controller for PC that covers the wide diversity of games available.
  • Although the PS controller isn't designed well enough for all sizes of hands. The touch pad is to small on it. But the main issue for someone like me who is 6ft4 and has fairly big hands is the analog positions. If your pushing the left stick right and the right stick left at the same time your thumbs get in each others way. It's just positioned poorly. Move the left analog up and the d pad down and it solves this very annoying issue.
  • Make more sense not to buy it besides the obvious, cheaper Xbox controllers. you are paying for tech you cannot use, like the gyroscope and NFC reader.
  • Yeah it is expensive, a Xbox One controller is $80!
  • No it isn't, it's 60 dollars. 
  • And it's on sale like every other week for $39.99
  • Yup #switchgate isn't a joke. ive seen live streamers acidently put the controllers together backwards and jam parts. it isn't designed smart or simple. that is for sure. 
  • How can people seriously be that stupid? RTFM.
  • The design is stupid. Why did they just not phaze the edges so the controllers can only go one way. It gets annoying when youve accidentally done it a few times.
  • Wait, the only reason for this article to tell us why we shouldn't get the controller is based on the author telling us that the Xbox controller is better for PC's...... Yet the Author never actually tried it for the PC themselves and judged based on a YouTube video of someone else using it on the PC..... Who showed that it worked. Yes the author used the controller in the past and said it is light, feels comfortable and was actually good, but used it on the Switch not the PC. I think if the author is going to tell us to not use the controller for PC they would have actually tried it first themselves on a PC and have something more substantial other than price.
  • Unless you need/want the best D-pad around. Even the one on the Elite controller doesn't quite cut it for me.
  • Elite controller dpad is unmatched in the history of roads.
  • Except beaten by PS and Nintendo. It's far better than previous efforts at least.
  • What? The dpad on the elite controller is much better than the other's. You can pit different options on it. The fighter style dpad adapter is by far the best I've used for fighting games. Or detaching that off and putting the crosser on for 2d platformers. There is not a controller out there that is better for 2d beat em ups. The normal one S controller dpad matches the Ninty and ps dpads. But the elite controller is better than all of them.
  • The Switch Pro Controller is 99.95, the Xbox One S controller ranges from 89.95 to 109.95 depending on the design, yeah the Switch Pro controller is SO expensive. Be less biased and actually use one instead of writing a junk article.
  • I see the Xbox One Bluetooth controller available at $59.99, that's not really "from 89.95 to 109.95" : ​Making up facts to support your argument kinds of invalidate your argument altogether.
  • Not everyone lives in America.
  • You're aware change rates then applies to both products, you cannot compare the number of dollars of the Switch Pro controller to the number of Yens for the Xbox One bluetooth controller and draw conclusions just from the numbers.... ​I'm not in the US either, but in Europe, I see the Switch Pro controller at 69.90€ and the Xbox One bluetooth controller at 59.99€, so the Nintendo one is still more expensive.
  • I'm not comparing different markets, I'm comparing them in my market, and only the basic white controller for the One S is ten dollars cheaper, other colors are only five dollars cheaper, and special designs are ten dollars more.
  • Este post es tan "No compres al PRO controller porque es de Nintendo y no de Microsft". Este mando posee vibracion HD, durancion de hasta 40 horas o mas y es lo mejor que hay entre los mandos "gamers". Las cosas como son por favor.      
  • I'm not sure I see the argument here-- Don't buy one... because? What if your xbox one controller has a defective d-pad because of poor QC like mine? That seems like a pretty good reason.
  • Actually there's a few reasons the switch pro controller isn't worth it. It has missing features that many are complaining about. No headphone jack on the controller. The triggers are not analog triggers. And there is no HD rumble. Basic missing things the Xbox One and even PS4 controller have.
  • The Xbox one controller cause fps drop when connected via Bluetooth. It's the only controller I know that does that.