Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the latest in a long line of amazing party fighting games that host a massive number of playable characters from across the history of gaming.
The massive number of playable characters, the number of customization options, and the love for Nintendo that is poured into the game have helped to make it one of the best-selling fighting games of all time.
However easily, one of the things that help to make Super Smash Bros. Ultimate such a fantastic and beloved game is its stable of options that are offered to players when it comes to their experience of the game.
Not only can players create custom rulesets to cater the game to their tastes, but they can also choose from a massive number of compatible controllers to give them an extra sense of control.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a game that is simple to understand, but also very difficult to master, and as such, some players may want to know which controllers best allow for this sense of control. Read on down below to find out the best controllers for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate!
What Is The Best Controller For Super Smash Bros. Ultimate?
This is a very difficult question to answer and one that requires us to consider a number of different things. Thus, the best way to approach it is to carefully consider the benefits and drawbacks of all of the major controller options.
That way, we can find out which one offers the best overall experience, but also which controller may fit your own personal preferences.
Switch Joycons (Handheld Mode)
Of course, one of the most common control methods chosen by numerous Smash Bros players across the world is the handheld mode.
This involves the Joycon controllers being attached directly to the console, with the console being carried as one unit. Or simply using the handheld-only version of the console.
Of course, one of the biggest benefits of this method is that it allows you to easily play the game on the go, as it allows you to easily carry the screen around in your hands to see what is happening as you play, no matter where you end up.
It is also a comfortable way to play, as the standard Switch Joycon controllers are very ergonomic and fit nicely into your hands.
Despite the slight heft of the Switch console, the Joycons have a slight protrusion that houses the ‘ZL’ and ‘ZR’ buttons, which ensures that the console does not slip from your hands.
The buttons are all easy to access without straining your hands, which further makes it comfortable to play on the go.
Unfortunately, the analog sticks found on the Joycon controllers are not very substantial and are very short and squat in size. For casual players, this may not have too much of an impact. However, for pro players, this can be significant.
Within the controller settings in the game, it is possible to change the stick sensitivity directly. This is less beneficial to players that are using Joycons because they have a shorter range of motion, making it difficult to take advantage of these settings.
The buttons on the Joycon controllers, unfortunately, do not push in very far when you press them, which can make them feel a little less tactile when in use. It is only a small difference, and it is not likely that a casual player would notice the way the buttons feel.
However, a professional player may benefit more from improved button tactility, which can lead to a greater sense of control.
We also have to mention that Joycon controllers have been noted to commonly suffer from ‘Joycon drift’, which can cause unwanted inputs to be registered by the analog sticks.
If the Joycon drift is particularly bad, it could affect how well you are able to maneuver your character around. Thus, for the best play, you should make sure that your Joycons are in good condition.
Another popular method for many players, especially those on the more casual end of the spectrum of Smash Bros. players, is both Joycons held simultaneously. This involves the left Joycon being held in the left hand and the right Joycon in the right hand.
This can be a very comfortable option for some, as it feels largely the same as the handheld mode. However, without the screen attached to the controllers, the controllers end up feeling rather light, which can slightly change the experience for some players.
This can be slightly improved by attaching the grips to the sides of the controllers, for better ergonomics and slightly more heft.
Again, this method may be prone to Joycon drift, so be sure to make use of controllers that are not suffering from a significant amount of drift.
Both Joycons (Attached To Grip)
If you want a more traditional controller experience using the Joycons, you can always slide them into the Joycon grip that comes packaged with the console.
This can offer a more professional experience that would be preferable for more hardcore players of the game, thanks to the fact that it offers stability, by allowing both hands to grip one central unit.
However, this method may not be used by many pros, thanks to the fact that the buttons on the controller’s face are very small, and thus slightly more difficult to hit.
This method is also prone to Joycon drift, affecting how well players may be able to maintain control over their character.
One Joycon (Held Sideways)
If you are hosting numerous players playing one game of Super Smash Bros., then you will most likely need some players to make use of just one Joycon controller.
When held sideways, the Joycon controller features a full range of buttons, including shoulder buttons, four face buttons, and an analog stick. This means that players don’t have to miss out too much.
However, when playing with a horizontal Joycon, there is only access to two shoulder buttons, which can make button mapping a little more difficult.
Unfortunately, using a horizontal Joycon is definitely not the recommended method for professional Smash Bros. players, and this is thanks to how cramped such a control scheme can feel.
The tiny size of the controllers means that your hands are held very close together, which is uncomfortable over time, and also means that you run the risk of accidentally pressing certain buttons when you are meant to press another button entirely!
Again, this method is prone to Joycon drift.
Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
True to its name, this is a controller that many professional Smash Bros. players across the world prefer. It’s really not hard to see why.
One of the best things about this control method is that the controller itself is incredibly comfortable to hold and so ergonomic. The weight of the controller in your hands is incredibly satisfying, and the controller feels incredibly substantial.
This means that you can easily play for hours at a time without strain, making it great for tournaments or even just for practice.
As well as this, the controller is also expertly built, with hand grips that feel so comfortable to hold onto and will not slip around, even in the heat of combat. It doesn’t matter how sweaty your hands get, as this controller features an incredible sense of grip that keeps it firmly in place.
The buttons on the Switch Pro controller are also expertly designed, as they are placed in the perfect positions to be accessible to your thumbs while holding the controller. You won’t have to strain your thumbs to reach each of the major buttons.
The buttons also have a decent amount of space between one another, which ensures you won’t accidentally mistake one button for another or accidentally press two buttons at the same time.
The buttons on the Switch Pro controller also have great tactility to them. Each button feels substantial and large, and when you click them in, they are incredibly responsive. Ensuring that you will always know when you have made a successful button click.
This differentiates the Pro controller from the Joycon controllers, which have less button tactility and do not push in as far when pressed. This may seem like a small detail, but the sense of tactility from the buttons can really help to give a player a greater sense of control over their character.
The shoulder buttons of the Switch Pro controller are also incredibly noteworthy because they feel totally incredible. They have a great sense of tactility to them.
The rear shoulder buttons (ZL/ZR) are pressure sensitive, and instead of responding with a ‘click’ when pushed (like the shoulder buttons on the Joycons), they instead feel incredibly soft and push in with a smooth motion. This can make every touch of these buttons incredibly satisfying.
The other two shoulder buttons (L/R) are also very satisfying to hit, and while they may not be pressure sensitive, they respond to touch with a soft and subtle clicking sound.
All of these efforts towards tactility help to make the Pro controller one of the best options for controlling Super Smash Bros. Ultimate because they offer players a deeper sense of control over their chosen character, which in turn helps the player to perform at their very best.
The Switch Pro controller also benefits from being totally wireless when not charging, which makes it perfect for taking to in-person tournaments or similar events, as you can simply hook it up to different Switch consoles by either plugging it in for a few seconds to the desired console or using the ‘pairing’ button found on the top of the console. No longer do you have to wrestle with cumbersome wires just to hook up to a specific Switch console.
One potential drawback of the Switch Pro controller is that it needs to be charged up between uses. This means you can only use the controller wirelessly for a period of time before needing to plug it in.
Luckily, you can continue to use the controller even when plugged in! As well as this, the controller also takes very little time to reach full battery capacity on one charge.
This is a controller that you have likely heard referred to a number of times when it comes to the topic of the best controllers not only for Smash Bros. but also for all time!
The Gamecube controller has been a perennial favorite since it was introduced with its native console, and despite its very unconventional shape, has been a favorite of Smash Bros. players since the release of Super Smash Bros. Melee back in 2003.
One of the reasons that the Gamecube controller is such a good option is because of its button layout. Many of the most foundational control elements found in Smash Ultimate were actually found in Smash Melee, which was released on the Gamecube itself.
This means that many of those same movements were implemented into the game with the Gamecube controller in mind.
This means that the Gamecube is easily one of the most natural control methods for the game. The face buttons on the Gamecube controller are incredibly unconventional, though strangely perfect for Smash Ultimate.
The ‘A’ button is the largest button on the controller’s face, which makes it immediately obvious and incredibly easy to press. This is great, considering that the most common attack method within the game is the ‘A’ button. This allows players to register their inputs into the game easily.
The ‘B’ button, on the other hand, is much smaller, which is also relevant, as it is used to activate special moves in the game which are more potent but not recommended to use too frequently.
The smaller ‘B’ button makes it more difficult to accidentally pull off moves that could leave players vulnerable.
The ‘X’ and ‘Y’ buttons are set circling just above the ‘A’ button, which makes it easy for players to move quickly from the ‘A’ button to either of the two buttons, which are commonly used as the ‘Jump’ button.
This helps to offer professional players a much greater sense of control and also allows players to control their jump height more easily.
The analog stick on the Gamecube controller is also perfect because it features an octagonal gate, which makes it easier to move in highly specific directions, which is great for 2D fighters like Smash Bros.
Gamecube controller aficionados also love the satisfying shoulder buttons, which provide the player with great feedback.
The shoulder buttons respond with a satisfying click after the player pushes them in, which is itself a soft and smooth motion. This makes controlling things like dodges and grabs much easier.
However, easily one of the biggest drawbacks of the Gamecube controller is that it requires a specific adapter to allow players to hook the controller directly up to the console. This can make acquiring a Gamecube controller as a control option very costly.
Gamecube controllers are very expensive, and the adapter needed to hook them up is similarly costly. As well as this, a single adapter can only host four controllers, which means that eight-player games are out of the picture.
The Gamecube controller is also not recommended for beginners, or those not already familiar with the controller, as it takes some time to get used to them, and they are incredibly expensive to get a hold of if you do not already have one.
Luckily, because the controllers are wired, this helps to reduce input latency and also means that there is no need to charge the controllers at all! This allows for endless play!
Which Controller Is Best For Super Smash Bros. Ultimate?
So, after taking a look at all of the controller options for Smash Bros. Ultimate, we can say that, in terms of the overall experience, the Switch controller offers the best experience.
The controller offers a level of precision for pro players but is easy for beginners to understand. The controller is also satisfying to use, making for better play.
Though the Pro controller may be expensive, and it may need to be charged, it offers the best sense of control without being unwieldy for beginner players.
In the second place, we would go for the Gamecube controller, which helps to make controlling the game totally effortless, but has a significant learning curve for beginner players!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Smash Bros Better With Pro Controller?
If you want a better sense of control over the game, we do recommend using the Switch Pro controller.
Is Smash Ultimate Better With A Gamecube Controller?
Definitely, the Gamecube controller offers a great sense of control and is the favorite option of many pro players.
Is Switch Pro Controller Better Than Joy-Cons?
Definitely, the Pro controller is comfortable, responsive, and not prone to drift issues, quite like the Joycon controllers are.