You get what you pay for.
At just $20, the Ematic Wired N-Switch Controller is about the cheapest third-party controller for the Switch (and PC) you can find (See it at Walmart). (The company also offers a wireless version for $27.99). Despite its standard button layout, the controller’s notable features include a turbo button, and—unique to its price point—dual motors for rumble.
Ematic Wired N-Switch – Design and Features
As far as controllers go, the Ematic Wired N-Switch is pretty straightforward. It sports a black and red design with labeled buttons and a comfortable anti-slip grip. It has the standard buttons in a familiar layout, but unlike the Switch’s Pro controller, the Ematic has symmetrical thumb sticks that sit reasonably high off the device.
As noted in the name, this version of the N-Switch is wired, with a short-ish 7.2-foot cord that plugs into the Switch dock. In general, wired controllers aren’t the best fit for the Switch because they can only be used when the Switch is in docked mode. Thankfully, the N-Switch can double as a PC controller, provided your controller has a free USB port.
The N-Switch is one of the few controllers in the price range that features an LED light to indicate which player you are. More importantly, it’s one of the only sub $30 controllers that features a motor for the rumble—and the Ematic has two motors, which give the haptics a bit more kick.
Ematic Wired N-Switch – Gaming Performance
The Ematic controller is a cheap controller, and it feels that way. Despite sporting dual motors, it still has that dreaded “hollow” feel, like the insides are empty. The feel of the controller is best summed up by my sage friend who, after using it chirped, “I feel like I’m going to break it.”
The shallow, contoured handles are tiny and not comfortable for large hands. On multiple occasions, my hands cramped from the awkward position my middle fingers were forced into. Admittedly, these contours will work for smaller hands—especially children’s. I also like the controller’s grip, which picks up plenty of fingerprints but is also comfortable.
We’ve all been in the situation where a controller’s cable is just barely long enough, and every sudden move risks sending your teetering console flying. I didn’t have that problem with the Ematic, because it didn’t even reach my couch. Many of its competitors’ cords are 10-feet, so an extra 3-feet of cable would have made a big difference here.
The N-Switch’s bumpers are clicky and loud. Like most things on the controller, they feel a bit cheap, but I like how responsive they are. Not only can they be activated by microscopic movements, but the click was also accompanied by a pleasing rumble of the controller.
That rumble is easily the controller’s best feature. While it might be a tad too aggressive for some, I liked the way it felt in every game I played. In Smash, I could feel the characters’ every step, jab, and jump, and charging shots felt consequential in Mario Tennis Aces.
At least a dozen times, the D-Pad didn’t recognize my input.
The thumb sticks are tall, but feel good, especially if you’re accustomed to symmetrical thumbsticks. The same can’t be said for the D-Pad. At least a dozen times, the D-Pad didn’t recognize my input while I was playing. It’s not that it was completely failing to register the input, but that it requires an overly aggressive press of the button. For some people, this won’t be a problem. But I wasn’t able to get used to it.
Unfortunately, these aren’t the only annoyances. After putting the Switch into sleep mode, the red LED lights keep flashing. If you game where you sleep, you’ll need to unplug the controller every single time you’re finished using it. Also, there are no instructions anywhere on how to use the Turbo button. The answer, from Ematic: find a game that works with it and then press the Turbo and face button simultaneously, which will activate it—then hit the turbo button again to deactivate it.
While it obviously isn’t allowed in tournaments, the poorly explained Turbo button worked wonders for certain games—including Super Smash Brothers Ultimate. By mapping Turbo to the B-button, I was able to spam Fox’s gun at blinding speeds. Effective? You bet. Cheap as hell? Yeah, that too.
The Ematic Wire N-Switch has an MSRP of $19.99 and it’s usually the same price online.