The unique thing about the Nintendo Switch compared to any other console is that you can either play on your television or take it out of the dock and play it anywhere you go. Some players may never take it out of the dock, while others may like to chill and play in handheld mode on the couch or take it elsewhere. I fall into the latter category and always find myself looking for the most comfortable way to play on the go. Before I acquired an OLED Switch, I used the Zengrip Pro from Satisfye, but instead of buying the new one built explicitly for the new console, I decided to look into some alternatives. That is where the NYXI Wireless Joypad with 8-Color LED comes in. After a week with this product, I’m overall pleased, though it comes with some drawbacks.
I’ve wanted a Joy-con alternative for some time now, especially after seeing the HORI split-pads that have come out over the years. Comfort is the first thing that caught my eye about NYXI’s wireless Joy-pads and is where the product truly shines. I have yet to feel my hands fall asleep or cramp up while using them, unlike other products in the past. The sticks are responsive, and all of the buttons and triggers feel great too. I play a variety of genres on my Switch, and these Joypad controllers helped third- and first-person shooters feel much better to play in handheld mode. What I appreciate about them most is that it feels like I’m holding a modern controller, which isn’t the case for anything else I have used.
The features unique to the NYXI Wireless Joy-pad are the 8 Color LED settings, turbo, adjustable rumble, and an extra set of buttons on the back. These features are very customizable via small turbo and function buttons on the back of each controller. In the box comes an instruction manual along with a charging cable and a frame to use when you’re playing in docked mode. When making the purchase, you can add a set of Mario-themed joystick caps and a screen protector to your order as well. This product makes a great first impression and sticks to all it boasts for the most part.
These controllers come loaded with features, but the most noticeable is the LEDs—it’s not gaming tech if it doesn’t light up, right? Eight different colors bring variety to the customization in which you can mix and match colors on each controller or set it to the rainbow or breathe modes. My first thought after exploring options was to change mine to purple since that is Geeks Under Grace’s primary color. Changing the colors is done while holding the function button on the back and pressing the stick on the controller you want to change. I’m not sure why you’d like to do so, but you can also turn the LEDs off. This feature doesn’t impact gameplay and makes a nice visual touch to match the rest of your gear that likely has lights on it.
Next, I want to mention the turbo function. Turbo feels like an old-school addition that we’ve been seeing on third-party controllers since the earliest days of gaming. I believe that I won’t use it much, but I tested it in a few different scenarios in which it would be handy. Activate it by holding the T button on the back of the left Joypad and pressing the button you want to set it on. Alternatively, you can press the two buttons and have it automatically hold the turbo there as you play. One of the situations in which this setting may be helpful is during some of the more challenging boss fights in Metroid Dread. I appreciate how it is left up to the player to use this feature; someone may find a better use for it than I did.
The Joypad has another versatile feature—an extra button on the back of each joypad controller. They come labeled as L3 and R3, but any button combination is mappable to them. This is yet another recent addition we have seen in more advanced controllers; they work best at making those harder-to-reach parts of a controller more accessible. Much like the paddles on my Xbox Elite controller, I have yet to find an excellent purpose for the extra buttons. While I have not fully used them yet, I know that many who use this controller will find the perfect scenario for such a feature. I’m possibly somewhat intimidated by having another set of buttons to memorize while there are already so many on the controls we already use today.
The weakest area of the product is the rumble feature. It has multiple options of intensity that you can change at will, but I thought it was a bit much even at its lowest setting. For the Switch’s standard HD rumble, games handle it in varying degrees, and it was a feature that never stood out to me. So, for the joypads, it could’ve been that I wasn’t impressed with it alongside the games I was playing at the time. Unfortunately, I turned the rumble off after a few days. However, the fact that these even have rumble is impressive and I plan on turning the feature back on at some point for further analysis.
Speaking of impressive, I need to mention the gyro controls. I was hesitant to believe they would work as well as they did. I knew immediately that the best way to test the gyro would be with Skyward Sword, because that and Splatoon 2 are the games in which I’ve used motion controls the most. Skyward Sword uses the most motion out of any other Switch game I’ve played, and NYXI’s Joy-pad passed what I considered to be the ultimate test. My movements were on point with Link’s as I swung the sword around and used his various tools. The controllers’ precision and zero input lag help the gyro features rival Nintendo’s Joy-cons. Unexpectedly, the gyro controls are one of the strongest attributes of NYXI’s Joy-pad.
One final note that I feel isn’t necessarily a negative is that I need a bigger carrying case for these beefy controllers. Each piece is too bulky for cases I own—attached to the system or not. I should add that I am willing to buy a bigger one because I now can’t imagine playing in the handheld mode without these. I also had to change my dock’s position on my entertainment center so that they could sit happily on my Switch and charge up while my system was docked. Though a USB charger is included in the box, I haven’t had to use it.
NYXI’s Wireless LED Joy-pad is a level-up for my handheld gaming experience on the Nintendo Switch. The quality of the product is a cut above what other third parties have to offer, and its features work just as advertised. The rumble inside the controllers could be better, but then I may not have given it my due diligence in shutting it off so quickly. The Joy-pad started at the same price as a set of Joycons($69.99) and is now on sale for $46.99. If you have a set of drifty Joycons, NYXI’s product is not only cheaper in price, but it is an alternative that stands firm against the first-party offering.
Testing Unit kindly provided by NYXI Gaming. Buy yours here.
The Bottom Line
NYXI's third-party offering stands strong against a first-party that tends to drift.