Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the latest entry in Nintendo’s beloved fighting series, is the biggest Smash Bros. game to date. Every character that has ever been featured in a Smash game will be playable, plus some new fighters like Animal Crossing’s helpful and adorable assistant, Isabelle. A new feature allows battles to take place over multiple arenas and new gameplay modes switch up the format in some fun new ways.
Despite all the new gameplay options, many Smash players still prefer a GameCube controller when it comes to knocking out the competition. While Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will also support Switch Joy-Cons and Pro Controllers, Nintendo announced a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate-themed GameCube controller (along with a special Pro Controller and a limited edition Switch console that has since sold out.) Not at all coincidentally, several third-party accessory manufacturers designed new GameCube-style controllers of their own, most of them dropping on or around Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s Dec. 7 release date.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Edition GameCube Controller
With the exception of buying a used model from a reseller, Nintendo’s own special edition GameCube controller is the closest you’ll get to the original 2002 gamepad. It features a minimalist outline of the Smash logo above the start button. Because it uses the traditional GameCube connector, you’ll need to pick up either Nintendo’s USB adapter or 8BitDo’s new wireless adapter to connect this wired GameCube controller to the Switch.
Hori Nintendo Switch Battle Pad
If you’ve got a signature fighter you want to rep, Hori released a line of GameCube controllers paying homage to some fan favorite Smash characters: Zelda, Luigi, Pikachu, Princess Peach and Mario. All but the Pikachu model are translucent.
Hori also added some modern improvements to the gamepad. Along with the Switch system buttons home, screenshot and +/-, a textured grip was added for better comfort. Hori’s gamepad connects to the Switch via USB, rather than the traditional GameCube port. The analog sticks were given increased precision with anti-snapback technology and the shoulder button functions can be swapped for even more customization.
PDP Nintendo Switch Pikachu Wired Fight Pad Pro
PDP also styled its GameCube controllers after Nintendo characters: Pikachu, Link and Mario. Like Hori, PDP added Switch system buttons to the gamepad and a USB connection. The standout feature on PDP’s controller, though, is the detachable full-size analog stick that can be swapped out for the traditional C-stick.
PowerA GameCube Style Wireless Controller for Nintendo Switch
PowerA makes the only wireless GameCube controller licensed by Nintendo, making it the only GameCube controller that can still be used when the Switch is undocked (unless you’re using 8BitDo’s adapter). This controller also makes some small tweaks like adding Switch system buttons, a slightly larger d-pad and an LED light showing player number and flashing to indicate a dying battery similar to the Pro Controller.
The wireless PowerA controller uses two AA batteries and comes in purple, black and grey. A wired model is also available.