Tuesday, April 18, 2023

HORI Nintendo Switch Split Pad Compact Review

There are countless of options for joycons for the Nintendo Switch, and besides 3rd party (non-Nintendo licensed) options, the HORI stood out to me especially when the HORI Nintendo Switch Split Pad Compact came out. 

I was mesmerized by it's sleek look and the color options. So it was without hesitation that I got it when it was on sale (it's always better to get it on sale then paying for full price).


Out of the many options that they had, the color option I got was the Mint Green x White version.


Hori’s new Split Pad Compact controllers are apparently the improved version of the Hori Split Pad Pro with a more colorful design and reduced size. They come in a range of colors such as Apricot Red, Yellow, and Mint. They also have Pokemon designs, which are pretty cool. 


In essence, the Hori Split Pad Compact acts just like the Nintendo joycons - they slot right into the sides of a Nintendo Switch where the joycons would usually do. But unlike their Nintendo counterpart, the Hori series of controllers do not have an internal battery and cannot be used wirelessly. In addition to that, they also do not have Motion Controls, HD Rumble, NFC, or IR camera, and they can only be played in handheld mode.


These controllers offer substantially more room for bigger hands than the actual joycons, and they are ergonomically comfortable to use as well. So if you are mostly playing in handheld mode over docked, this might be your jam.


As the name suggests, compact means it fits nicely into the hands and is really comfortable to hold and use as well:  the shoulder buttons and triggers are larger, and the joysticks are taller, bigger around, and textured, making  the buttons are tactile and the joystick experience seamless to execute precise movements far. Additionally, there is Turbo button on each grip that can automatically, rapidly repeat an input while a button is held down. 


At the back of each grip, there are two buttons which can be mapped to any of the face buttons on the corresponding grip. It can be useful but unfortunately it means that you cannot map any of the ABXY buttons onto the left grip’s back button, or D-pad buttons onto the right grip’s.


Overall, the Hori Split Pad Compact has a competent set of controls which offers a performance upgrade over the standard Nintendo joycons. But I was underwhelmed even though it was cheaper than the standard Nintendo joycons and slightly more ergonomic and comfortable to use. 


It was not the lack of Motion Controls, HD Rumble, NFC, IR camera, or the fact that is can only be played in handheld mode and does not have it's own battery, but the odd design if including a small piece of plastic that extends to overlap with the back of the Switch itself and bumps out from the back. It's probably there to reduce the likelihood of damaging the Switch’s controller rails with the extra leverage the larger controllers provide, but it does not factor for those who are using a Switch case. 


It's so troublesome to remove the case each time to attach the Hori Split Pad Compact, that I've just left it. Not to mention which them attached to your Switch, it cannot even fits the standard carry case (you'd have to spend more money to get a bigger carry case).


Have you gotten the Hori Split Pad Compact? If yes what are your thoughts about it? Let us know in the comments below!


For around the same price I would recommended getting an OEM (non-Nintendo) joypad or joycon instead. I saw this from IINE and could not pass it up as it was a Splatoon Design. It's now been checked out and making it's way to me. Stay tuned for the review!

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