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Esywen Joypad Controller for Nintendo Switch review: Pretty nice knock-offs


When you buy a Nintendo Switch, you get a pair of Joy-Cons. The two halves of the controller snap onto either side of the Switch console enabling you to use it in handheld mode. In console mode, you can detach the Joy-Cons, snap them together (or don’t), and use them as a “normal” controller. Joy-Cons are super cool, yes, but they are also incredibly expensive to replace. As such, a robust market of cheaper third-party Joy-Con knock-offs exists.

In this Esywen Joypad Controller for Nintendo Switch review, we’re going to tell you all about why these knock-offs are actually a good buy, especially if you’re looking to save some cash. Even if you’ve got money to burn, though, there are a few reasons why these could still be a cool addition to your pile of Switch accessories.

Esywen Joypad Controller for Nintendo Switch review: What is it?

Credit: C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

Simply put, the Esywen Joypad Controller for Nintendo Switch is a third-party take on the official Joy-Cons. They have a different design and multiple features that real Joy-Cons lack. They also sell at a significantly lower price. However, they still attach to your console and work much in the same way as real Joy-Cons.

Related: The best Nintendo Switch accessories you can get

If you want to play your Nintendo Switch the way Nintendo intends you to, you’ll want to skip these. While there are some really cool aspects of these imitations, they are just that: imitations. Sure, you’re going to gain some cool new tricks, but you’re also going to lose out on a few features in return.

What do you gain and lose? I’m glad you asked.

What’s good?

Credit: C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

As good as the real Joy-Cons are, even the most die-hard of Nintendo fans will admit that they aren’t too ergonomic. Unless you have teeny tiny baby hands, Joy-Cons don’t rest comfortably in your palm as all great controllers do. The Esywen Joypad Controller for Nintendo Switch fixes that by adding a fully rounded grip to the back of each Joypad. This makes them far more comfortable to use in both connected and disconnected modes.

Another feature lacking from the original controllers is the ability to charge them without either connecting them to the Switch or some other proprietary charging dock. These Esywen models, though, each have a USB-C port tucked on the back.

The star feature of the Esywen Joypad Controller for Nintendo Switch, though, is the pair of programmable buttons. On each Joypad, you’ll find a macro and turbo button. For the macro button, you can program timed-out button hits which will then save to the controller’s memory. Next time you hit the macro button, it will execute your button hits exactly, even mimicking how long you paused between each hit.

Related: The best Nintendo Switch controllers for all budgets

The turbo button acts in a similar fashion. However, you can only program one button to be a “turbo” button at a time. Whichever one you choose will either act multiple times in a row with one hit or act repeatedly and indefinitely until you shut it off. You can choose which of these two systems you want to program when you set it up.

Keep in mind, though, that each programmable button only controls one Joypad. Therefore, it would be impossible to program a macro with both a hit of the A button and a hit of the D-pad, as those buttons are on separate halves.

What’s not so good?

Credit: C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

Unfortunately, there’s a lot you might take for granted with your first-party Joy-Cons that the Esywen Joypad Controller for Nintendo Switch won’t replicate. The biggest offense is the inability of these joypads to turn on the Switch console. You will need to turn on your console manually and then connect them. Bummer.

There’s also no IR support with these controllers. This likely won’t affect you much as very few Switch games require IR. It is a notable omission, though.

You won’t be able to turn on your Switch console from the couch using these knock-offs.

Elsewhere, the controllers don’t feature the minimalist, high-end design aesthetics of real Joy-Cons. The buttons feel cheap and toy-like, and the lettering of the ABXY buttons is laughably bad. Thankfully, the analog sticks don’t suffer the same fate. They actually feel even better than the real deal, likely because they are significantly taller than those on real Joy-Cons. For the record, I didn’t notice any drift issues with these controllers.

Finally, the most peculiar thing about these controllers is that the internal batteries are actually smaller. This is strange because the controllers are physically larger than Joy-Con by a huge margin. The real Joy-Cons have 525mAh batteries in each half, while the Esywen Joypad Controller for Nintendo Switch has 300mAh batteries. That’s a big difference.

Esywen Joypad Controller for Nintendo Switch review: Should I buy it?

Credit: C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

Chances are good that if you’re even thinking about buying Joy-Con knock-offs, you’re doing it because they are so expensive. At $69.99 a pair, a set of real Joy-Cons will cost you more than a Switch Pro Controller or even a 2020 Xbox Core Controller, as found with the Xbox Series X/S.

Thankfully, the Esywen Joypad Controller for Nintendo Switch is roughly half that price, starting at just $39.99. At that steep of a discount, these become a very attractive alternative indeed.

Related: The best Nintendo Switch cases you can get

The bottom line here is that if you want a decent substitute for your Joy-Cons, you’ll get plenty of value from the Esywen Joypad. You’ll get some cool extras like programmable macro/turbo buttons, a much more ergonomic grip, and individual charging ports.

Of course, you’ll give up the ability to turn on your Switch console from the couch, IR support, and battery life. You’ll need to decide if these trade-offs are worth the money saved. If you can stomach them, though, the Esywen Joypad Controller for Nintendo Switch is a terrific option.

Esywen Joypad Controller for Nintendo Switch These Joy-Con knock-offs have some surprising advantages over real Joy-Con.

The Esywen Joypad Controller for Nintendo Switch introduces a few perks to Joy-Con that even the real versions lack, including customizable macro/turbo buttons, USB-C charging ports, and better analog sticks. However, there are some trade-offs as well.

What do you think?


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