Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is almost here to close out the year for Nintendo, and controller manufacturers aren’t wasting any time putting out new controllers to ride the wave of excitement with Smash fans. The series’ competitive roots are grounded in the GameCube entry, Super Smash Bros. Melee, and thus using the GameCube controller is for many the preferred way to play. Nintendo isn’t blind to this, releasing another round of GameCube controllers emblazoned with the latest Smash logo, just as it did for the Wii U game, but they aren’t the only options out there.
Below is a quick look at a few of the options that players can consider when shopping around for new controllers, and even though they aren’t the real deal straight from Nintendo, they come with selling points all their own that Nintendo doesn’t have an answer for.
Editor’s note: these items are highlighted as examples, not as endorsements by GameSpot.
Nintendo GameCube Controller and GameCube Controller Adapter $25/$20
Nintendo’s official products are a great place to start if you are looking for a reliable, no frills way to play Super Smash Bros. Ultimate with a GameCube controller. There are cheaper options available from no-name manufacturers, but you can generally count on the real deal to get the job done.
Though you can likely convince your friends to play a few rounds with you using Joy-Cons, they are far too fiddly to be effective during competitive matches. The GameCube Controller Adapter is the first step to ensure all four fighters are on an even playing field. You will, of course, need an adapter if you use Nintendo’s controllers anyway, because of their GameCube-style plug.
PowerA Wireless Controller for Nintendo Switch – $50
PowerA is taking a unique approach compared to the other third-party manufacturers on this list. Its controller is built like a GameCube one, but on the inside, it’s effectively a Switch Pro controller-it’s wireless and support motion controls. It’s unfortunately not rechargeable-it requires two AA batteries-and it lacks rumble support, but it’s the simplest wireless solution that offers GameCube-like controls on this list.
8Bitdo Gbros. Wireless Adapter for Nintendo Switch – $20
If you definitely want to play wirelessly with a proper GameCube controller, you can alternatively pick up 8bitdo’s Gbros. wireless adapter. It allows you to plug in a GameCube controller and have it work wirelessly with Switch, and the adapter has buttons to account for Switch functions not represented on the controller itself. You can also connect NES Classic, SNES Classic, or Wii controllers on the opposite end of the adapter. And the icing on the cake? There’s a toggle that lets you convert the adapter to work with a Windows PC.
PDP Nintendo Switch Wired Fight Pad Pro – $25
PDP’s new controllers aren’t wired for GameCube the way Nintendo’s controller is-PDP’s connect via USB directly to the Switch. Otherwise, the design is mostly in line with Nintendo’s own, with a couple of exceptions. PDP is obviously going for a more colorful approach, with branding to entice Pokemon, Mario, and Zelda fans, but a 10-foot cable and a swappable C-Stick/Analog Stick introduces a unique feature that no other controller on this last can match. It’s not a critical feature, but it could make a difference for the right player.
Hori Nintendo Switch Battle Pad
Hori’s Smash Bros. Ultimate controllers follow a similar path as PDP’s solution: themed controllers with a 10-foot USB cable. Hori does offer a few more color options, and most of the controllers sport a semi-transparent casing. They do not, however, feature the swappable C-Stick option.