Best GameCube Controller Reviews and Buying Guide 2020
The world of GameCube controllers is a bizarre and mysterious one.
The controller has become a cult of its own since Nintendo first released the GameCube device, back in 2001. To understand the intensity of this controller’s popularity, let’s look at a fact-
Most devices released by Nintendo after the GameCube console had “backwards compatibility”. That means the GC controllers were usable with most of its successor consoles like Wii, Wii U, Switch etc.
But for every positive, there tends to be a negative.
In this case, that negative factor is, due to high demand original GameCube controllers have become quite expensive and unavailable. You can still get them but that will require spending a good chunk of your time and money.
Fortunately, there are many alternatives available in the market right now.
Other than releases by Nintendo itself, like “GameCube Controller Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Edition” which is an exact replica of first-generation GC controllers, there exists many 3rd party controllers which get the job done just as efficiently.
That is why in this guide we have assembled a list of the best GameCube controller available to the consumer, precisely keeping those options in mind. Other than Nintendo controllers, we have also added a wide variety of alternatives for you to choose from.
So, take a read and pick the one that suits you!
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Why GameCube Controllers?
1. A Unique Layout
The button layout of a GC controller is one of its kind. It is quite unlikely that you will confuse its shape and features with other controllers.
In terms of playing Super Smash Bros, the large A button allows you a significant amount of advantage.
The A button can be used for aerials, tilts, jabs, and smashes, making it the most frequently used button in the game. The layout also makes the A button easiest to access. So, you can easily acquire a competitive edge in the game.
The slightly shorter C stick allows you to perform quicker attacks in comparison to other types of controllers. Both the right stick and the C stick are analog and octagonal gated. This makes directing your character through a game more precise than circular gated sticks.
The placement of all the buttons, sticks and triggers are also ergonomically satisfying. They have the right amount of space between them to ensure a smooth handling of certain games like Melee, Smash and Mario Kart.
2. We Love to be Nostalgic
GameCube controllers (commonly referred to as GC Controllers) have a long legacy behind them. The first GameCube device was released in 2001, by Nintendo. The GC controllers were released with the device.
Since then the popularity of the controller hasn’t declined.
In fact, the controller has gained somewhat of a cult following. Especially in Japan and China, there’s a huge market for original, first-generation GC controllers (DOL-001). Devoted fans literally spend thousands of dollars to get a restored GC controller.
Gamers, who grew up playing the GameCube console, feel comfortable with this controller. It also helps them to relive their childhood in a way. This factor of nostalgia plays an important role behind the controller’s popularity.
3. Competitive Advantage
Gaming competitions of Super Smash Bros and Mario Kart are popular all around the world. Go to any classic game forum and you’ll see a number of them happening almost every week. Whether you are a pro or a beginner, if you intend to participate in these tournaments, a controller that gives you an advantage over the opponent is invaluable.
GC controllers have octagonal gated joysticks. This octagonal shape allows the player to guide his/her movement with exact precision. We have 8 fundamental directions, in total, to move the right and specifically the left stick. So, with a plastic shape to assist you, it becomes quite hard to input a wrong move.
Games like Super Smash Bros, where the slightest error in a movement or attack can be the cause of losing a match, this feature is of supreme importance. It also allows a gamer to perform SDI quickly and easily.
GC controller sticks have “snapback” functionality as well.
That means every time you release the stick, it automatically returns to its neutral position. If you are performing a combo or preventing a move you didn’t mean to make, this feature is extremely helpful. The snapback of the left stick in a GC controller is incredibly fast, which can be an influential factor in winning matches.
4. The Value of Muscle Memory
If you are a GameCube veteran, you understand this point without even reading the description. But for our Beginner friends, an explanation can be helpful.
See, most Nintendo consoles released since the GameCube have a feature called “backward compatibility”. This feature allows the use of GC controllers with its successors. For example, Wii U and Switch both allow the use of this controller through a USB adapter.
So, gamers with years of experience using this uniquely shaped controller have the control mapped out in their muscle memory. Therefore, using this controller allows them a level of comfort, speed, and precision that is unmatched by other types of controllers.
Top 10 Best GameCube Controller In 2020
1. CIPON, Wired Controllers Classic Gamepad Joystick for Nintendo and Wii Console, Black
One of the biggest challenges of modern life is the constant worrying about charging all your wireless devices. CIPON brings you this product as a permanent solution.
This is a wired GameCube controller. It is designed according to the super popular GameCube controllers by Nintendo. It has the same large D-Pad buttons and analog buttons.
GameCube controllers were originally designed for the GameCube devices. However, many players like to use these on other Nintendo consoles (such as Wii and Wii U) for playing classic games like Mario Kart and Super Smash. So this is where we enter the world of third party GameCube controllers.
This controller works directly with the Nintendo Wii, Switch, and Nintendo GameCube. For PC and Wii U games, you will require a dedicated transfer interface connection adapter.
Using two analog joysticks, the manufacturers separate themselves from the competition. The triggers have a nice click to them and can take a beating. The product further employs a pressure sensitivity technology for fast-paced action games like Melee and Smash.
Lastly, as a wired controller, it frees you from the need to charge and sync the controller. It also significantly lowers the amount of input latency and lagging issues.
2. EVORETRO GameCube Controller Bundle
Have you ever heard of the expression, “bundle of joy”?
Well, that perfectly describes this product.
Prepared by EVORETRO, the package includes, 4 high quality GameCube controllers, a 4-port adapter and 4 extension cords. The controllers come in Black, Silver, Purple, and Crystal Green. The Green controller has a clear, plastic finish. This allows you to see the circuits of the device, delivering a more retro feel.
This product mirrors the same shape and button structure as the original GameCube controllers. It works with most GameCube and Nintendo Switch games. You can also use the controllers with Wii and Wii U, both in classic and pro mode, allowing simple navigation of the dashboard of these consoles.
So, whether you are killing it in Mario Kart or smashing your opponent in Super Smash Bros, one of the best GameCube controller models in the market is right by your side.
You will find a selector on the side of the adapter. You can switch it to smoothly transit from PC to Switch mode, making the product a perfect fit for pc and consoles both.
The controllers rock a turbo button to make character entry quick and hassle-free. The product also employs a pressure sensitivity technology for fast-paced action games like Melee and Smash.
Extension cables are 1.8 meters long. This allows you an ample amount of space to move around while playing. The cables are designed to minimize data lag and information transfer to deliver you a lighting fast gaming experience.
3. PowerA, Wireless GameCube Style Controller for Nintendo Switch
Okay, let’s imagine a scenario.
You have been playing Super Smash Bros with your buddies all day long. Naturally, you lose track of time. And right when you’re about to throw a combo, Boom! Your controller turns off. It has run out of battery.
Think of the horror!
Well, not with these GameCube controllers for smash. Equipped with 2 brand new Alkaline Batteries, the controller provides an impressive 30-hour long gaming session.
It uses Bluetooth Wireless 5.0. Add that with 4 LED lights to let you know the player number and low battery warning and you got a killer device on your hands.
PowerA designed this product specifically for Nintendo Switch. It mimics the Original GameCube Controller by making large shoulder buttons and D-pad. It has the same ABXY layout as well.
The A button is sufficiently large. The left stick and C-stick are octagonal gated. They are analog and click in just right. With all these controls literally at your palm’s reach, this device becomes a great choice for a professional GameCube controller.
Motion control is set to make it the perfect controller for intuitive gaming.
You can use the device with Switch regardless of whether the console is docked or not. It also has system buttons to allow gaming for all Switch releases. For example, a plus, minus, home, and capture button. However, the product doesn’t have HD rumble, IR or Amiibo NFC.
4. Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
Congratulations! If you are a hardcore Nintendo fan, then this product is a dream come true for you.
After a long wait, the company has finally released its update on the Joy-Cons and many tech critics have already expressed their gushing love for this controller. So, let’s find out if the hype is real.
With Motion Control, HD Rumble and an Amiibo feature included in the device, it easily emerges as one the finest accessories for Switch.
Motion control will allow you to pull off intuitive gaming. HD rumble, a haptic feedback system, will let you feel specific sensations through the controller. The Amiibo feature uses a built-in NFC reader to scan cards or your amiibo finger into the game.
The controller has a clear and solid plastic build. Sides of the controller have a matte finish. This will let you have a better grip if your hands get sweaty during long gaming sessions.
The travel between ABXY buttons is good. A Sync button is added just beside the USB-C port to smoothly transit between new controllers. Plus, minus, home and capture buttons are also placed perfectly.
The joysticks are analog and they have just the right amount of click to them. They are also quite accurate and flexible.
However, the triggers are digital, unlike an Xbox one controller. They provide less control and have no travel to them (as they click right in). Which is not an issue for classic Nintendo games but not ideal for First Person Shooting.
Wireless connection is fast, synced and smooth with a 15-20 feet range. The controller has an incredible battery life as it can last up to 40-hours in a single charge. The USB C port allows you to charge the device through the Wii charger though it comes with a charging cable of its own.
5. Nintendo Joy-Con - Neon Pink / Neon Green
We present you with another masterpiece from Nintendo that had the fans all riled up. The spirit of innovation is prominent in this device. The company added several new features; some praised by the users, some not so much.
First of all, let’s talk about the versatile usability of the device.
You can use the Joy-Cons independently, in each hand, or together as 1 game Controller. To use it as a unified controller, you’ll need to attach the black grips that come with the package. They can also latch on to the main Console to use in handheld mode. For games that support two-player action, the controller is handy as well.
Each Joy-Con has a Full set of Buttons. These include trigger buttons, ABXY buttons, 2 analog sticks, and aero buttons. Each of them also features an accelerometer and an angular rate sensor. These functions allow you to use left-right motion control independently.
The aero buttons work like a D-pad. However, they lack some points for offering not-so-precise movement control. You can move a camera but it’ll be hard to walk around using them.
The product also features Nintendo’s HD Rumble technology.
The analog sticks are precise and flexible. Though, some users have reported problems with their placement while playing certain games. The controller can be charged using a Nintendo switch or separately.
6. GameCube Controller Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Edition
This is an homage to the original GameCube controllers that came with the GameCube system.
GameCube was the successor of Nintendo 64. It was first released in 2001, which was known as the DOL-001 model. It is the first Nintendo console which made use of optical discs as its main storage system. It was not designed to play full-scale DVDs or CDs and prioritized gaming instead.
This controller is an authentic reproduction of the historic DOL-001.
The product itself is modeled as DOL-003. The two devices look almost identical. In fact, the hardware looks extremely similar as well. The Same internal cable, cable cover, and plastic are used for the C stick on both devices. You get the same click at the bottom with the shoulder buttons.
However, there are some subtle differences between the original and the reproduction.
The new controller is lighter than the original. You can also feel the texture of the plastic, a feature that wasn’t available in DOL-001. It has a longer cord than the original of about 8-10 feet.
The controller can only be used when the console is set to TV mode. It works well with an adapter and uses an HDMI port to connect the game controller to the monitor or TV set.
Button layout of the controller was intentionally designed to fit the gaming style of Smash, making it the finest controller for Smash Ultimate.
The large A button is easily accessible to pull off common attacks. The smaller B button is designed to execute special attacks. If you prefer to use the controller to hop around, the A button encircled by the Y and X buttons helps you to throw combined, aerial attacks intuitively and easily.
7. PDP, Nintendo Switch Legend of Zelda Link GameCube Style Wired Fight Pad Pro Controller
Let us start by saying that this is a really good looking controller.
The plastic finish doesn’t feel cheap. The color coating looks premium and fresh. This product is capable of enhancing the look of your controller collection, that’s for sure.
A unique feature of this controller is detachable sticks. You can change the right stick from the GameCube Style C Stick to a more traditional, full-size stick. The sticks are analog and therefore, have a satisfying click to them.
You can also get replacement keycaps, but they are sold separately.
The wired construction frees you from the worry of constantly charging a wireless controller. The cable is 10 feet long, allowing you a comfortable amount of space to move around while gaming. The futuristic USB-C cable makes the device one of the best USB GameCube controllers in our list.
Aside from the traditional ABXY buttons, it also has a plus, minus, capture, and home button. It comes with L3 and R3 support. The right stick sits in an octagonal shaped plastic hole, emulating the original GC controller.
However, the controller doesn’t have an HD Rumble feature. Also, note that it comes with an USB C type cable. So, you must have your Nintendo Switch docked for this device to work. You can use any type of USB hub with these controllers.
8. HORI, Nintendo Switch Battle Pad (Zelda) GameCube Style Controller
Someone once said, “Gamers don't die, they respawn.”
If you believe in that untamed spirit of gaming, you definitely don’t want your controller to run out battery. Well, guess what? HORI is here to help you with that.
The company has produced a wired controller with a 10 feet cable length, so you can game all day long without worry.
The product is designed based on the original GC controller. It has a clear plastic finish, bringing back the retro vibe of Nintendo’s golden era. The handles are textured for a solid grip. The textured style also prevents slipping, while gaming with a sweaty hand.
Both the right stick and C stick are haloed around by an octagonal, plastic shape. Keeping the classic ABXY layout, it also adds a plus, minus, home, capture, and turbo button. So you can get that nostalgic feeling of a GC controller while having all these extra utilities.
Anti-snapback technology is used for analog sticks to bring you speed and precision. ZL/ZR and L/R Buttons are used as quick action triggers. You can also swap functions of these buttons to match your preferred gaming style.
You can plug the controllers straight into Nintendo Switch if the console is docked. However, to play in undocked mode you will require an adapter. Maximum 3 of these controllers are supported in docked mode. If playing in multiplayer mode is your style, then there’s no reason for concern.
The controller seems to support Xinput as well.
9. Poulep, Classic 2.4 G Wireless Controllers Gamepad with Receiver Adapter for Wii U
This product is the definition of loyalty merging with convenience.
Let us explain.
Many third party GameCube controllers in the market has additional buttons for functionality. These include: a home, capture, plus and minus button, reproducing the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller.
However, if you are a diehard GameCube fan, you might not like these additional buttons that much, as the original GC controller doesn’t have them.
Guess what? neither does this controller.
This doesn’t mean it lacks points in the convenience department. In fact, quite the opposite. You can wirelessly connect it to Wii U or GameCube, using the adapter that comes included with the package.
The controller uses a 2.4G wireless connection with a 33 feet radius to allow you maximum comfort of mobility. It also has a shooting function that can be swapped between automatic and manual.
The device is designed to support both digital and analog modes. Poulep applied anti-sweat and fuel injection technology for better grip support and to prevent slipping.
If the controller doesn’t seem to be working properly, here are a few tips,
Check the battery life, make sure you installed the right receiver on your intended console and inspect whether or not the connections of codes are working.
Also, eliminate strong current interference in the room and stay in the recommended zone (26.5 meters).
10. 8Bitdo Wireless Controller Adapter for Nintendo Switch, Windows, Mac & Raspberry Pi
Talk about a “master of all trades”.
This wireless, controller adapter works on Nintendo Switch Pro, Joy-Con, PS3, PS4, Wii U Pro, Wii Mote, Windows, Android TV box, macOS, , Raspberry Pi and Retro freak.
Add Arcade Sticks, DualShock 3, 4 and DualShock 4 Pro and All 8Bitdo controllers to the list, then tell us if we went wrong with our opening line. Though It doesn’t work with the controller of the first wireless Xbox One, it supports Microsoft’s S/X Bluetooth latest version controller.
If you have an Xbox One controller lying around and don’t feel like buying a Pro controller, this product is your savior. You can also use ps4 controllers on PC (through the X-input mode) without installing any additional software.
However, the “pro controller wired communication” option must be turned on (which is set to “off” by default) if you intend to use a third-party controller with the Switch.
The device can be connected wirelessly on most devices. Just connect the adapter to the Controller and you’re good to go. OTG cable is also provided by the manufacturer, which allows you to connect to Switch and directly use ‘handheld mode’.
It uses a Wireless Bluetooth system, which minimizes the amount of data lag.
The device supports DS4 Motion and HD Rumble. The Vibration feature is supported on Switch and X-input mode. However, some users may find the continuous light flash on sync-button a bit distracting.
Things to Consider Before Buying GameCube Controllers
1. The Validity of the Manufacturer
Because of the GC controller’s popularity, many fake versions are being produced nowadays. But don’t get alarmed just yet!
There are many legit manufactures as well, who produce some of the best third party GameCube controller models available and are approved by Nintendo. Just make sure that the company you are buying from is authentic and not going to rip you off.
You can use a few pointers to make sure that the controller is genuine.
For example, check if the analog stick is working. You can enter a game and if your stick is in neutral position then your character shouldn’t move or perform. Check the sensitivity of the stick as well.
Also, make sure the controller’s L and R triggers don’t get stuck while gaming or feel stiff. Feel each button to make sure you are comfortable with their placement and resistance.
You can also ask for advice from friends who own a GC controller.
2. Wired Vs Wireless
This really is a matter of preference.
Most pro gamers who want a competitive edge tend to lean towards wired controllers. These don’t have the risk of running out of battery and eliminates the possibility of data lag.
This is also significant for gamers who tend to have long gaming sessions. A wired controller allows you to play as long as you want without interruption.
On the other hand, if you hate messy wires and cherish a large space for mobility while gaming, wireless controllers might be a better option for you.
There are many wireless controllers that have a long battery life up to 40 hours. They also have advanced wireless technology, which fixes issues like data lag, sync lag, and connectivity interruption.
3. Controller Layout
This is an important factor that you should look into before making a purchase.
Most 3rd party controllers replicate the exact layout of original GC controllers. Some controllers replicate the Switch Pro Controller. While other controllers reproduce the GC controller layout but with additional buttons.
So, go for the layout which is most convenient for you.
4. Type of Games and Consoles
Before purchasing, decide what games you want to play with the controller and the console you will be using for that purpose.
For example, Nintendo’s “GameCube Controller Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” is the best controller for Smash Ultimate, but won’t function well with FPS games. Similarly, the Nintendo Joy-Con works great with Switch but won’t work with Xbox One or PS4.
However, you can use 3rd party controllers with an 8Bitdo adapter to play on a variety of consoles, such as PS4, PC, Wii U etc.
5. Special Features
Look for special features, such as: HD Rumble, Motion Sensor, turbo button, textured handles, Amiibo etc. before purchasing. This will enhance and improve your gaming experience.
Tips To Use GameCube Controller
1. Setting the Right Temperature
Keep your controller at room temperature. Don’t expose it to conditions of extreme heat and humidity. This can result in unwanted outcomes, such as a rusty or melting controller, stiff sticks etc.
2. Stay off The Dust
If your controller is gathering lot of dust, it will decrease the lifespan of the device. Dust can seep inside the controller, making parts of the controller deteriorate faster. It can also cause jammed sticks and sticky buttons.
So, clean your controller regularly and keep them in a dust-free spot.
3. Take Care of the Wires and Batteries
If you are using a wired controller, be careful about how you wrap them up after use.
Failing to coil around the wire properly, you can damage the connect ports (where the wire is attached to the controller). As a result, even the best GameCube controller in your collection might get ruined.
If you are using wireless controllers, it’s better to remove the batteries after use. Leaving the batteries in for too long will wear them out quicker. It can also cause dampening.
4. Use Responsibly
We often throw out our controller on the side or the couch after an exhausting match. While the sentiment is understandable, it is still harmful to the well-being of your device. This can damage parts of your cherished controller or render them useless completely.
So, just go easy on the thing!
We know, when the battle is heating up and you are hell-bent on throwing the toughest combos, it’s natural to go hard on the buttons and triggers.
However, maintaining this practice over-time, will wear out your controller much quicker. It can also cause certain buttons and triggers to become dysfunctional.
Therefore, a conscious and balanced use of force on your controllers can go a long way to enhance its lifetime.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Should I Get An Original GC Controller Or A 3rd Party GC Controller?
Answer: It really depends on your intended use of the controller. If you are a pro gamer looking to participate in tournaments, getting an original GC controller or a Switch Pro controller might prove to be beneficial.
However, as a beginner, you don’t need to go for high quality GameCube controllers right off the bat.
2. Do All 3rd Party GameCube Controllers Work With All Nintendo Consoles?
Answer: Unfortunately, no.
3rd party controllers usually work with most Nintendo consoles but not all. For example, some controllers may be compatible with GameCube and Wii but not Wii U. So, read the product description carefully to learn about the controller’s compatibility.
However, you can use controller adapters to solve parts of this issue.
3. Where Should I Buy GC Controllers From?
Answer: There are many online marketplaces, which you can buy controllers from. However, make sure the sites and the sellers are legit and trustworthy.
In terms of getting the finest deals, you should check out Amazon and eBay. You will have plenty of options to choose from, can compare prices and make sure that you are not getting ripped off.
You can also visit local shops for purchasing. This way, you can physically check the controllers before buying. However, local shops tend to be a bit expensive than online stores.
Another way is to ask around your fellow gamers and friends. You can often get a good deal, buying from a personal connection. This will ensure the validity of the product and can often get you lower prices than both online and local shops.
4. How Do I Clean My Controller?
Answer: Now, that’s a tricky question to answer.
Cleaning the external parts of your controller should be quite easy. Make sure not to use elements like soap or water. Take a soft cloth and gently rub it on the controller.
Pay attention to the creases of sticks and triggers as that is where most dust, dirt, and oil tend to hide.
For internal parts, unless you have previous experience, it’s better to leave it alone. But, if you are feeling confident, you can unscrew the frame of the controller.
Then use a hair drier, at low speed and set on cool mode, to blow away the dust, from a safe distance.
Do not directly touch the circuitry while cleaning to avoid damaging the device.
To quote John XXIII, “Here I am at the end of the road and at the top of the heap”.
Yes, we have reached at the end but, hopefully, also at the top of the knowledge mountain about GameCube controllers.
We have tried to deliver all the necessary information, in an effort to introduce you with the best GameCube controllers in existence.
And now, you must take up the torch to go forward.
We truly hope you find the controller you desire, and if not, may it find you!
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