Budget Third-Party Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
I’ve had the Nintendo Switch for quite some time now and it’s easily one of my favorite gadgets from 2017. One of my gripes with the device, however, is that the included JoyCon grip is a little small for one with gorilla-like paws like me and can be uncomfortable to use for extended periods of time. While we review a ton of high-end gadgets at Unbox, I’m a little thrifty when it comes to my own spending and am unwilling to shell out for Nintendo’s Pro Controllers that cost somewhere along the lines of Php 3,500; depending on whether or not you get a Special Edition one or not. I caught wind of the Snakebyte Game Pad S Pro while stalking one of the Nintendo Switch Facebook groups and it was getting pretty good reviews, so I decided to pick one up myself to see the Php 1,495 third-party controller was any good.
After a quick run to Datablitz, I took the Snakebyte out of its box and there wasn’t that much in it but, to be fair, not a lot comes with the official pro-controller either. You have the controller itself, the USB-C cable, and a bit of documentation to help you pair the controller to your switch. Thankfully, pairing it with the Switch was a pretty smooth experience and it works pretty well with the console but I’m getting ahead of myself a little bit. Let’s talk about the build quality of the controller first.
The Plastic Build Feels Cheap!
The Snakebyte Game Pad S Pro is made of plastic and, while most controllers that consoles use are made of polycarbonate plastic, this one feels rather cheap. If you have butterfingers or have a bit of an anger management issue, we’re not sure if this controller will survive multiple drops or a raging temper tantrum.
For the most part, though, everything looks to be well put together though, upon closer inspection, there are bits where the seams don’t line up exactly; a little off-putting if you’re a stickler for that sort of thing. The plastic also attracts a fair bit of smudges from your fingers, so have a cleaning cloth handy to give it a wipe down every now and then.
Good Ergonomics but the Buttons Could Definitely be Better
Despite the questionable build quality, the Snakebyte Game Pad S Pro has pretty good ergonomics and is definitely more comfortable to use for prolonged periods of time compared to the bundled JoyCon Grip. I was able to log in a decent amount hours playing Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and didn’t feel the need to take a break due to the unusual position that the JoyCon grip puts my hands and wrists.
As for the actually D-pad and buttons, they get the job done but they’re a little too stiff for my taste; this goes with the Analog Sticks as well. There’s also a bit of height to them, which gives it a fair bit of travel and a bit of springiness. We’re hoping that over time these buttons don’t become mushy. Like most Analog Sticks on controllers, they’re topped off with a bit of rubber to help you get more precision control, though the ones on the Snakebyte is noticeably thinner than most. We recommend putting some thumb grips on them to make them last a little longer and, theoretically, the ones for the PS4 should work well with them.
While the buttons on the controller are a little stiff, it’s completely the opposite for the L and R triggers on top of the controller requiring little pressure to press them and they give very soft feedback. The ZL and ZR buttons are a little better but it doesn’t take a lot for an actuation to kick in and I’ve definitely pressed it by accident with a little tap; a bit of a turn off for a few who might need complete precision for fighting games.
The Snakebyte Game Pad S Pro has dual vibration that gives nice feedback during tense situations as well, which is a pretty nice touch. If you’re looking for motion controller on this then you’re SOL, my friend.
You Get What You Pay For
Honestly, we weren’t expecting much from the Snakebyte Game Pad S Pro Controller. We’ve seen the reviews online and for the most part, they were spot on and, for Php 1,495/$30, you’re pretty much getting what you paid for — a controller that’s less than half the price of an original Nintendo Switch Pro Controller. We mentioned a ton of cons, but this controller definitely gets the job done for those looking to veer away from the JoyCon Grips but are on an extremely tight budget; just make sure you don’t drop it a bunch of times or rage after things not going your way in-game and adjust your expectations.
If you can hold off for a bit, I personally think you’d be better off saving up for the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller instead because I should have defintely bit the bullet.