You are currently viewing GameSir Nova Wireless Switch Pro Controller Review: So Long, Joy-Cons
via GameSir

GameSir Nova Wireless Switch Pro Controller Review: So Long, Joy-Cons

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A product sample was provided to GamingPizza for this review. The GameSir Nova Wireless Switch Pro Controller is now available.

The Nintendo Switch is a powerhouse of versatility, boasting a library that caters to both handheld enthusiasts and those who prefer their gaming on the big screen. However, as a self-proclaimed critic of the Joy-Cons, I am always on the lookout for viable alternatives. Frankly, I welcome them with open arms.

Enter the GameSir Nova Wireless Switch Pro Controller — a quality option that doesn’t break the bank. Let me walk you through my experience with this impressive controller.

The moment I unboxed the GameSir Nova, I was greeted with a sense of nostalgia. The controller came in a cool, hard plastic case reminiscent of the old Crystal N64 era, adding a touch of retro charm. While there is also a purple version as well as two styles of white, my review unit was the Neon Teal version, a stunning translucent color that exposes the inner workings of the controller, harkening back to the good ol’ days of late-90s gaming.

The box comes with the controller itself, a USB-C charging cable, and an operational instruction booklet.

Design and Build: Ergonomics Meet Nostalgia

GameSir Nova Pro Controller front and back
via GameSir

The GameSir Nova is slightly wider than other pro controllers, which actually enhances comfort without drastically changing the familiar shape. The textured grips at the base of each handle and along the remappable paddles provide extra control and reduce heat during long gaming sessions. Although the texture isn’t the grippiest, it’s shaped to fit in my larger hands. Of course, anything is an improvement from the tiny Joy-Con layout.

The face buttons and analog sticks follow a standard Xbox layout, except for the Nintendo-style Y, B, X, and A button format. The buttons are membrane-based, offering decent feedback, though they do feel a bit stiff at times, even after extended use. The Hall Effect sensors in the analog sticks are a game-changer, though, reducing the chances of drift and ensuring more precise control.

Light Up Your Game: RGB Lighting and Customization

One of the standout features of the GameSir Nova is the customizable RGB lighting. The controller boasts RGB LED lights with six different colors and five lighting modes, including Monochrome, Rainbow, Breathing, Fantasy, and Radar. The M button allows for quick cycling through these modes, letting you adjust brightness levels and the speed of light pulses.

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The Neon Teal version truly shines with the RGB lighting, turning the controller into a beautiful light show. The teal shell reacts brilliantly to the lighting, making colors like blue, green, and purple pop vividly. And who doesn’t love aesthetics? The RGB lighting adds a fun, personalized touch to the gaming experience.

Setup and Connectivity: Smooth Sailing

Setting up the GameSir Nova was relatively straightforward. The instruction manual, though comically large, provided clear and concise tutorials for connecting to various platforms. Pairing the controller with my Switch is also super straightforward. It was pretty easy to ,accomplish on the first go. The Nova connected seamlessly and has continued to do so without issues.

The Bluetooth connection is solid, with no noticeable lag during gameplay. The Nova also supports a 2.4GHz wireless connection using a USB-A dongle, though the dongle isn’t included in this package — a surprising omission considering its utility.

Gameplay Performance: Feel the Power

GameSir Nova Pro Controller in White
via GameSir

When it comes to performance, the GameSir Nova doesn’t disappoint. I tested the controller with several games, including Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Rocket League, and was impressed by the joystick responsiveness and overall control. The thumbsticks provide smooth and precise movements, allowing my in-game performance (or lack thereof) to be blamed more on my skill, instead of the controller’s responsiveness.

The HD Rumble feature is another highlight. The rumble response is robust and immersive, adding an extra layer of excitement to the in-game action. The motion controls worked fine on the Switch, if you’re a fan of that feature (I’m not personally a fan of tilt-based gameplay). However, for those who enjoy it, the Nova’s six-axis gyro sensor seems to offer pretty precise control.

The GameSir Nova is equipped with a 1200mAh rechargeable battery, promising around 12 hours of gameplay on a full charge. In my testing, the battery life held up well, even with the RGB lighting and HD Rumble features turned on. The included USB Type-C charging cable allows for fast charging, though its short length might limit its practicality for wired gameplay if you forget to charge the controller before an extended gaming session.

Macro Buttons and Customization: Power at Your Fingertips

The Nova’s two programmable back buttons are a boon for gamers looking to streamline their controls. Assigning single or multiple button functions is a breeze, thanks to the M button. These macro buttons can significantly enhance your gameplay, allowing for quick execution of complex moves without disrupting your grip.

Additionally, the ability to swap the ABXY button layout to an Xbox-style configuration with a simple button press is a game-changer. This feature is particularly useful for those who switch between different gaming platforms, ensuring a seamless transition without the need for profiles or apps. I’m not really one to change my mappings, but the Nova might just make me a believer in doing so.

A Bright Addition to Your Gaming Arsenal

At roughly half the price of the official Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, the GameSir Nova offers exceptional value. Its feature-rich design, robust performance, and stylish aesthetics make it a worthy investment for any Switch owner. While it may not be the most durable controller on the market, its overall features and performance make it well worth it, especially considering its affordability.

Overall, my experience with the GameSir Nova Wireless Switch Pro Controller has been positive. As someone who loathes the Joy-Cons, finding a quality alternative like the Nova is a relief. Its blend of affordability, functionality, and style makes it a standout choice for any Switch gamer (or Joy-Con hater).

Whether you’re a casual player or looking for a reliable backup controller, the GameSir Nova delivers on all fronts. With its impressive feature set and eye-catching design, it’s hard to imagine a non-competitive player who wouldn’t benefit from adding this controller to their gaming setup. If you have a spare $35, the Nova is a no-brainer.

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