As the maker of gaming peripherals and accessories across all of the main platforms, Nyko has quite the collection of Nintendo Switch products. We loved how practical and handy the Nyko Power Shell Case was for the Nintendo Switch, as shown in our review. You get hard shell protection, a stand with a couple of viewing angles, and back-up power for your Nintendo Switch. Now, we are going to look into a more direct accessory for the Nintendo Switch in the form of Nyko’s Wireless Core Controller. This controller goes extra as it gives you turbo fire functionality as well as usability on PC and Android devices.
Does this Nintendo Switch controller compare to Nintendo’s own Pro Wireless Controller for $56.99? Let us take a look at the Nyko Wireless Core Controller for the Nintendo Switch, going for $29.99 and coming in a variety of color options.
Build and Feel
If you are a regular user or even a fan of the Xbox One controller, then you’re bound to feel right at home with Nyko’s Wireless Core Controller. Sporting an almost identical silhouette, the Wireless Core Controller maintains a very similar action button, analog stick, and D-pad placement. You have analog sticks arranged with the left stick placed higher than the right, with the D-pad sitting parallel to the right stick. There are four action buttons on the right, Caption and Home buttons surround the Turbo button in the center, and “-“ and “+” buttons sit closer to the top. On the very top of the controller, you have the L and R bumpers arranged with ZL and ZR triggers.
Off the bat, the Wireless Core Controller is light and comfortable to hold. Action buttons and bumpers are satisfying to press, and the analog sticks are easy handle and reach for. The D-pad is feels softer than I would expect, but is still easy to manage and become accustomed to as well, thanks to its large and traditional “+” shape. The controller frame has a nice shape and texture to it, making it easy grasp and handle for long gameplay sessions. No problems at all on the comfort and feel front.
Now, I know that part of the goal of this controller, as well as controllers from other competitors, is to mirror, while improving upon, Nintendo’s own full wireless controller product. I would have loved for the “-“ and “+” buttons to switch places with the Capture and Home buttons. More often than not, I found myself on the home screen when I instinctively reached for where I thought a “Start” button would be. I eventually got over this pestering hump after some time of readjusting my muscle memory. I’m not sure why Nintendo designed these out-of-game buttons to be more prominent than the “-“ and “+” ones that you would use more often. However, it would appear that it caused this design to trickle down to alternative solutions by peripheral providers, like Nyko.
Despite that, the Wireless Core Controller clones Nintendo’s solution perfectly, with little to no drop off in quality.
Aside from my minor button placement gripes, Nyko’s Wireless Core Controller handles exceptionally well for a controller that is almost half the price of Nintendo’s full controller solution. You get all of the functionality you get from the Pro Wireless Controller, such as rumbling and motion sensors, while actually getting much more. Not only do you get a nifty assortment of nice-looking color options, but you also get more functionality with the Wireless Core Controller.
On the fly, the Turbo button can make any action, bumper or trigger button a turbo-firing button on the fly. Just hold down the Turbo button, press the button that you want to become a “turbo firing button”, then release the Turbo button. Now all you have to do is hold down the button you activated this feature on, and the controller will quickly and repeated send that input to your game for as long as you hold the button. If you want to deactivate this feature, just hold down the Turbo button, press the button that you want to deactivate Turbo mode for twice, then release the Turbo button. Pretty simple to use.
I went full retro with this feature, using this on Blaster Master in the Nintendo Entertainment System – Nintendo Switch Online. As a kid, I would always use turbo fire when I left my vehicle to enter a base and fire on foot. I would just farm enemies to max out my blaster gun, hold down on the fire button, and casually walk around as a hurricane of screen-filling bullets consumed anyone and anything that showed up on screen. With the Wireless Core Controller, I was able to relive this without a hitch on the Nintendo Switch.
Beyond Turbo mode, Nyko’s Wireless Core Controller can even be used on Android devices via Bluetooth or on Windows PC via the included USB-C to USB-A cable. The controller charges via its USB-C port on the top, giving you up to 20 hours of game play on a full charge. If you are in close quarters with your Nintendo Switch, you can also play on the console with the Wireless Core Controller connected to it using the very same cable.
Gameplay on the Nintendo Switch
If you are a heavy player of first person shooters, third person shooters, or fighting games, then you will immediately realize the ergonomic benefits of using this controller. Nintendo’s Joy-Con controllers are fine and all, but they cannot possibility match the level of comfort of a more traditional controller like this. Super Smash Bros Ultimate simply felt “correct” when using this controller, allowing me to make more precise movements and attacks then I would with the Joy-Cons. While I eventually learned to manage Super Smash Bros Ultimate with the Joy-Cons, it did take some time to get used to for a fighting game. With the Wireless Core Controller, there was practically no learning curve at all.
As I am currently reviewing Project Nimbus, a high-speed 3rd person flying mech shooter, I also used the Wireless Core Controller here. I felt right at home in the fast-paced shooter, where the only learning curve was with my learning the game’s control and play style. The Wireless Core Controller gets you comfortably into gameplay without getting in your way.
Gameplay on PC and Android
I dabbled with the Wireless Core Controller on the PC and on my Samsung Galaxy S10 playing mostly fighting games on each, while focusing on judging the D-pad. Regardless of the fighting game I played, the Wireless Core Controller held strong, allowing me to pull off the kind of special moves and combos that I am used to. Pairing was a piece of cake on Android, with the Wireless Core Controller working immediately with little to no set-up depending on the game. Of course, as I have been doing with competing mobile-ready controllers this year, I put the Wireless Core Controller to the test with Street Fighter 4 Championship Edition for Android. The Wireless Core Controller did not disappoint.
The Wireless Core Controller remained strong on all fronts, playing well as a solid travel companion across three gaming platforms. At $29.99, for the quality and features you get, the Nyko Wireless Core Controller is a steal. If you are looking for a more traditional controller to use on your Nintendo Switch, the Wireless Core Controller should be the first on your list to check out. You get the same features as Nintendo’s full controller model, an optional Turbo mode, and usability for PC and Android devices. That is plenty for a $30 controller for a current-gen system.
Do yourself a favor and check out the Nyko Wireless Core Controller for yourself here. You are bound to find a color you like.
† Nyko Wireless Core Controller provided by Nyko PR for review.