PDP's Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Wired Fight Pad Pro is a solid controller option for under $30 with only minor drawbacks

If you're not looking to shell out more than double that for Nintendo's Pro Controller, you might want to look here

Posted by Steven 'Dreamking23' Chavez • September 18, 2019 at 8:20 a.m. PDT

During the months before Super Smash Bros. Ultimate saw its official release back in December 2018, I went on a search for a solid controller at a decent price. Though using a Gamecube controller was an obvious option, I didn't want to have to deal with grabbing one and the adapter needed to use it, so I ended up forking over the money for Nintendo's $70 Pro Controller for the Switch — luckily I got it on sale at the time.

While doing my research, I came across the first wave of PDP's Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Wired Fight Pad Pro controllers, and while they were the main candidate I was considering after Nintendo's official pad, I chose to go in a different direction as third=party peripherals usually give me pause due to a lack of quality. Little did I know that if I had actually purchased PDP's Fight Pad Pro back then, I would have been pleasantly surprised.

The company recently released a set of four new, officially licensed Super Smash Bros. Ultimate-themed Gamecube-style controllers for the Nintendo Switch. Each is centered around a specific character, with an emblem and colors to match Sonic The Hedgehog, The Legend of Zelda's Link and Zelda, and Super Mario's own Yoshi.

While the overall design is very similar to Nintendo's original Gamecube controller, PDP's Fight Pad Pro is a little bit bigger with longer handles at the bottom. It's a fairly light controller, but still feels solid, and though the buttons seem slightly stiffer than their counterpart I didn't run into any noticeable issues there when using this controller in different games.

One of the perks of going with PDP's controller is that you are given the option to swap out the C-stick for a standard-sized stick if you so choose to do so. The switch is as simple as pulling one stick out and clicking the other in, and both sticks retain the color of the controller's theme to keep everything looking nice. Personally, I went with two regular-sized sticks instead of the smaller C-stick.

Movement and inputs feel smooth on this controller, allowing me to do everything as I expect to in a heated Super Smash Bros. Ultimate match. That being said, there are some minor gripes I have with the construction of certain aspects of the controller.

PDP's Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Wired Fight Pad Pro Controller image #1 PDP's Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Wired Fight Pad Pro Controller image #2 PDP's Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Wired Fight Pad Pro Controller image #3 PDP's Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Wired Fight Pad Pro Controller image #4 PDP's Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Wired Fight Pad Pro Controller image #5
Click images for larger versions

The biggest issue I ran across is the left and right triggers. Both buttons are low to the base and don't have that higher wall you find on official Gamecube controllers. This resulted in several accidental presses while playing, and in a game like the Castlevania Anniversary Collection where those buttons bring up the menu, it can be really frustrating to deal with.

On a smaller scale, I noticed that if you hold the main joystick left or right and release it, the bounce back to neutral position can trigger an input of the opposite direction making for some unwanted activity. Testing it in Smash Bros. Ultimate's training mode, I was able to recreate it quite often, but I've only ever run into it a handful of times actually playing and in certain games — like Cuphead.

While I started out using one of PDP's Fight Pad Pro controllers simply for this review, I've found myself plugging it back in whenever I play Nintendo Switch games — and the 10-foot USB cable that comes attached to it gives me ample room to work with when I do. My weapon of choice has been the Yoshi-themed controller, and I'm really drawn to the two-toned color scheme of the controller's base, as well as the colorful buttons, D-Pad, and sticks.

Even when reviewing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's latest DLC character, Banjo-Kazooie, I mainly used this controller and it held up great throughout my lengthy, online ranked sessions.

One thing you'll want to take note of is that because this controller connects to the Switch via USB, you'll only be able to use it in docked mode and can realistically only plug three in at once (without using some sort of adapter). This isn't a fault of the controller, but it's good to keep in mind if you plan on purchasing four USB controllers in hopes to play all on one console.

Closing thoughts: At the end of the day, PDP's Fight Pad Pro on the Nintendo Switch does a strong job where it counts. Retailing at only $24.99 USD, PDP's latest take on the Gamecube controller is a solid alternative to the more expensive controller options on the platform.

These controllers look and feel great for third-party products, and being able to show your love for fan-favorite Smash Bros. characters right on your pad at events and gatherings is always a plus.

Those who opt to pick these up will likely encounter accidental inputs due to the low L and R triggers and the construction of the main joystick. However, in the grand scheme of things, these are issues that won't severely impact gameplay, but will surely cause occasional frustration.

If you're in need of a good Nintendo Switch controller but don't want to shell out the $70 for Nintendo's official Pro Controller, then you can't go wrong with PDP's Fight Pad Pro. Hardcore players might still want to shoot for a top of the line peripheral, but I could definitely see a professional player getting by just fine with one of these.

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