The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is a fantastic game whether you’re playing on your TV or in handheld mode. Most people are probably playing with the Switch Pro controller or Joy-Con controllers, but neither of Nintendo’s first-party controllers offer the most ideal way to play Tears of the Kingdom. For convenience and comfort, Tears of the Kingdom is best played with a controller equipped with remappable back buttons.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably pressed the wrong button a lot while playing–there are lots of inputs, after all! Even if you always hit the right button, the controls can still be annoying. You have to take your thumbs off of the sticks often to cycle through weapons, jump, swim, and even just to run. Not to mention the frequency of pressing the A button to pick up the many, many resources and gear scattered across Hyrule. Over time, the demanding controls can become genuinely uncomfortable, especially if you play for long stretches–a very easy thing to do with Tears of the Kingdom.
Thankfully, there are a handful of Nintendo Switch controllers that can markedly improve your experience playing Tears of the Kingdom by reducing how often you have to move your thumbs. I have personally tested all of the controllers listed below (as well as many others), and I’ve included options for handheld and docked modes. In addition to controllers designed for Switch, you’ll see that there are some excellent out-of-the-box options that work very well despite not technically being Switch controllers. It’s worth noting that you won’t be able to scan Amiibo when using any of these controllers. Other features such as rumble and motion controls vary by controller.
For more on Tears of the Kingdom, check out our guides hub for tips, tricks, and walkthroughs. And if you want some new Zelda products to celebrate your love of Tears of the Kingdom, check out our roundup of The Legend of Zelda merchandise.
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