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The Nintendo Switch is a fantastic family console, with a neat design, clever multi-mode arrangement and huge variety of games to suit gamers of all ages. But it is led down slightly by the standard controllers.
The regular Joy-Con controllers are great for playing the Switch in handheld mode, for party games like Super Mario Party and for younger gamers with small hands. But for grown-up gamers with larger hands or ambitions to play more serious games, they can feel pretty limited, which is where wireless handsets like the Gioteck SC3 Pro Controller come in.
Like other “Pro” controllers for the Switch, the SC3 adopts a larger design that’ll be familiar to anyone who’s picked up an XBox or PlayStation controller in the last decade or so. It’s very similar in form to Nintendo’s official Pro Switch controller but - at £39.99 - a whopping £20 cheaper.
Despite the lower cost, the SC3 doesn’t feel cheap. The handset is robust and the sticks and buttons all have a solid, positive feel, whether you’re battering Balrog in Street Fighter 2 Turbo, tearing up the track in MarioKart 8 or exploring Koholint Island in the Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening.
You can opt to buy the SC3 in black or white and both versions come with a customisable LED lighting strip that runs across the grips and centre of the unit. You can choose from various different hues including white, orange and purple to light up your controller or - as I prefer - turn the lights off for a less distracting look and boost in battery life.
The SC3 features the standard array of analogue sticks, D-pad, shoulder buttons and triggers, plus the + and - buttons vital for so many Switch games and a USB-C port to charge the 750mAh built-in battery. It also has an inbuilt capture button and volume controls, along with a 3.5mm headphone jack so you can game without disturbing others.
What sets the SC3 apart are the two extra buttons mounted on the back. Set into the inside of the grips they fall perfectly to hand and can be remapped to different functions, allowing you to set specific uses for them depending on your game. It’s a really handy touch, particularly for games where flicking between shoulder triggers and buttons could cost valuable time.
Another really nice touch that we’ve not seen before are the swappable analogue sticks. Using a magnetic attachment these pop on and off easily (but never feeling flimsy) and allow you to swap the standard sticks for longer ones included in the box.
For games that use motion control, the SC3 has that covered too with a built in gyroscope, although I found the shape of the handset felt less natural than the standard JoyCons when playing such games.
Third party controllers used to be the ones gamers fought to avoid in multiplayer meet-ups but the battles in our house have quickly become about who gets first dibs on this impressive full-sized accessory. Its solid feel, familiar layout and customisation have made it an instant hit.