A Complete Guide to Buying Joy-Con Controllers

Your Guide to buying the best Joy-Con controllers


The Joy-Con controllers are an essential part of the Nintendo Switch gaming experience. With their versatile design, Joy-Cons can be used separately in each hand for an immersive gaming experience, or they can be attached to the sides of the Switch to form a single controller. With this buying guide, you'll learn about the different types of Joy-Con controllers available, what features are available with each, and the best ways to use them for your gaming needs.

Key features

  1. Compatibility: Joy-Cons are available for the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite systems. Ensure the Joy-Cons you are purchasing are compatible with the system you are using.
  2. Number of Controllers: Joy-Cons come in pairs, or single controllers. Many games require two Joy-Cons in order to play (such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, or Super Smash Bros. Ultimate).
  3. Price: Joy-Cons can range in price from just under $50 to around $90.
  4. Colors: Joy-Cons are available in multiple colors and styles. These are largely cosmetic, though some of the special edition Joy-Cons have additional features.
  5. Battery Life: Joy-Cons generally last between 20-40 hours on one charge. Charging can be done with the Nintendo Switch system or an external charging dock.
  6. Motion Controls: Joy-Cons feature motion-sensing capabilities, allowing players to swing and tilt controllers to control their in-game characters.
  7. HD Rumble: Joy-Cons feature HD Rumble, a technology that allows the controllers to produce reliable, precise vibrations.

See the most popular Joy-Con controllers on Amazon

Important considerations


  • Compatibility: Joy-Con controllers are compatible with all Nintendo Switch consoles.
  • Customization: Joy-Con controllers come in a variety of colors and designs to suit the user's tastes.
  • Shared and Separate: Joy-Con controllers can be used together as one controller or separately as two individual controllers.
  • Motion Controls: Joy-Con controllers feature motion controls and HD rumble, which allow for better control and more immersive experiences.
  • Amiibo Support: Joy-Con controllers have built-in amiibo support, allowing users to easily use their amiibo figures with the Switch.
  • Wireless Connectivity: Joy-Con controllers can be used up to 30 feet away from the Switch console, making them perfect for local multiplayer.
  • Battery Life: Joy-Con controllers feature long battery life, allowing users to play for hours without needing to recharge.


  • Price: Joy-Con controllers can be quite expensive, so they may not be suitable for those on a tighter budget.
  • Durability: Joy-Con controllers are not as durable as other controllers, and may not be suitable for heavier or more frequent use.
  • Compatibility: Joy-Con controllers are specifically designed for use with the Nintendo Switch, so they are not compatible with other gaming systems.
  • Functionality: Joy-Con controllers have limited functions, and may not be suitable for more complex or demanding games.
  • Ergonomics: The Joy-Con controllers have a small design and may be uncomfortable or awkward to use for certain people or in certain situations.

Best alternatives

  1. Xbox Wireless Controller - The Xbox Wireless Controller is the official gamepad for the Xbox console and is compatible with PCs as well. It has responsive thumbsticks, a comfortable design, and a rechargeable battery.
  2. PlayStation DualShock 4 Controller - The DualShock 4 is the official gamepad for the PlayStation 4 and is also compatible with PCs. It has an ergonomic design, dual analog sticks, and a touchpad.
  3. Steam Controller - The Steam Controller is designed specifically for use with the Steam platform and is compatible with most PC games. It has dual trackpads, haptic feedback, and an adjustable design.
  4. 8BitDo SN30 Pro+ - The 8BitDo SN30 Pro+ is a Bluetooth gamepad designed for use with PCs, Macs, Android devices, and the Nintendo Switch. It has an 8-way D-pad, programmable buttons, and a rechargeable battery.
  5. Logitech F310 - The Logitech F310 is a wired gamepad designed for use with the PC. It has dual analog sticks, 10 programmable buttons, and an ergonomic design.

Related tools, supplies, and accessories

  • Charging Dock - Docking station for charging up to four Joy-Cons at once.
  • Screen Protector - Protective cover to keep your Switch's screen safe from scratches and smudges.
  • Joy-Con Wheel - A steering wheel attachment for Joy-Con controllers that allows for realistic racing game experiences.
  • Joy-Con Grip - A handheld grip that allows for additional comfort while playing with the Joy-Cons.
  • Joy-Con Straps - Strap attachments for the Joy-Cons that provide extra support and stability during game play.
  • Joy-Con Charging Grip - A grip that allows you to charge your Joy-Cons while playing.

Common questions

  1. What features do Joy-Con controllers have? Joy-Con controllers have motion controls, HD rumble, and infrared motion camera technology, which allows them to detect shapes and motion. They also have advanced vibration motors, which give you a more immersive gaming experience.
  2. How do I sync Joy-Con controllers? To sync Joy-Con controllers, you need to pair them with your Nintendo Switch console. To do this, open the console’s HOME menu and select “Controllers”. Then, press L and R on the Joy-Con you want to pair. Finally, press the Sync button on the console.
  3. What colors are available for Joy-Con controllers? Joy-Con controllers come in a variety of colors, including grey, neon red, neon blue, neon yellow, and neon pink.
  4. What is the battery life of Joy-Con controllers? Joy-Con controllers have approximately 20 hours of battery life.
  5. Do Joy-Con controllers work with other devices? Joy-Con controllers are designed to be used with the Nintendo Switch console. They are not compatible with other devices.
  6. Are Joy-Con controllers wireless? Yes, Joy-Con controllers are wireless and use Bluetooth connectivity to connect to the Nintendo Switch console.


In 2019, a Japanese man made headlines when he sold his rare “Mario Red and Blue” Joy-Con controllers on Yahoo! Auctions for a whopping $10,000. The controller set was part of limited edition promotional items for Japan, which is why it was such an expensive find. The man, known as Tamura, originally bought the set at a store in Osaka for just $99.99. The story quickly spread throughout the gaming world and served as a reminder of the value of these rare controllers. The story also showed the potential resale value of Joy-Con controllers and the potential of finding rare sets in stores or online. Source: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/09/17/national/japanese-man-sells-rare-mario-red-blue-nintendo-joy-con-controllers-yahoo-auctions-10000/#.X6y8y6inGD4

Disclaimer: This buying guide was not created by humans, and it is possible that some of it's content is inaccurate or incomplete. We do not guarantee or take any liability for the accuracy of this buying guide. Additionally, the images on this page were generated by AI and may not accurately represent the product that is being discussed. We have tried to convey useful information, but it is our subjective opinion and should not be taken as complete or factual.