If you’re looking for an innovative control scheme, look no further than Nintendo. They’ve been pioneering new, quirky controllers since the days of the N64. Admittedly, that particular choice was a bit of a bust. Why make a controller with three hand grips when people only have two hands? But Nintendo stuck with it, and reached the pinnacle of perfection with the Wii. The Wii’s global sales surpassed both the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3, mostly thanks to the motion-sensor controller. In the current generation, the Nintendo Switch has taken yet another innovative approach. You can use the Joy-Con as a standard controller for console use. Alternatively, you can un-dock the Switch and use it as a handheld console.
This approach is fun and unique, but some gamers prefer a more ergonomic controller. This only makes sense, since the Joy-Con controllers are a bit blocky. In response, Nintendo released the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller. This controller has a more “standard” design, similar to an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 controller. So if you prefer a more traditional approach, Nintendo has got you covered. Of course, all of this begs the question of how you charge your Pro Controller. This is particularly true if you own a combination of Pro and Joy-Con controllers. Unless you want a rats nest of cables behind your TV, a charging station is the best choice.
We’re about to review three Nintendo Switch Pro and Joy-Con charging stations. First, we’ll review the PowerA Switch Controller Charging Dock. This is a simple charging station that can charge two Joy-Con controllers, along with one Pro Controller. Next, we’ll check out the FASTSNAIL Controller Charger for Nintendo Switch. This is a more modular charging station, which can charge up to four Joy-Con controllers simultaneously. Finally, we’ll look at the FunDirect Controller Charger Dock. This large charging station can charge four Joy-Con controllers and two Pro Controllers at the same time. Once we’ve looked at all the charging stations’ features, we’ll be ready to render a final verdict. Let’s get started!
PowerA Switch Controller Charging Dock
PowerA is not primarily known as a manufacturer of Switch accessories. They are, however, known for their wide variety of general gaming accessories. This includes some sweet Bluetooth controllers that are well-known in the industry. As a result, we were excited to see how the PowerA Switch Controller Charging Dock performed.
This is a compact charging dock, designed for situations where space is at a premium. It measures only 8.31 inches deep, 5.51 inches tall, and 2.99 inches thick. As a result, you can store it just about anywhere, even on a small shelf. Keep in mind, though, that these are the charger dimensions only. When your controllers are inserted, it’s going to take up a bit more of a footprint. In keeping with its small design, it comes with a 3-foot USB cable. This means it’s best suited for positioning directly next to your Switch dock. If you want to put it much further away, you’ll need to buy a longer USB Type-C to Type-A cable.
The unit itself is shaped like a small claw, with a seat that holds your Pro Controller. In order to connect your controller properly, you’ll need to use a small USB Type-C dongle. This dongle is included with the kit, and fits perfectly in the PowerA dock’s housing. The dongle is simply required to allow you to insert the controller easily. Without it, the charger’s body would need to be larger to accommodate an insertion angle. The Joy-Con controllers slide into the sides, just as they would on the Switch itself.
The PowerA Switch Controller Charging Dock’s case is constructed from a satin ABS plastic. This design makes it easy to clean, and matches most modern electronic hardware. All the edges are slightly beveled, providing a soft, sleek appearance. On the front, there’s a dark grey Nintendo Switch logo, which is barely visible against the finish. Three LED lights on the top of the unit indicate the charging status of each battery. Other than that, the case is completely bare. This makes it a great choice if you don’t want a distracting, colorful piece of electronics on your shelf.
Capacity & Compatibility
The PowerA Switch Controller Charging Dock is the most minimalist unit on our list. This is fitting, since it has the most compact size. It’s designed to charge two Joy-Con controllers, along with a single Pro Controller. As a result, it’s best-suited for a single-player setup where you’re only worried about charging for yourself. We should point out that when we say “two” Joy-Con controllers, we’re talking about the left and right halves. For practical purposes, what you’re looking at is a single Joy-Con controller when it’s disassembled. That said, the PowerA Switch Controller Charging Dock is officially licensed by Nintendo. As a result, if for some reason it damages your controller, it won’t void your controller warranty.
FASTSNAIL Controller Charger for Nintendo Switch
FASTSNAIL is a manufacturer that produces a variety of gaming accessories. These include a variety of Nintendo Switch gadgets, such as Joy-Con grips. Their FASTSNAIL Controller Charger For Nintendo Switch is perhaps the most versatile of the units on our list.
The FASTSNAIL Controller Charger is shaped like an upside-down “T”, with a two-sided design that can support multiple controllers. The unit is constructed from a glossy ABS plastic, which is nice and durable. It’s easy to clean, but the glossy finish will show fingerprints easily. That said, it’s available in three colors: black, blue, or red. Because of this design, it will match most Switch controllers. It also adds a fun splash of color to your entertainment center. On the bottom, you’ll find four small rubber skids that prevent it from sliding around on your shelf.
The overall dimensions of the unit are 4.6 inches wide, 4.5 inches tall, and 2.4 inches thick. This makes it easy to position on your shelf. As before, we should point out that these dimensions are the charger dimensions only. Depending on the controllers you’re charging, the overall dimensions may actually be larger. Nonetheless, the cord is relatively short, only 34.67 inches long, since it’s designed to sit right next to your console. The cord is removable, so if you need a longer one, it can always be replaced.
The controller mounts are well-designed. You can easily slide your controllers into place, without any hitches. Between the two sides, there are four bright lampposts that indicate the current charge status. They will glow red while the controllers are charging, and green when the batteries are fully charged. This makes it easy to tell what your charge status is. Unfortunately, these lampposts are very bright, and can’t be turned off. If your charger is in your bedroom, you’ll need to power the charger off with the switch on the front.
FASTSNAIL offers a 12-month warranty on their charging station. In addition, they also offer a 45-day no-questions-asked refund period. If you’re not satisfied for any reason, simply return it for a full refund. Moreover, you get free lifetime technical support. If you have any issues, you can call FASTSNAIL’s technical support line for resolution.
Capacity & Compatibility
The FASTSNAIL Controller Charger for Nintendo Switch’s modular design makes it highly versatile. You have a few different options for charging your Switch controllers. First off, you can charge four Joy-Con controllers simultaneously. If you like to mix and match controllers, you can also charge two Joy-Con controllers and one Pro Controller. The Pro Controller side of the unit can even be used for other USB Type-C devices. Most tablets and smartphones will charge just fine here. You can also use it to charge your Switch if you’re in a pickle. Keep in mind, though, that due to the low voltage, a Switch, tablet, or smartphone will charge very slowly. But it’s nice to have the option if you need it.
FunDirect Controller Charger Dock
Like the FASTSNAIL charger we just looked at, the FunDirect Controller Charger Dock has an inverted “T” shape. However, it’s a bit larger, measuring 6.54 inches wide, 5.67 inches high, and 2.68 inches thick. As a result of this large footprint – not counting the controllers – you’ll need some space to position it. That said, it’s still not terribly large, and it’s attractive to look at. The ABS plastic is plenty durable, with a satin finish that doesn’t show fingerprints and is easy to keep clean.
On the back of the unit, there’s a six-foot USB cable. This allows for easy positioning, even on a high shelf. That said, the cable is built into the charger, and is not removable. This means that six feet is all you get. There’s no way to install a larger cable, short of using a complex USB extension cord. Controller positioning, on the other hand, is very easy. Joy-Con controllers slide easily onto the front and back of the unit respectively. Moreover, Pro Controllers are easy to drop into the sides. They’re cradled in molded cutouts, which means they sit very stably. This design doesn’t just keep your controllers well-organized. It also ensures that they won’t put any stress on the built-in USB Type-C tips. As a result, you’re looking at a very reliable unit.
In addition to their shape, the FunDirect and FASTSNAIL chargers also have another thing in common. Their charge indicators are large, lamppost-style units. They glow red when the batteries are charging, and turn green when charging is completed. This applies to the four Joy-Con chargers only. However, there’s no way to turn them off while the unit is powered. Even if the Joy-Cons aren’t docked, they’ll still be illuminated. There are also a pair of smaller LEDs for the Pro Controller chargers. When the Pro Controller is charging, the lights are green. Once the controllers are fully charged, the lights turn off altogether.
Capacity & Compatibility
The FunDirect Controller Charger Dock can’t be customized in the same way as the FASTSNAIL charger. That said, given the available options, this isn’t really necessary. You can charge four Joy-Con controllers and two Pro Controllers simultaneously. As a result, there’s really no need for more versatility. You can charge any type of controller you want, whenever you want. This is even true if you have extra controllers for friends or family members.
There is one other thing we should point out, though. This charger needs a 5-volt, 2-amp plug to work properly. As a result, it’s not compatible with the Switch dock’s USB ports. You’ll need to plug it into a cell phone AC charger in order to get the proper amount of current. This was a bit disappointing, since voltage control should be standard on any modern electronics.
Which one of these chargers is best is going to depend primarily on your number of controllers. If you’re just keeping a controller charged for personal use, the PowerA Switch Controller Charging Dock is the best choice. It has a compact form factor, and it gets the job done. Moreover, it doesn’t have any bright lights that might get annoying.
For maximum versatility, go with the FASTSNAIL Controller Charger for Nintendo Switch. It can charge four Joy-Con controllers, or two Joy-Con controllers and a Pro Controller. It can even charge other devices, albeit at a relatively slow pace. That said, the bright charging lamps can get annoying under certain circumstances. But the choice of multiple colors means you can match most popular Joy-Con varieties.
The last charger we looked at was the FunDirect Controller Charger Dock. This is a beefy charger that can charge four Joy-Con controllers and two Pro Controllers simultaneously. As a result, it’s the perfect choice for keeping the whole family fully powered. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll need a separate AC charging block to use it properly.